Friday, July 4, 2008

The virtue of the vicious - Oscar Wilde's def. of Patriotism



I've always found the idea of patriotism terrifically distasteful.

Patriotism writ small --
I remember thundering student football assemblies in High School designed to whip up what can only be described as "hate" against the opponent high school. Chance geographical location = required disdain. I persuaded a handful of friends (preen, preen) that they were the equivalent of Nuremberg rallies; we all ditched, in the name of international peace.

Patriotism writ large --

Freedom fries? Remember? Why did we invade Iraq? My country right or wrong? How many Iraqis dead (1M+) or displaced (5M+)? If this is patriotism, not for me.


Quoting a vet I heard on the radio, Chance Cox; "I look at my American flag and think: "Not that good, not that bad." Kudos.

7 comments:

BillLee said...

never did dig the nuremberg rally scene; but am totally digging sixteen maybe less by iron and wine; thanks to your playlist. i imagine a world where disputes where settled by interpretive dance of whatever was being played in homosexual club scene.

djinn said...

This is the best idea evarh. Settle international disputes with Interpretive dance and bake-offs.

djinn said...

Did you listen to "Cant' hardly wait" by the Replacements? It has some of my favorite dada lyrics

Jesus rides beside me, he smokes and he never buys.

Hurry up, hurry up, ain't ya had enough of this stuff
ashtray floors, dirty cars and filthy jokes.

derekstaff said...

I never could stand the high school rallies either. And I like the thought "Chance geographical location = required disdain." I"ve never gotten the whole pride of place thing. "___ High School is the best school in the state!" "___ City is the best city in the state!" "___ is the best state in the nation!" "___ is the best country on the planet!" And, in the LDS Church "___ is the best ward in the stake!" "___ is the best stake in the Church!" "The ___ Mission is the best mission in the world!" Why, simply because you happened to be there, often by random fluke of birth, or employment, or "calling"? Is that anything other than the pride we are supposed to condemn, at whatever level?

djinn said...

I think its more like we tend to form more or less random groups and then think up lots of reasons our group is better than the one down the street. I had an Anthro prof at the University of Utah (in Salt Lake City) who called this "the Logan problem." Logan was a much smaller town about 90 miles away. The idea being that the people over there in, say, Logan, are doing it wrong (it being marriage customs, football team, religion, dress) and must be punished.

derekstaff said...

I graduated from USU, and I can tell you for certain that they are doing the football team wrong.
;)

I would suggest that the motivation for coming up with reasons/ways that the "other group" is not as good as us is inherently prideful.

breathingmoss said...

I love my motherland more than my fathergovernment.