November 19, 2006

I have a "Dissenter" in the ranks!

An individual who goes by the moniker "Realist" decided to leave a small missive in the comments to my "Flag Post". For the sake of user friendliness, I'll quote this person here:

But though I understand what you are saying, I don't much agree and that's being polite. People who have almost a religious-like reverence for the flag should take a little time and read up on some of the despicable things that flag has been attached to. America has a long, LOOOOOOOONG history of brutalization, imperialism, genocide in the name of "manifest destiny", coup-fomenting, democracy-crushing assholery that smears that flag with more filth than any protester ever could. And I would MUCH rather see that flag wrapped around some hippie than see it wrapped around atrocious policies both here and abroad so as to stifle criticism as it so often is used for. If you would like to see someone shot as you said for using the flag in such a manner than you, sir, are about one bumper sticker away from the armband, jackboots and the whole Nazi nine yards. Get a grip.

Well, that was strongly worded. I'll try to use a little less rhetoric in my reply, but it might be difficult... I've been drinking a little. Let's start with a clarification of some phraseology that I used: Pull the Trigger. I probably should have put it in quotes like I usually would when I'm using a phrase "tongue in cheek", so it's quite easy for me to understand why this "realist" person would "Pull the Trigger" on me with that comment. I really wanted to "Pull the Trigger" on that fine upstanding hippie person, but as I stated "my understanding of the meaning of the first Amendment". It's his (the Protester's) Right to take our Flag and use it as a symbol of all the "assholery" that this country has gotten up to in lo these two and half centuries. As well, it's my Right to be completely offended by his actions. That's how it works.

As I've stated before, I'm an Atheist. That right there should (statistically) put me on the side of the Hippie, but it don't. I'm a libertarian (note the small "L" there) who is fiscally conservative, and socially wishy-washy (aka: moderate). I've read enough history to understand what this country should be, and I've lived enough life to understand how things really work. This does not stop me from acting on my "Ideals", instead of my "religious-like reverence". If it did, then I would've "Pulled the Trigger" on my hippie friend.

Why do I hold our Flag in such high esteem? Simple. To me, it represents all the freedoms that were outlined in the US Constitution, to-whit: all the things that Government Can't Do. It represents the Ideal. I feel that the Founder's took such care to outline a Republic for us (not a Democracy like it has been bastardized into) for the sole purpose of eliminating fiefdoms. Unfortunately, I was a part of getting "W" elected, and you see where that got us. We are in the Right War started for the Wrong Reasons, Bush has never seen a spending bill that he wouldn't sign... except for a research project that just might save a few lives, and despite all of that, I can still wake up in the morning and say to myself that I'm a good person. I did what I could to embody the Ideal. The Flag stands to me: for all of the young (and not so young) people that are in harm's way so that I don't have to be, it stands for the things that I'd like to be true...but currently aren't, the respect I have is for all the history that got us here...good and bad, but mostly it stands for the hope that people will wake up and see what is happening to this Republic ("If you can keep it."). I'd like to think that it is still possible to get where the Founders were pointing, but I fear that it may be too late.

As for the "Realist", I think that you too need to "Get a Grip" and realize that not all Patriots are headed for "jackboots and that whole Nazi nine yards", but they are interested in freedom. For everyone. Even the one's who disagree. I apologize for any miscommunication, and welcome any further thoughts you may have...just dispense with the Nazi bullshit. If I wanted to embody Hitler, I'd probably be wearing a flag upside-down right now. It's as close to making a religious symbol (swastika) into something evil, that I can think of.

Stand on your Ideal's, just don't tread on American's Freedoms to get there.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 08:41 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

November 14, 2006

Flag Post

As a (sorta) Veteran, I am proud to say that I did what most Veterans do on thier national day of recognition...went to Frickin' work. Luckily, the job I'm on is in the middle of downtown Knoxville, so they kinda brought the parade to me. Sweet! My main access to the hoistway is through an entrance from a catwalk stuck to the side of the building, so as the festivities were gearing up, I couldn't help but see what was going on. The stand was set up right next to the stairway that goes down to the parking lot where my truck sat, so hearing who was going by was no trouble. Two or three VFW posts were riding Harley's, a few HMMWV's were in attendance, a couple of different flyover's by a CH-64 "Huey" (I think the "Huey" was designated CH-64, but I'm too lazy to look it up right now) and a KC-135 mid-air refueler, Several ROTC Units, High School Bands, basically the whole shmeer.

The coolest part was when the downtown fire hall brought out one of thier Ladder Trucks. They parked it perpendicular to the parade route, extended the ladder over the road, and extended a Thirty Foot Flag down from it. You can bet your sweet ass that I shucked my Hard Hat and saluted that big sucker when they started singing Our National Anthem. I tell you that a flag like that (not hanging in front of a truckstop) is a sight to behold.

The parade was just wrappign up when my lunchtime came around, so I found myself on the same sidewalk as several Vietnam Vet's, assorted Purple Heart "Winner's", and a group of young people recently returned from Iraq. Now I'm proud of what I do for a living...near to the point of being a "cocky little Bastard" about it. When I go down the street, I've got my chest pushed out like a Bantam Rooster, because "I BUILD AMERICA!" On the sidewalk that day, my head was down, and my stride was short. I was in the presence of people who "DEFEND AMERICA!" It's hard to build elevators when you've got a lump in your throat.

Sunday evening, I realized I was out of beer, so I "Raised up" on out and headed to my local convenience establishment to procure myself a twelve-shooter. I headed straight in, went to the cooler and snagged my intended purchase. When I stepped into the line for the register, and I noticed another patron. It was a little chilly, so he was wearing an Olive Drab jacket to stave off the cold. Unfortunately he had another garment on...Our Flag. He had it draped around his shoulders like a shawl...Upside-Down. He was a polite and cordial person, but I hated him as soon as I noted his garb. I never said a word to him, but in my mind, I was caving his fucking skull in with a tire tool. My restraint came from the fact that I was in dire need of alchohol, and my understanding of the meaning of the first Amendment. He was protesting...and I didn't stick around to find out exactly what.

All I know is...if you wish to protest, don't take a symbol of our nation in distress as your garb. It'll piss off a patriot, and there may be someone who will pull the trigger on your ass. I hope I'm around when it happens.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 10:38 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

November 12, 2006

Brain Dump

So… I’ve been feeling a little stressed out here lately. The beginning was running back and forth to Kentucky every day for work (Did that for more than a month), and it’s been piling up ever since. Went right into another install job that had a few issues. It wound up pushing me into working overtime, when all I wanted to do was just take it easy, and do it right, and get it complete. Didn’t happen. Now, I’ve started on another job, and it’s a doozy.
This one is a “roped hydraulic” (the pistons push sheaves that carry ropes that support the car. Essentially it’s a traction machine that uses hydraulic pressure to move the car, instead of a drive sheave moved by an electric motor.). This thing is very unforgiving. No to mention that the installer that was on the job before me had some defective laser’s and therefore put the first half of the rails in four inches to the rear. They’re welded in, so I’ve gotta cut them out with an oxy-acetylene torch. The best part is that this building is already occupied by an upscale general store that takes up the first three floors. My elevator serves the top three floors (loft apartments) and at the street level outside. What this amounts to is that instead of a five-foot pit (standard)…I have a twenty-two foot pit. I have to build the conveyance so that if the building ever changes hands, it will be possible for the elevator to serve the lower floors. This amounts to everything that gets done in the hoistway, has to be done off of a ladder… with a long-ass drop underneath us.

At any rate, all the stress from work has been spilling over into my home life. Over the last three months or so, the little annoyances that exist in every household have been absolutely driving me “Nuckin’ Futs”. For instance: My roommates have a nasty habit of leaving their laundry in the washer and dryer. For years now, I’ve been trying to deal with the fact that in order to do one load of my laundry, I have to complete the two loads that were already there (that incidentally aren’t my clothes). On Sunday afternoon (the one before Halloween) I asked if the washer and dryer could be cleared. As usual, there were already two loads in place, so I waited patiently for Jenny to clear out what she had. In the meantime, Steven came home and since the washer was currently clear, he started a load. Fast forward one day, and I checked the washer to find… clothes already there. I guess I’ll do it the next evening. Fast forward again…and as soon as I got home I checked the washer…same story. Well, I got my uniforms and a bunch of skivvies together, and announced that I was leaving. This was Halloween, so they all assumed that I was going to a party or something. Needless to say, I was headed to a fucking Laundromat. When I got back to the house with my clean clothes, I was asked if I “had a good time?” to which I replied “Yeah, I had a great time at the Laundromat!” and kinda stormed off in a huff.

Steven and Jenny have been having some relationship issues that they’re working through, and my “being bitchy” has not helped things at all. Tension is not something that I need to be adding around here, but lately, it’s all I’ve got.

This morning, I was thinking about something that has plagued me for most of my life: I spend too much time inside my own head. I generally don’t communicate well with the people around me, as I don’t trust most folks until I get to know them…hell, even after I get to know them. I also have a trait that makes me attempt to not be a bother to others, so I don’t talk much about what’s bothering me with others. So…my imagination is free to be as pessimistic as it is natural for me to be, and I slide down into depression. There is only one cure for this, and it is distraction. Luckily there is Guitar Hero II. I bought this game at around two this afternoon, and I’ve played through the entire game already. It was a wonderful time to be had…actually not thinking, just reacting. Nice.

So…off to work in the morning.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 10:58 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack