Mindless nationalism

The Nonsensical Nationalism Rant: A Nation Built On Zed

It is a feeble country indeed that attaches itself so passionately to a zed.

What the hell am I talking about? Well, let me tell you. My son loves this online alphabet website (Starfall.com) and we spend quite a lot of time getting to know our ABCs there. He loves the site with all its funny songs and stories and he especially loves to sing "The ABC Song", almost as much as he loves singing Raffi's "Baby Beluga" and Cat Stevens' "Wild World"... oh, and Nirvana's "Where Did You Sleep Last Night?".

Here's the problem: Whenever he sings the ABC Song with a certain type of person around you should hear the almost-deafening roar that ensues once he gets to "zee". "Zee is not Canadian!" the loud protests echo throughout our entire home, as my little guy looks around confused while making a valiant attempt to finish the song with the "Now I know my ABCs..." coda.

"Zee is not Canadian", the indignant and proud Canadian proclaims again and again. "Well, neither are the automobile, the television or the computer, but we use all of them quite regularly now don't we?", I protest. But it is pointless. My appeals to rationality are no match for the raging nationalism of the True Canadian Patriot.

Freedom Fly: Bottled Horniness For The Truly Patriotic American

The New French

You know how John McCain said he might not talk to the Spanish government if he's elected president? How, in an interview last month, he lumped Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero in with anti-American leaders such as Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and the Castro Brothers of Cuba?

Well, what I want to know is, does that make the Spanish the new French? And, if so, does that mean that this year all truly patriotic (i.e. idiotic) Americans will have to start calling their favorite aphrodisiac Freedom Fly, a la those Freedom Fries of French-hating days gone by? And, what I really want to know is this, will Freedom Fly still get you as horny as its American-hating cousin, Spanish Fly?

The Not-So-Great 38 Rant (Who are these people?)

Who are these people? Seriously, who are they? How can poll after poll tell us that between 32 and 38% of Americans are happy with Bush's performance as president? How is it possible for anyone to be so far gone that they somehow still think that Bush, Sidekick Dick and all the other buffoons in the White House are actually doing a great job?

 

The Mindless Nationalism Rant: Vimy Ridge, Vimy Ridge, Vimy Ridge

This rant also appears in the Touching The Untouchables section as Touching The Untouchables #6: Vimy Ridge. It appears here as well for anyone who thinks they might like history but feels afraid, or at least a little nervous, when it comes to touching any sort of untouchables.

 

 

"Oh the First World War, boys
It closed out its fate
The reason for fighting
I never got straight
But I learned to accept it
Accept it with pride
For you don't count the dead
When God's on your side"

      - Bob Dylan, "With God On Our Side"

 

Vimy Ridge Vimy Ridge Vimy Ridge, all this drama over Vimy Ridge. If you live in Canada then you know what I'm talking about. If you don't, then I should tell you that this weekend has been the 90th anniversary of the Canadian victory over the Germans at Vimy Ridge during World War I. Yes, 3,600 Canadian soldiers died and more than 7,000 were wounded during the four-day assault (while 20,000 German soldiers were killed or injured), but why all the glorifying of a battle in such a meaningless war, I ask?

Touching The Untouchables #6: Vimy Ridge

"Oh the First World War, boys
It closed out its fate
The reason for fighting
I never got straight
But I learned to accept it
Accept it with pride
For you don't count the dead
When God's on your side"

      - Bob Dylan, "With God On Our Side"

 

Arvat, Xinjiang Uyghur "Autonomous" Region: Ego-Tripping Freak

So, after nearly 3 weeks down south, we arrived back here in Shihua, in Northern Xinjiang, yesterday afternoon. Southern Xinjiang is a completely different world and returning here felt like returning to China. Our time down south turned out to be quite different than we had planned or expected. Besides some disappointment/problems (one quite big) it was an unbelievable time full of fun, surprises, incredible experiences, wonderful people, great food and, believe it or not, very little beer.

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