American Flags Flying in Black Rock City

Share your views on the policies, philosophies, and spirit of Burning Man.

Postby Liverace » Thu Sep 11, 2003 5:29 pm

JP / Chimp wrote: let me get this straight though - you have no criticsm of your goverment then and anyone who does shouldn't be allowed to come there?

is that what you are saying - or perhaps you are saying you can't make any negative critical analysis of the US administration unless you live there?


Leave it to a journalist to deliberately misquote. :roll: I never implied I have no criticism of my government, only that I love my country and I don't subscribe to the "oil barrons" conspiracy theory. My political discomfort however, and the extent to which it may even coincide with your own, is irrelevant to my point at hand. To use a common analogy: it is in poor taste to visit a friend's home and tell him his mother is ugly, even if he frequently complains about her himself. Such a guest would not be welcome to visit again.

JP / Chimp wrote: Or what is this 'label' are you referring to 'The Flag' again?


Just suggesting that Larry wouldn't deny or obfuscate if someone called him a lefty.

JP / Chimp wrote: PS: I will go wherever I please and if I make it back to the playa as I intend to I am gonna give you one great big sloppy trotskyist kiss and a lollipop with a picture of Marx on it - I bet you are looking forward to that ain't ya


And this is why I love BRC: When we meet next year you can give me a big sloppy kiss, right between the cheeks I will present to you immediately after exiting the loo. You will not take offense, as such behavior is not uncommon on the playa. I also look forward to placing the Marx lollipop in the temple to be reduced to aether, as were the governments built on his principles. With such formalities behind us, you will then welcomed to in my camp as a brother. We will ply one another with liquor and part as friends.

Viva la playa!
It's better to spend money like there's no tomorrow than to spend tonight like there's no money. -PJ O'Rourke
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Postby Chimp » Fri Sep 12, 2003 4:22 am

Excellent, theres nothing I love more than liquor, see you at the porta potties then. I get the mother analogy by the way, point taken on board.

If I wasn't such a dumbass I would put one of these cute emoticons here but I can't work out how to do it - DOH!!!

Indeed 'Viva La Playa!'

The strangest and most beautiful place this side of Mars

(mars is probably terribly dull in comparison actually)

"hold on tight to me baby / it's such a long way down"

- Saint Low, 'long way down'
Last edited by Chimp on Fri Sep 12, 2003 10:06 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby Chimp » Fri Sep 12, 2003 4:50 am

Casnimot

Just saw your request for a gift, you don't even have to ask man - how about a 'hot air' balloon?

he he he

nah, if I met you out there I would be sure to give you something mister and you really wouldn't have to ask

'Living in a shack in a one horse town, trying to get to heaven before the sun goes down, lizard in a bottle, yeah!'

'Lil' Devil' - The Cult (a band with the most nonsensical lyrics ever, fanfuckingtastic!!!)
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Re: Woah...

Postby Borris » Fri Sep 12, 2003 8:34 am

casnimot wrote:In fact, I'd wager that there's relatively few nations where it's even safe to try. You can certainly rule out Africa, most of Asia, the entirety of the Mid-east, etc.


Hey I've been to an Eclipse festival in Zambia in 01 that was close enough to BM madness (only with 100 times more psychedelics and a larger variety of them) it lasted a week with no problems.

Israel has it's fair share of fest's they are more comercial but they still happen, your major expense in israel would be security for such an event...

Germany has yearly trance festivals that drug wise make BM seem like Soberland and the population of those is round the 20,000 freaks.

Hungary eclipse 99 (Maybee the only place that i have seen that was alltogether more mental insane and inspiring then BRC)

last year i was in charge of artists and repertoire for Xpo 2002 a trance fest in Bulgaria.

So I'm not sure that the US is the only place where authorities-wise such an event could happen. now people-wise that's a different discussion.

Oh and at the BRIBH (the hostel where in camped at BRC) we had flags of alot of different countries. some that had rep's at the hostel some that didn't and the US as well.
Shit, where was i for the last week... ehm...
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Postby Chimp » Fri Sep 12, 2003 9:46 am

Fucking Hell...

you are one SERIOUS party monster Borris

RAVE ON!!!
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Re: Woah...

Postby TestesInSac » Fri Sep 12, 2003 10:07 am

Borris wrote:
casnimot wrote:In fact, I'd wager that there's relatively few nations where it's even safe to try. You can certainly rule out Africa, most of Asia, the entirety of the Mid-east, etc.


Hey I've been to an Eclipse festival in Zambia in 01 that was close enough to BM madness (only with 100 times more psychedelics and a larger variety of them) it lasted a week with no problems.

Israel has it's fair share of fest's they are more comercial but they still happen, your major expense in israel would be security for such an event...

Germany has yearly trance festivals that drug wise make BM seem like Soberland and the population of those is round the 20,000 freaks.

Hungary eclipse 99 (Maybee the only place that i have seen that was alltogether more mental insane and inspiring then BRC)

last year i was in charge of artists and repertoire for Xpo 2002 a trance fest in Bulgaria.

So I'm not sure that the US is the only place where authorities-wise such an event could happen. now people-wise that's a different discussion.

Oh and at the BRIBH (the hostel where in camped at BRC) we had flags of alot of different countries. some that had rep's at the hostel some that didn't and the US as well.


In fact, I find that Brazil has a fest quite similar to BM other than Mardi Gras (through a Brazilian friend and campmate) and Germany also has the Love Parade. Admitting error and the loss of the bet, I'll happily pay out on the playa, in the off-chance I go.
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Postby Borris » Fri Sep 12, 2003 10:51 am

JP / Chimp wrote:Fucking Hell...

you are one SERIOUS party monster Borris

RAVE ON!!!


That's what happens when you are an International Psy-trance DJ / Journalist. not much money in it but oh the places I've been to...

casnimot wrote: In fact, I find that Brazil has a fest quite similar to BM other than Mardi Gras (through a Brazilian friend and campmate) and Germany also has the Love Parade. Admitting error and the loss of the bet, I'll happily pay out on the playa, in the off-chance I go.


Yep, brasil has a very nice upcoming psy-trance scene with quite some interesting festivls. as to Germany, love parade is nice but it's just a one day (8-10 hours) thing in Berlin. Also similar is Queens day in Amsterdam. Germany has several yearly weekend trance open air festivals (the oldest of them VooV experience, 13 years running). I hope to get some more time off from work next year and make a detour through a couple of this on my way to the Palya next year.

Adn I'll find a way to collect my wager winnings...
Shit, where was i for the last week... ehm...
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America is all that land beyond the trash fence.

Postby teeroy » Mon Nov 24, 2003 9:31 am

America is all that land beyond the trash fence. Flying a flag from some other place is breaking the ONLY rule of Burning Man--participate! Create something new. Our city is polluted with things imported from other places; objects, clothing, attitudes. Make something new and unique or have an interesting twist on "stuff" that you bring in. If you think Burning Man is just a festival like the Love Festival or Redding, then maybe you should skip this one. BM is our home. We've got a world to build and we could use your help. Participate!
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another use for a flag

Postby spaceboy » Mon Nov 24, 2003 1:37 pm

Some people wrap themselves in their countries' flags simply to show pride in their national soccer team.
:P
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Born, live and will die beneath it

Postby Ranger Sasquatch » Tue Dec 02, 2003 9:22 pm

[size=18][color=blue]The American Flag.

It's mine baby and it flies over my camp year after year.

It symbolizes the freedom and relative plenty that over time have inevitably given rise to what I like to call the "late stage roman citizen syndrome." We'll start contracting out our defense any day now, just as soon as we feel bad enough about ourselves.

It symbolizes the land that is my home, that nurtured me in good health and relative freedom to my present state and that leaves me with the resources to make it to the city year after year to ply my art.

Many people have held up various festivals around the world as proof that another country would tolerate a Burning Man on their soil. Many I've just never heard of. Some I do know about.

Germany's "Love Festival" is kind of embarassing with it's massive and blatant corporate sponsorship not to mention the "just throw it anywhere" mentality of the spectators/crowds. Some huge weight of trash is taken off the streets there each year. It's NOTHING at all like BM and really isn't comparable for that reason.

Fact is there just IS NOT a comparable event anywhere (regionals aside)though I'd like to have gone to that Equinox 99 festival Borris spoke of : ). The USA is where the only one happens and the "great people" that attend it are products of this supposedly evil place. It just doesn't wash.

So, if the US flag over my camp bothers you I am can not be sorry. I do not regret your poor attitude in relation to it. It is your problem.

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No where but America

Postby sugarlarry » Tue Dec 02, 2003 10:44 pm

Whether or not any other nation could have conceived BM is kind of moot. None did, so it's really hard to say.

Frankly though I don't think so. America is probably one of the single most interesting social experiments in human history. There is so much weirdness going on that is impossible to wrap your head around it.

Burning Man is a response to something. I'm not really sure what, but I think it is in part the way Americans consume information, energy, and other resources, and how this consumption affects individuals, and the way they function within larger groups, and American society at large.

Seeing as America is the globe's greatest consumer, it may be that only a nation with this status could have birthed a movement such as this that reacts against this excessive sort of behavior in a peaceful, and constructive way. Also, it could be that only the market economy of the United States could produce the dispersed wealth to fund an event like this.

Can you imagine what BM really must cost if you actually tried to calculate it in economic terms? I mean I waste weeks of my employer's time planning, and day dreaming. Figure the value of the lost hours, plus the amount of actual cash/energy I spend preparing, and then assuming I represent the average multiply that by 30,000 other people, and you probably have a fairly impressive dollar value.


The freedoms that are expected at BM could surely find a place in many nations around the world - my home Canada included - but I really don't think that BM could have been started anywhere but America.
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Postby drowned_saved » Wed Dec 03, 2003 8:53 am

sugarlarry wrote:America is probably one of the single most interesting social experiments in human history. There is so much weirdness going on that is impossible to wrap your head around it.

american exceptionalism...feh!

not only have there been bolder social experiments (e.g., kill the czar; nationalize private property) in the recent past, i don't even consider the american republic to be the most interesting democratic experiment of the current age...that distinction goes to india, where nearly 1 billion people wrestle with the obvious conflict between democratic egalitarianism and a rigid caste system which dates back to the second millennium BCE.

i'm sure we americans must look peculiar when looked at from across the northern border, but please consider the whole of history and the whole of the world. you can exoticize the rich folks if you like, but nothing in their wallets distinguishes them from countless others throughout history who had it good, REALLY GOOD, but squandered many of the best possibiities for freedom/progress/justice.
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Postby drowned_saved » Wed Dec 03, 2003 9:01 am

and yes, i'm ready to accept my flogging.

sorry that post came out so snotty.
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It's not just about being rich

Postby sugarlarry » Wed Dec 03, 2003 11:07 am

It isn't just about the money. The cultural mixing is pretty cool too- though we have this in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand as well.

North America is an unparalled mix of cultures from around the world. I remember reading in National Geographic that there were people decended from close to 1000 cultures living in a 20 block radius in the Bronx in relative harmony. That's pretty crazy when you think about it considering people in other nations are killing each other off in droves just cuz they look slightly different from one and other, or believe in slightly different dieties.

Either way you look at it, the US is a cultural jugernaut - even if a lot of the culture produced is pure shit created soley as a comodity to be sold on the open market. Burning Man is one of the by-products of this culture, and maybe I'm making too much of it, but I think BM is one of the most culturally significant things to come along in a really long time. It will be interesting to see where it goes, but I stand by the belief that BM could only come from the United States.

Go Joe!
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Re: It's not just about being rich

Postby drowned_saved » Wed Dec 03, 2003 3:27 pm

sugarlarry wrote:It isn't just about the money. The cultural mixing is pretty cool too- though we have this in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand as well.


of course it's about the money...although you'd be right to say it isn't ONLY about the money.

i'm sure you know that diversity isn't limited to former british colonies. in central asia, for example, where even the british would have to admit that their influence has been limited (nice try in afghanistan, though), ethno-cultural diversity is extraordinary. you had muslims, christians, jews, buddhists and others criss-crossing the silk road(s) there for centuries (plus mongols and other steppe nomads). the mix there is every bit as mind boggling as the bronx or brooklyn or lost angeles, but the region still languishes (in terms of GDP, anyway) and ethno-national strife rears its head in an ugly and persistent way...

so what's the difference? is the drinking water in the usa saturated with chemicals conducive to tolerance (which, i would suggest, remains in fairly short supply). or is it, perhaps, that scarcity of resources affects central asia in a way that most americans couldn't even begin to comprehend?

i'm not much interested in debating where burning man could have (but didn't) originated, but the notion that americans have a more intimate understanding of freedom and liberty than others elsewhere is, i would say, laughable.
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I'm Confused

Postby sugarlarry » Wed Dec 03, 2003 4:40 pm

I never said that diversity is not limited to the former British colonies. I am saying that there is no where near the level of diversity as found in the colonies.

You've cited some examples where possibly a dozen cultures have crossed paths in relative peace, but I am talking about thousands living in relative peace and prosperity. Please name some neighbourhoods where this is the case outside of the colonies where this is the case.

Part of the reason for this is because the imigration policies of the former colonies are - despite what you may believe - the most open on the planet. Most European cultures have policies that Pat Buchanan would find harsh, and many Asian nations are highly distrustful of Westerners imigrating to their nations. Look it up if you don't believe me.

As for the issue of scarcity of resources being the root of the problems in other nations, do you suppose that this is Africa's problem? Are you suggesting that Africa is resource poor? What about nations that prosper despite the fact that they have limited resources? What about Singapore? What about Japan? What about Israel? I'd say that this has a lot to do with how said resources are managed.

You may have to accept the fact that prosperity and liberal thinking are at least in some way connected. You might find it laughable to think that Americans may have a more intimate understanding of liberty, and you may be right. I would argue though that American institutions (if not the belief of her people) provide for greater freedom and liberty then many other nations. This may be currently threatened, and the core values may be ready for some updates, but I'm afraid it's basically true.

The belief that you have the right to "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness" must have some impact upon the national consciousness, and I think had something to do with the creation of Burning Man, and it's current health. In Canada the closest thing we have to that statement is one in our constitution that guaruntees us "Peace, Order, and Good Government". Frankly these guiding values work quite well for us, and strangly seems to be delivering on the freedom thing... I cite the recent progress made with Gay marriage, and our pot laws.

Anyhoo I stick with my original statements. Like it or not... you guys enjoy more freedom then many. Don't downplay it.

Pardon some of my lousy spellin. I ain't gots time to spell check.
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America from an outsider...

Postby Driveway » Fri Dec 05, 2003 9:41 am

To begin with I am Canadian. This makes me, basically, an American. Other Canadians may wince or deny this, but they would be wrong.

We in Canada love to hate the states, but it´s more from a sense of insecurity than anything. We HAVE to care about you, you can ignore us and do just fine. It´s annyoing to say the least.

We Canadians like to think of ourselves as superior, based mostly on the fact that we have national health care and gun control, but those are really minor things. In all the ways that count, particularly in terms of our global economic position we are pretty much a larger, less populated, colder United States.

Except...

There are a few slight differences in perception between Canadians and Americans, particularly when it comes to things like freedoms and the role of governement.
To begin with, Americans (I know I´m generalising, I know there are millions of exceptions and I know that almost every american burner IS one of those exceptions, but bear with me) seem to have this notion that along with the freedoms of speech, assembly, religion, and the right to bear arms comes the freedom from responsibility.

This is manifested in the from of massive litigation, liability suits, and insurance laws. I can only imagine how much legal red tape BMORG must deal with to get their event insured. For another example, look at the lawsuits against Big Tobacco, gun manufacturers, or now the most ridiculous, fast food companies. Let me spell it out for you...if you smoke and get cancer, if you own a gun and it kills someone, or if you have eaten yourself into homer-esque obesity...IT´S YOUR OWN FUCKING FAULT!! Americans have the freedom to choose how they want to live their lives. Great, that is awesome, you are some of the luckiest people alive. Just take some friggin´ responsiblity for your choices!


The other glaring difference is the level to which American´s participate in their democracy. You are the oldest and most successful democracy in the world. Thus far the American "experiment" in government by, of, and for the people has gone rather well. However, the vast majority of you don´t participate! The turn out for a presidential election is, what? 30%? less? And then you have the nerve to sit around and complain about the actions your government takes? FUCK you! If you have a problem with what your government is doing vote for the other guy! If you don´t think the other guy is a viable option, run your friggin self! That is what democracy is about!

And don´t give me that crap about "The people are different than the government. The govenment doesn´t represent me!" You live in a democracy, the people ARE the government and yes they DO represent you. If you have a problem with your government, you have the power to change it. AND if it comes right down to it that is WHY you have the right to bear arms. Not so you can keep the king of england out, but so your own government can´t opress you with out fear of violent repercussion.

Perhaps those guys who wrote those words were somewhat prescient.


And you know what cheezes me off the most about these attitudes? They´re begining to overwhealm my country and the rest of the "freedom loving nations" to borrow a phrase from your near-fascist leader. If America continues to operate in this fashion, it will overwhealm the rest of the world. You ARE the lone superpower. YOU call the shots and, forget the last century, THIS is going to be the American Century. We can´t change you, much as we may want to. It´s you who must change, and if anyone can be the leaders of that change, it´s burners.

My experience of Burning Man gave me real hope for your country and the whole world. If BRC can be built in America, populated by mostly Americans, then there is a real chance that things are going to change, because the people really do have the power. Which is by far the most awesome and beautiful thing about the states.


Except BRC, of course.
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Re: America from an outsider...

Postby Rob the Wop » Fri Dec 05, 2003 10:00 am

Driveway wrote:It´s you who must change, and if anyone can be the leaders of that change, it´s burners.


This is precisely where you lost me. I have a number of friends in political fields and no- hippies, ravers, freaks, and artists will NOT change the world any more than they ever have. You have to engage a sleeping and complaint populus, sway business owners, and establish political lobbying groups. Until you accomplish this- you get squat.
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Postby drowned_saved » Sun Dec 07, 2003 12:00 am

Rob the Wop wrote:
Driveway wrote:It´s you who must change, and if anyone can be the leaders of that change, it´s burners.


This is precisely where you lost me. I have a number of friends in political fields and no- hippies, ravers, freaks, and artists will NOT change the world any more than they ever have. You have to engage a sleeping and complaint populus, sway business owners, and establish political lobbying groups. Until you accomplish this- you get squat.

yep...my response is along the same lines. bigger, badder, more overtly political sub-cultures have been gobbled up and rendered impotent here in the states for well nigh a century...

this isn't satyagraha we're talking about (look it up). it's a tiny experiment in the desert...a drop in the bucket. that so many corporate sponsors and media outlets want in on it should tell you just about everything you need to know about its political pontential.

want to know why your neighbors to the south are so fucked up? i'll start a list to which others may wish to contribute:
herbert marcuse, one dimensional man (1964).
tom frank, commodify your dissent (1997).
vaclav havel, "the power of the powerless" (1978).
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This is as good a place as any

Postby robbidobbs » Wed Dec 10, 2003 10:04 am

I need to relate this story from 2001, and this board is as good a place as any...
In 2001 my friend, The Doctor, had found an enormous flag in the USA Gasoline Station dumpster. It was tattered, and obviously had been taken down and replaced with a new one on the pole. Because he was a packrat, and also a bit twitchy about something as "sacred" as a flag being dumped like so much kitty-litter, he recovered it. He washed it, folded it, and brought it to the Event to be "layed to rest" the right way. That year, there was a DPW manager by the name of (I'm not kidding) Lt Col. (Ret.) George Bush at the Ranch. Our bright idea was to have a group of people solemnly parade the flag around Esplanade, walk it to the Man, have George Bush say a few words about the traditional (and fully legal) way to dispose of an American flag, and then with pomp and ceremony, set it alight.

It didn't happen, but MAN it would have made good media copy.

Burningman: Excellent ideas, poorly executed.

Feel free to plagiarize this idea.
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Postby DangerMouse » Wed Dec 10, 2003 12:23 pm

Simplicity.

I have no problem seeing the American flag in BRC.

Why? Regardless of how you feel about the state of the US government, its policies, hairstyles, or cheese. The ideals that are symbolized in that flag (Not the curent state of the country mind you, the flag.) are what makes BRC possible to exist.

Why do people hate the US flag? Because to them it symbolizes everything bad about America. To me, I look at it and think of the good things that have come about because of its existance.

As for the power of change by vote? It doesn't exist anymore.

Money buys elections, and in order to get that money you need corporate sponsorship. The election may as well be the super-bowl. In this case, the lack of revolution is televised.

You're no longer taught to be different, to express yourself. You're taught to get in line with everyone else and buy your McValue meal, supersized please, then pick up that prada backpack you've been desiring since you saw your friend Sally with hers.

Video games are making your children out to be killers. Drugs are bad and will kill you. Make sure your child wears a helmet when riding their bike or they'll die.

People simply do not stop and think about consequences of their actions.

If I eat this super-sized meal: I will adversely affect my health. I will probably gain weight. I am telling McRestaurant that I want more of this type of stuff because I buy it. My convenience is more important than my financial well-being and my health. I like food that tastes like crap.

However, its easier to not think for yourself.
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Postby talisen » Wed Dec 10, 2003 1:04 pm

If this forum is any indication, free speach at least has not been eradicated.

Personally I thought about flying a Jolly Roger, but my Pirate speak never seems to come out right.......
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Globe flags rocked

Postby Rian Jackson » Wed Feb 18, 2004 10:25 pm

My favorite flag at BM - the globe flag. I actually managed not to notice any American flags - thank the goddess (they make me sick to my stomach. Can't believe we used to salute those in elementary school, before i started refusing to do that.)

Props to whoever it was (somewhere near center camp) who flew it... it was a beacon in the dust storm.

OH! And, BTW, while we're on the subject - ya'll should know there is a draft bill in congress for males and females 18-26. I think it is S89.... Hey look! We can all be good little flag wavers! Yay!
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Postby foamin' at the mouth » Thu Feb 19, 2004 9:25 am

Hey Rian, Think you were oversees, no?
nice to see you made it back in one piece.
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Postby Rian Jackson » Thu Feb 19, 2004 10:59 am

Yup! Mostly in one piece, minus a small chunk of my neck and some of my immune system. But I have come to realise that those are completely unnecessary. J

Glad to see there are still burners about. In fact, my neighbourhood is infested with burner mobiles… I take it the burner world held together while I was away? The best indication I have is that I live across the street, more or less, from The Joint – otherwise known as Seattle’s Monday night burner bar – and I can always go to sleep listening to the noise…

Now would be a perfect opportunity to make peeping tom comments… I leave myself wide open.
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Postby KellY » Thu Feb 19, 2004 7:18 pm

Personally, I'm in favor of the draft insofar as it'll make people wake the hell up and pay attention to our foreign policy. Hey, the 18-26 year-olds in the countries we fuck with don't get any choice in the matter, why should ours?
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Drafts, Howard, and My Soapbox

Postby Rian Jackson » Fri Feb 20, 2004 5:42 pm

I've got a few ideas cooking...

Good old draft card burning.
Smuggling operations (getting people out of here.. Mexico, maybe?)
Massive 'civil disobedience' in training, to gum up the system.
Large scale defections overseas.
Disobeying military orders (you know, distributing food instead of bullets [point first])

I hope the feds don't come to my house for posting this. I hate it when they do that. Besides, they must get awfully bored with it. Especially with the no firearms rule we have there.

But yeah - it would be fabulous if the draft woke this generation up enough to unite them toward taking some sort of action, at the very least toward educating themselves and hearing voices other than those with which we are traditionally presented. We'll see what happens.

That reminds me of a remark that Howard (of the Howard Report) made last week. He was talking about separating a (very political) screenplay from politics and just honoring the art. But most people in the world don't have the opportunity to make that decision. It's a tough realization for me as an artist, but integrity often needs to go beyond aesthetic values.

And as a counter to your comment, though i agree in some ways, there is also something to be said for having fewer pieces of cannon fodder for killing populations overseas. I'm more concerned with making sure the bullets don't fly at little kids in the first place. But this is a long discussion and i'm in danger of digging up my soapbox.
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Postby BlueBirdPoof » Fri Feb 20, 2004 5:56 pm

We'll know it's bad when they start tolerating queers again. (Bad for "unit cohesion" but all right as cannon fodder.)
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Cannon Fodder

Postby Rian Jackson » Fri Feb 20, 2004 6:01 pm

Maybe we can take everyone with bad politcs, bad attitudes, and general trolliness and actually fire them out of cannons.
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Postby DVD Burner » Fri Feb 20, 2004 6:09 pm

This year I'm gonna show what I'm all about by placing the flag on my staff.

:lol:


(has that been done before?)
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