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Thursday, July 04, 2002


By the time anyone sees this the Fourth of July barbecues will be cold, the steak bones given to the dogs and buried, and the ashes of the fireworks long dispersed to the wind.

I'm feeling fairly droopy today, because I can't be there to celebrate this special Fourth with you all. But fortunately there's Andrew Sullivan and Brian Silverman with red meat to cheer me up.

Dana Cloud, associate professor of Communication Studies at the University of Texas, dislikes the old pledge of allegiance. She says that she and her daughter "have always been uncomfortable saying the pledge...because it seems very strange to pledge loyalty to a scrap of cloth..."

Up to here I agree with the professor. It's always seemed like secular idolatry to me, especially since you sometimes get folks who apparently believe that the flag is far more important than the Republic for which it stands (e.g. those who would enact flag-burning amendments).

But I'm afraid Prof. Cloud and I part ways when she pens her own version...

I pledge allegiance to all the ordinary people around the world,
to the laid off Enron workers and the WorldCom workers,
the maquiladora workers
and the sweatshop workers from New York to Indonesia...

and so forth.

The faculty description for the Communication Studies department says that Dr. Cloud "specializes in the analysis of contemporary and popular and political culture from feminist, Marxist, and critical anti-racist perspectives." You don't say.

In that case, I offer a more inclusive Pledge for the Professor:

I pledge allegiance to the Left
And every half-baked notion for which it stands.

I pledge allegiance to the poor of the world
Whom I would rather see dying in picturesque agrarian poverty
Than slowly improving their lot in the Industrial Age.

I pledge allegiance to the ordinary workers of the First World
Who are too simple-minded to know their own best interests
And need my comrades and I to explain it to them.

I pledge allegiance to the fundamental freedoms of mankind
Which are so lacking here in the USA,
Such as the freedom to say that there is no freedom
Without being contradicted and ridiculed
By sarcastic bloggers

And finally I pledge allegiance
To the world of happy fuzzy bunnies and lollipop fairies
Which would exist
If it weren't for the military of the mean old USA.

One World
Under Marxism (which has worked so well in the past)
With equality of repression for all
(Except me)

There! That makes me feel better. How 'bout you?

Happy Fourth!