Behind the News with Doug Henwood, for June 2, 2012 - 10:00am
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Thanks for covering the WI election. It's an important story too often neglected by the parochial coastal media.
Sadly, however, we had to listen to far too much chatting about the "odds" of Walker's victory, whatever the hell that can possibly mean outside the confines of the OTB parlor. Again, this betrays a focus on the horse race aspects of our electoral politics, typical of corporate media but which has apparently infected even the lofty intellectual heights of BTN.
Yet another great show. Thank you!
P.S. Good luck with your new recording device.
On the matter of patriotism & flag, raised at the beginning of the programme, I commend to listeners 'Flag, Fetish and Illusory Community' by Bertell Ollman available for free downloading at www.solidarity-us.org/site/node/3587. (It's in the current issue of Against the Current.)
Ollman stresses the emotional side of patriotism: for so many it feels so damn good! He admits that radicals, including himself, have found this perplexing. He argues that patriotism satisfies two needs, community (fellowship, solidarity) & recognition (that oneself is recognised by others, & that one recognises, respects, others).
Patriotism also links with the past - the fallen - and projects into the future - that their sacrifice should not be in vain. Tragedy confers a powerful obligation to act respectfully, and to punish dissenters. And the flag both represents patriotism and arouses it.
I taught my girls not to believe in the government but they still believe in the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus. They are 21 and 20. They are plenty sophisticated enough to see through Obama. You don't have to be a Grinch to see the truth. At some point, it becomes more your need to enforce your view of things on people - to reassure yourself, than to enlighten. It is just plain rude and mean to dash people's belief in love and magic before they are ready to transition and see it in a more experienced way. Keep a kind and loving heart while you dispense the truth because love is the greatest truth. My girls know there is a Santa Claus.
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