Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Confederacy of dunces

Yesterday when I was driving home from work, the red flashing lights at the railroad stop started going off, signifying a train was on its way, hauling a mind-numbing, gas-wasting 10-minute wait along with the rest of its boxcars full of produce, building supplies and illegal immigrants.

Normally I stop when I see the lights, because I’ve got this irrational fear of oncoming trains. Call me a wuss. But not this time. A burst of rebelliousness pumped into my brain – the very same burst that made me try Sprite Remix one time instead of regular Sprite – and I slammed on the pedal on the right. Oh yeah, I was goin’. I sped over the train tracks as the trainstop arms dropped, speeding through as the suckers to my right and left shook their heads in jealousy. I felt like a Duke of Hazzard.

Feeling like a Duke was cool, at least at first. All liberating and invulnerable, like Mario when he gets a star. But then I started to question the sensation, and felt somewhat guilty and a little bit racist. For I was never a big fan of the Dukes of Hazzard, and the reason was they drove a car called the General Lee, emblazoned with a confederate flag on the hood. There’s something you should know about me, and it’s that confederate flags piss me off. They represent slavery and racism, so when I see one, my blood boils in the same way a neo-Con’s does when they see a Mexican flag. People who drive around with Mexican flags on their cars just make me laugh, because they’re so hypocritical. If people liked their country that much, they never would have left, so the flag stickers they slap on their rides are just bizarre overcompensations of guilt for having abandoned the motherland. The flag is not offensive to me because it represents nothing more than a horribly run country that denigrates its poor.

These guys with confederate stickers are something different entirely, though. They are calling attention to their belief that they would rather live in a world in which black people picked all their cotton for free. They’re also representing white supremacist groups, as well as a treasonous government that warred on the United States. The Dukes of Hazzard may as well have called their car the Fuhrer Hitler and painted a swastika on the hood.

I am for free speech above all else, so I don’t advocate a law against the confederate decals, clothes, beach towels and hats I see. In fact, I think there should be even more confederate flags around. For instance, on t-shirts. My friend had this idea that he’d make confederate flag t-shirts that say the phrase “The flag of a bitch” beneath the picture. Only bitches would be offended, and no one ever admits they’re a bitch. Other product ideas are confederate flag toilet paper and urinals. Maybe there’s even some money to be made off of this, but even if not, wearing a “flag of a bitch” shirt would be great opportunity to show up the ignorants who say “the South shall rise again.” I think the South still has some falling to do.

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