I don’t even have to get drunk to be incoherent these days . . . I just open my mouth and start typing.
We’re in week two of a nice little heat wave that has gone far beyond dog days. More like “someone’s going to go over the edge and kill someone else” days.
We’ve already had one interesting little domestic tiff in my neck of the woods that added a Faulknerian or Tennessee Williams motif to the weather. Nothing special compared to the rest of the country, but something to break the routine around here.
And I still sit here wandering between the niceties of C++ and trying to keep my sanity.
My father spent some quality time in the hospital earlier this month after a confluence of bursitis, a cyst in his calf muscle, diabetic complications and other little things that resulted in his collapsing after I brought him home from a doctor’s appointment.
If anything makes you doubt your own mortality in a big damned hurry, try watching the senior chief petty officer who kept your ass in line learning to walk again and thanking you every minute just for spotting for him as he tries to make it out of a chair or up a couple of stairs. He’s going to be okay in a month or so, but it’s just the thing to knock one’s world into a cocked hat.
Today, we took him for the latest round of a year’s worth of eye surgery. He now probably will see better than I will for the rest of my life, but the capper of the day was sitting at a drive-in with him, eating a burger, drinking a milkshake and realizing that the last time we’d done that together was about 33 years ago.
I’m going to go give myself a dope slap and get back to abnormal now.
I doubt I could print this in my newspaper, given the social and cultural undercurrents of our circulation area. But as for here . . . . . .
As a Virginian, I’ve been exposed to more than my share of the romance of the South and the Confederacy.
Yes, I’ve walked down Monument Avenue in Richmond and seen the statues of Lee and Maury, the cannon marking the last line of defense of Richmond, and the ‘White House of the Confederacy.’
I’ve also seen the predilection that younger folks in more rural areas of the Commonwealth have for displaying the last version of the Confederate battle ensign/naval jack in the form of bumper stickers, truck window shades, t-shirts, ball caps and other media.
And I’ve even got my own bit of Confederate heritage – an ancestor who was a Confederate color sergeant – that has led to many an approach to join the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
But I don’t indulge in any romanticism about the Southern Cross in any of its forms. While it’s easy to cite all the usual reasons one hears argued when it comes to displaying the flag and celebrating Southern heritage, I consider some other disturbing undercurrents.
The Confederate flag in all its permutations represents, first and foremost, a flag of rebellion against an imperfect yet hopeful ideal. For more background on that ideal, just read the Declaration of Indepencence and the Preamble to the Constitution.
That flag also represents an attempt by a group of secessionists to solicit the aid of foreign powers to undermine an attempt at a democratic republic.
In case you might disagree, perhaps revisiting some of the more respected histories and the relationship between the Confederacy, Britain and France might make that case a little more rational.
And lest one thinks I’m picking on the poor, misunderstood South, the historical record demonstrates quite well that blacks suffered plenty of economic, social and violent racism in all regions of the Unites States, before, during and after the Civil War.
In that regard, it may be very tempting to infer that the Stars and Stripes may very well represent some of the same morally disgusting institutional behavior and social beliefs as the Southern Cross.
And that means we as a nation have a responsibility to change that, just as we had a responsibility to ensure that no part of this nation ever organized under any variation of the Confederate flag.