Unspun Logo

Flagging Enthusiasm

Posted by Rick · June 17th, 2005 · No Comments

If the reaction to the flags over Club One is any indication, the Bush Administration is completely out of synch with both the American public and the Press. The President’s biggest and “most successful” project has been the interminable war in Iraq; here at home, Americans no longer care about a flag some of us bragged we were willing to die for. Given that Fresno is supposedly a Republican hotbed, this flagging enthusiasm might just be great news, if it weren’t so disgraceful.

On the other hand, maybe the ho-hum reaction explains a number of things. The feelings that the rest of the world have for America stand out in stark relief when we understand that the Iraqi quagmire and the stirred up hornet’s nests (not one, but several) we’ve created around the world are the result of the moral, intellectual and political quagmire in which we’re mired at home.

Because the bottom line here isn’t just that hard-core conservative Republican Fresno doesn’t give a shit about the United States flag; it’s evidence that we can’t get motivated about any morally problematic behavior, however simple it would be to resolve the situation.

Club One Casino with flags
Click to Enlarge

As anyone reading Unspun™ for the last few days knows, there are tattered rags that are somewhat recognizable as United States flags, as well as other pieces of cloth that appear to have once been flags, vainly flapping above the Club One Casino downtown like so many politicians’ lips.

This disgrace would take probably less than fifteen minutes to resolve, if anyone were of a mind to resolve it. Club One claims to be unable to get access to the flags. They say they have nice new flags “ready and waiting once they get access.” Yet standing approximately 20 yards away from the snot-rags that represent out increasingly snotty-nosed nation are two flags in decent condition that have at least once disappeared and then reappeared on their poles — someone must be taking those down and putting them back up. And that means someone has access.

The indolence demonstrated by Club One, as I intimated above, isn’t limited to Club One. After I contacted the Mayor’s office, I received a lovely email from Alan Autry:

Thanks for taking the time to write to me on issues of
importance to you. Your comments are appreciated and help me better
understand your needs and concerns.


Mayor Alan Autry

As an attorney-friend said when I showed it to him, “I would be very offended if I received that note.” I agreed with his sentiment that it would be better not to send a note at all than to send something like this.

In addition to the Mayor, Bob Marcotte contacted Councilwoman Sterling, in whose district Club One sits. And I’ve contacted not one, not two, but three Fresno Bee reporters. The results? Francis Scott Key would be proud: The rags still wave and, so far, my friends, it appears that I’m the only one writing about this symbolic humiliation of America.

And yesterday, right across the street from those very flags, I talked to a reporter. Right across the street! Was she interested? “It might be a nice set piece for the weekend, but don’t talk to any other reporters, okay?” I didn’t bother pointing out that they were also too busy to turn and look across the street because, you see, they’ve been sitting on the lawn of the courthouse day and night waiting for a verdict in the Wesson trial.

When, I ask, was the last time a jury came back with a verdict at 3 a.m.? But I’ve sat at my window in the Rowell Building, across the street from both those disgustingly poor excuses for flags and those disgustingly poor excuses for reporters who don’t have time to notice the disgustingly poor excuses for flags, at 3 a.m. and seen the vans and their occupants just sitting there. You’d think that at least night-time might be a good time to walk across the street and get a look at those flags.

On the other hand, they are some 100 feet away….

Meanwhile, I’m not supposed to try to stir up interest in anyone else there because it might make a nice set piece for the weekend.

And so it goes. But, as I said at the start of this article, this is clearly just demonstrative of America’s attitude about nearly everything these days. Gasoline hit record highs this year while we sat duking it out with dug-in insurgents in a war our failed oil-executive, now President, started over the second-largest oil reserve in the entire world. So far, no one has benefited from that war except terrorists…and the President’s friends. Numerous families — who can’t get off their asses to call the Mayor at (559) 621-8000 to complain about flags — have seen their sons turned into maggot food. America’s reputation, which might have once been something (like our flag) to be proud of, is trashed around the world.

And our President?

  • Only 39 percent approve of his handling of the economy.
  • Only 39 percent approve of his handling of foreign policy.
  • Only 37 percent approve of his handling of the war in Iraq.
  • Only 25 percent approve of his handling of Social Security.

“The President’s Problems” (June 16, 2005) CBS News.

But guess what? Other than to express disapproval — if someone calls them! — no one cares about what he’s doing.

One irony:

Only the campaign against terrorism gets the approval of more than half those questioned. — “The President’s Problems” (June 16, 2005) CBS News.

And the President? In spite of this low approval rating for what he’s been doing, it’s “deja vu all over again, his new PR campaign on Iraq seems remarkably similar to one he embarked on almost two years ago.” (“The President’s Problems” (June 16, 2005) CBS News.)

Who can blame him? President Bush knows what I’ve only seriously understood this week: No one gives a shit.

And the apparently star-spangled banner in tatters doth wave
O’er the land of the gamblers and the home of the slave.

— Variation on words from the Star Spangled Banner by Francis Scott Key.

Special thanks to Bob Marcotte for emailing me the link to the CBS story.

Categories: The Decline of America


0 responses so far ↓

  • There are no comments yet...Kick things off by filling out the form below.

Leave a Comment