Sunday night was the season opener for the Canton Symphony. As always, the first selection is the National Anthem. The audience stood, sang in full voice to the score and then applauded before taking their seats for the scheduled performance. Two nights earlier, as is the case with every Friday night in the fall, I stood on the sidelines for the playing (and singing if one wishes) of the National Anthem. What a contrast and the subject of my following rant. (Warning…stop reading here if you are anti American).
For the sake of logical writing, I will use the word “you” to speak to and about the general public as a whole as well as to one individual at a time as this conversation dictates. So let me start with this….How dare you! Yes, I was steaming mad on Friday night because once again, I witnessed a total disrespect for our flag and our country by not only kids, but teens and adults as well. So allow me the privilege of saying here what I can’t say in person to such folks for fear of a lawsuit, a punch in the face, or even the risk of a gunshot wound since our self righteous mindset is to assume that nobody has a right to criticize anyone anymore.
To set the scene for this one incident that broke my resolve to seethe in silence, four little boys, maybe about 10 or so tried to push between me and another adult while we stood with hats off, hands over hearts and facing the flagpole while the home band played. I moved closer to my companion thereby blocking the last one from rushing past then leaned down to tell him to stand still. He looked around and realized that most people were not moving. I think out of fear more than respect, he stood there. The other three stopped because buddy boy was not behind them anymore. We made eye contact. Unfortunately, I had to look away up into the bleachers at another “person” (I am being nice here) and the three took off running. Poor buddy was still being barricaded by my left hip and the body of the person next to me who had caught on. The subject of my evil eye was a teen girl.
She was sitting in the bleachers while everybody else was standing including her two girlfriends, and she was laughing. Laughing!! We made eye contact too and she just smirked at me and laughed a bit harder, phone in hand on which I assume she was texting. So let me tell you this my little pretty…..
…don’t you ever ask “us” to give “you” any special treatment, services, protection and so forth if you can’t get off your lazy tush and stand to face our flag and all it represents which is the country of all this “stuff” that you want and consider yourself entitled to. Don’t play any cards from a deck of circumstances or roll your eyes with some “oh woe is me” crap if you aren’t willing to show a bit of respect. Cut the attitude that people need to respect you, not “diss” you or show some “tude” which is no longer confined to the teens, but has moved up the generational ladder. Show a bit of respect for the flag, for the anthem, for all it stands for, for all who died so you can sit on your behind and not have some lackey put a bullet in the back of your head like some other countries might be prone to do. Somebody once said, (and I quote from memory, not exactly) “I may not like what you say, but I will fight to the death for your right to say it”. But for that my pretty, you best stand up and show a bit of gratitude. Parents, I implore you, please teach your children when they are young, to stand up, remove a hat and be quiet (or sing) for a mere 2 minutes of their life under the guise of honor. The stadium bleachers occupied by our middle schoolers is so loud and rude that I am embarrassed to be standing near them. I only have two evil eyes to cover a hundred or more hooligans. Help me out here people! For the record, a school administrator is standing right there “guarding” them and does not say one word. Frankly, I would call a school assembly the following Monday regarding what is expected behavior. Yeah I know…somebody’s right to sit, text, laugh, scream, flirt etc would be violated.
This leads me to one other rant. I wander the internet and peruse the papers to see where people stand politically. I don’t care what party anyone wishes to support, but what I detest is apathy (also listed as being allergic, anemic or asleep) to which I ascribe the above rant as well. Don’t ask anything of our government, our tax dollars to support your whims, or our generosity to keep you living large, if you aren’t willing to support those who support you. Regardless of viewpoint or affiliation, you ought to be a registered voter who actually votes if you expect me to respect you as worthy of what I give to the government on our behalf. If I have to pay it, it better be going to somebody who cares. Women got the right to vote in 1920, full rights to African Americans in 1965, convicted felons lose their right to vote and naturalized citizens gain one. That right is your voice. You may not like the way things are and nobody will ever be happy all the time, but the alternative is having some “one” tell you what to wear, what to watch, when to work, what to eat, what to read, what to paint and so forth. If that is your desire, then keep sitting on that bleacher sister although I hear Mexico is lovely this time of year. And one more thing, thank you to the person who tapped me on the shoulder to thank ME for stopping those boys. It only takes one…..one time, one person, one act or one vote. Take your pick and become “one” nation under God.