Wisdom Through Humor
National Fear

Mak Faene

Why do we wave flags? Other than the exuberant expression of drunken joy of having a government sanctioned day off work, what are we trying to prove?

I've being thinking about patriotism and about why we "love" our country. Why some people seem to love their country more than others and why some want nothing more than to leave it. Somehow we've gotten the idea in our heads that "pride" is somehow the right word to use in conjunction with "patriotism".

Pride, for some reason believed by many to be a good thing, is about excessive self esteem. To be proud of something you have to feel part of it. To feel pride for your nation you need to truly believe that you are an integral and important member of society, that ultimately, you matter.

So where is this national pride coming from? It's a given that in the grand scheme of things, most of us really don't matter. Our cubicles can be filled just as easily by another than by our body. Our country does not love us. So why do we love our country?

Pride is what we call this feeling we get when drunkenly waving our flag. Pride is what we are told we should have for being the countrymen we are. But the only people who deserve to feel proud are the ones who have so magnificently pulled the wool over our eyes and convinced us that we matter.

It's occurred to me that it takes a really strong, self made and intelligent person to weave a flag and only a cowardly ignoramus to wave one.

In waving a flag over our heads we reinforce our feeling of belonging. We suppress our fear of being alone, of being outcast, by knowing that so long as we act ridiculously patriotic, all the other ignorant cowards (whom we ignore or fear on a daily basis) will rally beside us so long as we sing (or more likely hum) our national anthem. National fear keeps us blind and accommodating.

We've allowed the proud creators of our countries to draw borders around us like bars around zoo animals. We are not free. We live in fear of freedom.

Oh, what's that? Why am I so brutally honestly dumping on us during our national holiday? It must be because I'm an anarchist! Or maybe I'm the anti-christ! Or hey, how about this, I love you more than your government and if that offends you, then they've got you more brainwashed than I can help undo on my own.


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