July 4, 2005

Independence Day.

Washington Monument

(I took this picture two years ago, and have been waiting to post it. In my family, this is known as my "most right wing photo" and jokes have been made along the lines of: "What if you put that on your office door? What would people think? What would they say?")

UPDATE: Lots of action in the comments on this one. Tonya writes: "I quite like the photo and resist the idea that the right owns the flag. " Somebody else writes: "[A]s long as displaying the flag is considered right wing, the left is not going to win nearly as many elections as they'd like." I'd say, the photo above reads as right wing. The left may love the flag too, though, but not in such a stark display. Here's my most left-wing flag photo, from the Kerry rally here in Madison last fall:

DSC04602.JPG

35 comments:

Tonya said...

I quite like the photo and resist the idea that the right owns the flag. The flag represents freedom and independence -- who's against that? It also represents patriotism and I don't have a problem with that either. There are many brands of patriotism and I favor the brand that doesn't try to crush and eliminate dissenting voices, particularly when those dissenting voices are attempting to hold America to its ideals. So, yeah baby, wrap me up in the American flag and Happy 4th of July to all.

Ann Althouse said...

But Tonya, picture that afixed to my office door! People at the law school would ... what? Think I was a strong believer in individual rights?

Tonya said...

I'm not sure what people would think if they saw the photo on someone's door -- may depend on what preconceived ideas they have about who occupies the office. If someone saw the photo on my door (or Oscar's door or Nina's door for that matter), I'm fairly confident that they would not think we ascribe to right wing political views. But we are fairly vocal about our political standings. Maybe if someone's political views are more of a question mark, then a viewer might jump to hasty conclusions about the meaning of the photo. I'm not implying that that would be the case for you because I don't know what others think about your political views.

Ann Althouse said...

Oh, please. It's obvious that they would conclude that I'm an extreme right-wing hawk and that a lot of people would be outraged and quite angry at me.

Mark said...

Isn't tolerance and diversity valued at your workplace?

Tonya said...

Ann: I think that you're wrong about what people would think. Some people might be puzzled, but I don't think you'd provoke outrage. But, we can test it. Let's each place the photo on our doors and see how people respond.

Mark: The answer is yes.

Ann Althouse said...

Tonya: First, you can't do that as an experiment, because you don't have a way to monitor what people say about you behind your back. But I stick to my assessment of what would happen and think you're being too sunny about this.

lindsey said...

If Ann's right, I find her co-workers to be incredibly depressing people.

Tonya said...

Ann: I think that I can find out what people are saying behind my back by having another person (someone who isn't known to be a close friend) go around and raise the subject with other co-workers. They might say something like: "Did you see that photo on Tonya's door? I'm not sure what to think about it. What was your reaction?"

twwren said...

Ann:

If you were to afix a photo montage of Che Guevera along with the burning of the U.S. flag on your door, what would the reaction be? Would this be considered a "moderate...middle-of-the-road expression in Madison?

flounder said...

How soon we forget.

Ann Althouse said...

Tonya: I'm not really into stimulating people to talk about me in that mode. Suffice it to say, I assume plenty of colleagues and students complain that I have the wrong politics and that they talk about it. Why don't you find a way to prove to me that that isn't the case?

Troy said...

I think it's a great bi-partisan message. It's red, white, and blue enough for right wingers and yet it is so incredibly phallic the hard left (pun actually not intended -- until after it left my keyboard) will have to accept it as an ironic statement.

Kudos on your photo -- you should change your surname to Leibowitz (sic) or Seladams

Ann Althouse said...

Troy: Yes, we've noticed the extreme phallic nature of this photo. In fact, I fear that if I put it on my door, I could be accused of "hostile environment" sexual harassment.

Wade_Garrett said...

I think it is a beautiful photo!

lindsey said...

Don't fear the phallus!

Meade said...

Do it, Ann! It would be very Dylanesque.

It is May 24, 1966, and at the Olympia in Paris, also known as "la salle la plus importante d'Europe," time slips.

Exactly two years after this night of music, many of the young people who are in the audience will be rioting in the Paris streets, their heads full of ideas that will drive them to proclaim a revolution of the imagination, fight pitched battles with the police and the National Guard, and try to burn down the Paris Stock Exchange, in what would become known forever in Left Bank lore as "la nouvelle nuit des barricades," the most dramatic cataclysm of May '68. Seven hundred and ninety five rioters are arrested, and 456 are injured.

But now it's exactly two years earlier, to the minute, and the rebels-to-be sit expectantly, waiting for the second half of the show, when the curtain parts, and there they see to their horror, attached to the backdrop, the emblem of everything they are coming to hate, the emblem of napalm and Coca Cola and white racism and colonialism and imagination's death. It is a huge 50-star American flag.

What's the joke? But it is no joke. They are here to hear the idol, and know full well that the idol now will play electric (after what turned out to be a frustrating-to-all-concerned acoustic set), but this stars-and-stripes stuff turns a musical challenge into an assault, an incitement, as in your face—more so—to the young Left Bank leftists as any Fender Stratocaster. In England, the idol had traded insults with the hecklers, but in Paris, on this, his 25th birthday, he strikes first.

Whether they like it or not, the idol will give them his own version of "America," a place that they have never learned about in books, and, if they have, that they do not comprehend.

Troy said...

Put it on your door. It's the right thing to do. Call it American Idol.

EddieP said...

Put it on your door, or is there a pogrom lurking over the flag at UW?

You don't care about those who talk behind your back, you care about those who may question you openly. They are the only possible sources of intelligent discussion, and there's no guarantee of that!

Why not find out? Might be verrrrrry interesting. I suspect you won't hear much about it.

Brendan said...

"What if you put that on your office door? What would people think? What would they say?"

I'm soooo glad I don't go to school there anymore. Same old, same old.

J.R. said...

I don't see what could be objectionable to a picture of the flag and the Washington Monument?

Roger Sweeny said...

Perhaps this is too obvious to be worth saying ... but as long as displaying the flag is considered right wing, the left is not going to win nearly as many elections as they'd like.

Troy said...

Althouse! Althouse! Althouse! Chanting to encourage you to commit collegiality faux pas....

Tenure -- picture goes up.
Non-tenure -- picture? what picture?

Somewhere Al Pacino will yell "Madison!" in solidarity.

Ann Althouse said...

Troy: You don't seem to realize that I try NOT to piss people off -- at least in person.

Troy said...

I know Ann -- just like a real "lady" doesn't do tequila shots -- that's why chanting is needed. It gets you out of your inhibitions and do something really stupid er... I mean "brave" yeah "brave".

How many life obliterating decisions have been made due to chanting?

Post the photo -- then you can have all day to blog.... Here's Ann photoblogging the unemployment line. Here's Ann photoblogging from her job interview at the 5th tier newly accredited Roger Taney Online School of Law. Photoblogging from the Fazoli's since you'd no longer be able to afford Macaroni Grill. The possibilities are endless! (Note -- I'm sure the job possibilities would be great, but dammit! good job opportunities are just not that funny).

Nickelcity said...

I think your school needs to teach a little more Voltaire (I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it) and a little less Queen of Hearts (The Queen turned crimson with fury, and, after glaring at her for a moment like a wild beast, screamed `Off with her head! Off--').

Ron said...

I join the chorus of rooters for Ann to be "brave." (you know who the pioneers are -- the ones with arrows in their backs!)

With tenure should come some hutzpah! But "not making a fuss" (after many years training to not make a fuss -- so you can get tenure) becomes the norm...

What do you care what others think? If they don't know you by now, do they deserve the time of day? Or just point them at the blog and perhaps they'll find out...

Donna B. said...

But... the flag is blown to the left! No self-respecting "right-winger" would post that photo without mirror-imaging it :-)

Ann Althouse said...

Just to be clear: No one at the Law School would actually retaliate against me for posting this picture on my door. The worst they'd do is marginalize me.

amba said...

Left-wing is showing the flag in the midst of a lot of scruffy people. Right-wing is showing it against a windowless, martial-looking monolith. Once again: give me a third way.

J.R. said...

I may just be thick, but I seriously do not understand any part of this debate. What is wrong with the American flag and the Washington Monument?

Slac said...

The Washington Monument + American Flag + Nothing else = Right-wing?

That's not right. Nor is it right. You should put it up in protest of your colleagues' semiotic pedantry.

Noumenon said...

Post the photo -- then you can have all day to blog.... Here's Ann photoblogging the unemployment line. Here's Ann photoblogging from her job interview at the 5th tier newly accredited Roger Taney Online School of Law. Photoblogging from the Fazoli's since you'd no longer be able to afford Macaroni Grill. The possibilities are endless!

You're funny, Troy! Also:

How many life obliterating decisions have been made due to chanting?

Too, too true.

Jeff said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jeff said...

Ann is right- reminding her colleagues what country they live and work in might be... offensive!

http://www.federalobserver.com/archive.php?aid=384


As for Tonya resisting the idea that the right owns the flag, why not instead resist the idea that the left disowns the flag? (Think Katha "The flag stands for jingoism and vengeance and war" Pollitt)

http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20011008&s=pollitt