Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tuesday Tribute: First Amendment Heroes

I love America. I love all that it stands for. Clearly we are the most powerful nation on earth. Yes, right now our country is in a state of disrepair, but even in our crappy economic times, other countries are suffering just like us. Did our financial missteps cause these other countries' economic failures also? Well, I'd kinda like to believe that they just wanna be like us real real bad.

Anyway, our country began its young life as a rebel. The very first amendment to the constitution proves that: Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press... blah blah blah. Freedom of speech. Gotta love it. One notable "freedom of speech" act that I think really exemplified American morale was in 1989, when the United States Supreme Court overturned the decision of a Texas court in finding a man guilty of breaking a Texas law for burning a US Flag. However, the United States Supreme Court felt that this act of expression is considered as protected under the first amendment. Way to go, judges. Because if anyone's gonna hate America, why don't we let the real experts show them how to do it.

Now, I know I will never burn a flag. First of all because the thought of biting the very hand that feeds me seems counter intuitive. Using the very freedoms that are given to me to say, "SCREW FREEDOM!" seems a bit ... disrespectful. But secondly, simply because I would never want my kids to see me doing that. Having my own opinions is awesome until I am in charge of shaping the minds of young impressionable citizens. I want my kids to love America too and if they decide that they don't love America, I will be happy to help them secure a relocation visa.

But, my Tuesday Tribute is not about Flag-burners, per se. Although, it IS about people who exercise their freedom of speech.

I'd like to give a big shout-out to all the folks who like to wear offensive t-shirts. Once I was at a children's museum with my kids, where the children outnumbered the adults 3-to-1, and a twenty-something guy was wearing a shirt that read, "MAN WHORE". Wow, dude. Smart wardrobe choice for a CHILDREN'S MUSEUM. I mean, I know it was hard to pick from that shirt and the one that said, "Panty Inspector" or maybe the one that said "Ride My Johnson" with a picture of a surfboard. Yes, I'm sure you high-five your buddies when you all meet up at the intellectual summit at T.G.I. Friday's happy hour, but couldn't you at least just wear something plain when mixing with the under-12-and-reading crowd?

Only second to annoying t-shirts are the obnoxious bumper stickers. You know, like "Don't like my driving? call 1-800-EAT-SHIT" or "Jesus Loves You. Everyone Else Hates You." Of course there are countless others. Some make me laugh but some are just moronic. Don't even get me started on the stickers with Calvin (from Calvin & Hobbes) peeing on a symbol of a Chevy. Or a Ford, or a Dodge, or whatever. Yeah, that's a look to show off to your mom & be proud of.

I guess lots of people like the shock value of their actions. But, I think the excitement of pissing people off tends to go down a notch once they have kids and can see how it's not so funny when some other free thinker's kid teaches little Junior the F-bomb. Oh, but God help us... do we really want these people reproducing?

Tuesday's Tribute is brought to you by Jay over at Halftime Lessons. Because it's not all about me.


Angie @ KEEP BELIEVING said...

You should send this into the Budweiser Real Men of Genius series.


Anonymous said...

LOL @ Angie's comment. I agree. Make sure you throw in the rude hats.

Halftime Lessons said...

I knew I liked you for a reason. Those people drive me nuts...the ones who think that individualism trumps appropriateness ESPECIALLY where kids are impressionable.



E said...

See your kids won't ever wear those shirts because they will have something all those other goofballs do not. They will have m a n n e r s
My Gram always said that good manners will get you through just about anything and i think she was right.
behave well and whatever else might be happening you at least will feel better.

That guy at the Museum needed a shirt that said shun me, make me at least a little bit ashamed. My parents took the day off

Cookie Crums said...

Obviously they mother didn't teach them better!! THese are probably the same ones who don't open doors!

Sturgmom said...

Have you seen the movie Idiocracy? It's so ridiculous that you WILL lose some brain cells just from watching, but it's totally where our country is headed. I feel like I'm living it everyday.

Every Day Goddess said...

I love this post! We are losing our manners in this country.

Jen said...

Nope. That is why there should be mandatory sterilization if you are stupid. ;)

Christine said...

I cannot stand the Calvin stickers on the trucks. I remember when my girls first noticed this one. "mom why does that car have a picture of a boy peeing on it?"

Oh yes that completely makes my day to answer that one!

Jennifer said...

Unfortunately I don't think some people are taught appropriateness. ugh.

stephanie (bad mom) said...


Part of my teacher mission is to impart some decency into America's youth...Slow-going, but at least we're moving.

[Though I do wear my Mommy Needs A Cocktail t-shirt when away from kid-places]

Bridgett said...

Ooh ooh--when Marie Institute here in town was going to merge with Country Day School (Marie was all girls; Country Day is all boys), the boys at Country Day made t-shirts that read "Keep the O in Country Day"

Think about it. Think about having to explain it.