[Moore:]For too long now we have abandoned our flag to those who see it as a symbol of war and dominance, as a way to crush dissent at home. Flags are flying from the back of SUVs, rising high above car dealerships, plastering the windows of businesses and adorning paper bags from fast-food restaurants. But these flags are intended to send a message: "You're either with us or you're against us," "Bring it on!" or "Watch what you say, watch what you do."
[Lileks:]I knew a paranoid schizophrenic once. He believed that the New York Times was sending him personal messages through its front-page headlines. He might also have believed that car-dealership flags were telling him to watch what he said.
If flying the flag is intended to crush dissent at home (as opposed to abroad) it’s not doing a very good job, is it? Personally, I fly my flag on holidays because I love this country. If you asked for secondary reasons, I’d say it’s to show support for the troops and their mission. I gave my daughter a flag to wave on the Fourth as part of a long careful education in what sets the American experiment apart from the general nature of human history. (Details to follow.)
Now Dean Esmay has a very funny post illustrating the Mooreish attitude:
Haha! I showed you an American flag! You know what that means! You cannot dissent anymore, that's what it means! See how the flag is stopping you frrrom dissentinnng?? You can no longer dissent! I have crrrushed your dissent with my fingers and with the flag!
Okay, it's funnier when you read the whole thing, with the pictures.
Meanwhile, Dave Barry's column (free registration required) covers dying pets. It's funny, mainly because it's about the sort of impersonal, short-lived pets no one gets too attached to:
I say all this to explain why I recently bought fish for my 4-year-old daughter, Sophie. My wife and I realized how badly she wanted an animal when she found a beetle on the patio and declared that it was a pet, named Marvin. She put Marvin into a Tupperware container, where, under Sophie's loving care and feeding, he thrived for maybe nine seconds before expiring like a little six-legged parking meter. Fortunately, we have a beetle-intensive patio, so, unbeknownst to Sophie, we were able to replace Marvin with a parade of stand-ins of various sizes (''Look! Marvin has grown bigger!'' ``Wow! Today Marvin has grown smaller!''). But it gets to be tedious, going out early every morning to wrangle patio beetles. So we decided to go with fish.
I think even Dave Barry would have a hard time writing a funny column about dead cats or dogs.