October 30, 2008 at 6:48 pm
by: Mandy Hyndman
Today I find myself wondering if the American people have suddenly taken leave of their ability to comprehend symbolism. I suppose I could find my answer by simply looking into the public education system and taking note of the number of art, music, and other creative programs being pared away to make room for Math, Science (insert derisive laughter here), and Army recruitment periods.
Perhaps I could dip into the glorious world of religion and take a poll to find out how many people think the Bible is an instruction manual for life that is to be taken literally word for word.
Maybe I have “Joe the Plumber” to blame. Is he just a plumber or is he the face of a political party ready to break up the nasty hairball of the economy and plunge the clogging turd of the war in Iraq? Is “Joe six-pack” really an allusion to Tom Cruise’s sexy body in Top Gun? Hey…Maverick! I finally understand! I simply need to buy more things from Wal-Mart and everything will be alright.
I really only need to look so far as West Hollywood, CA to prove my point, though. West Hollywood resident Chad Morrissette decided to exercise his first amendment muscle by hanging Sarah Palin in effigy (GASP!). Apparently, unlike Senator Obama whose likeness has been hanged all over the country, the spunky and adorable pit-bull…er hockey mom from Alaska is off limits for the kind of age-old message a hanging or burning effigy sends, i.e.: We are appalled and offended by your political leanings, be gone with you!
It wasn’t long before enraged protesters marched onto the scene and declared the effigy an act of hate and violence. The reaction was so impassioned that Chad decided it would be best to remove the dummy.
Well you know what protesters? I declare the effigy an act of symbolism much like burning a flag or lighting dog-poopy on a mean neighbor’s doorstep. It may be unpleasant, but it sure does get the point across, and I’ll be damned if Chad Morrissette of West Hollywood, CA doesn’t have the right to do it. I would venture to say that he is more patriotic than most Americans for having the guts to. I only wish that he had not allowed the angry taunts of an ignorant group of protesters to deter him from continuing to display his message–but it does speak volumes about the lack of individualism infecting our nation today.