Thursday, March 02, 2006

Makeshift Patriot/Randall Flag

So I'm sitting at my computer yesterday (where the hell else would I be?), when I hear a loud drilling sound coming from the owners' upstairs apartment. I was in the middle of watching a Japanese porno, and while the noise didn't really distract me from that (I had no idea what they were saying, anyway), the drilling and hammering from upstairs has been an annoyance for the past 2 months. The owners are remodeling, I think. Either that or they're torturing and dismembering Chinese food delivery guys.

Surprisingly, the noise stopped after a few minutes. Content to resume watching Osaka Bukkake Babes, I didn't think anything of it until I returned from the office last night. That's when I understood the purpose of the drilling: the owner was attaching a flag mount to the front of our building.

Yesterday was 삼일절 (Independence Movie Day; I was a little disappointed because all the movie networks failed to show the 1996 Roland Emmerich classic. What's up with that? Why name a holiday after the greatest Will Smith movie about aliens not named Men In Black and then refuse to air it on the day commemorating it? I don't think I'll ever understand the Korean mind). Hey, I have no problem with blind patriotism; if I did I'd be a hypocrite, because I've stuck with the Buffalo Bills, the Toronto Raptors, and the Boston Red Sox through thick and thin (the NY Knicks...eh, consider me a defector. I don't think anyone can blame me for that, even though it occurred before Isiah's reign of terror began). While pretty lame, I can't begrudge anyone the chance to have the day off, get drunk, and watch television. I simply don't have it in me.

But the guy went to such trouble (in my books, at least; keep in mind that, to me, cooking a pot of noodles is akin to completing the triathalon) to attach a mount in which for him to erect his flag , and what do I see when I get home tonight? Flag, gone. Mount, gone. It's like I imagined the whole thing.

Today at work I was asked if we put out our flag. Because I couldn't say "oh, we don't have a Korean flag" (I'd be better off saying I eat BBQ children), I lied and said yes. For fear of being arrested by the Thought Police.

Although my folks never practiced it, I've seen a few Canadian households with flags hanging, and I'd see a ton of stars and bars every summer when I visited New England. Like I said, nothing too grotesque to me. Jingoism is contagious, I'm aware, but I doubt anyone back home would question someone about whether they put out their flag for the 1st (Canada Day), the 4th (Independence Day), or any other significant historical date, such as the day the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup was launched. I got the feeling yesterday that, for many, putting out the old taegukki was an obligation that, if neglected, would lead to societal ostracism, or worse.

For only one day? It's like the guy couldn't wait for the day to be over, so he could put the flag -- rusty, crusty and dusty -- back in a box until the next big holiday (I think it's next Wednesday). No idea why he removed the mount. It could have been because it stuck straight up, instead of at an angle, so that the flag hung limply against the building (E for effort and T for nice try, Old Man Who Lives Upstairs).

If you really love your country, why not let your flag hang year 'round? Or bake a cake and decorate it with icing so that it resembles the Korean flag, and share that cake with your neighbors? I sure as hell would have appreciated that.

At the very least let the wind blow the dust off the damn thing before you haul it in and tuck it away. You owe Roland Emmerich that much, dammit.

NB - I just remembered, I have to take the Christmas decorations down and put the tree away. But I don't like. I want to celebrate Santa Claus's birth every day of the year.

1 comment:

kg said...

Dude, does your wife read your blog? Seriously, Japanese porn?? Even in jest...

;-)