Mandatory Independence Day Post

By | Friday, July 04, 2008 Leave a Comment
As required by the Blogosphere BylawsTM, any post I make today needs to focus on the subject of Independence Day, America, or patriotism in some capacity. I could talk about Captain America, The Shield, the Star-Spangled Kid, or any of a host of other flag-draped do-gooders. I could be doubly-topical and talk about that Alex Ross Superman/Obama mash-up. I could be somewhat snarky and write a "Declaration of Independents" touting the virtues of the small press.

But you know me -- I like being unconventional. So may I present to you Howard Chaykin's afterward from American Flagg! #1...
"So, if you want a symbolic gesture, don't burn the flag, wash it."
-- Norman Thomas

...And, on the basis of that simple precept, the upheaval of the sixties lost my spiritual commitment. My body stayed behind, to meet girls (historically speaking, liberal women always have been easier than Republicans).

What no one seemed to realize was, that by trashing 200 years of symbolism the movement virtually handed over the concept of patriotism to the "corporate fascist elite."

It's long past time we took patriotism back. I'm a liberal (some might say radical) kind of guy who still gets a bit squinky at the Star Spangled banner. My identification with the mythic aspects of America is intense, to say the least.

And that's the why behind American Flagg! I'll be throwing you some (hopefully) pretty oddball concepts in the this book; stick with me, I think it'll be worth your time.

Meanwhile, to fill the time between issues, some suggested additional reading material, starting with two classics.

Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley.
1984, by George Orwell.

These two set the tone for all modern, post-holocaust negative utopias...

Followed by two more classics, in an entirely different vein:

The Demolished Man, and The Stars My Destination, both by Alfred Bester.

Two brilliant novels by an author with an astonishing grasp of the business of advertising, media and business.

Finally, Revolt in 2100, by Robert Heinlein. One of the Future Histories by this prolific author, detailing a theocratic takeover of the U.S.A.

There are lots more, but that's enough for now. Again, stay with us, and remember...

"Things are more like they are now than they have ever been before."
-- Dwight D. Eisenhower

Howard Chaykin
April 15, 1983
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