The hell with free speech

Some patriotic thoughts on flag desecration
By PHILLIPE & JORGE  |  July 5, 2006

Phillipe & Jorge used to think that the constitutional flag-burning amendment championed by a number of Republican solons was merely a cheap sideshow; a dishonest and stupid attempt to play to the farthest right-wing base, what with President Bush’s polling numbers in the toilet. We were about to congratulate our two US senators, Jack Reed and Linc Chafee, for voting against this obviously idiotic and politically based attempt to alter the Constitution (a big deal, let’s face it, and it failed by only one vote), but we’ve had a last-minute change of heart.

After having recently run into the only registered Republican who takes the Elmwood Avenue bus in Providence, we have been dissuaded of our opinion. 

“Although you can count the number of domestic instances of flag-burning in the United States in the last decade on one hand,” he said, “you would be naive to think that the liberals are planning big flag desecration ceremonies in the near future.

“The amendment, as currently constituted, refers to flag ‘desecration,’ not merely burning. What if one of the liberal media was to wipe his ass with the flag during a nightly newscast and then cut all of the stars for the red states out of it with scissors? How would you feel about that sort of disgusting display? And what if someone, perhaps a member of the ACLU, were to insist on his or her free speech right to spread peanut butter on the flag and eat it? Of course, it would have to be a flag made of cotton or some other material that is more easily digestible than nylon. Wouldn’t you think that that was way over the top?”

People could also wear flag neckties and flag-patterned hats that would show a lack of respect for . . . hold on . . . people are already doing that! The Republican on the Elmwood Avenue bus is right. It can happen here. Your superior correspondents are totally against flag desecration.

Welcome back
Your superior correspondents are delighted about the return to business of the legendary Narragansett Café in Jamestown, following a destructive fire last year. (No, not arson — probably a case of a young lady illegally smoking in the women’s room. Those girls.)

The Narry, probably the model for the infamous bar in Star Wars, has been one of our favorite hangs since we discovered its beautiful indoor shuffleboard back in the 1970s. That it attracts everyone from hardcore bikers to blue-haired ladies in patchwork plaid golf pants has always been a source of amusement. Then there’s the absolutely kick-ass, get-up-and-dance rock bands on the weekends, with no cover charge. How far is heaven?

This watering hole attracts a very well behaved (although possibly extremely dangerous in other settings) crowd. The only violent incident we have seen during our numerous visits was when one quite tired and emotional patron confronted the police outside on the morning after the January 1 Penguin Plunge at the beach. He continued to ignore their requests for him to let his friends drive him home. When he started to attack, the officers gave up and slapped him in the back of the patrol car for a short cruise to the police station.

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