Hello, my fellow Americans. Since some of us ignore what the #TakeTheKnee movement is all about and would rather set up straw men like flag/anthem etiquette, do you want a glimpse into the Land Of What Might Be?
Last year, while on tour in India, I was loudly confronted by an audience member during the show. My crime? Daring to joke about their national anthem, Jana Gana Mana. Immediately, upon hearing me mention the song, an angry man stood up and shouted at me, “I don’t come to YOUR country and make fun of YOUR song!”
I guess they take that stuff seriously over there. Maybe it’s because in India, disrespecting the national anthem is punishable by fines and a sentence of up to life in prison. Sedition, they say. WTF?
My response to the Indian guy was, “You SHOULD come to America and make fun of our song. We allow that kind of stuff.”
All this freedom is kind of why America finds itself in such a precarious situation as of late. The first amendment to the Constitution says, “You can say whatever the hell you want!”
And the very next amendment says, “But… you’re gonna need some guns.”
Still, would you rather have the freedoms we have or live like people in other countries, being forced to stand at attention under threat of life in prison?
It’s not just India. In Russia, they will fine you for making fun of the national anthem. They’re also considering adding prison time with hard labor as additional punishment. OMG, Hacksaw Jim Duggan would have been put to death for what he did to the Soviet Union’s anthem at WrestleMania III. Hooo!
Over in Japan, things got so bad when some teachers refused to stand for the national anthem that a vice-principal committed suicide. And this is from the country that brought you Hello Kitty. Then the country’s Supreme Court ruled that the teachers could in fact be forced to stand as they were working government jobs.
If we keep going the way we are, it’s a slippery slope to throwing kids in prison for the seditious act of playfully butchering the Pledge of Allegiance. Come on, we all did it: “One nacho, underpants…” You know that 10-year-old You said it. PRISON!
At that point, we’re not far at all from being just like North Korea. They definitely tortured (and pretty much killed) an American there just for tearing down nationalist propaganda. And when their leader Kim Jong-un‘s father (Kim Jong-il) died, citizens were forced to compete who could be more visibly anguished. One military minister was found to be drinking during the mandatory mourning period and was executed by mortar.
Just remember this could happen right here. And it starts by giving away our freedoms. It starts by the President calling people “sons of bitches” and demanding people get fired from their non-governmental jobs. It starts by forcing displays of nationalism. And it ends, in the case of Kim Jong-un’s uncle, Jang Song Thaek, by being shot by anti-aircraft guns and having your pieces fed to dogs.