Saturday, November 19, 2005

Paradigm Shift

When I was a student at VSDB, playing at the playground which was and is still located in the center of the campus. Most students referred the playground as "Mall" for some reasons unknown to me, even as of today.

However, in the playground, there are different stuff to play with. Merry-Go-Round, Swings and all these little things that all kids play.

Since I was enrolled at VSDB, I always saw this maintenance guy coming to the "Mall" at 5 PM to lower the Ole Glory flag from the flagpole. The flagpole is located in the midst of the playground.

One day, a student told me that he was told by someone that a flag is not allowed to touch the ground floor because they said so. I was perplexed and asked why. Another student said, "YES! TOUCH FLOOR AND USA WILL BOOM! NO GOOD! MUST NOT TOUCH!"

That logic blew me away. I quickly asked, "WHO TOLD YOU?"

One student pointed at a hearing houseparent. Fuck. They always do that to scare Deaf students into submission with these wacky ideas. I shook my head and dared them to join along with the maintenance guy to help out and trick him by taking the flag and toss it on the floor. The students stared at me with horror and in state of disbelief. They refused to take the dare.

So it was entirely up to me to do the job.

I walked to the flagpole, knowing that the Maintenance guy will come at 5 PM to lower the flag, then fold it neatly and tuck it somewhere else in the maintenance office. Sometimes, he lets the student do it provided that he watched the student closely. The guy was probably in his 70s. Probably a die-hard Patriot during the Cold War.

Yes, it was during the Reagan-Gorbachev Years, approaching the end of Cold War.

Like always, he came at 5 PM. He was probably delighted that a student is interested in doing something like this. The students huddled amongst each other not far away from me, watching me in terror.

As I helped him to lower the flag, the guy took the flag off from the rope and folded it neatly -- when he was done with it, I snatched it and tossed it on the grass.

Suddenly, the Maintenance guy grabbed my right arm and yelled at me in gibberish as I turned to see the students running amok in all directions as if the world is coming to an end. You could see several houseparents being startled by the shrieks of the kids as they ran around to calm them down. I smiled and shoved the guy to make free and ran around the playground -- I was victorious.

I defied the phony beliefs. My blasphemy act proved that no flag will bring down the United States. You can burn, shit, piss and drag it but will it reflect upon the ideals of America? No, not at all. The day continues into the night. Then the morning came. Nobody cared if I tossed it on the floor -- it is just a flag, an object that we attempted to make it too serious, I think.

When people whined about people descerating the US flags, My reaction to this idea: Get a grip. There are better things to whine about, really.



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