The Status Quo Is Not Natural

Civilians with Hitler salute when Germans marched in - Occupation of the Sudeten area

It doesn’t matter where you go in the world there will always be people complaining about this or that endeavor being political. I recently saw a video by Jose on ComicsGate.

In that case, people were upset at the increase in diversity that was taking place in comic books. Many saw this as politicizing comics. They did not, however, see the facts the comics had always been overwhelmingly white and male as being a political statement.

Colin Kaepernick’s Crime Against the Status Quo

Another example of this is Colin Kaepernick. Now let’s be honest here. People hated him because he was protesting the status quo. The fact that he was black just made it worse. (Note how conservatives love people of color as long as they are telling other people of color they should sit down, shut up, and be happy they aren’t currently on fire.)

It was not because he was somehow disrespecting the American flag. But let’s assume that really was the issue for a moment.

If it were the case that his kneeling during the national anthem was politicizing the event then what was the national anthem itself? Clearly these people think there is nothing political about everyone standing and putting their hands on their chest and listening to the national anthem and watching the military flyovers.

Equating Status Quo With Natural

For these people, the constant jingoistic patriotism and the fetishization of the military is given. But it’s not. As Matt Soniak has explained, it wasn’t until World War I that the national anthem became part of professional baseball. And it didn’t become standard for sporting events until World War II.

It was all supposedly part of the war effort. But just nationalistic nonsense only accretes. When the wars end, these things stayed on. But that doesn’t make them natural.

In fact, I consider the whole thing disreputable. Why do professional sports wrap themselves in the flag? That’s especially true as sports become more international. What is the point of all this? It makes no sense to me. It goes against the things that I always thought America stood for like, for example, individualism.

Status Quo Destroys Freedom

Another thing conservatives love to go on about is freedom of speech and the supposed virtue signaling of SJWs. But ask yourself what would happen if you were an able-bodied person and you refuse to rise during the national anthem at a football game? You would certainly get a lot of angry comments. You might well be beaten up and even killed. Where’s the freedom of speech there? That’s fascist-level intolerance if you ask me.

But apparently as long as it is in the service of something that people think of as normal, it’s fine. But none of these things are normal. These things are the result of history. There is nothing fundamental about them. And you don’t have to be against the national anthem at sporting events to realize that.

I’d think proud patriots would rather that standing for the national anthem be voluntary. After all, what better way to signal that they are chauvinists than to stand proudly while people like me sit and chat with friends?

But it’s like with the War on Christmas: it isn’t enough to believe; everyone around them must also believe. If you ask me, this just means they don’t have a strong belief.

Social Convention

Everyone should admit that this is a social convention. It’s the way we do things. But it’s not the way we always did them. And it will not always be the way that we do them. So it’s open to discussion. And those who claim that it shouldn’t be open to discussion are villains.

Jose’s #ComicsGate Video

“Civilians With Hitler Salute When Germans Marched In — Occupation of the Sudeten Area” by German Federal Archive (Deutsches Bundesarchiv). It is in the public domain.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

8 thoughts on “The Status Quo Is Not Natural

  1. Major religions will always deal w/ heretics by using torture

    Slavery will always exist in America

    Women will never have the right to vote

    That’s the way it’s always been. That’s the way it will always be

  2. Oh, it can get worse! After the terrorist attacks in 2001, it became unofficially mandatory for every baseball stadium to play “God Bless America” (or, even worse, “God Bless The USA”) during the seventh-inning stretch. So you got two doses of forced patriotism! (Seattle, I believe, was at least using Ray Charles’s cover of “America The Beautiful,” a serious improvement over the other two).

    This has tapered off, somewhat (they still do it at Yankee Stadium, for obvious reasons), but you do still hear it.

    Sports owners are, by-and-large, greedy crooks who want to pay players as little as possible and charge fans as much as possible. And threaten localities with moving the team if they don’t get public stadium financing. So, I suppose, going rah-flag-rah is a way of pretending they care about more than money. The Minnesota Twins always have a local war vet raise the flag during the anthem, and some local musician/school choir/whatever perform it. See? They actually belong to the community! (And, in truth, Twins ownership is less awful than most.)

    It’d be interesting to look more into the history of this stuff. I wonder if it became standard during WWII because some of the players had actually joined the war? I’d guess the jet-flyover thing at football games started during Gulf War I or something like that.

    I used to watch Minnesota Vikings games with a friend every Sunday — we’d get ferociously stoned, which is the only way to tolerate NFL football. I remember the first game of one season started its broadcast with a nationally-broadcast-message from Bush promoting Gulf War II. Talk about harshing your mellow. Of course, while all pro sports leagues are terrible, the NFL is absolutely worst…

    • It’s all pandering. The owners wrapping themselves in the flag is a way of them pretending to be like everyone else. “See, we’re just like you! Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!” The conservative commitment to seeing any change as bad feeds on this. What I don’t understand is how conservatives can miss that no matter when it is, they support the status quo. So in the 1950s, Jim Crow was great and any change would be giving in to those SJWs. But now, of course Jim Crow was wrong but what Black Lives Matter is asking for is anarchy!

      I’ve come to see that temperamentally, I really am liberal. Intellectually, I may think that we should only change things if it is clear it is for the better. But emotionally, I like change. Obviously, not all change. But generally, change is good. I’m easily bored.

      I was at a high school basketball game on Wednesday with my cousin. We both grumbled about rising for the national anthem. It’s not the act itself but the social necessity of it. The people who cry during the national anthem are also the people most likely to hate actual Americans. And what kind of people are so insecure in their beliefs that they constantly need to be reassured? I know the answer: conservative people — whether politically, religiously, or whatever. They’re the kinds of people who only want to see movies that are hits. They are the kind of people who, despite being horrible in so many other ways, are above all boring. Were the Nazis this boring? I guess so — the banality of evil and all.

      • My solution, when I went to baseball games, was be in line for hot dogs during the anthem. That way, you’re already standing up. Plus you get a hot dog. But you still have to remove your baseball cap, or some people will be offended.

        Per being a liberal — I’ve known people who were honest conservatives, in the classic sense you mentioned. Don’t make sweeping changes to society unless they’re absolutely necessary. I’m not sure any of those people still exist.

        Every conservative I knew eventually became an apologist for the Republican party. They won’t forgive Trump, but they forgave Reagan, Bush 1, Bush 2. Well, Trump’s just a natural progression from those. (With one distinction; Bush 1 wasn’t a stone dipshit.)

        No liberal I’ve ever met thinks Clinton’s crime bill or Obama’s bank bailout were great things. We’re mad about them, we want Democrats to be better that.

      • >But emotionally, I like change. Obviously, not all change. But generally, change is good.

        It may just be that I’m getting older, but more and more I dislike change

        Now, I know that change can be good, even necessary, and there have been times when my situation has changed for the better. Certainly, as I alluded in my previous comment, society has changed for the better in any ways. Intellectually I realize that. I am even willing to work FOR change if I think it’ll be an improvement. And, I do see many factors I fervently hope will change

        But I still don’t like change

        • I don’t like changes in my life. In fact, my life is all about habits. Every other day, I buy a deli sandwich — the same one from the same place.

          But my default is to change things around me. It’s not necessarily what I want; it’s just an instinct.

  3. I watched the entire video at the end. Worth it. What I always come angrily back to in any discussion of harassment of liberal activists: the entire criminal justice system is wired Republican (fascist) and they have no interest in protecting liberal activists (or women, or racial-gender-religious minorities in general).

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