Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Ad Busters Corporate Flag

Dear Mark,

I was so impressed with your comprehensive and objective reporting on Ralph Nader’s recent visit to Glens Falls that I sent a copy to his office. Great work! Wouldn’t it be great to have a regular “Speaker’s Forum” at the Wood Theater to bring people of import to Glens Falls, as you suggest? For whatever it is worth, you have my full support in that endeavor.

Mark, you deserve much credit simply for understanding the value to our community in having someone of Ralph’s stature visit our wonderful town. It was good for the theater. It was good for Glens Falls. It was good for the progressive community. It helps create the dialogue and debate our failing democracy requires if it is to flourish.

The Chronicle also deserve thanks for giving proper credit to all of those who made it happen. It was a huge amount of work to pull it off and many people went above and beyond, especially David Cummings for his beautiful lectern and Black Diamond Catering for the incredible meal they served us at the Rock Hill Bakehouse fundraiser. For those who missed Ralph’s visit entirely, TV 8 will soon be airing a special on it followed by a discussion between myself and Nick Caimano on his weekly show.

That said, I do object to your somewhat narrow framing of this “corporate flag” issue. You asked if it was merely a “funny comment” or “desecration”. I think those two choices miss the point to some degree. We hung that flag (juxtaposed with a real U.S. flag) to get people to think about the choice our government is currently giving us. We are, for the umpteenth time in recent memory, involved in, yet another, unconstitutional (and undeclared) war far from home for clearly economic reasons. Which flag (and which ideals) are we really “defending” by occupying Iraq?

We live in a free country. Our rights of free speech clearly protect our ability to express our concern about corporate governance in this manner. In other words, I don’t see this passive representation of my views as “desecration” and, truly, neither does our constitution. However, that hardly makes it a “funny comment”, either. On the contrary, it is truly evil and outrageous that our government has engineered our corporate occupation of Iraq solely to secure our huge and unhealthy investment in our own bloated oil economy. This is what the “funny” flag represents; war-profiteers and false patriots who actively seek to destroy the moral fabric of our country by rendering it both soulless and lawless. I believe that the ideals embodied by the true American flag are worth fighting for. Sadly, that’s not the flag that’s been flying over the White House for several decades now.

At the end of the theater event, the veteran you referred to in your article approached me to express his upset at pur hangingthe Ad Busters flag.
He said that it was “not right”. Well, I totally agree with him. It’s NOT right and we must educate ourselves about corporate involvement in our own government so that we will never again be fooled by politicians so morally bankrupt that they would dare to ask our sons or daughters to kill or die for such a false symbol ever again.

Peace,
Matt Funiciello

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