KHOU-TV is a Houston television station which hosted this news item on its website dated to the 18th of June, 2014.
WEBSTER, Texas — A Webster man says his apartment complex manager told him his American flag was a threat to the Muslim community, and that he has to take it down. But he's not giving up without a fight.
Stepping onto Duy Tran's balcony in Webster, one thing is clear: 'It means a lot to me,' he said.
He's talking about his American flag that he proudly put up when he moved in just a few days ago. But then an apartment manager at the Lodge on El Dorado told him he had to take it down.
'What really stunned me is that she said it's a threat towards the Muslim community,' said Tran. 'I'm not a threat toward anybody.'
The story can now be found at a number of different internet addresses, posted and posted again weeks and even months after the original report. One might imagine this repetition would run contrary to the function of news, which should surely serve to reflect that which occurs in the present, or at least which has occurred since the last time we either opened up a newspaper or were too lazy to find the remote when the news came on after whatever we were watching on the box; but of course news isn't really the point here.
I came across the saga of Duy Tran and his massive flag the day before my birthday when it turned up on social media, rediscovered by a friend who had previously given me no impression of having gone in for this sort of thing.
Soooo wrong, observed her friend Beryl the Peril in response, although I have omitted the pointless ellipsis of seven or eight dots which originally followed Beryl's offering for no apparent reason. Obviously it wasn't really Beryl the Peril from the English children's comic The Topper who made this observation, but I'm going to pretend that it was for the sake of preserving the anonymity and dignity of those involved.
Your mind on Liberalism, quoth Mickey the Monkey somewhat philosophically. Damn shame.
That's the flag of the country! raged Tiny the World's Biggest Dog, but with more exclamation marks. If Muslims are offended... fuck off out of the country! Grrr - this makes me so angry! Although he rendered fuck as f*ck just in case Nancy and Sluggo were reading, and out was capitalised for emphasis possibly in case any of those America-hating Muslims were reading and thought he might merely be joking around.
Clearly feeling this statement had articulated her innermost thoughts quite well, Beryl the Peril came back with, Thanks Tiny... you said it! and there were those three little dots again because free form poetry is always easier than forming coherent sentences in the language of one's own country innit.
Say what?!! boggled Desert Island Dick, startling Olly the Octopus with the force of his exclamation. I'm with you, Tiny. Muslim is a religion and if the country's flag threatens you, get the fuck out.
At this point I interjected with some of the typically incoherent Osama bin Laden-loving liberal shit that you would expect from a Commie faggot such as myself. My suggestion was entirely ignored by the next contributor to the debate, Splodge, Last of the Goblins who proposed, Yeah - what Tiny said. Go away.
That wasn't the end of the discussion, but I felt I had seen plenty and so withdrew my virtual presence from the thinktank. Regarding Duy Tran's claim that his apartment complex manager told him his American flag was a threat to the Muslim community, and that he has to take it down, the news report had this to say:
We tried to ask a manager if that's exactly what was said, but she just handed us a statement, refused to answer any questions, and called an officer to escort us off the property, before we could press any further.
The statement was then quoted as follows:
While the Lodge on El Dorado admires our resident's patriotism, we must enforce our property rules and guidelines. Such guidelines maintain the aesthetics of our apartment community and provide for the safety of all residents. The apartment community already proudly displays our country's flag in a safe and appropriate manner at the entrances to our community.
Nowhere is it stated that any residents of the apartment complex, Muslim or otherwise, had complained, and neither is there stated any official apartment complex ruling against the display of material which may offend Muslims, which suggests to me that such a ruling probably doesn't exist. Using the amazing powers of my imagination I can envision a scenario in which the manager of an apartment complex probably doesn't want tenants hanging whatever the hell they feel like hanging from the balconies of their dwellings - throw rugs depicting Axl Rose or the logos of football teams for example. Perhaps she therefore decided that exceptions could not be made, not even for the flag. Perhaps she simply didn't like Duy Tran as a person and was winding him up for kicks. Perhaps he's an arsehole who deserves to be wound up regardless of his being head over heels in love with the flag, or perhaps this manager is a woman who simply takes her job far too seriously.
In any case, it hardly matters because the job is done, and a complete non-story about a lady telling a man not to do something has got our sabres a-rattling. No actual Muslims were involved but still who the buggering fuck do they think they are telling us what we can do why I oughta wah wah wah...
A little over a year ago I left my local supermarket and found that somehow I had been charged thirty dollars for a watermelon that should have cost two. A mistake had been made, so I went back, explained the situation, and it was corrected. This event somehow didn't make the news, but then I had been erroneously overcharged by a Mexican lady rather than a person who believes in Muslim - as Desert Island Dick would probably phrase it - and no flag desecration had occurred.
I am depressed by stories of this kind, which aren't really news so much as poking at a nest of morons with a stick in order to get them riled up, either raising wrath against this year's popular hate figure, or just keeping everyone's eye on a ball other than the one which is really being played. I am depressed by stories of this kind because they have all the subtlety of war-era Nazi posters depicting Jews eating Aryan babies, and yet people are still falling for this shit because it's easier than thinking, and it's certainly easier than addressing oneself to real problems. I am depressed by stories of this kind because they are keyed to the primitive pseudobrains of individuals like Frank Silva Roque who, on the 15th of September, 2001 shot Balbir Singh Sodhi, a gas station attendant in Mesa, Arizona in retaliation for the destruction of the World Trade Centre. Sodhi had not been in any way involved in the destruction of the World Trade Centre but was of the Sikh religion and therefore wore a turban and a beard. One might perhaps cite Roque's low IQ and alleged mental illness as mitigating factors in the killing, but neither low IQ nor mental illness are exclusive to those with a rabid and irrational hatred of anyone different, persons who are into Muslim for example.
My view is that if you can't cope with multicultural society - something which will by definition include a certain quota of brownish people or darker - then maybe you're the one who should consider fucking off; and while we're here, if it were possible to convert irony into rocket fuel, we could probably get to fucking Mars on the strength of certain Americans making declarations about who owns this land and who has a right to be here. Regardless of the morality of whatever is going to happen with Syria, Iraq, ISIS, and everything else, can we at least try not to turn into drooling animals baying out for blood? Isn't that just the sort of thing we were supposed to be against, or was that all just another arbitrary justification we can no longer be bothered to maintain.
How did we get to be this stupid?
Perhaps it's because such an overwhelming majority of the populace of the developed countries are essentially children, or at best, teenagers. We dislike that which is unfamiliar, a category encompassing more or less everything. Someone gives us a taco, and we wrinkle our nose, take a reluctant bite and start crying because it isn't a McDonalds cheeseburger and life is soooo unfair. We are intrinsically pathetic, and we have just enough intelligence to understand this, and so we compensate for our overwhelming inadequacy by making demands in as loud a voice as possible and discussing everything in terms of absolutes because we believe it makes us appear decisive, as though we know what we're talking about. Worse, we take pride in our stupidity, wearing it like a badge as though it's some sort of achievement.
I don't need fancy books to tell me how things work. I studied common sense at the university of life. I am a plain-speaking man.
We watch crap television or films for entertainment, somehow equating this with imagination, having confused it with the same CGI explosions and spacecraft we've seen a thousand times before, and we pretend these things are important just as we did when we were five. If we even read books, we mostly read books that may as well be crap television or films. We are interested only in things which pass the time and provide distraction. We are not interested in anything external to the restricted sphere of our experience. Worse still, never mind those damn liberal know it all thugs tellin' me ah cain't say the word nigger no moh, how about it no longer being permissible to point any of this out just in case some inbred right-wing thickie experiences a sudden dearth of self-esteem? How is that fair?
At the risk of appearing pompous, over the last twenty or so years I've tried, where possible, to broaden the horizons of my own experience, or I've had the horizons of my own experience forcibly broadened by circumstance. I've tried to educate myself, to make myself better if only to stave off the potential horror of reaching fifty and realising that I'm still the same basic boring lump of shit as I was in my twenties. I would say these efforts have worked up to a point, in that I am now at least able to form coherent sentences, and I have a fairly thorough understanding of how little I actually know and how little I have really done. The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know, as Einstein said.
The depressing aspect of this is watching morons attempt to form sentences, to pass judgement on subjects which they don't understand, of which they have no experience beyond what they read in a transparently unreliable newspaper or what some bloke said in the pub or on facebook, or which they didn't actually read but they saw the film with Vin Deisel and it like totally ruled LOL.
Wisdom may as well be the courage to admit that you don't know, or just knowing when to shut up. Even this seems to be a difficult lesson to learn, and so many times I again find myself in discussion with someone who believes that actually knowing something is merely a different way of looking at the world, and they never seem to realise that it's basically dog shit coming out of their mouths, as Louis CK expressed it somewhere or other. Half of the time it doesn't even come out of their mouths in the right order.
Oh there we go. Another Obama dick rider defending his boyfriend! Lol your a loser!
If you love your country so much, at least learn how to conjugate one of its principal languages, you thick fuckers; and whilst we're here, there and their are different words with distinct and unlike meanings.
Read a book.
Have a conversation with a person whose views are different to your own.
Spend a few hours a day outside your comfort zone.
Don't be taken in by the bullshit you tell yourself because it's comforting. Stop treating facts as a fucking obstacle to understanding.
But mainly, just shut up.