Kris an’ Murphy: Standing For It

Kaepernick and freedomMurphy: “So what do you think, Kris?”

Kris:Pipe down, Murphy! Jeez! You want us to get arrested or something?”

Murphy: “Paranoid, much?”

Kris: “And the students aren’t even on campus yet for the fall term!”

Murphy: “Then we might as well take our opportunities while we can. Before those students start telling us what to think, and we’re too damned tired to think on our own anyway. Do any of us have a concept of freedom?”

Kris: “Spell that.”

Murphy: “D-O-M. Not D-U-M-B. Nice try, but it’s been done. Though maybe someone at Amazon should start charging for the delivery of stupidity. Could be a nice little profit engine.”

Kris: “You’re scaring me …”

Murphy: “Well, then, answer the question. Do any of us have a concept of freedom? Do you?

Kris: “Sure. To do as I please. Sit during the national anthem, or stand on my head, or sing through my nose …”

Murphy: “Or strip naked?”

Kris: “Kaepernick might have a body that could survive the scrutiny. You, on the other hand …”

Murphy: “So he would have the freedom to skinnydip on the 50-yard line, and I would not?

Kris: “Your consequences would be different from his. Ew.”

Murphy:What consequences? If I have to worry about consequences, I don’t have freedom, now do I?”

Kris: “So everyone else has to give up their freedom so you can have yours, is that it?”

Murphy: “But … if I’m worried about consequences from you, and you are worried about consequences from me, then neither one of us has freedom. Nobody has freedom!”

Kris: “Well, that’s why we have a general agreement that nobody gets to go au naturel during worship at an NFL Temple.”

Murphy: “Not even the streakers?

Kris: “They went to jail. Anonymously. Remember? That’s how come you don’t see them very much any more. Heavy consequences, no bennies.”

Murphy: “You can’t tell me that half of the peeps who complain about the streakers aren’t watching porn on their cells and tablets when they get home.”

Kris: “They are until their employers find out about it …”

Murphy:So they don’t have freedom either! If freedom’s this much of a lie, why do we bother telling it?!?”

Kris: “Because it isn’t a lie.”

Murphy: “This can’t be a paradox. There’s only one of you.”

Kris: “Ha ha. You lose. If you will care to scan your eyes up about a dozen lines of text, you might see that I referred to the nudity ban at NFL stadia as a ‘general agreement’.”

Murphy: “Yes …?”

Kris: “Despite appearances, Murphy, we generally get it that pure unfettered freedoms are impossible, because if they were we’d all kill each other for getting in each other’s way all the time. Our freedoms come because we can talk about the limits, and decide among ourselves what the limits are, rather than having them be imposed by some god, or king, or Facebook know-it-all, or any other bogeyman. And we can decide among ourselves, Dog willing, to grant exceptions, or even change the agreement, so that the limits that made sense yesterday aren’t inflicted on a tomorrow where they don’t make sense. Right now, the argument’s about whether Kaepernick has a case for being granted an exception.”

Murphy: “Since when does a football player even know that there’s a third verse to the national anthem? That’s almost too arcane even for me. Never mind understanding what that reference to slaves meant.”

Kris: “Well, they do have university degrees.”

Murphy: “And you and I both know exactly what most of them are worth, namely nothing. Especially those granted to the athletic mercenaries. You know better than to feed me that line.”

Kris: “You forget that there’s the occasional intellect who slips through the cracks. And it takes more than a teaspoonful of brains, and a few seconds of study, to recognize that the ‘hireling and slave’ that Scott Key’s lyrics wish to see put to death represented fugitive slaves whom the British, at the time slaveholders themselves, were only too willing to sic against their former masters. Strongly implying that, at the very least, Francis Scott Key was indifferent to the injustice that was American chattel slavery. An injustice that, even in 1815, the Industrial Revolution was making obsolete and uneconomic. An injustice that, failing any economic rationale, could be supported only by the racial prejudice that defined us then and, damn it, defines us now, Donald.”

Murphy: “That doesn’t sound like ‘grant an exception’ to me, it sounds like ‘change the agreement’. Like, to a new national anthem.”

Kris: “Please. Spare me the racist diatribe we have now, tied to an 18th-century tavern song that only drunks are soused enough to attempt, and to listen to without killing the singers.”

Murphy: “Such as, ‘My Country ‘Tis of Thee’?”

Kris: “Just sing ‘God Save the Queen’ instead. Given the country’s current perfidy, it should abjectly crawl back to Buckingham Palace, crave pardon for its sins, and plead for readmittance to the Empire anyway. And hope the Queen can hold her nose long enough to agree.”

Murphy: “I can’t wait to hear what you’d say about ‘God Bless America’.”

Kris: “Happy to oblige. This country better hope that God pays no attention to it whatsoever, because if She finds out about us, She’ll wipe us off the map with no more concern or care than you’d smash a cockroach in the kitchen.”

Murphy: “‘America the Beautiful’?”

Kris: “‘Amber waves of GMO grain?’ Really, Murphy, there’s only one choice, only one song that’s singable, tells what its land is about, and what its people should be. And it was specifically written as an antidote to that ‘God’ monstrosity.”

Murphy: “Word. Shall we crack open a bottle to it?”

Kris: “But of course.”

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