EdCone.com : Word Up
Updated: 7/1/2002; 11:52:48 AM.


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Thursday, June 27, 2002

Rapid Reversal

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has already stayed yesterday's decision that the inclusion of the phrase "under God" makes the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional. But in a literal sense, it is unconstitutional, as there is no reference whatsoever to "God" or any divine presence in the Constitution itself.

If the phrase "under God" was venerable and tied closely to the founding of the United States, I'd be more inclined to feel that the weight of tradition earned it a place in the Pledge. But it's only been in there for 48 years, inserted by act of Congress in 1954. I do pledge my allegiance to the republic for which the flag stands--but the republic is embodied in a much more literal way by the Constitution, which is itself ordained and established not by a deity but by the people.

5:40:43 PM   comment []  

Great Scott

Are Fitzgerald's observations timeless, or has not that much changed since the Jazz Age? This article about the suburban vogue for McMansions full of bland furniture reminded me of Sally Carroll Happer's take on the new-money digs of her husband-to-be's family: "This room struck her as being neither attractive nor particularly otherwise. It was simply a room with a lot of fairly expensive things in it that all looked about fifteen years old."

That's from "The Ice Palace", which is in many ways a pretty sorry piece of work, especially the parts driven by Fitzgerald's moony imaginings of a mythical South. But he does nail the way shabby gentility views those with the temerity to be rich in the present tense.

Another, even lesser work in the Fitzgerald oeuvre is the story, "Dalrymple Goes Wrong," which I reread the other day over lunch at the sushi bar at Osaka's (best sushi in Greensboro, to damn it with faint praise; High Point Rd. between the Coliseum and I-40). This line, about a WWI veteran, reminded me of most of the heroes of 9/11: "But when the shouting died he realized...that 'the name that will live forever in the annals and legends of this State' was already living there very quietly and obscurely."

Me, I've always had a little Nick Carraway thing going on.

5:15:11 PM   comment []  

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