Intolerable Act No. 2) Oh, Say Can You See … a Guy on a Pony
Now, let’s look past this disturbingly European image and take these poncy little schoolboys apart: Lilly white shoes, lily white skirts and slacks, and a Polo pony-emblazoned, double-breasted, navy blue, gold-buttoned blazer.
First off, that is one hell of an awful jacket. Let’s take it at its best — how the guys who wear it see themselves: yacht club elite (blowhards who spend too much time at the shrimp bowl and not enough time on their boats) and the twits that wish they were those guys. Seriously — Rodney Dangerfield was making fun of this style in the ’70s. And know what? He was right. And we have his back.
Thankfully, this gaggle of prats aren’t representing the United States. We mean, there’s no American flag that we can see — just a giant pony and some red, white and blue. Those colors, after all, could represent France, Cambodia, Castro, Luxembourg, Serbia or that queen and her son. Looks like that was a close call and all that bitching about China, though fun, was unnecessary.
But wait! A Google Image search for large files eventually reveals the impossible: On a patch smaller than the pony, surrounded by lettering explaining the patch, sharing a space with a slightly-larger set of Olympic rings, hides the American flag.
The United States attaches enormous importance to the Stars and Stripes — the flag Americans have fought and died for, and flown proudly for nearly 250 years. In fact, we mess around so little with our nation’s colors, that in 1908, when the quite-right, Red Coat-hating, Irish-American-dominated Olympic team marched out in front of King Edward VII during the 1908 British Olympic games, Ralph Rose — the largest man on the team — refused to dip the flag to the monarch, as was Olympic custom. After the incident, legend says, American Olympian Martin Sheridan remarked, “This flag dips to no earthly king!”
Now, we know that yellow-livers and pink pansies have existed since the beginning of time (or at least when that documentary “Gladiator” was filmed), but for the most part, the U.S. of A. has kept up this proud tradition, even codifying it into law in 1942, decreeing “That no disrespect should be given to the flag of the United States of America, the flag should not be dipped to any person or thing.”
Well, Lauren, this isn’t just an ugly blazer thing anymore: This hits the mark for disrespect, ranking up there with Chinese scarfs. In only the second time the United States has returned to the queen’s turf since that fateful day 104 years ago (by the way — in 1948, men were also men), and here we are expected to prance in yacht coats, scarves and … what’s this? Oh.
This means war.
Intolerable Act No. 3) As American as Croissants
The beret has long been a symbol of a nation’s elite: What President John F. Kennedy called “a symbol of excellence, a badge of courage, a mark of distinction in the fight for freedom.” And on a similar note, leather chaps have long been a sign of the cowboy — of rugged individualism on the open plains. But let’s get real: In this country, anyone caught wearing either of those accessories who is neither a cowboy nor a Green Beret is sending a signal. A very strong signal.
And yes — that the United States is showing up in Chinese threads, cheesy jackets and scarves, carrying miniature American flags and wearing berets sends a very strong signal. Like the Italians leaving their doors open, these outfits tell the entire Olympic village, “Yes — in this new modern age, we lead from behind.”
The Airing of Grievances
Now there is little more satisfying for conservatives young and old than to sit in holy judgment of Europeans, latte-sipping liberal elites and unnecessary scarves. And now that our Olympic athletes have been draped in every one of these items, with Communist twine and tiny flags, our “notoriously … intemperate disposition” is inflamed. And good. Because the reality is, while most of our conversations about the spiraling decline of the free markets, individual liberty, traditional values and military preparedness end with loud sighs and tired mutterings that Romney might A) win, and B) do something about this downward spiral, this conversation can end differently.
Try it out:
–Hey did you hear about the Olympic uniforms? And how they make us (pronounced: U.S.) look like sissies?
–Yeah! That is absolutely outrageous! But aren’t the Summer Olympics kind of sissy to begin with?”
–Ah. Then let’s just raise a shot of whiskey to the United States.