OK, boys and girls, today’s word is “juxtaposition.” According to my friends, Barney Funk and Porter Wagnall, it means putting things together for comparison — like when I read a whiny letter in the Atlanta newspapers from the head of a local civil rights organization. Mr. Whiny Pants and the organization he represents will go unnamed because it is the policy of the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company, located in Greater Garfield, Georgia, not to give free publicity to whiners.
Junior E. Lee, the firm’s general manager — a respected political analyst and a pest control professional — has strong feelings on the subject. He likens whiners to fleas on a dog. They have no redeeming social value and are a source of great irritation.
Anyway, Whiny Pants has a problem with us picking on Mr. Buckethead, the out-of-work quarterback who he says has “protested the general mistreatment of America’s non-white citizens by police and America in general.” Whiny Pants must not watch much television. The talking heads have made Mr. Buckethead a martyr of the scale of Joan of Arc.
Junior says America in general, fortunately, thinks the talking heads are as irrelevant to our society as Mr. Buckethead and the unprofessional professional athletes who make a big show every Sunday out of disrespecting their country. That includes the billionaire owners who piously lock arms with their boy toys. Junior thinks this is more of a business decision than one of conscience. The suck-up owners will risk our disgust but can’t risk making their boy toys unhappy. They might not show up for work but still demand their oversize paychecks.
Whiny Pants say these protestors have not maligned our flag “in any manner.” Au contraire, W.P. I can give you the names of a lot of Americans in general who would disagree. They have lost loved ones in combat who put their country above their own self-righteousness. As one person who has watched these Sunday showoffs said, “Is this what I lost my brother for?” Maligning the flag is in the eyes of the beholder.
Speaking of the flag, Whiny Pants says he doesn’t hear anybody upset about the “flag of the KKK” and wants to know why there hasn’t been “profanity-laced vitriol directed at those carrying the stars and bars and favoring its principles over the stars and stripes?”
Junior E. Lee says Mr. Whiny Pants needs to know that the Georgia state flag is modeled on the stars and bars. When George E. Perdue was elected governor in 1992, he let Georgians vote in a public referendum on a new state flag. Seventy-three percent voted for the current flag.
Junior also says if I am going to use big words like juxtaposition to get on with it. He says you have more to do than to sit around and watch me try to dazzle you with my literary legerdemain. Junior can get testy at times. I think it’s the Malathion.
The juxtaposition is this: While Whiny Pants was denigrating the police, police officers —including several who were off-duty — were risking their own lives to save the lives of the much-maligned Americans-in-general at the Las Vegas mass shootings. One police officer even shed his bullet-proof vest and used it as a shield for a spectator. Those same Americans-in-general — black and white — were coming to each other’s aid in heroic fashion.
And then this: While overpaid slugs get their jollies disrespecting the country that gives them the privilege to do so, the Fannin County High School football team comes on the field with every single player carrying an American flag but one and he was bearing the Georgia state flag. God bless them one and all.
Not only should we be enormously proud of them, along with the unsung Americans-in-general in Las Vegas, but they serve to make the NFL millionaires and their billionaire owners look like a bunch of horse patoots. There is no comparison. May these unprofessional athletes and those who try to justify their boorish behavior take this juxtaposition and stick it where the sun doesn’t shine.
You can reach Dick Yarbrough at firstname.lastname@example.org.