[Air-l] re: September Project

Jonathan Sterne jsterne+ at pitt.edu
Wed Apr 14 09:27:28 PDT 2004

Dear Maximilian:

I hear your criticisms loud and clear.  Please understand that right now the US
left is in a really tough position.  Rhetorically, the right wing has basically
asserted complete control over the date and its meaning.  If the project wants to
reach people who aren't already convinced of its necessity, it needs to engage
with discourses like patriotism at some point in order to be heard.  While I agree
that it's offensive to people outside the US (and I am often offended by
expressions of "patriotism" by people who have never met someone from outside the
country), I think that's the purpose of bringing up patriotism in the first
place.  I know it's got to look ugly in light of the US's military aggression of
the past four years.  It does to me too.  And yet, there's also the question of
the terms on which one is allow to enter into a public debate in the US.  Our
political culture, is in my estimation, really messed up.

So yeah, you're right.  But at the same time, my sense of what David and crew are
up to has more to do with rhetorical strategy.  I'm hopeful he'll join the
conversation as well.


PS -- For more on US patriotism, check out an essay I cowrote with some friends on
patriotic roadsigns.  It's here: http://eserver.org/bs/59/rentschler.html

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