This is going up a day late, but it's just because I spent last night watching Lara Croft at the Starlight Cinema, which probably ranks as one of the least patriotic things to do on the nation's birthday. In fact, about the only things I did that were Merdeka-like were to watch a bit of the parade on TV, to hang around KLCC awhile and, when conversation laged a little, to pose the question What does being patriotic mean?

My monologue always begins thus: What does it mean to be patriotic? Is it when you wave a flag? Is it when you sing the national anthem? Is it when you follow your leaders and obey the law?

And then we get to this point: Is it possible for two people to have completely opposite opinions and do completely different things and yet both be patriotic? Is it possible to break the law and be patriotic? Is there an absolute?

The answer is obviously Yes, Yes and No. Being patriotic, like most things in life, is a spectrum with no real absolute, which is what makes it so difficult. It's not easy. It's not straight-forward. Why on Earth do people make it out as if it is?

Just to try and raise debate and some hackles, here are ways to break the law and yet be patriotic:

posted on Monday, September 01, 2003 - permalink
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