Cost of hubris

Well, tonight was a slight downer. I was trying to think of songs for the Fourth of July to sing. After sorta passing through the more patriotic songs (which typically get mixed response), I settled on Birthday by the Beatles as one of the cooler birthday songs.

So to introduce the song I decided to make it a little joke. I said something like, “230 years ago we declared our independence from the British. So what better way to celebrate our birthday than to have the British wish us happy birthday.” Or something.

During the fireworks, someone shouted “These colors don’t bleed and they never will,” I said “Except the War of 1812.” Some guy took offense.

Oh horrors! I mentioned the Beatles being British — although Paul McCartney has certainly done his share of playing for an American audience practically draped in the red, white and blue. And, OMG, the War of 1812 — the one war we had our tuckuses practically handed to us, nearly 200 years ago. I didn’t mention one word about the actions in the past 40 years, which certainly have been controversial and difficult to justify.

There’s certainly power in pride, but there is a cost of hubris if we’re not careful. Unfortunately, we’ve made mistakes over the past few hundred years and it’s ridiculous not to acknowledge them — and to learn from them.

I wanted to defend my positions and the right to do so under the First Amendment — one of the supposed rights we allegedly have. Instead I bit my tongue because the whole darn thing wasn’t worth it. I know not to make my stand in a bar where tolerance, understanding or even comprehension go flying out the window (I been a bystander and minor participant in a stupid New Years fight). Instead I’ll make a defiant stand on the blog I control and edit. 😉

Anyway, that freakin’ incident pretty much ruined the whole night, although I loved singing “New York, New York” and “You and Me and Bottle Make Three.”

  • Sarah

    I dunno… doesn’t seem like possessing the right to something means that you should do it, or that it is in your self-interest to exercise that right. I’d personally save my right to free speech for a big fight, not to score a minor point off some jackass in a bar, particularly when A) in the end I don’t care what some stranger thinks and B)I am not likely to change his mind or improve anyone’s experience by causing a big confrontation. P.S. Can you e-mail me your street address? I don’t know what e-mail you’re using these days.

  • Anonymous

    Im glad you bit your tounge IN THE BAR. You learned something or two from Houghton I see. Steve, Erin, Jesse, Garette, Cathy would be proud. Step one, Ryan.

  • Anonymous

    “no, ryan never lashes out at people in the bar.” You should take that off, he says.

  • Ryan

    To be honest, I can recall a time or two where I didn’t keep my cool in the bar, but it was among friends. It was still inappropriate and inconsiderate.

    One point of the thread is that I realized there was no point to continuing that discussion at the bar, but that I would vent about it on my blog later. 🙂

    For some reason, I’ve developed a stupid habit of trying to help break up bar fights (at least twice in the past couple of years). It’s only stupid in that I don’t know what I’m doing.