The other day, I was waiting for a bus in the Place de la Nation for maybe ten minutes when the sun crested over the buildings behind me and bounced across the plaza and lit up a painted “1984” across the way. My first thought was of George Orwell and how I need to investigate what, if any, connection he has to Paris. I’m sure the marking refers to the year the building was constructed or something equally prosaic, but I do like to let my imagination wander. It was a good day.
Don’t learn this
My elementary (grammar) schoolday started at 9:05 with a selected fifth grader leading the student body in the Pledge of Allegiance. I still remember it:
I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
The root of “allegiance” is Middle English and is related to the feudal system word “liege.” Now that I know better, I strongly believe that this kind of repeated exposure to a belief system that may not be shared by everyone is morally wrong. Luckily, I didn’t buy into their jingoism. U-S-A! U-S-A!