It’s catalog season, don’tcha know. They’re arriving in droves in my mailbox—some from my favorite companies and some just hoping to ride the wave of the coming holiday consumerism. This week, I received a catalog from the Duluth Trading Company. The cover text caught my eye immediately, as I found it amusing: “Flannel Made Fetching.” In case we aren’t sure what this means, some subtext spells it out: “Free Swingin’ Flannel.” This, I like. Free Swingin’ Flannel.
This has been a remarkable week— one in which the core component of American philosophy has been rescinded, extended, and fiercely defended. Next week, we’ll gather in backyards and town squares to celebrate the land of the brave and home of the free. When I celebrate, it will be with a deeper understanding of the bravery it takes to ensure freedom for everyone. I’ll be reflecting on not just the events of this week, but the people at the center of them: the people whose freedom is most deeply affected. This week—this country—is about the freedom to vote, the freedom to marry, and the freedom to own body and soul.
I’ve spent a lot of time in elementary school classrooms in the last month. Which means, more than once, I’ve put my hand over my heart, stared at the American flag, and pledged my allegiance: “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.” It’s very different to pledge my allegiance as an adult than it was as a child—I know what I’m saying now, and I know just how often my country has fallen short of being indivisible, or of providing liberty and justice for all.
I’ve watched Modern Family for a few years now. Mostly, I haven’t watched from a critical or analytical perspective—I’ve just enjoyed the show, as it is both funny and well-written. But over the last season or so, I’ve been paying more attention to the show’s intentions—what it’s consciously doing, and why. And I gotta say, I love this show. I love what it’s doing.