Ah, Sunday morning. Don’t forget to set your clocks forward one hour, if you haven’t done so. Here in Hawaii we don’t get to do it, since there’s no point: we’re too close to the Equator to have the need to negotiate more sunlight. As I write this, I am watching poor Swiss wünder-dude and #1 seeded Roger Federer(erer…) get his ass royally kicked by a Rafael Nadal from Spain– who happens to be seeded 29th. And what an ass-kicking it is… they are in the middle of the third set and the score reads thusly: 6-2, 7-6, 3-1. Mind you, before my marital status changed, I would have not given three damns, a hoot, or a holler about some prissy-haired tennis demi-gods swatting little green balls around back and forth at the dangerous speed of 85 miles per hour on average. But there it is: it’s Sunday and tennis is on, and I am actually enjoying it. And poor Federer is not having an easy time of it: for someone who’s used to systematically and efficiently winning set after set, this is really quite surprising to watch. But I suppose that even the most competent players have to meet their match sometime and partake of that humble pie we all enjoy on a much more regular basis.
And speaking of humble pie…. does anyone else find it weird that all the flags in the United States –not a country known for its Roman Catholicism– will be at half-mast in honor of the Pope? I think it’s appropriate for people to show their grief and go to the funeral and all the customary things that are involved when someone dies… but, half-mast flags? Isn’t there some sort of regulations for when the flags ought to be lowered to half-mast anyway?
Yes, there is. From the Standard Bearer (thanks to the folks at CRW flags.com and their section on flag etiquette) comes this unambiguous piece of information:
“…by order of the President, the flag shall be flown at half staff upon the death of principal figures of the United States Government and the Governor of a State, territory, or possession, as a mark of respect to their memory. In the event of the death of other officials or foreign dignitaries, the flag is to be displayed at half staff according to Presidential orders, or in accordance with recognized customs or practices not inconsistent with law.
In the event of the death a present or former official of the government of any State, territory, or possession of the United States, the Governor of that state, territory, or possession may proclaim that the National flag shall be flown at half staff.”
(Just to back this up, here’s the U.S. History site to back it up)
Then again, there is the proviso of the Presidential Proclamation, of course. Which in other words means that the President can order the flag lowered to half-mast for anyone (or, presumably, anything). And of course, our Theocratic President –who in my humble opinion seems to have forgotten that America fought hard for separating Church and State– had issued one such Proclamation. And I suppose that’s okay. And yet, I am not completely sure of it; there is a part of me that feels rather outraged and completely betrayed that the Pope is getting flags at half mast. I wonder if the flags will go to half-staff again when Prince Rainier dies, for instance? Then again, in addition to lowering the flag for Ronald Reagan (obviously) and Strom Thurmond (uh…) he did lower the flag for Byron White (who?) and Bob Hope (a good choice, considering all the years he spent supporting the troops and the USO, and just because he was BOB HOPE, dammit!). And he proclaimed October 9th, 2003 as Leif Erikson day (the viking, not the actor). So it seems to me that the President maybe just likes to kick up his heels, and why shouldn’t he? He’s the Prezizzle!
Oh well…… Federer just won the third set and seems determined to kick ass. Perhaps today is not the day to eat humble pie after all.
Oooh…. Federer kickin’ ass on set four. This shit’s getting HOT! Fourth set, 6-3! This deserves some omigodding!