Friday, September 28, 2007


Eons ago, way back in the distant past (the 70s), there was a man called Tony Orlando who performed a song called "Tie A Yellow Ribbon Around the Old Oak Tree." It was an annoying little ditty about someone getting out of jail who was writing his wife, looking for a signal that he was wanted back (and hopefully, you can figure out what that signal was from the song title). At the time, it was not really a life-changing tune or concept.

This changed, however, in the late 70s-early 80s, when the Iranians stormed the US embassy and kidnapped its workers. Suddenly, the yellow ribbon became a sign of support and welcome for these hostages as they finally made their way home right as Ronald Reagan became president. There was at one time plans to wrap the Empire State Building in a giganto yellow ribbon as the hostages flew into New York, so they could see it from their plane...don't think they actually did it, though, and putting that sucker up would be one job I would not want.

Then our country invaded Iraq (first, because Saddam had "weapons of mass destruction" and then for a myriad of revolving reasons), and those damn yellow ribbons made another comeback, this time as car magnets. Although the explicit message is supposed to be "we support our troops," they actually say something along the lines of "Prez Bush II was right, and we should support him sending the Army anywhere he wants without questioning his infinite wisdom, because doing so would be unpatriotic" the very least, they seemed to have been sold in a multi-pack with those "W 04" stickers that still litter cars to this day.

Then everyone got in on the scam, and we started to see ribbons for AIDS (a worthy cause)...and Breast Cancer (again, worthy)...and then POWs, Autism, Child Abuse, and every other malady/misfortune you can imagine. They span the range of colors, from red to pink to plaid, and we now have to carry around a mental rolodex to figure out what cause the driver in front of us is trying to support. One wisenheimer company started manufacturing ribbons that simply said "One Nation Under Ribbons"...I liked that rare showing of irony.

The other day, I was driving to work, and the car in front of me had a white with black border ribbon magnet. I got closer so I could see the writing and figure out the cause...because this was a new one on me...and it said "I love my dachshund."

Do I even need to say that this has gone too far?

Tony Orlando, did you have any clue what madness you had wrought? If you knew your lame song would've ended up supporting everything from right wing politics to wiener dogs, would you still have released it? Do you feel shame or remorse? Can you sleep at night?


Anonymous said...

Don't blame Tony Orlando, the yellow ribbon has been around since 1917. I like the yellow bracelet you can get now that says "Cheat to Win", a spin on the Lance Armstrong bracelet. Now thats funny!!

Jennifer said...

Have you seen the new mock bracelets? I'd like to get me a Stephen Colbert "Wriststrong" bracelet or The Office's "Support the Rabid" one. Hilarious!