The Labels We Give, The Labels We Receive

What a week America has had!

First, the bombing of the Boston Marathon, then the fertilizer plant explosion in Texas, and finally the death of one Boston Bomber suspect and the arrest of another.  As someone with many family members in the Boston area, including Watertown—some a quarter of a mile from the action—where the suspect was finally captured, I am incredibly relieved to know that the only thing that happened to my family was the fear that ran through their minds as their hometown was put under lockdown.  Thank you Watertown Police and all those involved who ensured a swift arrest with no civilian casualties.

Now that the manhunt is over, the fact-finding mission begins.  With news coverage almost exclusively broadcasting every minute detail into the life of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, many labels have been attributed to the young man who remains in critical condition.

Boston Bomber

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Let Your Freak Flag Fly!

I’m sure many of you out there have heard the term “freak flag” and wondered about what the heck it could possibly mean.  Is it an insult?  Is it a compliment?  It is anything special?  Is it worthy of a blog post?

The short answer is yes.

Urban Dictionary defines freak flag—its Urban Word of the Day on March 21, 2008—as “a characteristic, mannerism, or appearance of a person, either subtle or overt, which implies unique, eccentric, creative, adventurous or unconventional thinking.”

Ok, so what does that mean?

Is flying your freak flag horrible? Absolutely not!

In simplest terms, a freak flag is something that sets you apart from everyone else.  Now, I’m not saying that it involves a person swinging from a chandelier or down on all fours, barking like a dog in the middle of a staff meeting.  In the right context, that might work, but for the most part, those types of behaviors might land you a trip to a padded room with a jacket you can’t get out of.  Rather, waving one’s freak flag might be a gesture learned from your father or an accent that you only use with your best friend.  What sets these quirky acts apart is that they would not be defined as freaky if performed in private.  However, once you let loose in front of other people, consider your freak flag flown.

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