Oh, Billy would love this...forgive the long quote but it was just too delicious to cut.
"It's a fence. Its real purpose -- in real-world, real-time reality -- is to halt people from crossing a border. A real border, mind you, although on that point I concede a border is a more abstract concept than, say, a shoe.
It doesn't symbolically represent a division between the countries. It actually is a division between the countries.
And what is wrong with that?
I'm noting this because a few weeks ago I saw a guy at the riots in Toronto who complained that the police barricades were a symbol representing a division between the protesters and the G-20 representatives.
And I thought, "Gee, no, actually it's not a symbol of a division; it really is, in fact, a physical division." Because, see, you're rioting. (And not symbolically in riot, either.) You can tell it's a real-world division because now you can't get to the G-20 conference center and throw rock-metaphors through the window-symbols."
As for the south? You would not believe the emails Trooper gets - the "Heads Up, Gentlemen" messages with photos attached. There is a reason I carry everywhere...