A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Endangered Anthem

Apparently, the country is 100% all right again. There must be full employment, everyone has health security, and no one is in fear from where their next meal is coming. This is fantastic news and even more fantastic knowing that it happened on Obama’s watch. Unemployment has dipped below 9%! It took awhile, but the FDR Commemorative New Deal Wand finally worked its magic on our stumbling economy.

Naturally, this is a massive assumption on my part, because how else can one explain why one Indiana legislator believes that the gravest crisis facing our nation today is how the National Anthem is performed in public. Acting on one constituent (one as in uno, single, solitary, less than two, or even less than everyone else) complaint that he was disgusted at how the Star Spangled Banner has been performed by some celebrities, Indiana State Senator Vaneta Baker has introduced legislation that would impose a $25 fine if performers intentionally alter the National Anthem. Of course, this legislator is a member of that party (Republican) who abhors excessive government control in our lives, yet can’t resist proposing more government control in our lives. Go figure!

So would this law really rein in the free-spirited, hedonistic temptation to ad-lib a performance of one of our national treasures, or would this be the beginning of a long slide down the slippery slope to censorship? Would we really stop enforcement at the performers onstage or on a sporting field? Or would we have deputized musicologists strategically situated in the stands, listening for errant singing and taking names down on a clipboard?

I can’t get behind this proposal at all, but it does give me the opportunity to point something out to my fellow citizens about their mangling of the National Anthem. I can’t ever recall hearing a performance of the anthem in my lifetime that didn’t end with the final words heard loudly and clearly. It always dissolves into a cacophony of raucous primal screaming which, no doubt, the likes of Joseph McCarthy would have labeled as (shudder) un-American.

My fellow Americans, it pains me to point out to you that the end of our national anthem ends with the words, “…home of the brave!” and not, “…home of the

Otherwise I respectfully request that the good lady from Indiana, oh, how would the French put it, get a life!

I wonder if this legislator realizes the origins of the anthem’s melody is a British drinking song! Perhaps it’s time that we consider other ways to express our patriotic fervor at the beginning of public events. Maybe we should think about adopting other drinking songs to fit our puerile patriotic pleasures. Let’s take, for example, the jingle for Schaefer beer. Look it up on YouTube to get an idea of the melody, for those of you under 40. For those over 40, you’ll remember the original lyrics go something like this: Schaefer is the one beer to have when you’re having more than one...

We could tweak the concept just slightly — to satisfy the swearing of allegiance to just one country - so the new words could go something like this:

Is the
One country to have
When you can’t have more than one!
The most rewarding life
In this frightening world
Is American life for people yearning to be free!
Is the
Greatest place to live
When you’re having so much...

Okay, obviously I am not Francis Scott Key; clearly this is a work in progress. So far this would appeal to the most xenophobic tea party Republicans, but not to anyone else. Once again, I caution the good lady from Indiana: be careful what you wish for!

By the way, in the first paragraph, I alluded to how great the economy is. Actually I was, oh, what do the French call it, kidding. The economy is slowing recovering, but we’re not out of the toilet yet!

(Thank you for reading. FDR New Deal Commemorative Magic Wand requires two AAA batteries – sold separately.)


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