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Blather. Rants. Repeat. - From sea to stupid sea....
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From sea to stupid sea....

Wilma, not Betty. The other Betty, not Veronica.  Mets, not Yankees. And yes, we'll get there, Coke, not Pepsi. 

Those were choices I made early in life and I've stuck with them all these years. Obscurer among them, until days like yesterday? "America the Beautiful" over "The Star Spangled Banner."  For seven years, from kindergarten through sixth grade, Principal Church, and then Principal Mellitz, played a scratchy old (probably) 45 of that anthem through my elementary school's squawkbox speakers every morning for us to sing along to before the Pledge. 

Face it. Ol' F-Scott condemned this nation to 200 years of  OFF-Key:




ATB is a much better song- musically, lyrically and in terms of message.  And it's not like the Founding Fathers were toe-tapping to Key's 19th century militarism, either; it didn't even become our official anthem until 1931.  But, like "under God" in the Pledge and the Second Amendment in the Constitution, it's taken on a life of its own and is never going to be knocked off as our anthem no matter what Carl Lewis, Roseanne, or anyone else does to it.

Still, True Patriots appreciate the song (hey, it's got "God" in it), and it was sung twice before and during last night's Super Bowl dulltivities.  Once, prior to Renee Fleming's one-for-the-ages rendition of SSB, by Queen Latifah; this caused considerable confusion in the broadcast booth when it was speculated that she may have accidentally caused a mass same-sex wedding between the Broncos and Seahawks.

But that's not the one everyone, especially the ambassadors from Wingnutistan, are talking about today.  This one is:



HOW DARE THEY, cry the offended. WE CAN'T TELL THE REST OF THE WORLD, IN THEIR OWN LANGUAGES, HOW BEAUTIFUL AND GREAT OUR COUNTRY IS. IT'S A SEKRIT!

(They tend to use ALL CAPS a lot.)

Others reach back to great Republicans like Teddy Roosevelt- like disgraced Colonel and outvoted Congressman Allen West, who put this out after seeing the commercial:

[I]t started rather patriotically with the words of “America the Beautiful.” Then the words went from English to languages I didn’t recognize. Now, I know the politically correct thing is to foster multiculturalism — working really well in Europe — but we should remember the words spoken by President Teddy Roosevelt: "Every immigrant who comes here should be required within five years to learn English or leave the country."

... If we cannot be proud enough as a country to sing “American the Beautiful” in English in a commercial during the Super Bowl, by a company as American as they come — doggone we are on the road to perdition.


Yeah, ex-Colonel. It's enough to make you want to point a weapon at the head of a prisoner of war. Least you were interrogating HIM in his own language.

To me, the better Dead President to invoke here is that other one named Roosevelt- who famously told us, "We have nothing to fear but fear itself." And make no mistake, that's what this is all about- fear of The Other. The Big Scary that comes in colors and accents and languages we can't understand.  The one that totally misreads that language on the Statue of Liberty to imply a welcoming, embracing land of opportunity; the Wests of this world would portray Lady L as pointing a submachine gun out into New York Harbor and carrying a tablet reading "KEEP OUT."

Just in English, of course.

Know what doesn't require English? Smiles. Gestures. Random acts of kindness.  Ones encouraged by both Testaments that these bigots hold so dear, which they can't find time to read because they're too busy protesting languages and gay marriages.

No matter what our people sound like, they can still be our people, and love our country for the goodness and beauty that it contains. From sea to shining sea, and even including Flyover Country. 

Now go have a Coke and a smile.





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Comments
digitalemur From: digitalemur Date: February 3rd, 2014 11:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
That ad brought the angry white people out of the woodwork. The facebook argument I read about it was just getting going, earlier today, so I popped in and said it was my favorite rendition of America the Beautiful, ever, and popped back out. It's still going on.

I didn't bother to argue with the dude who was busy saying that no American soldier fought for the right for this song to be sung in other languages, because that's just _ludicrous_, does he KNOW how many people who barely speak English have served in our military?

I loved that it used languages I'm really unfamiliar with. I loved how it showed the direction the tide is going and that it's all over but the shouting.
thediva_laments From: thediva_laments Date: February 4th, 2014 02:38 am (UTC) (Link)
While I will *always* argue that The Star Spangled Banner should be our official national anthem forever and ever amen, I will never argue with anyone who wants to sing America the Beautiful in any language.

I prefer that the SSB stay our national anthem, btw, because it's actually a hard song to sing and it helps to keep people like me employed. Pretty much anyone can sing ATB reasonably well.

As for the ad, it's lovely despite being produced by an evil tax dodging corporate giant. The fact that it is pissing off all of the crazy bigots from Wingnutistan is just awesome. Ideally, we could just send them all back to Wingnutistan and call it a day.
bill_sheehan From: bill_sheehan Date: February 4th, 2014 06:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
While I'm quite happy to keep TheDiva_Laments employed, the problem is that the technical virtuosity required to sing our national anthem is not usually a bar. I'm thinking particularly of Roseanne Barr among the many others with no discernible musical abilities who have grabbed the microphone. I believe this Superb Owl, the 48th, is the first in which an actual opera singer was employed.

"To Anacreon in Heav'n" was a fine drinking song, but a lousy anthem.
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