Archive for Friday, July 28, 2006

Anthem issues

July 28, 2006


To the editor:

A language universally understood is nonverbal, the world's great music. The news, millions of words are war, war, war, bringing unending suffering, death and destruction of civilization itself. Our own national anthem with "the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air," phrases we cut our teeth on growing up, is loved by all. But that one phrase, especially now, is plain ironic.

Then there are those who take liberties with the tune, adding notes never written, singing their own little horrific non-operatic cadenzas, or even jazzing it up ad nauseum. "The Star-Spangled Banner" should never be messed with despite the troubling "rockets ... bombs" wording.

Better still, our national anthem should be the even more beloved "America the Beautiful," magnificent and moving. Spare me "God Bless America" which has ever rankled me. More timely, in its place: "Bless this World and All Therein."

Sue Hess,



BrianR 11 years, 7 months ago

I like the Jimi Hendrix version, the sheer violence of it does the lyric justice.

rtwngr 11 years, 7 months ago

I do not believe that the LJW has ever published a more moronic letter.

Paul Decelles 11 years, 7 months ago

I gather that the melody to the current anthem is a drinking song of an English social club, the Anacreontic Society. Since this club consisted of amateur musicians, I suspect that lots of tasteless things were done with the melody. So don't enshrine the melody in some sort of musical fundamentalism.

However, I do agree with the sentiments of the letter writer simply because ceremonial use of the national anthem seems like an inappropriate place for musical hot dogging.

For the rest of us, maybe the Anacreontic society needs to be revived!

erichaar 11 years, 7 months ago

I can see the the author is trying to say something, in standard English, I believe. I'll have to read it 11 more times to figure it out.

Christine Pennewell Davis 11 years, 7 months ago

I am not to sure on that I got the feeling she did not like it. Why? becasue you do not like some of the words? Remember when it was written and that will answer why the words rockets and bombs are in there, and "God bless America" is a moving song so leave it alone please.

badger 11 years, 7 months ago

I don't think the 'bombs...rockets' passage is at all ironic.

It means, quite literally, "Some people tried to shell the everloving daylights out of us for a whole night, and here we still are. Yay us!" Regardless of what criticism can be applied to the US government, one of the most recognizable characteristics of the American people is that we respond to adversity by digging in our heels, setting our jaws, and saying, "Nope, not movin'. Drop all the bombs you want, we'll still be here in the morning."

Parodies don't really bother me, because they're not meant to replace the sentiment of the anthem. Accurate translations don't bother me, because the people of this country speak many different languages, and just like the ideas the country's based on don't lose anything in a faithful translation to Spanish, or German, or Arabic, the national anthem doesn't either.

It's when you co-opt the anthem of a nation you claim to want to be recognized as an important part of, alter the words to fit your agenda, and call it 'Ours' as if it's a replacement for the National Anthem, as if the anthem of the country you claim to want to join somehow doesn't cover you.

It's just a bunch of divisive BS, is what it is. "No, no, we really do want to be accepted by your own country. That's why we rewrote your national anthem to reflect values we would rather it emphasized, and to be a ringing endorsement of immigration reform."

I'd be equally disgusted if someone rewrote the National Anthem as an endorsement of the pro-life movement, environmental activism, the anti-war movement, or Nike. I get disgusted when politicians use it as the background for their speeches, just like I get disgusted when some yayhoo puts up a picture of the flag on TV and then slaps his ugly grinning mug over it with a bunch of spewing hate directed at his opponent.

Christine Pennewell Davis 11 years, 7 months ago

dang badger I like what you said, was what I was trying to say in the first half good job.

Jamesaust 11 years, 7 months ago

I would have thought the new favorite would be "We are the World".

badger 11 years, 7 months ago

C-man -

You sling mud at the Dems, but you're the one posting the singalong sheet, here, sparky...

I shouldn't be surprised. So very often those who present the strongest face of outspoken patriotism are secret advocates of subversive causes, seeking to draw attention to their true beliefs by outraged and hysterical 'denuciations' that only serve to bring their message into greater prominence with the circus of false opposition to it.

Juuuust couldn't resist a chance to daydream about the day when you can sing those words in public, eh?

badger 11 years, 7 months ago

If you don't see how, "If the Democrats win, we'll all be singing the Internationale" is slinging mud, then I'm not sure it can be explained to you, but I'll try. You are suggesting that it is the intent of the Democratic Party to tear down the institutions of the United States and incite the workers to arise and foment Revolution.

No matter what I may say about the Republican Party, I would never imply or insinuate that they don't genuinely believe that their course is what's best for the nation, and that they want it to stay a whole nation. I believe they are misguided, but I also believe they love this country as much as I do. I agree with their desire to keep the citizens of this nation safe, to ensure economic stability, to provide freedom and opportunity in equal measure, and to expand the values enshrined in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence to cover the entire world until everyone has freedom and opportunity in equal measure. I disagree with their choice of a course on how to achieve those goals.

It's the height of mudslinging to suggest that your opponent 'hates America' or wants to see it destroyed simply because you think their way of doing things is wrong. It's counter to the ideals that this country should be standing for to insist that only one side of a political debate can actually have a vested interest in the nation's peace and safety, and to insist that the other side is engaging in actions deliberately designed to bring down the institutions we hold dear.

My post was tongue-in-cheek; from many other posters I might have assumed yours was. Your history, however, removes a great deal of interpretive leeway. You are one of the posters here who's simplified political debate to, "If you don't agree with me, it's because you hate America," and there's very little of less use in political discourse than that attitude.

I usually figure you spend a lot of time trying to cheese people off, and about half of what you post is just designed to poke people, but that still leaves way too much venom and hate for effective discussion.

chzypoof1 11 years, 7 months ago

Our anthem is the representation of the strength and courage of the people of this country. Attacking it, is the same as attacking the people that died so that you can post on this forum. So Sue Hess: SHUT UP and move to Canada. They will welcome you with arms wide open.

jayhawks71 11 years, 7 months ago

Coming too you in the next Congressional session:

Anthem Safeguarding Statute - Harmony, Opportunity, and Liberty Elimination.

(you figure out the acronym).

jayhawks71 11 years, 7 months ago

Perhaps the latest in trans-fat policy... the Federal Anti Trans-fat Safety Ordinance.

or the current policy on paying teachers... School Teacher's Unified Pay Impoverishment Decree

both brought to you by your governent's" Authoritarian Council for the Restricton of Opportunity, Non-intervention, and Your Money.

badger 11 years, 7 months ago

c-man -

I fully understood what you posted, and what you consistently post. I find I say this to you more often than to just about anyone I know online or off:

You're wrong. What you say is simply factually incorrect.

You demonstrate a profound ignorance of what Democrats actually believe, want, or do. You base your ideas of 'what democrats want for America' on what Republicans say Democrats want for America and they oppose. It's a spin game, and you've been spun right round like a record, baby, round right round.

Dems aren't Socialists any more than Repubs are Fascists. You're believing opposition press. I'm not even sure you understand the actual basics of socialism, because they bear about as much relevance to the stated goals and platform of the Democratic Party as Mein Kampf bears to the goals and platforms of the Republican Party, but for some reason people insist that their side is 'American' and the other is either 'Socialist' (if it's left of them) or 'Fascist' (if it's right of them).

Face it, sparky, you been spun and spun good.

Oh, and jayhawks?


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