So I was at a sprint car race tonight here in God's Country. Before the spectacular spectating spectacle began, the announcer announced that some guy with a name I've forgotten would be singing the glorious song that is the Star Spangled Banner - a song that is rivaled only by Amazing Grace and I Think I'll Just Stay Here And Drink for overall quality. The announcer, without a hint of malice or humor in his voice, announced that the singer was some guy who had been invited to participate in American Idol and had been invited to interview as a background singer with the one, the only, LADY GAGA.
Now, that is where I knew the trouble began. This is souf central Pennsylvania, right? Pennsyltucky. There are basically five kinds of music listeners at a SOUF CENTRAL 717 Pennsyltucky dirt track: farm boys or farm men with pretty farm girlfriends or pretty farm wives who will be listening to crappy country music, creepy-looking middle-aged dudes who listen to Aerosmith, young tools who think ACDC is AWESOME BRAH, old-ish people like my Dad who listen basically to MTB, Eagles, Poco, and anything else sorta soft and sorta rocky and sorta country that they can find from the late '70s, and old people - whatever old people listen to. So none of these people listen to LADY FREAKING GAGA and they all snickered at this guy - whoever this guy was.
Anyway, then he started singing. And he wasn't singing. He was turning the national anthem of the United States into a vocalizing exhibition.
This is nothing new. People do this crap all the time. It's awful and it has to stop.
I'm something of a quietly patriotic type, as keeping with the stereotypically quiet emotionalism of Pennsylvanians of German descent. I love this country, I believe it's the greatest that's ever existed, and that any and all problems we have are caused primarily by our deviating from the founding principles of the United States. Why do we deviate? Because we don't understand the past, and because we don't respect the deep meaning and significance behind such a tradition as the singing of the national anthem.
When you sing the national anthem with heart and soul put into it, you are honoring those who suffered through the agony of combat (any civilian who's had the fortune to read With the Old Breed knows what I mean) and honoring those before us who loved our traditions and our ideals and loved honoring them and preserving them. When you turn it into a selfish vocalizing display, you are something less than American. You should have done your best, not more.
i'm drunk on sprint cars