i just dropped by sparky’s world to see if she had any more new posts and i re-read her last post and saw something at the beginning of the last one that made me think of the fodder for this one. she says something about not wanting to hear morning DJs who are all ‘rah rah go iraq war.’and it reminded me of the last time i was somewhere where they played the national anthem. it was memorial day at arlington racetrack.
i’ve talked some here about my feelings for the national anthem and the flag. and for all the people who have told me in my life that i hate america and all that crap, it’s just not true. i love america a lot. i love the flag a lot. and truthfully, i like our national anthem. i don’t even want it to be changed to ‘god bless america.’ especially not because “With a range of one and a half octaves, it is known for being notoriously difficult to sing.” get over it! shit, happy birthday to you* is one of the most horribly sung songs EVAH, and no one’s giving that mofo up.
but, i’m digressing. i like the national anthem quite a bit. i don’t know why. it’s all war-ry, and stuff. but i guess it’s just the idea for me that we’ve always fought for what we believed in, no matter what. i guess that’s what i’ve always gotten out of that song. even when it’s looked totally bleak, we fight on if it’s the right thing to do.
IF it’s the RIGHT thing to do. one of the reasons i *don’t* care for national anthems, however, is the idea that people blindly just sing them and stand there in a big group proclaiming their love for a country, even when they might not agree with what is going on in that country. it’s sort of like this brainwash effect. people do it because they’re supposed to or because “it shows RESPECT! damnit!” no one ever thinks … hmm. do i want to be proud of my country right now? is this something i really want to stand behind right now? figuratively? literally?
there’s been times at baseball games (mostly the only time i’m ever exposed to the national anthem in person) when i’ve stood, sort of out of peer pressure, but not sung and looked around at everyone, the beautiful field, the flag waving, and been so sad. wondering what was going through their heads, wondering what was happening to people in other countries, including the soldiers sent out to defend our right to sit and enjoy a game of ball. but i stand and i think these things silently. and contemplate a dull ache and lots of questions.
this memorial day, i couldn’t do it again. i couldn’t stand. i couldn’t stand and act like i really was standing for an anthem that represented a country that had a flag waving over the ‘brave and the free.’ i didn’t think our government was showing that we were either. and i sat there. i wasn’t dissin’ our veterans. in fact, i am heartbroken every day that we continue to leave them in harm’s way, that we treat them like shit when they come home. that we leave their families to subsist at the poverty line and that we don’t give them proper equipment when they are out in the fight. that we get rid of key players for being gay, and we don’t get rid of the main man despite all of his lies, fuck-ups, inexperience and downright refusal to see things as they really are. that every day we lose more lives to a senseless, mindless, hopeless cause started for no reason at all.
and i sat there and i felt so sad.
*umm. this is why i get stuck in rabbit holes on the internet. i went to wiki to get the link and then ended up reading the whole thing. do you know that happy bday is copyrighted? i thought it was totally public domain. and because of it and the huge price you have to pay to use it, you will almost never see people sing happy birthday in movies, DVDs, or on tv. WTF?