Early Morning Open Thread: Happy Independence Day!

Yeah, but let’s be honest: There are no good versions of America’s national anthem. And it’s never going to be replaced, so all we can do is ignore it.

At least nobody here is liable to be worrying about the new D.C. Must Read, as reviewed by the Washington Post:

Mark Leibovich toyed with several titles for his new book on self-interest, self-importance and self-perpetuation in the nation’s capital. “Suck-Up City” was one. “The Club” was another. Finally, he settled on “This Town,” a nod, he explains, to the “faux disgust” with which people here refer to their natural habitat.

It’s not bad, but the longer I roamed around “This Town,” the more I thought Leibovich should have borrowed Newsweek’s memorable post-Sept. 11, 2001, cover line: “Why They Hate Us.” His tour through Washington only feeds the worst suspicions anyone can have about the place — a land driven by insecurity, hypocrisy and cable hits, where friendships are transactional, blind-copying is rampant and acts of public service appear largely accidental…

Here’s how some Leading Thinkers came out: In “This Town,” we’re told that Chris Matthews and Matt Lauer have joked that David Gregory would rub out a few colleagues to advance his career. That Bill and Hillary Clinton are convinced that Tim Russert disliked them, and that they’re not wrong.That Harry Reid has “observed privately to colleagues” that John Kerry has no friends.That West Wing types suspected Valerie Jarrett had “earpiece envy” after David Axelrod got Secret Service protection, and so arranged the same for herself. And that when a national security official suggested that Obama shouldn’t skip the 2011 White House Correspondents’ Dinner on the weekend of the Osama bin Laden raid because the media might get suspicious, Hillary Clinton looked up and issued her verdict: “[Expletive] the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.”…

So… assuming the rampant YouTube speculation about AMERICA’S BIRTHDAY #237 and the Illuminati comes to naught, what’s on the agenda for the holiday?

(And how many non-American Balloon Juice readers want to point and jeer?)

101 replies
  1. 1
    Sibling Nonspecific Firearm of Random Adjective Followed by a Noun That Describes a Mental State (fka AWS) says:

    another full day of suck ahead. whee! happy fucking birthday ‘merica!

  2. 2
    PurpleGirl says:

    Outside of the word changes (which were appropriate for the event), Lady Gaga’s rendition of the National Anthem was well sung. She has the range to hit the weird high notes.

    I like the Russian/Soviet anthem. It’s interesting how they have rewritten many of the words according to what their political orientation is, but the music remains the same.

  3. 3
    Marc says:

    Hillary Clinton looked up and issued her verdict: “[Expletive] the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.”…

    If that’s an opening bid for her presidential campaign, it’s a damn good one.

  4. 4
  5. 5
    geg6 says:

    Well, you’ve obviously never seen the Marvin Gaye version. Personally, I hate the song but Marvin sang the shit out of it.

    Today’s activities include going to my sister and BIL’s place with the rest of the family. It’s a double celebration as BIL’s birthday is July 5. Hopefully, the rain will hold off long enough for me to get a swim in when I get there. I’m making root beer baked beans and spinach dip for the feast.

  6. 6
    Phylllis says:

    More rain here. I did a Boston butt in the crockpot yesterday and will simmer in BBQ sauce today. Add cole slaw and baked potatoes and dinner is on. It’s been so wet here we won’t be able to have the usual town fireworks.

  7. 7
    raven says:

    Rain all day in North Georgia, most stuff is cancelled. I thawed out a big hunk of Amberjack for fish tacos, the All-American dish!

  8. 8
    Cacti says:

    I like instrumental versions of TSSB just fine.

    Nobody sings it worth a damn though.

  9. 9
    Taylor says:

    So now HRC has given the RW noise machine another talking point against her: She uses the F-word.

    Oh and she just locked up my vote.

  10. 10
    Linda Featheringill says:

    Happy Fourth to those in the US. And Happy New Day to the folks in Egypt. Live long and prosper.

  11. 11
    PurpleGirl says:

    Loudon Wainwright III: The Bicentennial Song

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dCYl-kJDhk

    America’s having a birthday, gonna be a bicentennial.

  12. 12
    geg6 says:

    @Taylor:

    I love that story. It may be gossip or apocryphal, who knows? But I love it. Never been her biggest fan, but she’ll get my vote for that if nothing else.

  13. 13
    JPL says:

    The city that I live in plans on having the fireworks “whenever possible” this evening. Since you can see and hear the fireworks from my house, the pups will not be happy.

    @raven: Your backyard must look awful. Yesterday, I had two inches of rain and the weeds are taking over.

  14. 14
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @geg6: That was awesome

  15. 15
    Chris says:

    @PurpleGirl:

    I like the Russian/Soviet anthem. It’s interesting how they have rewritten many of the words according to what their political orientation is, but the music remains the same.

    I like that a lot. “The governments change, but the country remains.”

  16. 16
    Opie_jeanne says:

    Happy Fourth everyone, and I do mean it.

    I’m in Baltimore for the Discworld* convention which starts tomorrow, and we are celebrating aboard the USS Constellation to watch the fireworks. They’re providing the food.

    And I like the National anthem, but I do agree that it’s tough to sing well.

    *Terry is likely to be a no-show this time. Says he’s got a deadline but last time I saw him he told me how badly the TSA hassles him every time he comes to the US.

  17. 17
    Narcissus says:

    Actually I always thought the anthem was among one of the better ones. There are some real dogs out there.

  18. 18
    PeakVT says:

    The coup in Egypt is proceeding apace: new president was installed a few hours ago, and warrants were issued for up to 300 Muslim Brotherhood members. Liveblog.

  19. 19
    MattF says:

    Going to concert/fireworks on the Mall. The main show is watching the audience wandering around, I’m not much of a fan of Barry Manilow or American Idol winners.

    And a late comment about garbage disposals: When I was growing up in NYC, they were banned, and I still regard them with suspicion, as do most native New Yorkians:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02.....enity.html

    It’s one of those things that the rest of the country does, but we prefer not to.

  20. 20
    RAVEN says:

    @JPL: JPL. I can’t seem to reply on the iPad. I don’t know how it could get much worse. The huge crape myrtle is in full bloom and the rain has the branches bent in half. Athens cancelled the fireworks but some of the outling counties haven’t. Today is one of those 10% off for vets at Lowes and Home Depot so there is that!

  21. 21
    RAVEN says:

    @JPL: JPL. I can’t seem to reply on the iPad. I don’t know how it could get much worse. The huge crape myrtle is in full bloom and the rain has the branches bent in half. Athens cancelled the fireworks but some of the outling counties haven’t. Today is one of those 10% off for vets at Lowes and Home Depot so there is that!

  22. 22
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    There’s only a couple of good national anthems out there. The French and Russian being in front.

    The U.S. one is OK, probably on par with the UK.

    Spare some pity for those of us forced to listen the Oz national anthem every time somebody kicks a football.

    I have a theory that anthems picked by a committee tend to sound like they were picked by a committee.

    That aside, how come the big civil war 150th anniversaries get no love on BJ?

    Also too, a merry 4th of July to all those who celebrate it.

  23. 23
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    X, 4th of July.

    My work here is done.

  24. 24
    RAVEN says:

    @Viva BrisVegas: I mentioned Pickett’s Charge last night but whining and bitching about how America is the great satan seems to rule the day.

  25. 25
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @RAVEN: To be fair, entering into that argument has many of same elements of futility epitomized by Pickett’s Charge.

    ETA: I am a Vicksburg person anyway.

  26. 26
    geg6 says:

    @RAVEN:

    Yup. But I have to say that the Esquire series on Gettysburg has been a must-read for me the last week.

  27. 27
    MattF says:

    @Viva BrisVegas: I recall that the Civil War centennial was a very big deal, seems to be a smaller deal now.

  28. 28
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    There are no good versions of America’s national anthem.

    Two words: Marvin Gaye.

  29. 29
    jeffreyw says:

    Gah! Last FF update broke NoSquint and now you are all talking too big.

  30. 30
    Marc says:

    @Viva BrisVegas: “Casablanca” alone would put the Marseillaise at the top for all time.

  31. 31
    Botsplainer says:

    Raining here. I’m trying to convince the puppy that my foot is not a chew toy, and that the high quality, dog approved things laying around are more appropriate for the purpose.

    Those little teeth are razor sharp.

  32. 32
    geg6 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Great minds and all that. :)

  33. 33
    Tokyokie says:

    @Viva BrisVegas: Well, Deutschlandlied (Deutschsland über Alles) does have a tune penned by Joseph Haydn, who wasn’t bad at that sort of thing. (Japan deserves a shout-out for keeping its national anthem mercifully short, and I’ve met several Japanese who took pride in that, even if it, too, is unsingable.)

    But the non-anthem patriotic songs the United States flogs get up my nose. God Bless America started being played during the 7th-inning stretch at baseball games immediately after 9-11, and more than a decade later, it still is. Why? It’s one of the worst songs Irving Berlin ever wrote. Rhyming “white with foam” with “home sweet home?” Really? Might as well have swapped the order of “oceans” and “prairies” and gone with “black with loam.” Compare that to the word play in Puttin’ on the Ritz or the complicated meter of Cheek to Cheek and tell me Irving wasn’t capable of much, much better. And don’t get me started on that mindlessly jingoistic George M. Cohan clunker You’re a Grand Old Flag. What’s wrong with the likes of America the Beautiful or This Land Is Your Land? Other than the latter was the signature tune of this country’s most prominent communist, which, frankly, is another point in its favor with me.

  34. 34
    RAVEN says:

    @MattF: my wife is from Appommatox and was a twirler in the Centennial at the Surrender Ground as they call it. The replica of the McLain house in Lincoln was interesting since her dad was involved with rebuilding it.

  35. 35
    gene108 says:

    I googled my name. There are background check sites that have my residential history, more or less accurate and my current location and phone number on one site.

    Gack, I give up on the concept of privacy and decide to live in my own imaginary world, where the internet doesn’t exist and finding me is going to take work.

  36. 36
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Tokyokie:

    This Land Is Your Land?

    Read/listen to the verses after the first as well.

  37. 37
    RAVEN says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: NYT has an article on how they didn’t celebrate the 4th!

  38. 38
    gnomedad says:

    I’m glad the SSB is around to crowd out that Lee Greenwood atrocity once in a while.

  39. 39
    Emma says:

    My sister and BIL are coming over for barbecue dinner and fireworks (the kind you set off yourself; everyone in my neighborhood is crazy about them). Personally I have four days of hard work clearing out my office so I can redo it into an office/guestroom. The amount of odd stuff I’ve accumulated over twelve years is staggering. My new motto seems to be what the heck is that and why do I have it?

  40. 40
  41. 41
    geg6 says:

    @gnomedad:

    OMG, so true. Worst song ever. And there’s some Toby Keith train wreck of a song that gives that one a run for its money. Thankfully, I have blocked the title of it from my mind. But it has something about being patriotic means putting your foot up someone’s ass. Gah!

  42. 42
    Tokyokie says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I’m familiar with those, hee-hee-hee. But it’s not like anybody ever gets past the first stanza of a national anthem. Francis Scott Key penned four stanzas to The Star-Spangled Banner, which, scanning them because I’ve never heard them performed, strike me as progressively more unsingable. But This Land Is Your Land, like most Woodie Guthrie tunes, only covers about a half-octave (middle C to F), and pretty much everybody can sing it.

  43. 43
    Emma says:

    @Marc: Oh my. I still tear up when I see that scene.

  44. 44
    Emma says:

    @gene108: It’s terrifying, isn’t it? I keep on screaming about the redefinition of privacy in the Internet Age and how we need, pronto, to rewrite law to deal with the change. I have a feeling that, as usual, it’s too damn hard and we’ll do it piecemeal. Gah.

  45. 45
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Tokyokie: In his defense, Key was just writing a poem.

  46. 46
    Suffern ACE is a Basset Hound says:

    I’m glad the president didn’t listen to Hilary and went to the White House Correspondent’s dinner. That’s the one where he humiliated Donald Trump. For better or worse, it was one of the better moments of his presidency and it will be nice for that to be in history books.

  47. 47
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @RAVEN: Vicksburg was indeed every bit as important as Gettysburg. Maybe even more so, as it pretty much ended the war in the west which allowed for the concentration in the east.

  48. 48
    NotMax says:

    Back in the 1950s, we used to have to sing all 4 verses.

    In segments of today’s politicized arena, anyone who sang any verse but the first of the national anthem would almost instantly be tarred as unAmerican.

    Odd, that.

    @Tokyokie

    the latter was the signature tune of this country’s most prominent communist

    Most prominent?

    John Reed died a good 20-some years before the song was written.

    Alternatively, don’t recall the tune being used in any way during Angela Davis’ campaigns, either.

  49. 49
    Keith G says:

    A few days ago, I was giving a eulogy at my older brother’s memorial service. It was in Defiance, Oh (pop 16,000). There were a lot of family and also very many who were strangers to me. At quiet times, the juxtaposition of the sincere kindness of those humans who opened their hearts to me and the incendiary anger that envelopes many of our political discussions (in the greater society) was noteworthy. With teary eyes, there were several smiling comments about me being the liberal little brother from Texas that they had heard about. These were not people interested in polemics nor driven by out-sized self interest.

    Reflecting on Anne’s post above, one might respond with , “It was ever thus.” But I wonder something else. Two hundred and thirty-plus years ago the mechanics (ie the working structures) of our government were truly ahead of their time. Now they seem bit stale and increasingly unable to let this diverse society govern itself.

    Self-interest, self-importance and self-perpetuation in the nation’s capital has always been an issue, but it seems like in the present we have fewer successful work-arounds.

    Re the National Anthem. This young boy of Mexican descent sings the definitive version. Viva Tejas!

    That gives me hope.

  50. 50
    Suffern ACE is a Basset Hound says:

    Off to start my day in Chelsea at Kobayashi’s alternative to the Nathan’s hot dog eating competition. Buzzfeed had a good article about the current state of the feud between major league eating and the man who was once its biggest star.

  51. 51
    gnomedad says:

    Speaking of God Bless the USA

  52. 52
    Maude says:

    @Suffern ACE is a Basset Hound:
    I’m glad too. It was a hit out of the ballpark.
    HRC using the F word shows a lack of manners in public. It is not good form.

  53. 53
    Tokyokie says:

    @NotMax: Although I’d argue that John Reed was more prominent as being an American communist, Woodie Guthrie was a much more prominent American, who was also a communist. Angela Davis was prominent for a short period, but she didn’t maintain prominence over the long haul. All three are no longer on the scene (although Davis is still alive), but nowadays more people know who Guthrie was (although they may not realize he was a dirty commie).

  54. 54
    NotMax says:

    @Tokyokie

    Guilt by association?

    Guthrie never belonged to nor joined any Communist organization or party, although he performed for and associated with others who did, or for their causes.

    As he did for labor, for socialism, for Jewish groups and others.

  55. 55
    PurpleGirl says:

    @MattF: I would love to have a garbage disposal. Friends in Peekskill had one and I got very used to using it there. (Lifelong NYC resident.)

  56. 56
    Botsplainer says:

    @gnomedad:

    Speaking of God Bless the USA …

    I hate you for linking me to….THAT.

    Every time I hear something along those lines, I want to personally run a FEMA Reeducation/Death Camp for white Christian conservatives.

  57. 57
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Botsplainer: It might well be the worst song ever. I hate it with the fire of a thousand suns. Way back in the dark ages when I was stationed in Germany during the build up to the first Gulf War, it seemed as though armed Forces radio programming alternated that song with Wind Beneath My Wings in a constant rotation. In actuality, they must have played other songs, but my memory doesn’t register them.

  58. 58
    Chris says:

    @Viva BrisVegas:

    There’s only a couple of good national anthems out there. The French and Russian being in front.

    The French one especially. The best rendition of that one will always be that scene from Casablanca.

  59. 59
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @PurpleGirl: Garbage disposals are hell on plumbing (according to every plumber I ever worked with) and besides, we need the compost. Well, maybe not you New Yorkers living on the 7th floor of an eight story walk up. ;-)

  60. 60
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Chris: La Marseillaise is the one national anthem that is arguably more violent than ours. As far as I know.

  61. 61
    Chris says:

    @Tokyokie:

    “God Bless America” isn’t my favorite, but “Proud To Be An American” has it beat to a pulp for Most Obnoxious Song Ever. IMHO.

    “Star Spangled Banner,” I do actually really like. “America The Beautiful” too.

  62. 62
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: @Chris: Shit, Proud to be an American was strong in the Armed Forces radio mix as well. /shudder

  63. 63
    Schlemizel says:

    @RAVEN:

    I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that the Confederates are winning currently. Here is what I posted that has been ignored:
    July 3rd 1863 Gettysburg Pennsylvania:
    At the center of the Union lines on Cemetery ridge an officer of a New York company badly placed his troops exposing them to enfilade fire. Panic ensued and the Union troops ran. some 1500 secessionist soldiers poured into the gap.

    Major General Winfield Scott Hancock, Commander of the II Corps, ordered the First Minnesota to “take those colors” pointing to the advancing flags. They knew they would be outmanned by odds of at least 5:1. One survivor spoke afterward that he expected the advance to result in “death or wounds to [every single one of the 1st MN].” The Regiment instantly executed the order, received at least 82% casualties among those making the attack, and preserved a key Union position on the heights of Cemetery Ridge.

    262 men drove 1500 advancing troops back and held them at a stand still until night fell. On such acts our nation was formed.

    Meanwhile the Civil War was effectively won on 7/4/63, not in Pennsylvania but 1000 mile away at Vicksburg MS. Grant took the last secessionist stronghold on the Mississippi cutting the traitors off from the river and opening the center of the South to US troops

  64. 64
    Anybodybuther2016 says:

    Hillary can drop the f bomb as much as she likes, she will never be president and no one will ever top the late great Whitney Houston’s performance, she had the whole stadium in tears.

  65. 65
    Botsplainer says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    It might well be the worst song ever. I hate it with the fire of a thousand suns. Way back in the dark ages when I was stationed in Germany during the build up to the first Gulf War, it seemed as though armed Forces radio programming alternated that song with Wind Beneath My Wings in a constant rotation. In actuality, they must have played other songs, but my memory doesn’t register them.

    It will be one of those hideous earworms 20 years from now. It won’t be a funky, beloved memory, either.

  66. 66
    Tokyokie says:

    @NotMax: Sure I know that Woodie Guthrie disliked most organizations with hierarchal structures, so he never joined the Communist Party. And he tended to support causes in which he viewed one side as being oppressed. But he did have a long-running column in the Daily Worker, and I doubt he’d have done so without generally supporting the communists’ goals. So does generally subscribing to communist philosophy or joining the party make one a communist? We may be arguing over whether he was a communist or a Communist, and I was contending the former.

  67. 67
    Botsplainer says:

    @Tokyokie:

    God Bless America started being played during the 7th-inning stretch at baseball games immediately after 9-11, and more than a decade later, it still is. Why?

    If you remember, there was that weird moment right after 9/11 when a very confused looking Congress sang that shit tune in unison. I was wingnutty then, but that seemed weird – I thought that the Battle Hymn of the Republic was far more suitable to the moment. More reassuring, more inspirational. God Bless America always struck me the same way as that rancid, insipid “praise music” of authentic heartland/southern white evangelical Christianity.

  68. 68
    Tokyokie says:

    @Botsplainer: I’ve got the same problem with One Bad Apple by the Osmonds. And dammit, you made me think of it again. Now I have to try to think of something else.

  69. 69
    Botsplainer says:

    @Tokyokie:

    I’ve got the same problem with One Bad Apple by the Osmonds. And dammit, you made me think of it again. Now I have to try to think of something else.

    Here – let me replace it.

    http://youtu.be/Fz1ex78QeQI

  70. 70
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @RAVEN:

    I can’t seem to reply on the iPad.

    I read BJ almost exclusively on the iPad, and finally stumbled on the solution, after the last makeover. Before you even start reading the thread, scroll to the very bottom of the page. You’ll see a little “iPad Theme” with an On/Off button. Touch the button and the page will reload. After that, you’ll be able to reply in the usual way. Now if I could just figure out how to make that setting the default so I wouldn’t have to reset at the start of every Juice session.

  71. 71
    Botsplainer says:

    Another earworm.

    http://youtu.be/FXY1_F5YkoM

  72. 72
    rdldot says:

    Worst popular song on earth, bar none, is the Happy Birthday song. When Marilyn Monroe’s version is the best one out there, but definition, that is a crappy song. I have never heard anyone sing it even halfway decently.

  73. 73
    Seanly says:

    Hillary Clinton looked up and issued her verdict: “[Expletive] the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.”

    That just cemented my 2016 and 2020 vote for her.

  74. 74
    keestadoll says:

    @Seanly: If politicians’ venomous views of the WH Correspondents dinner is your litmus test, you might as well check “__ All of the above” on election day. The only critters that like that dinner are the press critters.

  75. 75
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Tokyokie:
    Why, oh why, did you have to mention One Bad Apple ? It was the theme song of their horrible cartoon show, which had the same plot every bloody week: They’d be on the road. Donny would fall deeply in lurve with some girl. There’d be some silly “adventure” with a contrived happy ending, and next week Donny would do the same thing over again with a completely different girl.

  76. 76
    JR in WV says:

    @Maude:

    It wasn’t in public, it was as private as a secret meeting in the basement of the White House can get!

    Hillary Clinton looked up and issued her verdict: “Fuck the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.”…

    How much more Presidential can you get in that kind of meeting?!?

    If she runs and wins the nomination, she’s got my vote!

  77. 77
    p.a. says:

    Among a certain age set here in New England, ‘God Bless America’ is hated. The Flyers used to trot out Kate Fucking Smith to sing it before big games, and always beat the Broons.

  78. 78
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Keith G: My sincere condolences on the loss of your brother.

  79. 79
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I loathe the iPad version and scramble to hit that switch every damn time myself.

  80. 80
    Gromit says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    I read BJ almost exclusively on the iPad, and finally stumbled on the solution, after the last makeover. Before you even start reading the thread, scroll to the very bottom of the page. You’ll see a little “iPad Theme” with an On/Off button. Touch the button and the page will reload. After that, you’ll be able to reply in the usual way. Now if I could just figure out how to make that setting the default so I wouldn’t have to reset at the start of every Juice session.

    Does anyone actually like the iPad theme? It’s awful. The iPad is meant to render full websites, not dinky mobile websites (actually, this is true of the iPhone, too) which makes having to switch off the iPad theme on every other visit very frustrating.

  81. 81
    LAC says:

    Marvin Gaye and the Whitney Houston versions are the good standards, as far as I am concerned. Today, I might go down to the other DC – the one not filled with asshole pundits and pols that smirky mcdouchenuts like to snark about. The one that inexplicably gets hoards of folks waddling in from all over to check out the sights year after year. That city is pretty.

    Happy 4th

  82. 82
  83. 83
    Luthe says:

    Remember, the problem with TSSB is that the poem was forced into a shotgun marriage with a tune was stolen from a British drinking song. It was never gonna end well. *favors America the Beautiful anyway*

  84. 84
    Elie says:

    @Keith G:

    I am also sorry for your loss, Keith.

  85. 85
    JGabriel says:

    Carlos Lozada @ WaPo:

    In “This Town,” we’re told that Chris Matthews and Matt Lauer have joked that David Gregory would rub out a few colleagues to advance his career.

    I see a problem here already. What makes Liebovich think they were joking? Sounds to me like Matthews and Lauer were making an accurate assessment.

    … when a national security official suggested that Obama shouldn’t skip the 2011 White House Correspondents’ Dinner on the weekend of the Osama bin Laden raid because the media might get suspicious, Hillary Clinton looked up and issued her verdict: “[Expletive] the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.”

    That cinches it. I’m voting for Hillary if she runs.

  86. 86
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Keith G:

    Condolences on your loss. It’s never easy.

  87. 87
    lol says:

    I’m pretty that passage was meant to be “David Gregory would rub one out to a few colleagues to advance his career.”

  88. 88
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Anybodybuther2016: I was just about to say Whitney Houston as well for the best version of the national anthem.

  89. 89
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Very late to the thread, but as to the utter scum of the Village…

    Wipe them out. All of them.

  90. 90
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I LOATHE that fucking song. It was forced on me continuously at change of command ceremonies. It embodies everything wrong about contemporary “patriotism”. The guy who got this shit right was Carl Schurz.

  91. 91
    gnomedad says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    It embodies everything wrong about contemporary “patriotism”.

    Real ‘Murkin syntax? Check.
    Whiny “love it or leave it” -ism? Check.
    Using “the troops” as human shields? Check.

  92. 92
    Steeplejack says:

    @Tokyokie:

    “God Bless America” started being played during the 7th-inning stretch at baseball games immediately after 9-11, and more than a decade later, it still is. Why?

    Because we have not yet won final victory in the global war on terror. Duh.

  93. 93
    JoyfulA says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Yes, my French friend hates the words. She keeps promising to write better ones, but she hasn’t yet.

  94. 94
    Older says:

    Why does everyone hate on “The Star Spangled Banner”? I like it just fine. I’ve heard the original “drinking song” and it’s (“Banner” is) a huge improvement.

    Yes, of course no single person with an ordinary voice can sing all of it, but that’s why we have to sing it in groups, and isn’t that appropriate for a national anthem?

  95. 95
    Older says:

    Oh, the words? You object to the words? I object to the words of practically every song I hear, other than maybe old folk songs. Yeah, they’re bloodthirsty, but they’re just words, and face it, nobody even knows them. Maybe someone should write us some new ones.

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    Origuy says:

    Speaking of verses no one sings, God Save the King/Queen has one written during the Jacobite Rebellion that asks God to help General Wade crush the rebellious Scots.

  97. 97
    Tehanu says:

    @Narcissus:
    Me too. The words of “La Marseillaise” are, well, bloodthirsty is the only word, and most of the other foreign anthems I’ve heard remind me of the kind of music they play over PowerPoints at corporate staff meetings.

    People often suggest “America the Beautiful” as a substitute anthem, but I loathe its overblown Victorian smarm. Give me “Be Kind to Your Web-Footed Friends” any day over that!

  98. 98
    Howlin Wolfe says:

    @geg6: The best version I’ve heard, save the Jimi Hendrix instrumental and the Marvin Gaye arrangement, was back in 1991, at the world series in Minneapolis, when Atlanta was playing the Twins. A local singer by the name of Robert Robinson turned it into a gospel/soul revival with the climax at “land of the free”. The crowd went nuts. The only way to deal with the rather stiff melody of the original is to smear it with virtuosic soul stylings. Hendrix’s guitar stylings duplicated that vocal style.

  99. 99
    skippy says:

    @Howlin Wolfe: i can’t believe i had to read down the entire column of comments before i found a reference to jimi hnedrix’s version. good call howlin.

  100. 100
    Fort Geek says:

    @Howlin Wolfe: I’ll second this. Jimi did the version I think of when I hear a reference to the anthem.

  101. 101
    What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us? says:

    I have to say I’m getting a little tired of all the Washington bashing. It’s a fine town. I’ve lived here for a decade, so I know. The crapola that’s described in these books about how broken “Washington” is is all perpetrated by a bunch of out-of-towners and or people connected to national politics – the press, lobbyists, members of Congress and their staffs, presidential staffers and appointees, politically active think tanks and political party operatives (or those connected to political parties but not really – Crossroads GPS folks for example). That can’t be more than maybe 5 percent of the area’s population.

    I’m sure at least 5 percent of the people in the town you live in are total assholes too, but you don’t see people pointing it out every fucking day. So fuck off, I’m tired of hearing about it. Washington isn’t terrible. Unfortunately the biggest assholes from everywhere else come here to exercise power – so if you hate those people so much look in a fucking mirror. That’s not a Washington problem – it’s your problem. Stop electing assholes. We can’t even elect our own fucking assholes because we’re not a State, but we get tarnished anyway because because you people suck at picking politicians.

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