Friday, November 28, 2008


This Thanksgiving the giant television window stood open in the parlor with relatives peering through it anticipating a football game to be played thousands of miles hither. But miles mean nothing these days, all events capable of happening right in front of us. Our distance vision puts the eagle’s to shame.

Eagerly awaiting the main course, I became transfixed by what must have been the most atrocious variation ever performed on The Star Spangled Banner. She was not so much singing a song as gargling with it. Based on this trend it shouldn’t be long before we can hear the whole thing yodeled. I always have enjoyed the melody to America’s war song and I wonder if more faithful renditions still support drunken lyrics in the English Pubs of its birth.

This got me to thinking. Ever since the Twin Towers and Pentagon were attacked by the Infidels, the more lyrical God Bless America has supplanted the Anthem at the less bellicose baseball games. And always it is belted out by one lone Christian soldier metaphorically about to march off to war. It seems like no patriotic songs at all are drummed into our heads at basketball games. Perhaps bouncing a rubber ball lacks the requisite gravity. What ever happened to My Country ‘Tis of Thee? Why didn’t that make the cut? Hmm. In the first verse, at least, it evokes neither God nor explosions. Only liberty. This could be its weakness. America the Beautiful, too, seems to have fallen by the wayside. Too green, I suppose.

With today’s technology it is silly for the government to continue depending on mass gatherings of citizens to remind us who we are and what may be expected of us. I suggest here a few ways to increase efficiency:
  • patriotic toaster: why can’t we hear some inspiring words from Valley Forge as we press down the bread followed by a bugle call when it pops?
  • patriotic refrigerator: How about a few bars of the national anthem to show the world what it means when the door opens on an American fridge and the light of democracy comes on to show us where the goods are.
  • Patriot Act fart whistle: you get the idea.
Personally, I just need more. In spite of a lifetime of allegiance pledges and rousing songs, I’m still not ready to go shoot people just because they’re on the other team. How about a little Lee Greenwood on my doorbell? Or maybe we just have the wrong national anthem. We should try the German one. It worked pretty well for them.

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