Wednesday, April 15, 2009

God Bless America

Rob points us to this story about the ACLU suing the NYPD for kicking a man out of Yankee stadium when he tried to go to the bathroom during the singing of God Bless America during the 7th inning stretch.

That the Yankees are tied with the Republican Party as the most evil major institution in the United States goes without saying, but what interests me is what that song represents at baseball games. Like Rob, I hate the song. Partially this is for musical reasons, it's basically proto-fascist. It's also not a good song. At least the Star-Spangled Banner is about something.

The playing of the song during the 7th inning stretch is one of the most repulsive domestic effects of September 11. While it might seem relatively innocuous, it is a window into the darkness of the American soul. Like the American fetish over "honoring" our soldiers, it's all bombast and false patriotism. Here you have a baseball game, people are having fun, hanging out with family and friends, eating hot dogs, whatever. Then all of a sudden, 2/3 of the way through the game, everyone has to stop what they are doing and act super serious and patriotic for 3 minutes. Didn't we just do this at the start of the game? Do we need to be reminded that America rules?

The same sentiment leads people to make a huge deal about telling our veterans they are heroes. There is nothing behind it. They don't want to pay higher taxes to take care of returning veterans, to provide the troops with proper body armor, and things like this. But they love making a big show of patriotism, harassing those who don't agree, and America kicking ass.

Maybe I'm reading too much into the singing of a song. But I don't think so.