Thursday, October 23, 2008

Forty Years of Bad National Anthems. . .

Burn Backstreet Boys CD's, not the flag (or the Anthem)!

Disrespectful, that "performance" by the Backstreet Boys of our National Anthem in Game One of the World Series. They might as well have come out and burned an American flag.

Now, I know there are probably dozens of big Backstreet Boys fans reading this blog, and while it's perfectly okay for you to like their musical stylings, desecrating The National Anthem in this manner is unacceptable. They took liberties with the song like a quartet of drunken sailors on shore leave with a five dollar whore.

Presenting The National Anthem before a crowd at a sporting event isn't the time to "stylize" the song. White the Francis Scott Keys' lyrics were put to perhaps the most un-singable tune ever written, to me The National Anthem represents the musical equivalent of the flag. As such, the song shouldn't be messed with. It isn't the appropriate time to "make it your own" any more than it would be appropriate for a color guard presenting the flag to come out with the Stars and Stripes creatively folded into clever hats.

That means you, too, Kat De Luna (who was nearly booed off the stage prior to a Cowboy's game earlier this year).

The National Anthem has a long history of being mangled in the past 40 years, either intentionally (see: Rosanne Barr) or otherwise (try any minor league baseball game where the owner's 12-year-old daughter feels she's a young Mariah Carey). It all started with Jose Feliciano 40 years ago, shocking viewers watching Game 5 of the 1968 World Series. Though his interpretation of the Anthem would now been seen as mild by comparison to how the song is usually abused, newspaper editors nationwide were deluged with angry letters, many of them expressing the sentiment of one writer: ""What screwball gave permission to have the national anthem desecrated by singing it in the jazzy, hippy manner that it was sung? It was disgraceful and I sincerely hope such a travesty will never be permitted again."

If only performers would honor the song as sensitively today as Jose did in 1968.

Mouse Update. . .

A week since the big kill, and no signs of the rodents since. The traps are still set, awaiting a second offensive.

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