Saturday, July 16, 2011

~~on changing our national anthem

I think that our national anthem, if we REALLY need one, should be changed.  I think that the Star Spangled Banner is a nationalistic belligerent ditty, glorifying wars and bombs and sung to the tune of a somewhat off color tavern song in bygone days.  I don't object to the off color lyrics, but the bomb-stuff that was adopted in its place is just obscene.

I found this interesting site: which lists all known national anthems, even for countries I never knew existed, let alone had an honest-to-God national anthem.  War seems to be a common theme as far as anthems go from Abkazia to Zimbabwe.  Okay, the Abkazia anthem didn't have an English translation, but I'm just betting that WAR is embedded into its Cyrillic script somewhere, maybe О-ҳо-ҳо-о ҳо-о-Рада really means "let's kick the shit out of anyone who hates us."

I found the old Soviet Union's anthem interesting, until you get to this verse:

Through storms the sun of freedom has shined upon us,
And the great Lenin has lighted the wayStalin has taught us faithfulness to the people,
To labour, and inspired us to great feats
Hmm. Stalin taught faithfulness to the people? I'll just bet he did - you're faithful or you get a one-way ticket to Siberia if you're lucky.

I always thought that America the Beautiful would be more appropriate.  It has nice words.  After all, who doesn't just love purple mountains?  Nothing about building empires or bombing people.  The perfect anthem!

I knew there were more lyrics than the first two verses that everybody knows, so I searched for the rest of it.  Holy shit!  It would be a bitch to sing at a ballgame, it would just take too long.  Baseball takes too long as it is, especially the way the Orioles have been playing lately.

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!
O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern impassion'd stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness.
America! America!
God mend thine ev'ry flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law.
O beautiful for heroes prov'd
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country lov'd,
And mercy more than life.
America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness,
And ev'ry gain divine.
O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears.
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea.

Anyway, if you made it down this far, my hat's off to you.  Maybe instead of changing our national anthem, we should nix the whole damn thing.

Monday, July 4, 2011

~~on sacrifice

One of my Facebook friends posted this:

Here's a question? Today we celebrate our independence and freedom. What would you, yes, YOU, sacrifice for your country? Would you send your children or grandchildren to war, for example. What would you do?

My answer to her on Facebook:

Good question, Olga. Wonder how many honest answers you'll get. If I did have kids, I would sooner have them locked up in a monastery or a nunnery before I would let Uncle Sam get their hands on them. For this government, I would sacrifice nothing. They already take a good portion of the sweat of my brow as a "donation" to enterprises with which I do not agree.

I really am wondering how many honest answers or how many "knee jerk" platitudes she'll get back.  Sure, I'd send my kid off to a foreign country that most people can't find on a map where he will get his ass blown off for some reason that gets changed every other day.  Weapons of mass destruction in Iraq (while even if found, from a country that couldn't hit the broad side of a barn in Kansas), protect the innocents of Libya (while bombing the shit out of them) or regime change in Iran (trading one dictator for another who is more friendly to the US), or whatever other excuses or lies come in handy to satisfy the government school educated citizens of the US.

For the record, I am NOT an America hater.  This country has great things to offer if people would take advantage of them and not wait for government to provide for them and if only the politicians would leave them alone.

Giving willingly of my time, funds and work to community, family, friends and those in need who I choose to help is the true measure of humanity.  Sacrifice at the point of a gun is really no sacrifice at all.

I draw a distinction between country and government.  "Country" consists of the wonderful American people around me.  "Government" is that gang of confiscatory thieves who demand sacrifice of life, liberty and fortune by force.   Wonder how many will understand that distinction in my answer.