Thursday, April 16, 2009

OMG Enough Blessing America Already

Apparently at Yankee Stadium the other day, the douchily named Bradford Campeau-Laurion was apparently escorted out of Yankee Stadium when the song "God Bless America" was being played, and he refused to honor it because he had to go to the bathroom. I'm not sure how true this story is so I'll keep my comments brief.

It's not often that I agree with the out-of-touch ACLU, but this enrages me ... but probably not for the reason that you might think.

I don't think that it was right by any means for the officers to kick the man out of the game for not observing the song. It sounds to me like a couple cops on a power trip. And the cops' story that they "observed a male cursing, using inappropriate language and acting in a disorderly manner while reeking of alcohol"? Have they ever BEEN to Yankee Stadium?!?! Or any sporting event in the last decade?

But that thing that infuriates me the most is that this wasn't even a flap over our national anthem. This was over "God Bless Fucking America," a song that is not our national anthem, wasn't observed in any way at ballgames or any other sporting events before 9/11, and -- here's the kicker -- is one of the shittiest songs ever written.

Yes, I was upset about 9/11. Yes, I love this country more than any other. No, I don't think that a song with numerous awkward pauses, a crappy melody, half-baked lyrics and a climax of "white with foam" should have replaced "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" just because some people are still trying to look patriotic 7.5 years after the fact. Just because Rudy Giuliani and Sloth from the Goonies Ronan Tynan have tried to turn it into our de facto battle cry, that doesn't make it fucking so. Even Woody Guthrie thought "GBA" was shit, which is why he responded by writing "This Land Is Your Land."

If we were really going to replace or supplant our national anthem, we'd be much better off doing it with "America the Beautiful," a song much more skillfully written, more beautifully melodic, and with a fifty-times more swelling and dramatic crescendo.

In fact, check this, the third and eerily-prescient verse of "AtB":

O beautiful, for heroes proved
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America! May God thy gold refine,
Till all success be nobleness, and ev'ry gain divine!

You aren't finding anything close to this in Irving Berlin's crapsterpiece.
"God Bless America" is nothing. Not a patriotic anthem, not proof that you are a good American, nothing. And if you don't like it, then get the fuck out of the country, traitor.

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