May 31, 2013

"So the next time you see me sitting down during 'God Bless America,' don’t give me the 'hairy eyeball'..."

"... or say I’m un-American. In our great country, each of us has the right to his or her own religious beliefs, and we celebrate our nation’s diversity and plurality. My deeply held and sincere religious beliefs just don’t countenance this ritual."

From the Wikipedia article on the song:
Music critic Jody Rosen comments that a 1906 Jewish dialect novelty song, "When Mose with His Nose Leads the Band," contains a six-note fragment that is "instantly recognizable as the opening strains of 'God Bless America.'". He interprets this as an example of [Irving] Berlin's "habit of interpolating bits of half-remembered songs into his own numbers....

In 1938, with the rise of Hitler, Berlin, who was Jewish and a first-generation European immigrant, felt it was time to revive it as a "peace song," and it was introduced on an Armistice Day broadcast in 1938, sung by Kate Smith on her radio show. Berlin had made some minor changes...
The original lyric was "Stand beside her and guide her to the right with the light from above."
... by this time, "to the right" might have been considered a call to the political right, so he substituted "through the night" instead. 

140 comments:

edutcher said...

I take it we're about to go back to the whole "Peace is patriotic, Dissent is the highest form of patriotism" schtick.

PS The patriotic song "Green Grow The Lilacs" which American soldiers sang during the Mexican War (and gave rise to the word "gringo"), started out as a bawdy ballad "Come to The Bower", sung during the Texas War of Independence.

So big deal.

ironrailsironweights said...

A version from my elementary school days:

God bless my underwear,
My only pair


Can't remember the rest of the lyrics.

Peter

wyo sis said...

"I imagine that the God I believe in isn’t interested in dispensing special nationalistic blessings."

The God I believe in is definitely interested in blessing the nation that more than any other for almost 200 years led the world in providing freedom to its citizens. I think He's still interested in providing blessing to any nation that allows its citizens the maximum free will possible.
It looks more and more as if the United States is abandoning the concept of individual worth and freedom. To the degree that is happening I think we are getting fewer blessings as a nation.
Asking for the continued blessing of freedom is a way to remember that we need it and need to earn it.

El Pollo Raylan said...

The guy in the story reminds me of that photo of Obama cupping his nut sack during the pledge instead the hand over heart ritual. Sure, it's their right, but don't be surprised if people notice.

Gahrie said...

Why can't the asshole simply stand up out of respect?

chuck said...

Gosh, the comments are illuminating. What a snotty bunch of college educated dimwits with delusions of superiority.

Christopher said...

One day we are all going to have to have a long and authoritative discussion about what qualifies as what on the political spectrum

phx said...

Why can't the asshole simply stand up out of respect?

Oh brother. Maybe we could get the police on him.

edutcher said...

That's what phx' side seems to do best - force people to do it their way.

The irony is all the Americans ask is a little token of respect and the Lefties don't wanna.

But let somebody diss any of the Lefties' totems or protected groups...

Richard Dolan said...

He sits through the song, he says, to defend religious liberty because he views the song as a prayer set to music. If that were so, he would have a persuasive point. For those who disagree, imagine a song that used an 'Allahu Akbar' meme to sign about America. Would standing in respect be the rule or the exception?

While I appreciate his point, I think the premise is wrong. The song uses a religious motif, but it is really an expression of our civic and essentially secular 'religion'. It is as empty of sectarian belief as the deist expressions sprinkled through America's founding document and much favored by our mostly unbelieving Founding Fathers.

But it's still a free country, and the minister is certainly welcome to sit it out if that suits him better.

rcocean said...

"Why can't the asshole simply stand up out of respect?"

Like most lefties he can't. 'Cause he's special - don't cha know.

Of course, if he gets the power, he'll make YOU STAND for what ever he wants.

'Cause he's special - don't cha know.

avwh said...

He's dead wrong about one thing: dissent is ONLY patriotic when you're dissenting against Republicans, as Obama and his minions have shown over and over the last few years.

Hell, even the First Amendment is now not a sure thing if you oppose the government, listening to Obama, H Clinton, and Obama's crack Attorney General.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Why can't I give him the dirty eye or comment? He's making a social and political statement but then turns around and says I can't do the same to him.

wyo sis said...

Why can't the asshole simply stand up out of respect?

Oh brother. Maybe we could get the police on him.

Oh brother. Maybe we could all be a little more polite and considerate of each other and less determined to stand up and shout for our right to be rude.
Being polite and decent makes life easier. Police can't enforce decent behavior.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

It makes me sad that this minister is playing right into that smarmy atheistic liberal meme. They sure do love them some Christians who are sophisticated enough to look down on those tacky religious expressions that the great unwashed go along with, either out of genuine faith, respectful tradition, or plain courteousness.

phx said...

Being rude is expecting your way to be the default way. For as long as you say.

In neutral settings I almost always stand and kneel in the right places for religious and political beliefs that I don't believe in. Even though I never ask let alone demand respect for anything I believe it, I'm always comfortable granting it. But it doesn't bother me in the least that someone else would choose not to.

I suppose your idea of respect trumps your idea of liberty.

Chip S. said...

I think there should be a patriotic song after every inning. But mostly Sousa marches, to cut down on the singing.

Synova said...

I think, also, that we all have the right to give someone the "hairy eyeball" if they refuse to stand when custom says stand and they aren't obviously disabled or impeded.

sean said...

When I go to any public ceremony I do the same as everyone else, out of courtesy and respect, regardless of my own views. E.g., if I go to a Jewish funeral, I stand when the other congregants stand, sit when they sit, etc. I don't announce that they have a faulty understanding of the divine nature, even though that's true. When I go to a hockey game, I stand for the Canadian national anthem, I don't announce that Canada means nothing to me, even though that's true. So this minister seems like an unbearably narcissistic and rude prima donna.

phx said...

When I go to any public ceremony I do the same as everyone else, out of courtesy and respect, regardless of my own views. E.g., if I go to a Jewish funeral, I stand when the other congregants stand, sit when they sit, etc. I don't announce that they have a faulty understanding of the divine nature, even though that's true. When I go to a hockey game, I stand for the Canadian national anthem, I don't announce that Canada means nothing to me, even though that's true. So this minister seems like an unbearably narcissistic and rude prima donna.

See, you and I are alike that way but there's a significant difference between us. You expect and want everyone to be like us, or you.

A lot of times when I think why I lean more left, that's a part of the reason. While you have a lot of great values, things I respect, you really think you're the shit when you get down to it.

Freeeeedom.

edutcher said...

phx said...

I suppose your idea of respect trumps your idea of liberty.

Believe it or not, there was a time in this country when people didn't make a big deal about showing some respect for other people.

That, of course, was before the Lefties started tearing down everybody else's institutions and beliefs.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Phx--no one here is saying that the guy doesn't have the right to choose to sit or stand as his free will dictates. Obviously he does. But his essay was asking for validation of his choice, which no one is obligated to give.

Synova said...

See, what I figure, phx, is that a lot of people can't stand. They've got bad backs or knees or whatever and even if they get around without aid, it's still hard to stand. When I was pregnant there'd be times standing made me nauseous or even faint when walking was A-Ok. There are lots of legitimate reasons to sit.

So I'm wondering, if this guy is getting hairy eyeballs for sitting, if he's sitting with attitude or something. Or do people just notice that he's sitting and he imagines the hairy eyeballs? Because it's totally innocent to notice that someone didn't stand up.

phx said...

But his essay was asking for validation of his choice, which no one is obligated to give.

I don't think I'd say this piece was asking for validation but you're absolutely right no one is obligated to give.

It's notable to me that many of you don't validate his choice not to stand up for "God Bless America." I suppose Althouse libertarians feel that way as well? Or is this just the religious right trying to run roughshod over the argument with hurt feelings and a snit over disrespectful lack of etiquette.

Have some freedom fries with that hot dog at the Nats game guys.

Synova said...

As religious observance goes... I tend to pass on communion at churches that I think don't do communion properly. I've no doubt that my non-participation is noticed. But I make a great effort to sit with respectful body language in order not to disrupt others. Being looked at, though, is my choice in the end. I wouldn't blame anyone for noticing and wondering what was up.

phx said...

So I'm wondering, if this guy is getting hairy eyeballs for sitting, if he's sitting with attitude or something. Or do people just notice that he's sitting and he imagines the hairy eyeballs? Because it's totally innocent to notice that someone didn't stand up.

Yeah, I'm probably not the one to sell this soap to. I can remember not standing up for the Pledge of Allegiance in freshman homeroom. Been there with the "hairy eyeballs."

wyo sis said...

Everyone has an opinion and everyone is entitled to feel the way they feel, but it's just common sense to be polite in public settings. Why make an issue of your own specialness?
Some things are worth making a fuss about and some aren't. I get that. But, more and more it's become a form of self-validation to behave in a contrary way. We've managed to create a sense of entitlement for each special flower and at the same time insist that people fit seamlessly into certain group identities. So we take a small unimportant thing and use it to assert the correctness of our group. It's a weird disconnect.

William said...

It's a grandiose gesture that's more likely to draw attention to the preciousness of its actor than to our precious liberties. He deserves a hairy eyeball, but more than that would be overdoing it.

Synova said...

I can't answer for other libertarian leaning sorts but in general libertarians don't have an issue with social pressure to conform, only with government coercion. Laws replacing social mores are destructive to the normal checks and balances of a healthy functioning community, after all.

phx said...

In a beer-soaked tone of voice that wasn’t pleasant, a gentleman several rows behind me told me to stand up. - The article.

We're all empowered to tell people what to do at ballgames now?

William said...

It's a grandiose gesture that's more likely to draw attention to the preciousness of its actor than to our precious liberties. He deserves a hairy eyeball, but more than that would be overdoing it.

edutcher said...

phx said...

In a beer-soaked tone of voice that wasn’t pleasant, a gentleman several rows behind me told me to stand up. - The article.

We're all empowered to tell people what to do at ballgames now?


It's never stopped you guys.

Take the 5 year old who brought a cap pistol to school and was grilled for 2 1/2 hours.

phx said...

In a beer-soaked tone of voice that wasn’t pleasant, a gentleman several rows behind me told me to stand up. - The article.

But he's grandiose? According to William. And I gather several others of you.

Chip S. said...

I suppose Althouse libertarians feel that way as well?

I suppose Althouse libertarians are just as unwilling to be lumped together as any other libertarians, but I'll speak for myself as a quasi-libertarian.

"GBA" in the midst of a game was stirring as a special thing during the 2001 World Series, being in NY shortly after 9/11. But it later seemed to morph into a way to ice the opposing pitcher in Yankee Stadium by having Ronan Tynan drag it out as long as humanly possible.

Now I consider "GBA" at baseball games a prime example of how "temporary" measures become impossible to end, in exactly the same way the federal government relentlessly grows. So I don't like it.

To anticipate the next question, yes, I go along w/ the crowd and stand for it. Too much of a "statement" to do o/w.

Palladian said...

I hate customs, and social pressure.

My solution is to avoid ever going anywhere that standing for music is expected.

phx said...

Not that you care about opinion but good answer, Chip S.

phx said...

"my opinion"

Bob Ellison said...

I got over this in seventh grade.

phx said...

All right. Should it really be that hard to address this issue in a way that respects both the religious right and the dissenters?

Can't someone accept some responsibility for attempting that?

Synova said...

"Now I consider "GBA" at baseball games a prime example of how "temporary" measures become impossible to end, in exactly the same way the federal government relentlessly grows. So I don't like it."

To be honest, since I didn't go read the article, I was sort of wondering when playing God Bless America and standing up had gotten to be a "thing" because I've never been anywhere that did it.

Yeah... I hate how doing something once means doing it forever. There ought to be an exit strategy for gestures, you know.

William said...

The guy who passed a negative comment, while exercising his precious free speech rights, was equally self righteous. For all he knew the seated patron may have been a disabled veteran. Screw them both. It's a song at a ball game.

wyo sis said...

Palladian has the right idea. If you hate a custom or tradition stay away from that occasion whenever possible.

At my daughters high school graduation last night I was annoyed by the hoots and calling out from the attendees, but, strangely, at the moment her name was announced I didn't want her to be the only one greeted by silence. I didn't cheer, but kids in the audience did and I was oddly pleased.
The traditionalist in me says these events are ruined by outbursts from the audience and I won't do it, but times change and public behaviors change with them.

SteveR said...

I don't see much difference between his expression of opinion and the guy who told him to stand up, nor anyone giving a hairy eyeball for that matter.

Lem said...

I understand and agree with what this self-centered bastard is saying.

Gahrie said...

Oh brother. Maybe we could get the police on him.

Where did that come from? I'd just yell to the asshole..."hey asshole...show a little respect!"

I suppose he'd think it was OK for me to sit in his church during one of his sermons, and listen to a baseball game?

But I'd never do that, because I'm not an asshole.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Phx, what is there to attempt? Yeah, drunk guy shouldn't have said anything. Minister can learn to ignore naysayers and hairy eyeballers. Minister does not have to gripe in the WaPo, "So the next time you see me sitting down during God Bless America, don't give me the hairy eyeball or say I'm un-American."

This is what annoys me about the left-the notion that Something Must Be Done about every petty stupid slight. When did people stop being adults who are capable of ignoring disapproval?

Gahrie said...


We're all empowered to tell people what to do at ballgames now?


Have you ever been to a ballgame?

phx said...

Minister does not have to gripe in the WaPo

You know, call me unpatriotic. I don't necessarily think there's anything wrong in expressing your opinion on public matters on the opinion page of a newspaper.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Phx, no, but there's also nothing wrong with pointing out that he sounds like a whiner.

Grownups make the choices that they feel are right, even when they're unpopular, and don't bitch about disapproval.

phx said...

I don't think he was griping and I don't think he was bitching about disapproval. Those are your characterizations.

I think he was making an argument. The question to me is whether it's sound or not.

Chip S. said...

There ought to be an exit strategy for gestures, you know.

I agree.

The only one there is right now is the one the guy in the WaPo takes--sitting down. Yes, I think he could've made a better case than he did, but he probably tends naturally toward sermonizing.

Chip Ahoy said...

People harbor strange ideas. Some people cannot stand so well. Don't give me the hairy eye, fuck you, you're asking for hairy eyes, and evil eyes, and the stink eye, and the squint I-can't-see-you eye, you're asking for it, and probably NOT even getting it only imagining getting it and wising to get it, and I almost forgot Tammy Fay Baker crying all the time runny mascara eyes, that's what you deserve.

I must now sing. Google, please help me out here with the karaoke.

search: [god bless my underwear, my only pair]

Stand beside them, and guide them,
Through the rips, through the holes, through the tears.
From the washer, to the dryer, to my backpack, to my rear.
God bless my underwear, my only pair.
God bless my underwear, or I'll be bare.

God bless my underwear
That I wear down there.
I outgrow them, then throw them,
Those who wear them will never be square
When the bully, gives a wedgie
Pray that they won’t ever tear
God bless my underwear, my only pair.
God bless my underwear, or I’ll need to share.

Lem said...

Parodies
"An irreverent version of the lyrics was printed in the book The MAD World of William M. Gaines, by Frank Jacobs (1972). MAD magazine's veteran art editor, John Putnam, had prepared some copy and sent it to the printers; the word "America" was divided, with a hyphen, at the end of one line. The copy was returned to Putnam by the typesetting foreman, who explained that his union had a rule forbidding the splitting of that word. Putnam obliged, rewriting the copy and sending it back with this enclosure:

Don't break "America";
Land we extol;
Don't deface it;
Upper-case it;
Keep it clean, keep it pure, keep it whole;
In Bodoni, in Futura,
In Old English, in Cabell {{sic}}--Don't break "America"--
Or we'll—raise—hell!"

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

If he was just making an argument, sure, fine, if anyone was interested as to whether it's theologically or socially correct to stand or sit during GBA then that could be discussed.

But that's not entirely what he did. He had to bring into it someone else's reaction to his choice, and then literally instruct readers as to how they should behave toward him. I maintain that he should not try to control others' reactions to his choices.

El Pollo Raylan said...

phx said...
All right. Should it really be that hard to address this issue in a way that respects both the religious right and the dissenters?

False dichotomy. Perhaps you are conflating patriotism and religious belief. Do you disrespect religion or conformity?

When did you stop beating your partner?

traditionalguy said...

God is still blessing William Bradford's pilgrims who had sincere faith in Him and proved it.

Petunia said...

Gotta love the internet. Someone in the comments section dug up this guy's resume and discovered that he WAS, not IS, a Methodist minister. He hasn't been a practicing minister for 13 years. He's now a psychotherapist.

Sounds like he's also a pretentious PITA who uses his (former) status as a minister to justify his refusal to engage in the 7th-inning stretch.

Sure, he has the right not to stand. Others have the right to call him out on it. But like most liberals, HE feels that HE is free to disagree with YOU. YOU are not free to disagree with HIM.

Lem said...

Or maybe, it could be that I don't like that this guy thought of something I should have thought of... and instead I stood up with everybody else just because they stood up.

I don't want to grow up I'm a ToysRus kid... that just wondered into my head... and

Perhaps I should look into the things I do more carefully and ask whether I should do them.

Do I do things because other people do them and that's going to ingratiate myself with them?

How honest do we want to be?

Methadras said...

Sure, this giant douche has a right not to stand, but don't fucking tell me if I see you not doing it, I don't have the right to ask you why, only to have to hear your jackoff snobbery of unpatriotic gibberish. Yeah, you schmuck, you are an unpatriotic lazy fuck.

El Pollo Raylan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
El Pollo Raylan said...

I recently attended a university graduation and was dismayed when the singer of the national anthem inserted a vocal flourish which reminded me of an ululation. I thought it was disrespectful. I complained and people told me "everybody does it now."

Lem said...

And then again, I read what Petunia just wrote and I respectfully and capriciously revert back to my original comments regarding this charlatan.

betamax3000 said...

Ming The Merciless Robot says:

What is this Puny Game called Baseball? Three Strikes? There is Only One Strike: Ming Allows no Walks Nor Bunts. Ming Will Force your Sacrifice Fly, Earthlings.

You Sing Songs that Do Not Worship Ming: do you Not Expect the Laser of Doom?

You Pride Yourself on Minor Inconsistencies, Not Realizing That Ming Will Harvest the Life from your Pitiful Shells: your Lack of Spirit is Velveeta Cheese to Ming -- you are Not Fit to even be Avocado.

Do Not Misunderstand: Ming was Not Always All-Powerful, but You Have Taken Heart in Your Weaknesses, and Ming Only Grows Stronger.

Sit Down, Earthlings, and Expect Self-Righteousness to Protect You. Take Comfort in Your Pride -- Ming Loves the Taste of your Tears of Surprise. Ming Does Not Acknowledge an Infield Fly Rule. Earthlings: you Have No Designated Hitter.

Ming can Be Kind: he will make an Exception for Olivia Newton-John. Ming has Great Respect for Xanadu. Ming Will Never Pay B-17.

Olivia Newton-John will be One of Ming's Many Brides. He will Vaporize Scarlett Johannson's Boyfriend and Acquire Her, too. Ming Will Marry All of Your Admired Women, and Force their Men to Prancer-ize...

El Pollo Raylan said...

"Charlatan" is apt, Lem.

Lem said...

Maybe we should come up with a rule...

If you are w/in a certain distance from the live singer - you have to stand.

But if you are up in the nose bleed standing is optional.

Lem said...

I looked up "ululation" and a video made a hilarious picture of your comment for me.

Lem said...

Charlatan is almost... probably the same word... definitely same meaning in Spanish.

Lem said...

Yeah... I hate how doing something once means doing it forever. There ought to be an exit strategy for gestures, you know.

I agree with Synova.

shirley elizabeth said...

His excuse for not standing is that the song is an empty prayer that doesn't mean anything, but, what he didn't catch from people around him giving hairy eyeballs and calling him out, is that it does mean a lot to people. Just not to him. If he had realized there would be no article. Or, at least, no real reason to write one.

El Pollo Raylan said...

Synova said...
I think, also, that we all have the right to give someone the "hairy eyeball" if they refuse to stand when custom says stand and they aren't obviously disabled or impeded.

Although the photo is cropped, its message is powerful: The only person standing is the man in the wheelchair

Revenant said...

"God Bless America" is theologically ridiculous and invokes the blessing of a "god" I couldn't believe in less.

It is, however, a great expression of love for this country; I wouldn't mind having it as a national anthem.

fivewheels said...

"HE feels that HE is free to disagree with YOU. YOU are not free to disagree with HIM."

Exactly so. Well distilled.

rhhardin said...

It'sa marketing gimmick.

The national anthem was a way to get the crowd to shut up and pay attention when the game starts.

It relies on self-appointed patriotic enforcers.

Even this guy stands for the national anthem, failing to see the trick.

rhhardin said...

The only decent national anthem recently was the canadian women pressed into singing it at the last momen, who had to ad lib forgotten words.

She got the ramparts mixed up with the rockets or something.

rhhardin said...

The relationship of patriotism and ball games is what, exactly?

rhhardin said...

It would be okay if they only sang God Bless America to teach the audience the subjunctive mood.

"I don't stand for anything in the subjunctive" might be the best reply this guy could use to silence a patriot thug.

rhhardin said...

The original of the national anthem still has some musicality about it.

I don't imagine they stood up for it though.

Eustace Chilke said...

I routinely ignore the national anthem, loyalty pledges, gazing at the flag with my hand over my heart and all such observances no matter where they're directed. Generally I just arrange to be absent when that sort of herding commences. I've always done it, since before I thought about why I didn't like it. It's pretty simple for me. I just don't like being herded. It's easy to avoid so I avoid it.

I sometimes think that people who insist on the sacredness of objects like flags have little real feeling for the freedom they constantly claim is at stake in diverse places around the world. So go on with your flag waving party and have fun with it. Don't herd me. Mind your own fucking business. While you're about your business keep that religious crap to yourself, too. When the subject is freedom, let's talk.

phx said...

The right is in disarray over social issues, and they don't know what to do about it.

phx said...

It's that strain of authoritarianism that runs through it.

Ben G. said...

Singing GBA became a semi-regular event to start certain Flyers hockey games. They even wheeled old Kate in to sing when she was available (I saw her do it twice). Now the daughter of Gene Hart does duets with a recorded Smith for some games. We always stood.

Aridog said...

Eustace Chilke ... Interesting comment. You first advise that you avoid being herded in to group participatory stuff. Fine. But then you commence to *herd* us with directions....

Don't herd me. Mind your own fucking business. While you're about your business keep that religious crap to yourself, too. When the subject is freedom, let's talk.

Seems to me you are doing the same thing as the guy who wrote the WaPo bit. Your choice.

PS: for anyone who can answer it...since **when** did standing up for "God Bless America" become a traditional observance?

This began at a baseball game?! I mean in the same tradition as standing for the passing of the colors, Pledge of Allegiance, and the national anthem, the "Star Spangled Banner."

When I stand in synchronization with others at an event, it to be able to see what if going on and a bit of courtesy, in that order....a form of paying attention.

I have no sense of being herded when I do so...it is purely self serving.

Eustace Chilke said...

Saying you mind your business and I'll mind mine is an interesting herding technique. With that and a shotgun you could form a herd pretty quick.

traditionalguy said...

The Wesley brothers believed in singing hymns. They taught that standing up and singing words of faith was very important. They taught that the way you use your mouth tells it all.

But a religious experience should be voluntary.

I suggest they quit arresting sitters.

Robert Cook said...

I take it we're about to go back to the whole
'Peace is patriotic, Dissent is the highest form of patriotism' schtick."


It's schtick because it's true.

Aridog said...

Eustace Chilke said...

Saying you mind your business and I'll mind mine...

Bless your heart. Ah, yes...but that is not what you said. Your emphasis was a bit more stringent, no? Who were you addressing?

No matter, it is your privilege to stand on any street corner and yell at no one in particular whatever pops in to your head...just like the guy who wrote the WaPo piece.

Maybe way back you are both from Detroit...because that solo performance stuff is a Detroit-thing.

No worries, because we all do it now and then, usually without realizing it. I may even be doing it right now.

Aridog said...

traditionalguy said...

I suggest they quit arresting sitters.

They can be arrested now? :-)

Does no one knows when this "tradition" of standing up for "God Bless America" originated? Really? Puzzling to say the least. Like I said, more or less ... OMG, did this all begin at a baseball game?

Robert Cook said...

The God I believe in is definitely interested in blessing the nation that more than any other for almost 200 years led the world in providing freedom to its citizens. I think He's still interested in providing blessing to any nation that allows its citizens the maximum free will possible."

The god you believe in is only in your head.

Robert Cook said...

"Why can't the asshole simply stand up out of respect?"

Respect for what? For everyone else who chooses to stand up? For the song? For America? Why must we be pressured into following the behavior of others in order to "show respect?"

Why can't you respect his choosing to enjoy his freedom by NOT standing up?

Eustace Chilke said...

I reckon suggesting that people get on with their herd business and stop minding my business is constructive and not in the least hypocritical. Allow me to expand my remarks. Bless your own heart. Don't patronize me.

Robert Cook said...

"...when custom says...."

Why is "custom" so sacrosanct?

John said...

I read a great bio of Berlin earlier this year "As Thousands Cheered"

Berlin was a very interesting fellow. Great talent as well.

For all his songwriting, he never learned to read or write musical notation and never learned to use the black keys on the piano.

One of the things the author points out that Berlin almost never listened to music by others.

This was on purpose to avoid such claims as made about God Bless America that he lifted ideas from others.

John Henry

Old RPM Daddy said...

I've been to probably a dozen or so Nats games over the past several years. I don't remember hearing "God Bless America" a single time, though I remember hearing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" in the middle of seventh inning.

Have I been missing something? When do they play it? Before the game?

Paco Wové said...

Never understood this "Don't you dare disapprove of my disapproval!" thing.

phx said...

Of course if someone started shrieking because you were wearing a fur in public you'd be clutching your pearls and crying into your hot dog.

phx said...

Let people be themselves in public. It's none of your frucking business if it's not hurting you.

Aridog said...

Eustace Chilke said...

Bless your own heart. Don't patronize me.

Pretty sure you don't grasp the meaning of that phrase. BTW...what "people" are you referring to that don't leave you to your own business?

Robert Cook said ...

Why can't you respect his choosing to enjoy his freedom by NOT standing up?

Assuming you mean the "royal you" ... Because he found it necessary to expound on his perceived victimization in the Washington Post?

As I said earlier...this people standing on a street corner yapping away at everyone or no one is a Detroit thing. It amuses me when I see it in others from elsewhere.

I don't mean to offend anyone, but seriously, arguing that this guy is put upon is puerile. Get back to me when people are arrested for "sitting" as @ TraditionalGuy said earlier.

Meantime, to use @ Eustace's point of view...leave me alone to give anyone I choose the stink eye ... which will never happen over a pop song anyway. Puleeeze.

Forward!

chrisnavin.com said...

Is the issue really about Leftism?

Just throw a few drops into the water, put your feet up and wait. Soon, you might see a ripple or hear a splash, as Captain Red Robert Cook swims by to decry Obama as a corporate shill, or lament the false consciousness in media reporting.

Textbook stuff.

Socialists. Fucking socialists. They never really go away.

phx said...

Assuming you mean the "royal you" ... Because he found it necessary to expound on his perceived victimization in the Washington Post?

I think it's totally appropriate to bitch about this guy's values - in the Washington Post.

Harassing him at the ballgame for exercising his freedom is not proportional to his op ed piece. It's crass, it's authoritarian and threatening, and smacks of bs superiority. What if he has his kid with him? Ordering someone to
stand up at a ballgame is pretty close to fighting words.

chrisnavin.com said...

Dissent is patriotic, but don't dissent from the dissent.

El Pollo Raylan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
phx said...

He sits at the ballgame, you stand. He complains in the WaPo, you complain in the WaPo.

Arguing about it in public is a very authoritarian, rightwing thing to do.

El Pollo Raylan said...

Most people dislike enforced conformity. BTW, this is why arguments like "decent people support such and such" rankles.

Rusty said...

An old lefty attention whore.
"Look at me! I'm sitting for my principals!" "Look at me and ask me why!"


Part of the price of the ticket is the stupid rituals the fans get to be a part of. So when they play God Bless America as part of the seventh inning stretch, stand up and sing along.
If not for america, for the game.
Douche.


n.n said...

the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them
-- The Declaration of Independence

America's national charter would disagree with Marsh's definition of "American".

God bless America and Americans. At least until a revolution causes "America" to be reconstituted under a new philosophy.

LarsPorsena said...

Would this guy rebel at singing "Take Me Out To the Ball Game"?

Don't they sing that during the 7th in Chicago?

phx said...

Part of the price of the ticket is the stupid rituals the fans get to be a part of. So when they play God Bless America as part of the seventh inning stretch, stand up and sing along.

Ever the cop on the beat telling people what they have to do...

He paid for HIS ticket too. His sitting does not prevent anyone from taking part in whatever stupid ritual they choose, as long as nobody else HAS to participate.

Man, sometimes you just gotta scratch one of you guys to find a sanctimonious bully. It's not that conservative values are the problem, it's that you think everybody has to be like you. But it's the lefties who are arrogant.

LarsPorsena said...

This guy also refuses to be part of a wave.

Big Mike said...

You stand for the national anthem. You sit for anything else.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Phx , you're working really hard to see something that's not there.

Aridog said...

Phx ... after your comments I had to go re-read the article this poor put upon fellow wrote.

In a beer-soaked tone of voice that wasn't pleasant, a gentleman several rows behind me told me to stand up. I reminded him that I don’t have to.

1. So there wasn't really an "ordering" to stand up, or any actual compulsion. There is no right wing or left wing in it...nada.

2. The fellow several rows away was drunk and said something...good sense says by all means respond to angry drunks! Right? Oh, wait...

I weep for this poor guy ... one drunk shouts at him and he breaks out in feverish diatribe about religion and yada yada.

This has to be one of the best "sucker bait" articles Althouse has posted in years.

William said...

I have spent the night contemplating this difficult moral issue. It seems to me that one should stand for the national anthem but that a certain amount of volition should be allowed for other displays of patriotism. One goes to the ball game to root for one's favorite Dominicans and not to reaffirm one's patriotism or, for that matter, one's higher form of patriotism. Give it a rest.......I'm sympathetic to the minister to the extent that when one pays for a seat, one should have the right to keep one's fanny in said seat. It does seem overkill to make people stand for GBA. On the other hand, hairy eyeballing has long been a part of America's tradition. You should have seen the stares I got when I wore black leather lederhosen and nipple jewelry to my mother's funeral, but,just as we all celebrate our patriotism differently, so too do we all mourn differently........I'm in favor of sitting during GBA and giving such sitters hairy eyeballs. It can thus be argued that I exhibit the absolute highest level of patriotism and tolerance.

El Pollo Raylan said...

Jimi Hendrix said it best: "In fact it'd sound better if you'd stand up, for your country, and your brother ... and start singin'! And if you don't, fuck ya"

Augie Fartro said...

Kate Smith was a whole lotta woman, for sure.

phx said...

My friends I Have Misplaced My Pants and Aridog get the last word on me. I will be back to argue with you in another thread no doubt. Hope you're both having a great weekend.

Rusty said...

phx said...
Part of the price of the ticket is the stupid rituals the fans get to be a part of. So when they play God Bless America as part of the seventh inning stretch, stand up and sing along.

Ever the cop on the beat telling people what they have to do...

He paid for HIS ticket too. His sitting does not prevent anyone from taking part in whatever stupid ritual they choose, as long as nobody else HAS to participate.

Man, sometimes you just gotta scratch one of you guys to find a sanctimonious bully. It's not that conservative values are the problem, it's that you think everybody has to be like you. But it's the lefties who are arrogant.


phx's Look At Me!

Moment.

You know we'ere talking about a game, right?


phx said...

You know we'ere talking about a game, right?

No, we're talking about people with authoritarian tendencies feeling compelled telling others who are minding their own business what to do.

You're on the side of the authoritarians, obviously.

Baron Zemo said...

Any yahoo has the perfect right to not stand during "God Bless America."

And you have the perfect right to spill on him or hit him the head with the occasional tossed piece of pop corn.

The guy is probably a Red Sox fan anyway.

Baron Zemo said...

Of course you do have fun when
Lem's sister comes to the game.

Baron Zemo said...

She can make you stand as it were so to speak.

Eustace Chilke said...

Airdog:

Normally I don't go back and forth with people on here. It makes dreary reading and I'm not much into it. I'm tempted to chime in once more in reply to you though. Congratulations.

Bless your heart is a patronizing dismissal. Fuck you is more honest. So fuck you.

My grasp on the implication of you being pretty sure what I don't grasp the meaning of is also secure. I'm not impressed by that patronizing retort either.

You grasp what you grasp best and I'll explain what I'm grasping if you need clarification.

Eustace Chilke said...

Airdog:

Normally I don't go back and forth with people on here. It makes dreary reading and I'm not much into it. I'm tempted to chime in once more in reply to you though. Congratulations.

Bless your heart is a patronizing dismissal. Fuck you is more honest. So fuck you.

My grasp on the implication of you being pretty sure what I don't grasp the meaning of is also secure. I'm not impressed by that patronizing retort either.

You grasp what you grasp best and I'll explain what I'm grasping if you need clarification.

Baron Zemo said...

You often grasp something when you sit behind Lem's sister. Just sayn'

Aridog said...

Eustace Chilke said...

You grasp what you grasp best and I'll explain what I'm grasping if you need clarification.

Explain? Where have you explained anything here? You demand your rights, arrggghhh! ... but you've not responded to anything I said other than "Bless your heart."

G-d Bless.

Aridog said...

Baron Zemo said...

You often grasp something when you sit behind Lem's sister.

The question then is do you also get slapped hard upside the head?

Revenant said...

"Dissent is the highest form of patriotism' schtick."

It's schtick because it's true.

I respectfully disagree with the notion that the "God kills Americans because he hates fags" crowd at the Westboro Baptist Church are "patriotic" just because they are dissenting from the majority opinion regarding homosexuality.

Dissent can be patriotic. It can also be treasonous, or simply irrelevant. There's no correlation between dissent and patriotism one way or the other.

Cedarford said...

Revenant said...
"God Bless America" is theologically ridiculous and invokes the blessing of a "god" I couldn't believe in less.

It is, however, a great expression of love for this country; I wouldn't mind having it as a national anthem.

==================
It beats the heck out of a (generally unsingable by most people) song that glorifies America as all about a single shelling of a fort. A minor skirmish where the Americans were hunkered in British-built bunkers and not shelling back. And the mystical power of a flagpole in avoiding being hit by a shell. (And if a shell had somehow found the big flag or hit the flag pole...would that have meant a British victory and compelled the Yanks riding out the shelling to come out of their bunkers and surrender the Fort??)

But besides all the "God" stuff, Berlin's tune is accompanied by lyrics that range from good to the childish and insipid.

I'd go with "America the Beautiful" and add a replacement second stanza to be made officially part of the normal recitations - that would be done by a competition.

Anything is better than: O beautiful for pilgrim feet,
Whose stern impassion'd stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!

Revenant said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Revenant said...

America's national charter would disagree with Marsh's definition of "American".

The Declaration of Independence isn't our national charter. It was our (wait for it)... declaration of independence from England. Our national charter was the Articles of Confederation, later replaced by the Constitution. Prior to those we just had individual state charters.

Also, "Nature's God" refers to the god of deism, not the god of Christianity. "Nature's God" doesn't bless anything. :)

Baron Zemo said...

Aridog.......
The question then is do you also get slapped hard upside the head?


Never. Red Sox fans are easy.

Eustace Chilke said...

I don't mind argument, Airdog. I don't feel compelled either. I responded to the only thing you said that made me think twice, having dismissed, silently and politely, all the rest. I should have followed my first impulse and forgotten all of it. I accept my own advice from here.

Aridog said...

Eustace ... consider me properly herded now. I will not make fun of anyone who expounds on personal freedom again, then demands recognition from others for their particular quirks.

From another thread today:

"I'm offended!" [or the equivalent]... a rhetorical strategy used in discussions that allows one to avoid responding to an argument with a counter-argument....

My dismissiveness of your dismissiveness offends. Got it.

Eustace Chilke said...

No complicated response to nonsense is necessary, Airdog. Try making an argument if you want to argue. If you want insult carry on patronizing and pouting. Now I have definitely arrived at the point where I would have stopped reading anyone but myself. Apologies all around and I'll do better in future.

Eustace Chilke said...

No complicated response to nonsense is necessary, Airdog. Try making an argument if you want to argue. If you want insult carry on patronizing and pouting. Now I have definitely arrived at the point where I would have stopped reading anyone but myself. Apologies all around and I'll do better in future.

Aridog said...

Eustace ....that spelling of my nick is confusing, eh. Thought you were all done...but nice response validating the avoidance concept from the quote off another thread. You could work for the White House.

Your original exposition:

Don't herd me. Mind your own fucking business. While you're about your business keep that religious crap to yourself, too. When the subject is freedom, let's talk.

Grrrouofff!

Eustace Chilke said...

The name does tend to hit the eye with a little twist in it. Is this you attempting an actual argument? Say it ain't so, Aridog. Surely this is just barking across the fence. It's hard to quit. Like that one potato chip thing.

Eustace Chilke said...

I really should have been done. I said I was. You're right. I concede every point - if there are any in the record. I surprise myself sometimes when I really know better than to start down some predictable path. Excuse me if you will please.

Rusty said...

phx said...
You know we'ere talking about a game, right?

No, we're talking about people with authoritarian tendencies feeling compelled telling others who are minding their own business what to do.

I'm not a democrat.

You're on the side of the authoritarians, obviously.

I suppose I am in that black and white cartoon you have running in your head.


Now if you'd like to discuss ritualistic behavior and how it pertains to sports, I'd be happy to engage.


Rusty said...

I guess not.

n.n said...

Revenant:

Actually, America's national charter is recorded in The Declaration of Independence. The Articles of Confederation, and later The Constitution, are the first and final, respectively, ratified recordings of the supreme law of the American nation.

As for the national charter's reference to "Nature's God," it does indeed refer to the Judeo-Christian God, the entity or power which created the underlying order in our universe, and granted our unalienable rights. America was founded as a Christian nation with its charter recorded according to their principles and philosophy. You have to consider the context within which it was devised and recorded.

I find it interesting that your philosophy, atheism, is founded on a singular article of faith, the rejection of a divine entity, which is purported to exist outside the realm of our senses and perception. It seems unproductive to judge a philosophy by an article of faith which may or may not have an effect until our post-mortem.

Anyway, since atheism is an incomplete philosophy, I will not judge your motivations further. The key advantage and disadvantage of atheism is that it is wholly inconsistent and does not characterize its adherents. Well, other than that singular criteria for rejection of some (most?) other people's philosophies. That seems to be quite closed-minded, especially when it does not have a material bearing on reasonable degrees of freedom.