James Clay Fuller

Things We're Not Supposed to Say

Saturday, January 01, 2005

The new national anthem

At the start of a new year, it is time to acknowledge that the unsingable old national anthem of the United States finally has been replaced, albeit unofficially. Despite it’s birth in war, may it someday rest in peace.

Liberals generally avoid the old song because it was co-opted a few years ago by the extreme right, who still use it at ball games and other public displays as a political weapon, in the same way that they wave the Stars and Stripes in the faces of all who disagree with them: "This is ours," they proclaim, "and if you don’t accept all of our beliefs, including our most extreme religious fantasies, without question, you are a traitor. You can’t have this flag or this song."

Liberals, being liberals, don’t want to be associated with right wing symbols, and have for the most part ceded rights to the song and, more sadly, the flag.

But "The Star Spangled Banner" is an awkward tune, and it takes a bit of work to learn the lyrics. Liberals are much more likely than right wingers to know the words.

So, ever so quietly, the right has replaced the old anthem with a new number for every day use.

You hear it everywhere, but especially around Washington, D.C., and in the suburbs and certain rural areas, where it is most fully in tune with the sensibilities of the Bush-supporting residents. It’s what they sing all day long into their cell phones as they tool carelessly and threateningly around from mall to mall in their giant SUVs.

It’s so easy to manage. It has only one note – any one note. It requires no harmonies, since each person sings it solo. And the lyric consists of one word, endlessly repeated: "Me, Me, Me, Me."
Good luck in 2005 to the good people of United States of America and all others who must deal with the dangerous megalomaniacs who run this country.