Tuesday, May 2, 2006

Pitiful. Just pitiful.

Yet again, I am dumbstruck watching the news in this country. What is the big deal this week? That some guy translated the National Anthem into Spanish. The President had this to say about the controversy:
  • I think the national anthem ought to be sung in English, and I think people who want to be a citizen of this country ought to learn English and they ought to learn to sing the national anthem in English.

Not to be outdone in the "make drama out of nothing" department, Lamar Alexander (R-TN) introduced a resolution requiring the Star-Spangled Banner be sung only in English:

  • That flag and that song are a part of our history and our national identity. … That’s why in 1931 Congress declared the Star-Spangled Banner our national anthem. That’s why we should always sing it in our common language, English.

So why do I think all of this is pitiful? Because this whole story is crap. Republicans are chock-full of outrage, but it's all bullsh*t. During his 2000 campaign, George Dubya would sing the National Anthem - IN SPANISH! - in an attempt to woo Hispanic voters. And if anyone actually watched any of Bush's 2001 inauguration, they would have seen Jon Secada singing the anthem in English and Spanish. Could there be a bigger hypocrite than the President on this issue?

And as for the crazy idea that translating the song into Spanish is somehow anti-American, let's note for the record that the US Department of Education commissioned a Spanish language version of the song in 1919.

And the best part of this so-called drama? The US State Department's official website features the lyrics to the National Anthem in Spanish. Yep, the right-wing idiots are up in arms because people are singing the Anthem in Spanish, but they fail to realize that the Spanish language lyrics have long been part of the US Government's website.

And while attention has been paid to this story, did anyone even notice that people continue to die in Africa in record numbers, due to drought and famine? Was anyone outraged that they continue to pull bodies from the debris along the Gulf Coast, eight months after the storms roared through? Oh no, we are too busy to notice things like that.


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