The true question buried in our national anthem
This is wonderful Mary! I too was ashamed to be British for many years, in light of many things 'our nation' did. But then I realised that Britain - and America - are not synonymous with the scumbags who carry out atrocities in the name of the people they are supposed to represent. The American people did not murder tens of thousands of Iraqis. A rabble who have siezed the institutions did.
I salute the good people of America, of China, of England, of Afganistan. I contest those corrupt monsters who claim to act on their behalf.
The idea that any kind of national pride is red-necked and regressive is poisonous propoganda from those who strive instead for an authoritarian world government.
Pride in our national culture and uniqueness is a good thing. I will salute your flag as well as my own.
And another thought - 'Lawyer Lisa' finished her substack post today with this:
"The fat lady is on our side. And she will not sing until we win".
Mary, thank you for this insightful reflection that only you could write!
Your mindful meditation on our national symbol is a reframe that is essential for us in realizing the beautiful future our hearts know is possible. As long as we remain trapped in duality, thinking our only choice is to either mindlessly sing along or remain mute in protest, we cannot create a better country.
The repeated questions of the anthem make it relevant for self examination in every generation, and you articulate it so beautifully as metaphor:
“It’s a message in a bottle, heaved into the sea of tomorrows in the hope that future U.S. citizens will heed that call.”
Yes!! Each of us in each generation has infinite potential to heed the call of creating a better future. What will we create?
As always, love your writing! At my daughter’s hs graduation last summer, the pledge of allegiance struck me hard. In my anger, I decided we should update it for accuracy: “with liberty and justice for all, as long as they GET VACCINATED”
Thank you for that Mary. I have had mostly negative relationship with all things nationalistic since I was made to sing to the flag with my hand over my heart in grade school. I'm now 65 and I usually flip off flags when driving by any edifice that is flying it. I think I am flipping off all the things that I abhor about the country in which I live. John Lennon's song "imagine" has been my metaphorical flag. Also, strangely, I loved to sing it at the top of my lungs in a crowd...Like a ball game. Something about inflating my shy lungs within a group of lots of people. Some kind of unity. Belonging. Ritual.
What has been slowly gestating and becoming within my relationship to all of these symbolic vestiges of Nationalism is a view into my own single point perspective; I have only been looking at one side of a many sided paradigm. I have slowly, recently been changing to 3 point perspective wherein I see more and simply have a different more complex full view.
So...within this new view I can entertain to be GRATEFUL; full of gratitude!! Which is my takeaway from your sharing today. Oh say can I see...what? A pile of shit, or rich compost in which to grow food and flowers. Oh say can... I see the we through the divide, the one that I am part of. Grateful is a mindset that allows me to not simply judge and other and cloister myself in my own self righteousness and mono-vision.
So I am very grateful for your perspective; your willingness to turn things upside down and have another look see.
I am tossing you into a bucket with Charles Eisenstein who is perpetually embracing multi-sided views in order to parse out "the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible".
I'm ready to drive into town today and salute this flag symbol of Unity holding a different ideological view in the place of flipping it off as I usually do. Gee, I feel relieved. Cheers...
What an amazing revelation. I will recognize this "hidden" question every time I hear the anthem from now forward.
By the way - your anthem is especially glorious. Every time I hear it, I think of Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock!
Thank you. Right now the flag is rather faded. I’m continuing to sing and pray for our country that we can be released from the jaws of satan and once again be a nation of God following people. A land of green, and life, and hope. God bless America!!!
Wonderful wisdom of a narrator growing learning and sharing
Aha, they'ze already on yer radar! MidWestern gals wont'cha come out tonite? (I mebbe a new yawker but I started out a Motown girl myself, ssssh! --sum'times I feel like Professor Marvel fessin' up ta Dorothy!)
yup, "hat pins" all the time: re " ...think he, and some others like him, might have found their way to reject the very ideas they were promulgating twenty years earlier."
Addin' too that many've 'em not high on the 33rd rung've the ladder (in rooms with a view) died never knowin' that the myth of "scare-city" wuz just a myth--we live in abund-dance ('nuff ta dance about too!) but so many didn't know it hence "hopeful" solutions fer a whirled of limited resources now seem disturbin' in retrospect but make a bit more sense now knowin' what wuz kept secret from us all.
Keep that noggin' tickin'! an' 'stead've a "Bucky Ball" try a "Buck-eye-ball" an' still think've the MinsterFuller an' his round inventions!
(https://lmld.org/buckeye-balls/ an' you kin sub the powdered sugar fer stevia if ya wish) ;-)
All good Mary--nope, my concern wuz more related to an after-thought, jus' that I may have come off not as intended... So yup, I feel a LOT've us were manipulated even if we knew not ta trust politicians 'er the official JFK story! All the "fuzzy warm" we are "one nation in humanity" somehow left behind the concept that each HUMAN as well as each nation's gotta retain a strong sense of "who they are" (not W.H.O. they are!). Now that said, tho I never bought the erasin' of cultures to make one homogenized esperanto soup, fer years I fully thought the UN was a good thing! I loved The Rescuers! (Ava Gabor "Mouse" works at the UN, their headquarters... Bob Newhart "Mouse" is the janitor there but he gets promoted!) Little did I know that from the start they were all Globalists since 'fore WWI... which brings me to Bucky...since ya brought 'im up...
Now ol, "Bucky" my he's fascinatin'--a break-the-mold genius. Always been a semi-fan 've him fer hiz nifty-kool designs! My girls climbed / built many a geodesic dome at science fairs, I read all manner've brilliant "out there" musin's from the man, an' I even tried Buckey Balls (aka Fullerenes) fer my Lyme (didn't do squat fer me but many swear by 'em).
It wasn't until velly recently I got a look-see (not in depth) at some of his (let's give'im the benefit of the doubt) social constructs like "equal distribution of weath" (DING!) an' enviro-"green" idears, some of which only will fly with the current NWO/New Green Deal types (eg. small efficient housing for ALL!). Like I said, mebbe the benefit of the doubt? Was he "in" on the Day Tapes? I just do not know...
Also, he was all fer sequesterin' carbon (like Gates an' the footprint gang, failed ta hear that "don't mess with Mother Nature" commercial!), he believed in peak 'erl an' water shortages and wanted to redistribute resources equitably... (both shortages bein' myths). Of all folks that would'a known it was baloney it would'a been him... I mean he hung out with all the Ivy Men (Harvard & Yale guys) an' they were purdy clear on their intent... so mebbe he wuz just a dreamer but bein' also sharp...wull I wonder. He (way 'fore his time) pushed fer wind & solar power based on them "shortages" an' only NOW do we see it's a con--an' a dangerous one that creates worse enviro havoc than old "earl." Distribution of these "resources" by BIG GUBBAMINT, tasked with controllin' the wind an' weather, makes me go, EEEK a mouse! (in the UN no less!) Because yup, he wuz VELLY involved with the U.N. (eek again!) an' tho his designs were groovy, now I see that the concept of pushing uniform "practical housing" on the masses is not so hot an idea. Similar ta Bauhas or Le Corbousier -- all three men in the desire ta create efficient living schemas managed to envison us all livin' in little WEF-type pods (clever they were in deco, "moderne," futuristic) with all three kinda envisioning the globalist happy minimalist equivalent of the 15 minute city.
Again, my seein' these great idears fer what they are...took some years. Today both the Bauhaus & Corbusier neibs rusted out & got shabby an' crumbly an' now in their non-perfect non-museum iterations (there are pristine models that look awsome...) are actually worse than "regular" public housin').
I see him as an inventor BUT lookin' back--how much did he know? An' given we didn't really have spaceships... (or at least some've us knew that, bet he did...) it's a whole 'nuther ball've wax, right?
Anyway, glad yer there Mary--yer always bringin' up the "good thinks" (n' things) ta get our noggin's tickin'! xos back atcha'
Wull good on ya fer figgerin' out all that globalism wuz a con an' all've us--an' our Euro-"peon" pals were the targets! EVEN among awake folks I'm astounded at all them that think all this "world music" gobbeldy gook an' "it takes a village" dogma an' "one world" anything---are all the beans--insidious stuff! But the ac"teur" an' cultural appropriatEUR in me (I appropriate inappropriately an' with gusto! gimme some central castin' any day!) an' the wicki watchi old skool deejay in me shook hands an' sent up a red flag pronto upon hearin' all that sappy "We 'r the World" piffle shoveled at us. It jus' didn't ring true (an' it sucked eggs!)
Music-cully it wuz just hokum-pap (Farm Aid reboot just as lousy) wanly sung onna doity red carpet (so many starts toted out ya'd think it wuz rehab center day!)--but of COURSE "zey" wanted us ta fall fer it an' many did! They DO try ta "git ya" with a faux dose've the senty-mental...
Not givin' a hoot fer "pee cee" I like all the idio-synchro-seas've each nation--down ta their quirky currencies! Member in "King & I" when Yul Brenner's entire face falls fast when Deborah Kerr's Anna tells'im that Siam is tiny--not giant--THAT is when he loses power. Holdin' that pitch-ur of yer nation in yer mind's eye--keepin' it a fine one--THAT is what holds nations together better n' spit holds a curl. Back in the day all the French were told that France wuz the center of the world! I loved that!--THAT too is the pride each nation needs--ta believe in yer accomplish-mints! Those from other lands that came to these countries to settle there to EMBRACE (not deface! ) all they stood for, learnin' the language, the hist'ry, the customs...--keep 'em all goin'. Way differ'rent than what's heppenin' today... Okey dokey, off my soapbox now (French lilac savon mebbe?!) But I always liked them senty-mental-nationalistic-type songs TOO much to ever erase borders 'er nations (here's a few like them I'm'a thinkin' of):
Josephine Baker on Paris: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lLly_oHvSo
Hazel O'Connor on Ireland: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUGPER84Ifc
Judy on America: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AaPkkOYg4cQ&t=2s 0
Dean Martin on Italy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1UXbhZ3ysc
Samantha--Viva Espana / Spain (in German!): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLWSnAZh32o
Marlene on Berlin: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-BLoI-0aFc
So no, they can't take that away from me... from us! (Nor mem'ries of Fred n' Ginger either!)
Each nation's gotta start wavin' their flags an' memberin' what they'ze about!
Thank golly us that DO 'member 're still around! Cuz if ya fergit who y'are , yer done fer.
Chasin' the erasers (human ones) is gonna be a big task but not impossible... (gotta hurry an' save some statues tho' 'fore they'ze melted, save them vinyl records, books, arty-facts) Anywayz...
Thanks a' plenty fer the faith as we muddle thru (our fambly but in a larger sense--ALL of us!)
an' thanks fer keepin' the faith in all us human beans!
Methinks it waves best as it can all shot up with holes in it--like many fine examples of the thing that 're preserved in mothballs an' in museum cases. It kinda still waves but the spirit of the thing--what it represents.... still shines even under all the toxic chemtrail dust:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56qQYwOmkXw (yeah, Jimmy again...)
Like so much yer deeper take on the song--funny but I always took the line two ways:
"O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave "
1. hey (o say) lookee thar, it's still a' wavin'--wow! (surprise surprise! takes a lickin' keeps on tickin')
an'.... more like you were seein'...
2. Oh say, does it still wave?
Both I think work--both likely intended....ta give a Key ta interpretin' the meanin'....
I too felt the strong push ta git dee-skusted with the entire US of Eh.... NOW we know that wuz the plan--not just indoctrine-ay-shun, it wuz curriculum! (The sin of Zinn....) When I traveled I wuz embarrassed as I felt "they" assumed "we" (the people) supported the wars, the drones, all that bad stuff...
Truth is, there wuz always two Americas (meanin' the USA, not our friends up yonder north nor our southern pals either). There was always America--The Beautiful! Star Spangled! An' them globalist weenies let us have our dream (mostly) fer a few hundred years while they was undoin' it by the seams, death by a thousand lil' sewing skissors! An' once 'nuff damage wuz done, then they brought out the ripped, soiled, stained, burn-able monstrosity of AmeriKa, a dose of CCP / Soviet hot sauce on the side... We never knew ('til now) what hit us...
I sang this'un...but I refused ta "pledge" fer many a year. Now I git that pledging to a flag--an object--is a bit tetchy--but the jist of it--bein' true to the republic FOR WHICH it stands...wull now, that was a mighty fine thing. Now the skools ain't got no flags 'cept them rainbow beach towels... sad.
Now I pledge, I sing (my girls say I warble!)...an' daily I muster up hope!
(Sorry ta be so bee-hind on readin' all yer postin's--it's been bumpy here...but better! Gotta so some postin' myself--)
Just as wheat waves in the fields, bends in the wind but is meant ta be resilient--I think our flag'll stand the longer test of time--but boy golly theyze testin' us good now
Thanks, Mary. I am officially smarter about the anthem right now than I have ever been...I do not understand why this stuff was not taught in school. Instead, we were just brainwashed into believing something else entirely. I shall look at the anthem differently now...although I am far from belting it out - or even leaving the audio play before listening to a baseball game.
I'm especially enjoying the comments from other readers - all thoughtfully expressed.
Thank you for this incredibly insightful answer to a life long question I to have had.
Hope the volleyball and Maddy are great.
Whoa! Deluged under information overload as usual, it took me a while to come across this, and I am so glad I did.
The history of your relationship to the anthem reflects my own, but I had not yet turned my classroom skills on that poem as you have done.
But that brings up another battle to be constantly fought ... between those who sing, think, or behave out of lockstep automatic herd instinct, and those who react out of a deep, profound dive into the rabbit hole.
I guess we've both seen the same thing play out in other domains. I remember being dumbstruck by a knee-jerk "god is beyond metaphor" response to a sharing of insights which should have been much more nuanced.
Sighing. The same language that can point to potential platonic ideals, can be just as deftly used to herd the barely sentient beast within.
Cheers from Japan ... with the world's shortest national anthem.
And one that with first analysis, I don't subscribe.
And there was a somewhat famous court case regarding the mandate that public school teachers MUST sing the national anthem ...
Thank you Mary.