Monday, February 7, 2011

Remembering The "National" Anthem

Ok, maybe I'm being too judgemental; at my age, maybe even crotchety and ornery, but enough with the National Anthem already!  Look, I've performed in public, given speeches and workshops -- I know what being in front of crowds of people can do in that split second of opening up one's mind to the fact that "they are all staring at you, expecting something of you, maybe even judging you" -- *CHOKE!*  But, in light of the "Aguilera Flub" and the "Warfield-Cross Issue," which brought, once again to the front, the "Marvin Gaye Rendition" and the "Roseanne Barr Assault," don't you think it's about time we just sing it? 

What is all this stuff about artistry and creative license?  What if our President decided to "origami" the Constitution, you know, just to make it a little more interesting and fun? or paint the White House blue with orange trim, really demonstrate America's freedom of expression?  Whatever you sing at your concert or for your audience, whatever you hang in your gallery or create for your friends is strictly your privilege and your responsibility; whatever belongs to the nation -- leave it alone.  Take a moment to put ambition, showboating, glory-seeking, personal preference aside, and bask in sacrifices made, blood shed, respect and gratitude, sorrow and untold expense, a catholic humility and national moment of homage -- all so you can, within the privacy of your own venue or coalition, perform what you like, as you like it.  Don't make it any more complicated than it already is; don't obssess over your own "signature" on things; don't care who is listening or what power they wield.  Sing it from your heart, and sing it with respect -- after all, it's my anthem, too.
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