(video posted at the bottom)
“Crushing it.” – Lady Gaga’s brain.
I’m not going to fire up the Hot Take generator regarding the National Anthem a la Kevin Blackiston, but I will say this: I could not roll my eyes hard enough at the performance of the National Anthem before Superbowl 50. Every major sporting event now turns into a contest between all the other sporting events for which one can be more patriotic.
It’s like when some famous guy comes out and says he hates gay people. You have people tripping over themselves, throwing elbows, and stabbing bitches to get to the front of the line to declare what an asshole that guy is. Grandstanding on something almost universally agreed upon and then acting like they themselves are a big deal.
“I’m so offended by this. I love gays!”
“No, I love gays!”
“No, both of you suck. I’m the biggest lover of the gays on the planet!”
Yes, guys, we get it. Hating gay people is a very bad thing.
In the same way, I think being patriotic (i.e., loving your homeland and appreciating its history and your fore-bearers who fought for it) is a good thing. But what we now have is this:
“I love the Anthem and America, look at that big-ass flag!”
“No, I love America. I got an even bigger flag and a fly-over.”
“You both are America-hating commie rats. I got a fly-over, a flag the size of the entire fucking field, war veterans, an aircraft carrier, Marilyn Monroe back from the dead, and a band made up of Bruce Springsteen, the Eagles, the Beach Boys, an Elvis impersonator, and every one of last year’s CMA winners all singing on top of an giant apple pie. Suck it, pussies.”
Yes, guys, we get it. Loving America is a good thing.
I’ll give everyone the benefit of a doubt. I don’t think people actually believe that having an excessive celebration for the “Star-Spangled Banner” makes them more patriotic. But that’s kind of my point. It’s about the show, not the patriotism. Patriotism is on the decline. Voter turnouts are terrible. People have never been more ignorant or apathetic regarding our founding principles, documents, and history.
So why do we need to do this? Why haven’t we gotten over this kind of fraudulent pageantry regarding something so intimate and supposedly dear to our hearts? It’s the terrible ‘MURICA joke people yell during fireworks celebrations taken to a macro level. And I’m so tired of it.
Before sports start, now we need to sit through a mini America Pageant. Superbowl 50 was no exception. If this was a contest (and it is), it BLEW everything else in recent memory out of the water.
Huge flag? Check. Fly-over? Check.
Shot of well-known player who is crying and/or really feelin’ the Anthem? Check.
Hey, did you guys know we have troops? I just keep forgetting. In my defense, though, most of America forgets we have troops except when we need them to stand in front us to certify our patriotism.
Sign-language lady? Uh… check?
OK, why is this woman here? Like, why would deaf people need her? Everyone knows the words and Lady Gaga was doing quite enough to communicate the “emotions” of the song. Hmm. Just more pageantry and look-at-us bullshit, I guess.
“Drink it in, bitches.”
This last shot actually summarizes the National Anthem production best. Just a collective fist-pump for an entire crew that pulled off an epic show. Not a genuine display of patriotism, just entertainment. Which leads me back to the questions I posed at the beginning of this post: Why is this kind of excess the measure of our love of country? Why do we need to pay entertainers to put on some show that just lets us scream and cheer for something we go back to not caring about or doing anything about until the next major sporting event?
I get putting on a show. I get that part of American culture is being bigger, louder, cooler, and better than everyone else (and I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing). This stuff, however, has gone too far and dilutes the point of the National Anthem. The Superbowl National Anthem seemed like something Team America would do when trying to make fun of how we like to act like we’re all patriots. Fourth of July fireworks are fast approaching this same level. “Celebrate the independence of your nation by blowing up a small part of it.”
Tommy J, A-Ham, H-cock, Jimmy Mad, and GW would be so proud.
P.S. Lady Gaga had more respect for the sanctity of the fucking Sound of Music theme song than she did for the National Anthem.