11 thoughts on “Dowdifying Asimov”

  1. I always felt it was a pity that only the first stanza is sung at events, not all four stanzas. Indeed, many folks don’t even know the National Anthem has more then one stanza.

  2. Excellent! Thanks, Rand, for bringing this my attention.

    I respectfully disagree with Thomas about the singing of the anthem at every baseball game or what have you. Does forced patriotism have any meaning, or does it cheapen the feeling of those who hold patriotic feelings deep in their hearts?

    I have a hard time believing that daily sporting events are the correct place for singing the anthem in toto. At championship games, at New Year’s celebrations, inaugurations, political rallys… Much more so.

    But this is a minor point compared to the greatness of Asimov’s article.

  3. Singing just the first stanza is less patriotic than not singing it at all.

    The first two stanzas basically tell a story:
    1. The United States has just finished an existential battle in a war against the largest empire in the world; has its flag been pulled down in defeat?
    2. No, daybreak reveals our flag still flying, a glorious brave victory for our freedom!

    It is not adequate to substitute:
    2. Whatever; play ball!

  4. Singing just the first stanzas, ending on the question ” … does that star spangled banner yet wave ‘or the land of the free and the home of the brave?”, I have always taken as a question to those singing. Are we still the land of the free and the home of the brave? Ending on a reflective note is not unpatriotic but a challange to the patriote to answere in the affermative.

  5. Bennett,

    [[[I have a hard time believing that daily sporting events are the correct place for singing the anthem in toto. ]]]

    Careful, the Tea Party will pronounce you a “liberal” (i.e domestic enemy) for your suggestion to wipe out a long standing traditional display of patriotism. They will toss you into the same bin as those liberals that seek to ban the Pledge of Allegiance in schools.


    [[[Those that would look to tare down our country have decided that students that want to show they are loyal to the United States should to go out into the hallway to say the pledge before school starts…

    This is yet another example of how the liberals in our nation try to make everyone feel as if they are alone. They know that humans in general do not like to act without knowing that others will do the same, so they want to make you act on your own. This is why they continually tried to play down what was happening with the Tea Party movement when it began… If you thought you were alone you would stop…]]]

  6. Do you Americans really want to keep the third stanza, two centuries after its occasion? After all, Britain has been often your staunchest ally, often when the right was in doubt. (Yes, the reverse is also true – although you took your own sweet time against one of the worst evils in history.)

    I can see a time when America will indulge in a blatant act of symbolism. When the official anthem of the USA becomes the Battle Hymn.

    I submit that inspiration is not yet dead. Fictional speeches are often better than real ones. One is the speech from Henry V. And another one is very recent – within the last ten years in fact:

    Sons of Gondor! Of Rohan! My brothers. I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. A day may come when the courage of Men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day. An hour of wolves and shattered shields when the Age of Men comes crashing down, but it is not this day! This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good earth, I bid you stand, Men of the West!

    One can still hope that the other famous speech, this time actually in the book, will never be needed:

    Arise, arise, Riders of Théoden!
    Fell deeds awake: fire and slaughter!
    spear shall be shaken, shield be splintered,
    a sword-day, a red day, ere the sun rises!
    Ride now, ride now! Ride to Gondor!

    Should the second one be necessary – well, Earth abides.

  7. One does not need to brand the Tea Party dishonest in order to strive for honesty. There is in fact nothing dark or hidden about the Tea Party. They really mean it when they say they want smaller government, fewer entitlements, and lower taxes – it isn’t being spoken in code to convey a deeper, hidden meaning.

    You see, at its core America is still the land of the free and the home of the brave, even after nearly a century of increasing monetary fraud and nanny-state meddling.

    And guess what? Australians are starting to ask whether they, too, are still free and brave. So are the Italians, and the Dutch, and the Brits and the Canadians. The Tea Party is spreading. Can’t stop the signal.

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