Let's mix it up with a fun little rant. Today the New York Times turns its critical eye on something that has pissed me off for a long time: how the New York Yankees are the only team to play "God Bless America" during the seventh-inning stretch of every home game (a holdover from an MLB practice after 9/11, though the song is still played in all stadiums on Sundays and holidays), and how their ushers prevent crowd movement during the song by holding up chains across the aisles.
“Mr. Steinbrenner wanted to do all games to remind the fans about how important it is to honor our nation, our service members, those that died on Sept. 11 and those fighting for our nation,” [spokesman Howard] Rubenstein said.
The chains were implemented because a bunch of fans sent angry emails about how people didn't respect the song properly.
I'm amused by what people consider patriotic. I've always placed the Bill of Rights and the Constitution over a song praising a country's geography, but what do I know? I'm just some stupid Marine Corps combat veteran. For the record: I stand at attention from the first note to the last note of the National Anthem because that's what Marine Corps order dictates; however, there is no law (Marine or otherwise) that requires me to stand still during "God Bless America," a song that I've never particularly liked in the first place.
Patriotism is a nice gesture, but it shouldn't be confused for freedom — and I'd like the freedom to move around when I damn well please. I think I've earned it.