THE STAR-MANGLED BANNER
True, many, many Americans (I, for one) would rather have this country's national anthem be the more easily sung, melodic "God Bless America" than the turgid, difficult-to-remember Francis Scott Key poem that celebrated the American defense of Fort McHenry against British forces in September, 1814. To be sure, the "Star-Spangled Banner" can be a vocalist's worst nightmare.
Nonetheless, it's interesting that it took the United States Congress 117 years to make "The Star-Spangled Banner" the official national anthem of the United States, but the NFL just 40 Super Bowls to have it thoroughly mangled by Aretha Franklin and Aaron Neville.
Two years ago, Paul Tagliabue & Company gave us the Janet Jackson-Justin Timberlake wardrobe malfunction. This year we get the worst televised performance of a song since William Hung rendered Ricky Martin's "She Bangs" a laughingstock on "American Idol." What was the NFL thinking?
If given the unenviable choice among Janet Jackson's 40-year-old breast, a corpulent, over-the-hill gospel singer, and a prime candidate for plastic surgery, I'll take the breast.
Meanwhile, couldn't the choir from West Point or Annapolis have sung "The Star-Spangled Banner" out of respect for our men and women in uniform?
FOLLOW-UP (02/06/06): Michelle Malkin links to some other bloggers who were similarly annoyed, as I was, over two observations I made in this post: 1) the nation's national anthem was mangled; and, 2) our troops were not recognized or honored.