Saturday, April 28, 2007

Go away Ronan Tynan!

Peter posted on this topic yesterday but I've got my own thoughts and here they are...

The Sabres have formed quite a bond with the “Irish Tenor”, and the story of his return to Buffalo was front page headlines in the Buffalo News.

I’m not buying into it…and it has nothing to do with Tynan.

I grew up hating the Irving Berlin spiritual “God Bless America”. My memories as a teenager was watching that Dead Fat Woman in Philadelphia step out onto the ice at the Spectrum and croak out that song. And that was it. Game over. Flyers win. The Flyers always won.

A generation later, this song holds a much more bitter meaning for me. The Bushies and the Cheneys and the Halliburtons just love to truck out this song whenever the temperature gets too hot wtih criticism of their Iraq misadventure… forget about the half trillion dollars (and counting) for their fucking war, forget about the 3300 (and counting) dead soldiers. Let us sing to the heavens... let our spirits soar... and together we feel so good and all is well with the world! UGH!

As for last night, I could write you the same sorry story… Tynan sings the song, the Jumbotron displays photos of soldiers, dressed in their desert khakis and holding their rifles, sitting on their tanks and displaying their missiles and other instruments of death.

As I look around the seating bowl and see happy children eating their popcorn and cotton candy, my thoughts turned to other children who might not be smiling. I ask, how many Iraqi children had their homes and villages flattened from those very same tanks we’re viewing in those pictures? How many Iraqi children are orphaned from that same missile battery we saw on the screen last night?

The results of the Tynan show was predictable – a collective orgasm from the crowd. Nothing like images of soldiers and armies and war to get a sports audience going.

What did I do? I did what I always do in sports venues when they play the Dead Fat Woman’s song. I took a seat. Hey, I’ll stand for the Star Spangled Banner and sing loud and proud anytime. But I will not pay homage to that piece of propaganda bullshit.

If you don’t like my take on all this, then go ahead and let me have it. I’ve sat my ass down through many a 7th inning stretch and gotten an earful from people around me. I held my ground then. I’m not about to back down now.


KevinP said...

While I'm not going to "let you have it" as I respect people who stand up (or sit down) for what they believe in, I think you're reading far too much into the reactions of the crowd.

People are not oblivious to the sufferings of war, but people also appreciate the efforts of the soldiers and what they are asked to endure. The applause (IMHO) is not for a war, but for those who are away from home, missing their families, and always stand ready to protect our country. It's not their job to pick what battles to fight, they just go fight where they are told.

Jonathan Grant Keller said...

-I think you have a right to sit or takes courage to stand-up (NPI) for what you beleive in. I personally supressed my rage towards Jorge and politely clapped. Then I reminded my wife who was quite enthusiastic and teary-eyed that for the cost of 1 days worth of war, we could help 30 African countries dig wells for clean water and purchase mosquito nets.

-Ronan has a right to sing to a BUF-NYC-MSG audience and increase his exposure...

-My interpretation of the song/tribute based on the photos was 'God Bless America' means North, South, and Central 'America'. Lots of Canada references at least...

-My guess is that this will reappear in video format...often.

-Let's hope next time they include Hillary Clinton in the montage---maybe then people will boo and we can all be happy.

Here is what I wrote about it on my blog:

-Ronan Tynan sang a very well produced 'God Bless America'. Not my cup of beer but stirring and poignant on many different levels. It was Sabres/Rangers/USA/Canada mutual. We celebrated what America represents: Iqaluit, Nunavut Canada down to Darwin Island in the Galapogos to Barbados, Lesser Antillies to Cape Froward in Chile. We are all in this together so god bless America (North, South and Central America). And God bless this entire world...someone play 'Waving my Dick in the Wind' right now!

dave in Rocha said...

I agree with KevinP. I don't think they're trying to whip up war propaganda, and i think fans are cheering the efforts and sacrifices of the soldiers.

However I am SO glad to read about someone else not going apeshit for that song, especially during 7th-inning stretches. It really irks me when the PA announcer at Frontier Field (Rocha) requests everyone to stand up and remove their hats. I never remove my hat. I stand because it's time to stretch, but the hat stays. Actually, I'm not much of a hat wearer, but i make it a point to wear one to ballgames just so i can not take it off.

alex said...

One of the best editorials Andrew you are so right.

God Bless America is NOT the national anthem! I was at a ball game once and some drunken blowhard was screaming at me from ten rows back to take off my cap and stand at attention. I deliberately slunk into my chair just to piss him off.