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How Does One Stream in a Gallant Manner, Anyway?

August 1, 2013

We now interrupt your regularly scheduled programming of rants against persistent jackholes, sedditors, and the English language’s current lack of acceptable gender-neutral third-person singular pronouns to bring you a grousing about America’s National Anthem.

Yes, some of my fellow Americans and, hell, probably all of my overseas followers, being generally more knowledgeable about these things than most of my fellow Americans, are probably scratching their heads and wondering why I decided to post this nearly a month after that national celebration of God, Guns, and Gays…er, I mean, America (Fuck Yeah!).

The primary reason I have been thinking of the drinking-song adaptation of Francis Scott Key’s hastily scribbled and apparently never revised poem written in a bobbing boat in Baltimore’s harbor is that I am singing this particular ditty tonight at the Beaver Creek Rodeo for an audience that will, I imagine, consist of champagne-swilling wannabe cowboy tourists who minced through the airport security lines with their $3000 lambskin leather cowboy boots dangling from one hand, not realizing that there’s a reason real cowboys’ boots look so beat up–those things have to be broken in, dammit!

But the high-falutin’ setting aside, how much more American can ya get? Hell, my outfit of choice for this auspicious occasion is a red-and-white plaid shirt with blue jeans. I might even throw on a little makeup!

Yep. The whole event is a bit cheesy. Beaver Creek hasn’t been a mining, cowboy-oriented sort of town in a long, long time. So the rodeo hopelessly contrived, way over the top, and likely overburdened by too many cooks stirring the broth, hoping for a delicate souffle that will blow the hearts, minds, and lower intestines of all who drop in for a taste, but ultimately wind up looking at the disaster, shaking their heads sadly, and ordering a pizza.

Okay, so since the rodeo’s been successful for several years, I exaggerate a little. But I do find that my description encapsulates how I feel about the National Anthem. Which is why I think this imperfect song created by a clearly untrained poet and granted melody by someone who has no understanding of how human vocal folds work and/or is a sadist is a perfect symbol for my country.

And no, that is not intended to be a bashing of the U.S. of A. We’re flawed. We’re imperfect. We’re behind a few developing countries in terms of how good our healthcare and infant-mortality rates are. So we got a long way to go.

But dammit, when we want to do something, we don’t half-ass! There’s a reason why so many foreign tourists feel like they absolutely have to stop in Vegas at some point during their tour. It represents everything great about America: the drinking, the rampant sexuality, the large portions of food, the unabashed cheesiness. And goddamn, is it a fun place to be!

Plus, there’s the very fact that I get to raise all these outright gripes and sarcastically sincere snipes. As Americans, we take our Constitutionally given right to kvetch very seriously, and we take advantage, often in colorful and over-the-top ways that don’t always have sound reasoning behind them, rather like certain National Anthem singers who don’t have sound vocal technique behind their performance, but the crowds go wild anyway.

And so I will be taking the stage at the Beaver Creek Rodeo tonight with a combination of pride and hipster- and Alanis Morrissette-ironic pride that, for its existence, will slide right back into genuine pride as I try to keep a straight face while ending the overly-long lyrical sentence that ends with the WTF-esque phrase “gallantly streaming.” Because you can’t be an American if you don’t love cheese, or at least puffy substitutes like Cheez-Wiz.


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  1. Grab your crotch ala Roseanne, please!!

  2. got the comment- check – watched the video- un-check, hadn’t heard of or seen ANY of those ppl b4 OR felt there was something missing in my life through the lack of this higher knowledge, therefore PARANOIA SET IN -felt a bit old/out of touch/wrong side of the atlantic,…..OH NO
    but then jus’ read don-of-all-trades’s comment and no longer feel quite so isolated 😉 phew, there is a parallel universe and double phew, it is universal 😉

    • Don’t worry about it! Honestly, I have no idea who Demi Lovato is outside of that performance, I merely included it because when I was searching through YouTube for “Star Spangled Banner” singers to emulate, she came up in the results, and her performance reassured me that no matter how things turned out for me, at least I wouldn’t blow out a vocal fold!

  3. Amber permalink

    I once heard a comedian complain about the language of our national anthem. That it was too violent. And he asked what was going on with those streaming ramparts? He then added that the only creatures who should be concerned with ramparts are ewes! 😀

    Anyway, how’d it go? Got an update that I missed as I try to catch up on these fabulous archives?

    • I’d like to think it went well, seeing as how I got applause for the high note! Someday I’ll edit and post the video I got of it, but I’ve been too lazy.

      And ew(e), why are ramparts streaming?!

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