Can I run something by you guys?
I am well aware that I have faults, enemies, shortcomings, sins and I get very excited when I eat and forget to chew. As a quasi-media member, the general public has a right to remind me of those issues and I can take it But please do not ever question my patriotism I grew up happily pledging allegiance to the flag.
Iâ€™ve traveled the world and have no doubt that the United States of America is the best country on earth. I pay my taxes (although I do usually file an extension). I love the USA. And I always stand and remove my hat for the national anthem. Always. And if I am not holding both a beer and hot dog, I will often put my hand on my heart, as well.
Now, a couple of my other faults include being passive-aggressive, as well as vindictive. So while at a sporting event I will tend to get more frustrated than vocal when I see people oblivious to the disrespect they show by not standing for the anthem. I might glare and imagine tripping them later, but its not my nature to say anything. I can cut a little more slack to those standing but still wearing hats.
Maybe they just don't remember they have it on or I have mistaken their headwear for their actual hair, But again, I am not the guy that will yell out "Hey Rob Ford, what the hell is wrong with you, put the crack pipe down and stand up?" (By the way, Rob Ford gets a pass if it is a Blue Jays game.)
Watching the Brewers on TV the other day I saw a guy standing next to the woman singing "God Bless America" (more on that later) with his hat on while eating french fries. Really?
If it is the national anthem, you SHOULD stand up. You of course live in the USA. In Cuba or some Soviet remnant country like Cubeskestan, you risk being taken away and disappearing for a lot less. Of course, you do have freedom here and you can in fact make the conscious choice to remain seating. And if it is a conscious protest, then I will respect that.
But, you also have the choice to walk around with a giant urine stain on the front of your trousers if you don't have any self-respect. If you respect others and your country and you physically can stand up, you pretty much have to stand up.
So let's review...
- National anthem: Stand up! Remove cap!
- Hand over heart: Totally optional.
- "God Bless America:" Not punishable, but will it really kill you to show some respect? This one does provide you the technical option to do whatever you like. I get it. I cannot be forced to polka or sing along in the seventh inning stretch. But when I see players and umpires standing respectfully and I hear the words "stand beside her and guide her" I am happy to stand and guide just as I accept the unlikely chance that I might have to open the plane door while seated in an emergency row on a flight.
I understand my friend Andy Tarnoff is not a fan of standing for songs other than the one official anthem. While nobody ever anointed Kate Smith and her rendition of "God Bless America" as a mandated tradition, I am OK with it. I will even stand for Springsteen or Mellencamp when they break into patriotic tunes (although I draw the line at Daft Punkâ€™s "Get Lucky." Dancing and standing are not that much different for me. so I know it's hard to tell the difference).
Here is my passive/aggressive/vindictive mind at work and the accompanying question I would like your help with:
I would love to publicly call out the people at ballgames that will not stand or take off their hat. Let's take their picture and embarrass them on Twitter or Facebook or even right here at OnMilwaukee.com.
What do you think?
Would you be willing at a Brewers game to take photos of those sitting or wearing hats?
Would it be contradictory to be holding your phone and snapping pictures while the anthem is playing? Is it disrespectful to be taking the actual photo rather than standing at attention? Will they be out of focus with your hat in hand and hand on heart?
If those issues can be addressed, wouldn't it be poetic to call out those un-American slackers on the greatest American slacker invention of all time, social media?
What do you think?
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