Monday, August 9, 2010

national anthem

"The Star Spangled Banner," national anthem of the United States, did not gain political approval as a national anthem until 1931, which seems a fair stretch from the War of 1812 and the battle at Ft. McHenry during which the Americans successfully defended Baltimore from a British assault in 1814. The British attacked with an hellacious barrage that went on and on and on and on. By morning, Francis Scott Key, author of "The Star-Spangled Banner," was able to frame the the anthem's question, "Oh say does that star-spangled banner yet wave ...?"

But it took until 1931 for Congress to put its stamp of approval on the song as the national anthem. Prior to that vote, such songs as "God Bless America" and "America" were heard at official gatherings without any congressional imprimatur.

One hundred and seventeen years.

This country, like every other, had flags to spare. Each symbolized this or that, called attention to this or that, inspired awe or devotion or, perhaps, horror at the cause for which it was raised. Flags are a serious business when it comes to symbolism, cohesiveness and propaganda.

But the national anthem had to wait. I guess music is more complex than cloth.

As a totally useless piece of information, I thought the scene was interesting.


  1. i'm at work now. i collapsed earlier on, when i realise something I learnt in High School. Complex Roots. There is not a single root in Singapore which is not planted in soil, until my cousin brought some aeroponics (correct spelling) into the island.. or rather, he smuggled it in.

    I did not understand the chapter on Complex and Real Roots during Math class in the past, because it occur to me that it a Root is Complex, why bother to plot it out on an X-Y axes? How can a Complex Root possibly be expressible?

    I remained silent throughout the lessons, and I flunked that semester's paper. My first F in Math.

    But it totally humbled me.

    i imagine how it is like if somebody I always thought to exist for 28 years of my life, suddenly dawn upon me that he did not really exist. What kind of a hell I went through, am going through? And yet, in the US, the religion of Creationism is such that every being that appeared sentient was actually a magical creation. Never the case in Asia. Which explains, roughly, why Asians flock to the West for education, while my first Zen teacher whom I met in Thailand, was an American who dumped everything he had in US to travel through Japan, have an Asian girlfriend, learn thai massage, then decided that for his whole life he will just stay in Thailand as a monk's attendant.

    You know something Mustafa? I am Asian. And I am proud of my parents. Even though they received no education.

    And "I Love You" is the hardest phrase to pronounce in front of parents.

    I learnt this in Transformers 2. A Western Computer Graphics movie which pictured barely no humans, just machines. Irony. :)

    I come in respect, but I get used to bullies... that's what equanmity is about.

  2. I just saw a Buddha walked past me moments after I posted this message. Amazing.