Entr’acte—A Musical Prank?

 

Unexpected work responsibilities have kept me from completing the series I started, but I hope to finish it soon.  In the meantime, if you have a moment, ponder with me a question that has been plaguing me for years now.

If you play a prank on someone … does it matter whether they ever figure it out?  I think not.  So long as you’re amused yourself, what’s the difference?

In earlier days, I worked as an assistant for a big shot.  He was not the most fun fellow on the planet .  He was inarticulate, so one of my jobs was to write speeches for him.  On one occasion, I slipped something into his text about being “the master of his domain.” He was an American who put on Continental airs, so I guessed he wouldn’t pick up on the reference. I was right.  He delivered the line and remained clueless thereafter.  But for the last two decades, I have been snickering about the ribald Seinfeldism I made come out of his pissy piehole.  The prank was a success, despite his never catching on.

There are musical pranks.  When I was in grade school, we had music class a couple of times a week.  We would learn all the songs of bygone eras.  One of these was Mademoiselle from Armentieres.  It’s a snappy little ditty that ends with a nonsense line: “Hinky-dinky, parlez-vous?”  When you’re a kid, it’s just a funny phrase that means nothing.  Later in life I learned that this song is from the First World War, and it was about a French prostitute that serviced the doughboys. If that mademoiselle spoke hinky-dinky, odds are that she was also fluent in hanky-panky.  But I have to wonder how hard and long the editor laughed when he slipped that number into a book of songs for children.

Another example: we also learned the Woody Guthrie song This Land is Your Land. Lovely sentiment with a fitting tune.  Again, only later in life did I learn that this was practically an anthem for the Socialist movement in the mid-20th century.  Imagine the glee of the left-leaning schoolteacher who snuck it into our curriculum, getting all these middle-class kiddos to croon this anti-establishment war-cry.

Speaking of anthems … what’s your favorite national anthem?  I’m no Canuck, but I get a little teary-eyed at a good rendition of O CanadaI’m no Germanophile, either, but I have to confess that Deutschland Über Alles makes the heart swell in just the way a national anthem should.  For my money, though, the most kick-ass anthem out there was/is the song of the Soviet Union, now refitted as the national anthem of Russia.  (If you saw The Hunt for Red October, you heard the sailors singing it with their first dive.)  But the Commies had to come up with a great one, since they were trying to replace the almost equally excellent song of the former regime, God Save the Tsar(You will perhaps know it from the soaring strains that end Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture.)  I don’t love the Romanovs any more than the Nazis, but damn! … all the bad guys sure had style, musically and sartorially.

And what about The Star-Spangled Banner? 

It sucks.  I say this as a red-blooded American.  We have the worst national anthem on the planet.

So this national anthem of ours …  it comes from an account of the British attack on Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor on September 13-14, 1814.   The British did not capture the fort, ‘tis true.  The more I read about the attack, the less it seems like a serious effort on either side.  Basically, the limeys kept their ships out of range of American artillery, while firing cannon for hours at the fort to no apparent effect.  Not being sure how many soldiers were in the fort, they just withdrew the next day.  As a battle, the Defense of Fort McHenry was emblematic of the entire War of 1812: the Americans survived, but gained almost nothing.

Francis Scott Key witnessed the event from a British vessel, where he was purportedly on a mission to effect a prisoner exchange.  He couldn’t be let off the ship, we are told, because he had become privy to British intentions.  So there he stood, watching both sides haphazardly lob shells in each other’s direction.  And so moved was he at the sight of the American flag flying over the fort the next morning, that he wrote a poem on the back of a letter in his pocket.  How sweet.

Over time, this poem, titled The Defense of Fort M’Henry, was married to a melody, which over time grew in popularity until it became our national anthem.  What’s not to love about all that?

Just this:

  1. It is unsingable.
  2. The melody comes from a drinking song.
  3. The only stanza we ever sing, the first, ends in a question.
  4. It commemorates a minor battle in a war that America lost.
  5. Its four stanzas never actually say the name of the country it’s for.
  6. It was clearly promoted above worthier candidates, and by the usual suspects.

My friends, the more I look into this song, the more it strikes me as a long-lasting musical prank on the citizenry of the United States.  I just have the feeling that someone somewhere is busting a gut every time we Yankees screech it out.  Allow me to explain …

No one can sing it … except for a trained voice.  It ranges across an octave and a fifth.  Start it too high and you will never hit the right notes for “the rockets’ red glare”; pitch it too low and you blow “O say, can you see.”  A good national anthem should have a range that the average citizen can manage.  Where did this indecent melody come from?

Let me tell you.  It’s from The Anacreontic Song.

And what is that?  It was the official club song of London’s Anacreontic Society, a gentlemen’s club that existed from 1766-1794.

And what was this club?  It was a “society” of amateur musicians that met in pubs for banquets that featured recitals, puppet shows, and “everything that mirth can suggest.”  (Unless “gentlemen’s clubs” were strikingly different then from now, I have some idea of what that “mirth” entailed.)  The club’s titular patron was the ancient Greek poet Anacreon, whose odes extolled the joys of booze, babes, and mirth-making. The lyrics of the club song tell of how the club founders prayed to the ascended Anacreon to be their patron, but the gods of Olympus quarreled over the prospect of a human society braiding together the myrtle of Venus (her sacred plant, used to make potions to enhance love, fertility, and prosperity) with the vine of Bacchus.  Zeus thinks Apollo and the Muses will piss themselves, but they get on board with the project, joined by Momus, god of satire and mockery. Zeus himself finally comes around to bless the London revelers.)

Lovely stuff, no?

So the meetings of the Anacreontic Society featured a singing of this anthem … BUT … performed by a professional singer.  Then, as now, the average Joe—even an amateur musician—could not handle the demands of the melody.  It was, by any definition, a drinking song. An apologist for the society by the name of Lichtenwanger says that The Anacreontic Song “was not a barroom ballad, a drinking ditty to be chorused with glasses swung in rhythm”, but “convivial, … in a special and stately way.”  OK, so they didn’t sing it hoisting tankards of cheap ale, but glasses of port and sherry instead.  Difference without a distinction …

Suppose you’re Francis Scott Key.  Suppose you are inspired to write a poem to express the movements of your heart over the endurance of American forces in the defense of Fort McHenry at the start of the War of 1812.  Do you write such a tribute to fit the strains of a song associated with a bunch of inebriated Londoners devoted to debauchery?

To put some perspective on this … Suppose you ask me to write a song for your church’s youth group.  And suppose I write lyrics to the melody of, say, Voulez vous coucher avec moi.  Or Ring My Bell.  Or My Ding-a-ling.  Catchy tunes, sure.  But would that choice not strike you as a bit subversive? And what if my lyrics for your church group song never mentioned the church or the history of the group or even its usual activities, but simply made sidelong allusions to “the right hand of fellowship” and “getting a heavenly peace from one another.”  Well, this is like what the Star-Spangled Banner sounds like to me: musical subversiveness.

And I don’t buy the Wikipedia story that Francis Scott Key just wrote a heartfelt poem which was later matched to the melody of The Anacreontic Song.  Francis’ doggerel was clearly written with that melody in mind.  As a stand-alone poem it stinks.  There is no reason for the two instances of “O say” in the first verse, except to add syllables to match the cadence of a pre-determined melody.  And we know that this melody was familiar to Key: he had previously written another poem (When the Warrior Returns) to go with it.  So the marriage of text to tune is not arbitrary, as is coyly suggested in several websites.

And let’s take another look at the lyrics.  Here’s what Francis Scott Key penned in his moment of rapturous patriotism:

O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
‘Tis the star-spangled banner, O long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country, should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave,
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation.
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the Heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: ‘In God is our trust.’
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

As noted, the first stanza ends in a question: That flag with the stripes and stars  … Is it still blowin’ in the wind?  If you end the song there, it leaves the matter on a despairing note. And yet that’s the only way you ever hear the American national anthem.

Is it me, or isn’t that just weird?  We show our patriotism by asking whether our flag is still up the pole?  But beyond that, there’s a textual problem with that verse-ending question.  It is entirely superfluous.  Didn’t the preceding line just tell you that “the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there”?  So why would be there any question in the first place if that flag, come dawn, will still be fluttering in the breeze?  (Unless we were all passed out until noon from too many rounds of of The Anacreontic Song … then we might wake up with such a question.)

Let’s take a second look at the full set of lyrics.  Good poetry?  Not by my lights. Flowery.  Precious.  Forced imagery and overwrought diction.  Take a look at the third stanza.  What exactly does this mean, in context?

No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:

Is he talking about the British attackers? It’s not like the Americans dispatched a bunch of them to Hades during the Battle of Baltimore. (They suffered one casualty; the Americans lost four.)   Is he talking about American subjects?  What the hell does this refer to?

The last stanza is equally vague.  Just exactly who is “the Power”  that preserved us a nation?  God?  Or … perhaps … the King of Great Britain?  I have read a lot on the Internet of the theories that say that the United States is not really the independent, sovereign country that we think it is.  I am not swayed with arguments based on flag fringes or capitalized names. I am more curious about documents like the Treaty of Paris in 1783, allegedly ending the Revolutionary War.  It does not read like a peace brokered between independent nations; it reads like a boss offering concessions to his underlings to get them off his back.*

Nor did Britain treat the USA like a fellow sovereign nation after the Treaty: their troops remained in American territory, the Royal Navy impressed American sailors into service, they seized American merchant ships, etc. (hence the need for Jay’s Treaty of 1795), Our entry into two world wars on behalf of the Brits, and two Gulf wars on behalf of British Petroleum—it sure feels like we are just hired muscle for the Crown.  And that continual fascination with the British royalty that our American media forces upon us … this is not natural.  It seems imposed from above.  (Checking out at the grocery store just this morning, I saw front-page stories about the Royals on a couple of the gossip rags; the rest certainly had articles inside about them as well.)

Tony Blair once spoke of a “special relationship” between Great Britain and the United States.  What did he mean?  Is there something about that relationship that men behind closed doors in London and Washington understand that the rest of us don’t?  Heck, not only did we borrow our national anthem from a British drinking song … we borrowed our flag from the standard of a British business, the famed East India Company.  Which company, by the way, had a relative degree of “independence” in their operations, while still maintaining fealty to the Crown.  If the East India Company ever had an anthem extolling “the Power” that made and protected them, it could reasonably have been understood as a reference to His Britannic Majesty.

Which leads me to my next point.  What exactly was the War of 1812?  Growing up, I was told that the only war that America lost was the one in Vietnam.  But the more I read about the War of 1812, the more it looks like a war that we declared on Britain and lost.  Historians may say it was a draw, but if you look at the American objectives (ending the British policy of impressing American sailors into service in the British fleet) versus American achievements (impressment continued anyway), it sure looks like the Yanks lost.  The Brits burned down the White House and were ready to invade.  Yet somehow the U.S. came away from the negotiation table with their shirts still on their backs.  Hard to figure.  Doesn’t play out like politics do between two genuinely sovereign states.  It looks more like an owner (the King) trying to keep his property values intact while still keeping his tenants in line: you employ just enough “persuasion” to restore order without turning the whole thing into a fire sale.

Is it possible that—despite the words “free, sovereign, and independent” in the Treaty of Paris—this country might still exist in some role of subordination contractually, financially, or administratively to the British Crown? I.e., like any of the Commonwealth nations.  Or like the East India Company when it ran the sub-continent.  Perhaps … just perhaps … unlike my cranky boss of old, we are NOT the masters of our own domain.

Suppose for a second that such were the case for these United States.  What kind of national anthem would be allowed for a covertly subject nation?  One that speaks openly about the country’s values and history and self-determination? Or one that dances around these subjects coyly, through paraphrase and teasing allusion and ambiguous reference, with a wink and a nod and double meanings throughout?

Well, what kind of anthem do you have?

Look again at those lyrics.  Perhaps you noticed, as I eventually did, that they never actually spell out the country being extolled.  Again, just weird for a national anthem.  It’s like a semantic shell game.  “Hey, guess where your allegiance is when you sing this song? Here?  No, guess again.  Here?  One more try.  Here?  Sorry.  It was over here all along.  Thanks for playing …”

But here’s the real punchline.  It’s in the last verse:

Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: ‘In God is our trust.’

And that’s the point: conquer we didn’t … not in the War of 1812, the war this song came from. Hell, even in the battle that Francis Scott Key witnessed, no one did any conquering.  What was his inspiration for this line?  And how could that fact have been missed by those pushing this on us as a national anthem?  EITHER our cause wasn’t just … OR … this song takes a different side from the one we all naively assume.

The more I stare at that line, the more it looks like predictive programming for the United States’ militaristic future.  Prior to 1814 the country hadn’t really conquered anyone, just causes or otherwise.  Not even the Indians, who were getting armed by the British and causing trouble from Canada. And in the Revolutionary War, the US didn’t conquer Britain; it merely fought them to a point where it was better strategy for the redcoats to withdraw than stick around.  Presidents Jefferson and Madison tried to keep America a neutral country during the war between England and France.  So it was only after the writing of this poem that the country waving a star-spangled banner got in the conquering business.

Lousy lyrics, miserable melody, stupid subject matter … How did this song ever become the national anthem?

To do so, it had to beat out several worthier candidates.  Its chief competitor for a long time was Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean.  It’s a ripping good song … and another rip-off from the Brits as well!  Turns out that the original was Britannia, the Pride of the Ocean.  Like The Star-Spangled Banner, however, Columbia forbears from naming the United States of America as its subject, emphasizes militaristic themes, and tosses out the words “free” and “brave” without ever elaborating on the historical context of these descriptors.  (As, for example, if we said: “We took up arms bravely against the King of Britain and told him to sod off; now we are free from him and his inbred family as a result.”)  Columbia is more singable, but this is its sole advantage.

Many people prefer the hymn America, known also by its first line, “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee.”  A sweet song, and far more appropriate as a national anthem.  But also another rip-off from the Brits!  It’s just God Save the Queen with new words.  Can’t we Yanks come up with a tune ourselves?

I guess we did with Hail, Columbia and America the Beautiful. Both were lead contenders  at different times in the past for the role of national anthem.  How they got beat out by the one we have is hard to fathom.  Both provide the historic context of America’s claim as a free and sovereign nation.  In other respects, though, Hail, Columbia is a lot like The Star-Spangled Banner.  Even so, America the Beautiful would work gloriously as our national song.

Time to drop a fact on the discussion: we know the author of the poem always and only as Francis Scott Key, and never just Francis Key or Francis S. Key.  The Scott is highlighted, and thereby hangs a tale, I think.  Scott is a family name, not a forename used as a middle name; Mr. Key was of the Scott clan, about which Miles Mathis has uncovered a great deal in his genealogical studies.  So the anthem was born of a member of one of the families.

And after that, any guesses on who was instrumental in promoting it?  If you have read some of Mr. Mathis’ other works, you might guess: the United States Navy and Woodrow Wilson.  And you would be right.  Per Wikipedia:

“The Star-Spangled Banner” was recognized for official use by the United States Navy in 1889, and by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson in 1916, and was made the national anthem by a congressional resolution on March 3, 1931 (46 Stat. 1508, codified at 36 U.S.C. § 301), which was signed by President Herbert Hoover.”

A certain John Charles Linthicum, representative from Maryland, had introduced a bill in the House to anoint this song as our national anthem six times in the years between 1918 and 1929.  The bill never passed.  Clearly, there was strong enough sentiment against the song in that era.  Undoubtedly, its defects were apparent then even as now, and if a national anthem had to be chosen, better candidates existed at all times in the life of the nation.  Why then in 1931, in the throes of the Great Depression, did this mindfrack of an anthem get anointed?  Perhaps to help Americans overcome their isolationist mood after World War I and to brace themselves to be once more a country that gets excited about “the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air.”  Because that’s pretty much what the next eight decades would bring us, so we might as well learn to like it and even sing about it.

So since then we have had this joke of an anthem.  Just by its very melody—that unsingable drunkard’s ditty—it debases the country it would seem to extol.

And so, as we approach Super Bowl LII and the brouhaha over kneeling during the national anthem, consider this.  The joke is getting doubled down.  If you kneel during the playing of the anthem, you disrespect the nation.  And if you stand for this travesty of a tune, you also disrespect the nation.  As I said, I just get the feeling that someone, somewhere, is laughing his arse off at us.

As America enters together the Church of Football for Super Bowl LII, we can look forward to more polarizing punditry over who does what during the national anthem.  To my eyes, it’s all part of the prank.  But I think that, in the case of this prank, once we all realize that we’ve been punked, the joke will finally be over.

MR

*See comment by Olde Virginian below.

38 thoughts on “Entr’acte—A Musical Prank?

    1. Thank you, Kevin. And my apologies: your latest post deserved to be at the top spot on the front page longer. But I did want this one published before the Super Bowl.

      Readers, don’t overlook Kevin’s article. It’s a great “big picture” piece which provides the context for a lot of other things on POM.

      Like

  1. “La Marseillaise” is the greatest national anthem of all time (If you don’t know what the lyrics mean)
    Here’s a passage from the first verse- like us, the French generally only sing the first verse and then sit down to watch whatever they are there to watch-

    The roar of those ferocious soldiers?
    They’re coming right into your arms
    To cut the throats of your sons, your women!

    To arms, citizens,
    Form your battalions,
    Let’s march, let’s march!
    Let an impure blood
    Soak our fields!

    Tasty-

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You’re a traitor committing treason,
    On land of traders permitting reason,
    To enter your brave and honest heart.

    A rough redneck is the one that hates,
    For awakening his mind, in all states,
    The shallow backfire is the poisonous dart.

    The Hunt for Red October song is also my all-time favorite. No commie and not even a statist.

    But what a piece you’ve written, Maarten. Breathless.

    Like

  3. Because I am still out of breath, I will not sing it, but as your fellow country man (at least from your user name), the national anthem of the Netherlands is a complete joke too. The “in all states” expression I used above is a Dutchism, which may be known in American English too, considering the origins of New York and surroundings; it means “very upset” or “lost your mind”.

    As 95% of the people, I only know the first stanza, that is commonly sung. The lyrics are equally non-patriotic as the Stars and Stripes but on a much shallower level.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilhelmus

    Note that the first stanza is translated wrong in both English versions listed:
    – “van Duytschen bloet” means “of German blood”, not “native” and not “ancient” (weaselly “explained” in the article trying to make sense of it, but as we now from schizowiki writing, it does everything to the opposite)
    – “blijf ik tot in den doet” means “I remain until death”, not “until I die” (subtle difference)

    I knew only the basic Trivial Pursuit facts about the anthem, allegedly that it is the oldest in the world, and that it was written in the time of the Eighty Years’ War. Which is even a bigger mystery, because long before waking up to the lies of his-story, I questioned that idea that the Netherlands (which included present Belgium and Luxemburg) was occupied for 80 years by the Spanish (quite a major part of his-story curriculum in Dutch schools, at least 20-30 years ago). Look at the end of the first stanza “the King of Spain I have always honored”, wow, that really sounds like a patriotic song, not?

    Even now reading this Wickedpedia entry, that becomes clear as they admit “the Spanish king was hardly there”. Yes, and I think very little of his troops, if any, too. There are maybe a handful of Spanish words in the Dutch language, and they may well originate more from sailing interactions with the Spanish or the influences in the Dutch Caribbean, than reflecting an 80 year occupation of the country/ies.

    In Wonkypedia they twist and turn as an eel in a bucket of slime (another Dutch expression), and try to pass a protestant anthem, originating from an anti-protestant song, as something logical. Like Richard Nixon using the Hunt for Red October beautiful song and make it into a pro-American anti-Soviet song. Copying stuff from your -alleged, as the Cold ‘War’ was just a puppet show of course- enemies I would say is very anti-creative and anti-pride.

    Even that the song is supposed to be pro-protestant is hard to understand as an anthem allegedly serving the whole nation, and before 1815 even more, because back then more than half the country was not protestant but catholic. The divide is in the main rivers flowing east-west (Rhine and Meuse). Some patches of catholicism exist in the east north of that, but roughly that is the huge divide in the country.

    I quite like it from the flow and melody, but it doesn’t rhyme, the anthem of my present country, that is sung everyday on the radio at 6 AM and PM before the “news”:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Anthem_of_Colombia

    Like

    1. You know, Gaia, as many times as I have heard the Dutch anthem, it was always instrumental only. I never knew the words until you brought them to my attention. And you sre right: what an odd national song.

      Researching this piece, I had a closer look at the German anthem than ever before. The second verse reads like an ad from the German Bureau of Tourism:

      Deutsche Frauen, deutsche Treue,
      Deutscher Wein und deutscher Sang
      Sollen in der Welt behalten
      Ihren alten schönen Klang,

      German women, German loyalty,
      German wine and German song
      Shall retain in the world
      Their old beautiful chime

      Well, it worked well enough to get me to buy a bottle of Reisling for this afternoon. I wouldn’t mind trying a couple of other things on the list, but I doubt my wife would give her blessing….

      Like

      1. Right and thanks, Maarten, but even that translation would be wrong (B. Müller please step in), as a non-native speaker “Ihren alten schönen Klang” would translate as “Your [plural] old beautiful chime”, not Their (though it can mean both).

        Like

        1. And I never thought about it, only when looking at it yesterday, but Maarten Tromp really looks close to [Donald] Trump. Trompet = Trumpet too, in Dutch. I know his surname comes from Drumpf [thanks Miles Mathis], hence the way I call him online “Donny Drumpf” (I like alliterations and, man, Maarten your use of it is creative, original and right to the point in your article), but there well could be a relation between Tromp (not a common surname at all) and Trump (idem)…

          Like

        2. As a Dutch person I would say that Ihren really is Their; it is ‘ihr / their’ linked with a masculine accusative. As for the Dutch national anthem: It stems from a military march (1570) and has been forced on the public as national anthem in 1932 ordered by then queen Wilhelmina. Many opposed the song, but if people would forbid their children to sing it in the schools, the children would be expelled from the school. This is the same queen who insisted that the (nazi) national-socialist Horst-Wessel song was to be played at the wedding party of her daughter with the notorious nazi Bernhard. The conductor who refused to play that song was fired by her.

          Like

  4. Fantastic piece. Many thanks. All the pomp and symbolism is to convince commoners that we are a country ruled by “The People.” We all wear a mask. The People are not who we think they are, and the “country” is a foreign corporation. We are not free, but, rather, stateless, bloodless, willing slaves, literally owned (salvaged property) by a foreign government in Washington, D.C., from cradle to grave. We are not who we think we are. Bread and circuses. All hail Caesar.

    The very best book I have found on the subject is written by Clint Richardson; Strawman: The Real Story of Your Artificial Self. His blog is equally amazing: https://realitybloger.wordpress.com/

    Like

  5. “Washington’s Heraldic and masonic Arms are certainly the most revered in the nation. Because this difference between guns as public arms and bloodline as private heraldic Arms is so important for the common, public citizenship to distinguish between, let us take a quick look at the history of the Washington family Arms in America. For the use of white stars on a blue background for the American Flag was also a tribute to the borrowed family Arms of George Washington’s lineage, the
    bloodline of America’s favorite false god still displayed in honorary deity and of course flown on holidays by many public, non compos mentis citizen-ships having no idea the meaning of the Arms (flag) they are worshiping and bearing:” – Clint Richardson, Strawman, p.116 (free download)

    Like

  6. You point out many important things regarding the anthem and the flag. We see these connections as inside jokes, but they are probably too much for the average citizen, especially the Republicans. The anthem and the flag is connected to their ideas of freedom and many other aspirations. Better to believe that it is just a coincidence that the flag resembles the flags used by the East India Company. Of course US was founded by companies like the Virginia Company. Outside of US, even a large part of India was managed by East India Company(until 1857 if we believe them). Actually they seem to treat all the countries like plantations. Some of the countries are first class plantations and other are 2nd, 3rd or 4th class plantations (the status is probably not permanent). Western Europe, US and Canada are first rate plantations probably because their power base is in these countries (right now they seem to transfer a lot of power to the East).

    I wonder if this year with Super Bowl 52 will be the transition to a new era. There are 52 weeks in a year (also 52 cards in a deck), so 52 is the number of the end of a cycle.

    Like

  7. I also believe that the Russian anthem is the best anthem melody. I also like the Italian anthem “Fratelli d’Italia”. I am from Romania and I am not really happy with the melody they chose for the anthem. There are at least 2 better versions, but one is already used by Albania. The melody of “Pe-al nostru steag e scris unirea” (On our flag union is written) is currently used by Albania, but the melody was composed by a famous Romanian composer called Ciprian Porumbescu. The second melody is “Hora Unirii” (Dance of Union, Hora is a ring dance), and was written by a Romanian-German (Transylvanian Saxon). The current anthem is called “Desteapta-te Romane” (Romanian Wake Up), which is not bad but the other musical compositions are much better in my opinion.

    Like

  8. “…Arch-treasurer and prince elector of the Holy Roman Empire etc., and of the United States of America”
    Every time you see someone online citing that text as some sort of disclosure that the British Crown reigns over the USA, know they are either being fatuous and deceitful or displaying their illiteracy like a banner. There is no way to parse that sentence grammatically unless “and of the United States” modifies “the hearts” in parallel to “of the most serene and most potent Prince George” — unless George was known to have had more than one heart.

    Like

    1. You make a good point, sir, and I appreciate the correction, overstated though it be. However, the fishiness of the Treaty of Paris hangs on more than just that one phrase. But I will not lose time arguing the point.

      Like

      1. I have removed the erroneous sentence in the place marked by the asterisk. It was: “King George III is identified in it as ‘arch-treasurer and prince elector of the Holy Roman Empire etc., and of the United States of America.'”

        Like

  9. Another song that fits, although not an anthem, is “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” which is popular even in southern churches, despite it heretically praying for God to “trample” the south. Julia Ward Howe’s poem was attached to a southern hymn on top of that.

    The links to Howe are quite interesting, tying into the John Brown program or psyop or whatever it was, and also to Helen Keller.

    Like

  10. I have seen it twice now, and suspect it has happened far more than this…MM’s expose’ of the Bay of Pigs as a sham, and my own research into the 2002Venezuelan coup d’etat. The formula appears to be allowing a rebellious and unhappy population a stage-managed revolution, allowing to them to “win”, and then settling down with the same rulers in charge wearing masks. This would explain the royal lineage of all US presidents save one, and that of every corporate executive, movie star and singer, and how we are inured to low levels of talent qualifying as excellence. We are Anglophiles.

    That in mind, the American Revolution needs a fresh look. Washington’s miraculous escape from Long Island looks like a Dunkirk-type planned event. Everything else is suspicious too, but I have not done any research, just idle speculation here. Never enough time, especially lately when I am so busy doing … nothing. I gotta quit that.

    By the way, I join th chorus Maarten. I loved this piece, as with all your work, a beginning, middle, and end that refers back to the beginning.

    Like

  11. Speaking of the Super Bowl…

    It looks like the game was scripted. In the year of #takeaknee and the attendant ratings decline of 20% or so, the NFL needed an exciting post-season to get the focus off the politics and back on the entertainment. The playoff games were mostly close and the Super Bowl even closer.

    1) In spite of the fact that Philly supposedly has a great defense and New England’s is pretty decent too, the defenses did essentially nothing, with no sacks until the very end of the game, no real pressure on the quarterbacks, no turnovers, and almost no punts. It was just a high-scoring offensive battle, by design.

    2) This game had more offensive yards than any Super Bowl in history….before the third quarter had even ended.

    3) The Patriots did a trick play with Brady as the receiver….a near miss…with Brady looking decidedly lethargic as he “just missed” the catch. Later in the game the Eagles executed almost the identical rare trick play, but quarterback Foles caught the ball…for a touchdown. America cheered.

    4) The announcers made much of the “no sacks, how unusual” in the 5 minutes before the games first sack led to a very consequential Brady fumble and turnover.

    5) Foles, the replacement quarterback this season for the Eagles, managed to thread the needle on all kinds of dangerous passes into heavy defensive coverage. The Patriots defense hardly ever tried to swat down any of those passes, although they were often close enough to at least try.

    6) The game was a 1 point game with only a couple minutes to go. That’s about as entertaining a finish as you can get. And the odds of such a close and entertaining game are slim. What a coincidence that the biggest game of the year was such a nail-biter.

    7) Brady looked depressed the entire game. It’s not easy for a champion, even a somewhat fake champion, to take a dive and be happy about it.

    8) Most viewers wanted the Eagles to win. And the script gave them what they wanted. After last year’s ridiculous “most amazing comeback of all time,” the script-writers didn’t want Philly to win in a comeback. Instead, Philly went up by 8 points at the very end, the announcers set the expectation that yes, it actually would be possible for the Patriots to take the game to overtime if Tom Brady did his usual game-winning drive in 1 minute then went for 2 points. The viewers all held their breath, and then cheered as Brady turned out to be human after all.

    9) All-in-all, this game just happened to be exactly what the doctor ordered for a newly ratings-challenged NFL.

    10) It’s hard to know how much improvisation goes on within the overall script framework. But I find it increasingly hard to believe that the games are totally honest and above-board. The teams are owned by billionaires, they are monster entertainment franchises, and there’s a lot of money at stake. Letting the games be played honestly would lead to far more blowouts and far less excitement. If there were 500 teams, the honest ones would start to call out the cheaters. But in a monopoly league with only 32 teams, the owners form a sort of cabal and seem to do what they think is in the best interest of the ratings and of the propaganda narrative.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ran across this video on the “Fix is In” website yesterday. Shows how the Patriots were given breaks during key points at the end of the season so they could get home field advantage and avoid a first round game.

      Like

    2. I think some individuals keep over-analyzing American Football to confirm what they suspect: that it is fraudulent… Professional Sports are fraudulent for the most part and this is a worldwide trend, -not just in the land of the free- to be fair. Some think NFL is above FIFA, not a chance, same band of corrupts. Most Americans don’t know this. No need to know it and the ones who do know it, most of them like to think otherwise. The ones that know and manage professional sports are dedicated to get a profit from the endeavor.

      Like

      1. Correct.
        And this is why commenting on or even reading further “commercial sports is fraudulent” essays is redundant and a wast of time.

        Like

        1. Not necessarily a waste of time for everyone. Such things can be a foothold for showing others that something isn’t kosher, and learning to recognize the methods they use can be instructive. Better to just ignore if they aren’t your cup of tea, but not useless with the hold sports has over a large segment of the population.

          It’s also a possible “canary test” for changes planned, just like the election fraud nonsense. Are the controllers looking to take away the crumbs of entertainment because folks aren’t miserable enough yet?

          Like

    3. I watched only the first half and the garish halftime show, and was sure the stage would be set for another Patriots miracle comeback. So I was surprised by the outcome. I did notice that Brady’s passes often looked like wounded ducks, and yet were finding wide-open receivers. Occasionally in the NFL there are blown coverages, but not routinely and especially not with the top players and teams in the league.

      It could be as simple as this: Advertisers have contracted with the networks for buybacks if the second half of the game produces a blowout and lower ratings. The league does not care who wins, and only manages the games to keep them close until the end. The Philadelphia-Minnesota contest would be an anomaly, a blowout that tests this theory.

      Like

      1. Yes, I’ve never seen so many wide open receivers whereas the Falcons, with the top receiver in the league couldn’t do squat against the Eagles.

        It was also unique that most of NE’s wide receivers were white, as well as a running back. Most teams have white tight ends and maybe a white “possession receiver” who is slower but runs good routes. But NE’s white guys were wide open all night.

        The ridiculous pass catching rules were on display as well, with both key calls going for the Eagles. They would have been touchdowns a few years ago, but not by the screwy rules they have now. The announcers thought both should have been overturned.

        Like

  12. Not only did I thoroughly enjoy reading your work, Maarten, my mind was very well near screaming at me as more pieces to the massive puzzle about this delusional reality we live in began to fall into place. The Controllers must be patting each other on the back, self-righteously smug in congratulating themselves at seeing how well their plans and deeds create the desired results. Especially when they see a stadium full of commoners—who paid a goodly amount of hard-earned money to buy tickets, refreshments, team gear…and don’t forget the taxes they paid for the stadium–swell with pride and emotion, even get teary-eyed for their flag, country, democracy and privilege of living in a Free Country. Haha, the joke’s on them, isn’t it?

    I highly suspect that the history behind the writing of that song by Francis Scott Key (Off-Key? LoL!) is bogus. Those words were the carefully crafted work of a group–similar to the spooks at Langley who plan the psy-ops—to bring about a desired effect in the hearts and minds of the citizens. It was made the official national anthem (on 3/3/31! There’s that 333 again!) not only for the reason you stated—“…to help Americans overcome their isolationist mood after World War I and to brace themselves to be once more a country that gets excited about “the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air.”—but to subliminally cause them to associate Old Glory=Freedom, Bravery and God; that if the “the flag was still there…”, then America must still be “the land of the free and home of the brave”, a nation “blessed by God”. We saw the results of that incessant programming during the recently staged Trump vs NFL comedic showdown. How dare anyone disrespect The Flag?! Anyone who does such a thing must be a traitor, commie, anarchist or SJW, and must be punished and silenced!

    Perhaps “America” was meant to be a massive social experiment—a New World Order, no less!—that was intended to draw those strong, hardy and courageous souls (primarily, but not exclusively) from Europe in order to build a new nation (their labor, sweat and blood, along with that of slaves, Chinese, and workers from other parts of the world) used to enrich a select few—same as it always was!), eventually to become the universal Melting Pot we know today. America’s new included those discontented with the monarchy and the meddlesome banking, social and religious problems; I read somewhere that “problem citizens” in Europe were eliminated by giving them passage to America. As for the American Revolution, I agree with Mark: ‘The formula appears to be allowing a rebellious and unhappy population a stage-managed revolution, allowing to them to “win”, and then settling down with the same rulers in charge wearing masks.’ It looks as if it was a test run for the later “revolutions” that were instigated in Europe…minus the troublemakers that had been sent to America. Also of interest—and highly suspicious—is the presence of Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson in France prior and up until the beginning of the French Revolution in 1789. They, along with George Washington, James Madison, John Hancock and Paul Revere, et al, were Freemasons, don’t you know?

    I could write much more about the social and cultural upheavals that were and still are a result of the American Melting Pot experiment, and speculate about what the end game might be, but…maybe later. I will say that I believe it’s all primarily designed to remove and therefore disconnect people from their ancestral lands and families, to deprive them/us of that very significant but long-since-forgotten spiritual connection. A nation of orphans, America is…still not having found what we’re looking for, we don’t even know what we’ve inherently lost.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, you’ve hit it on the head here. They’re taking a jackhammer to everything humane that binds us together and hinders whatever designs they have for us. I don’t think they know what they are playing with, they don’t have the capacity to love or even understand it…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Carri wrote, 2.5.18 “I could write much more about the social and cultural upheavals that were and still are a result of the American Melting Pot experiment, and speculate about what the end game might be, but…maybe later.”

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s