I've mentioned before, recently even, in a comment over in Blueberry's oasis, how I really love The Starspangled Banner. I'm glad it is our National Anthem rather than having the rather, to my ear, more dated sounding and inescapably religious God Bless America. I'm also really sick of the fact that baseball companies across the USandA made a decision to replace the grand ol' game's Take Me Out to the Ballpark with the latter hymnal almost immediately following the devastating events of 9-11.
I understood it, and didn't flinch (much) for the brief remainder of that '01 season, but then they just kept slippin' it in there for every freakin' 7th Inning Stretch for the last 5 years.
I know that, for most folks, politics and the government which it supplies, is not exactly of pressing personal interest. I know that people have other things - family, friends, work, entertainment - on which to focus their thoughts, money and other personal resources and that, when they think of such stuff as the singing of our national anthem, it frequently is only to note how difficult it is to sing along due to the range and change in octaves required.
I know most folks would rather - and with good and understandable cause - employ their energies in thoughts and activities which, for whatever our billions of individual reasons, have personal meaning to us.
And still I can hope and preach (?! Yah... but I do try to keep it chill) that there is No More Important aspect of public life than politics in a democratic society.
We are able to be who we because of the manner in which our government creates, executes and adjudicates the laws of our lands. Our inherent abilities are channeled into the people we are by the structures of the societies in which we are raised, and as we have evolved over the millenia we have gained ever more freedom to be ever so much more than our prehistoric ancestors could ever have hoped to become. How we establish and maintain our civilizational infrastructure is perhaps the most fundamentally important determinant of what each of us can possibly do with our own singular life. Allowing others - especially those who gain the most from Legally limiting our options to those which benefit them at our own integral expense - to determine what rights and opportunities we may enjoy, is simply, and by historical affirmation of empirical evidence, irresponsible to our selves and our posterity.
Must we fully agree with our elected officials? Ha! How can that ever be when we so frequently have seriously opposed opinions on the good of our own families or the choices our friends make for themselves.
What we can do is pay attention to the actions of our leaders and to the direction in which our societies have been, and are currently, leading us into the future: the future which each and every one of us silly human beings will grow via our own Free and Undeniable Will of self, at least as far as the laws of our lands should make possible.
So yah, Franky Key's "Oh say can you see" has always got my head to swiveling around to look out o'er the Land of the Free, and the home of the brave*. If only to reassure myself that, despite grueling struggles and seriously heinous setbacks, the United States is still and always moreso, just and truly both of those things.
It can only be such for as long we, the people, insist upon its being so on election day.
So, Happy Halloween Everyone! The political ghosts ghouls and goblins are out and about and haunting our TVs and Radios with their messages many and sundry and scary, oh my! Be sure to listen at least a little bit more closely than your standard sensibilities might allow. I know it's boring and repetitive (hell it's all-to-often, down-right disgusting,) but this is the most important time of the year for our society. I think we are All worth the tricks our politicos do play.
(Don't let that be you in the mouth of an unconfronted demon of democracy. Vote on Nov 7th!!!)
(Thanks for the pic links, Sumo! :-D)
* This post started out with the intention of proppin' the essay linked here. I'd still like to highly recommend giving it a read. The author, Dennis Drewes, asks the question about what our flag actually means today, and whether we are still and truly both the land of the free, and the home of the brave. Thinking about what those two things encompass is what occasioned how this post evolved.