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And Another Thing


.... and the home of the silly

You know how it is with some lawmakers: No legislation is ever too absurd to propose.

Which brings us to Vaneta Becker, R-Evansville, who's proposed legislation that would make it crime punishable by a $25 fine to sing the National Anthem in a manner not deemed respectful.

The obvious issue with this, of course -- other than the fact that the lege would actually seriously spend the people's time on such ridiculousness -- is who would be the arbiter of what would be considered "respectful." A judge? A jury of peers? Simon Cowell?

Here's why this is on the Blob's radar: Because after 35 years of covering sporting events, I have rather extensive knowledge of the subject. I've heard the National Anthem sung beautifully, hideously, mock-soulfully, trying-too-hard-to-be-soulfully, and on and on. I was even there for Steven Tyler's notorious rendition at the Indianapolis 500 one year, when he changed the words "home of the brave" to "home of the Indianapolis 500."

Needless to say, people were appalled. I was appalled. I mean, Steven Tyler is getting up there. What's he still doing pretending to be a rock star?

Frankly, it reminded me of Randy Newman's fabled takedown of geriatric rockers, "I'm Dead (But I Don't Know It)."

That said, I sure wouldn't waste the lege's time ensuring Tyler never did a repeat performance. I mean, please. The National Anthem is supposed to glorify the land of the free. So you want to slap a law down that, well, kinda-sorta flies in the face of that?

I know irony is dead in this country, but come on, now.

And in honor of Becker's addled proposal .... this.

Ben Smith's blog.