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The National Anthem’s False Notes


The National Anthem’s False Notes

Pierre Tristam

One August morning in a small French town in Normandy 250 years ago, a crucifix that stood as a monument in the heart of town was found mutilated. People were upset. They wanted blood. (Irony has never been Catholics’ strongest suit.) No one had any idea who’d done it, so it was necessary to invent a suspect.


Thank you, Mr. Tristam for an impassioned, brilliant essay.

I am re-posting this paragraph as it's one of the finest dissections of Mars-rules I've ever read:

"Measuring the role of a principled athlete like Kaepernick—or that of any citizen, for that matter—in defending and protecting America against the role of soldiers in the field can’t be a rational comparison, especially in a militaristic society that fetishizes uniforms and rarely corrects an implied contempt by jingoes for civilians not lucky enough to have soaked up and dished out the gore of combat. But to suggest that civilians in their Leaves of Grass varieties don’t in their own way nurture and protect the nation reduces all but combatants to a servility that has no other purpose but be worshipful of its armed protectors. It turns the military not only into an end in itself, but into the only end worth celebrating. It’s what has reduced the playing of the national anthem into a show of respect for the military above all, as if the nation the military was protecting were not the only valid and defensible reason for the military to exist."

Truly, an excellent essay!


Excellent piece Pierre. The façade of lies, the insupportable claims by the cream of the status quo, the impossibility of the notion of sustainability of same is so pronounced that the grip is tightened into a chokehold on the national discourse. There can be no deviation or it may all just fall to pieces in their hands, and when they are so close to having all of it, forever.

That bullshit nonsense on NBC the other night was that particular manufacturer of consent TELLING us that THIS is what is important, not all of that jobs, social justice, extreme inequality, healthcare, and environment stuff we're all distracted with.


This refusing to stand for the national anthem has been made a racial issue because it is a safer form of protest than declaring boldly that the government of the US has been lying about the need for the endless wars that have been squandering the national treasure and needlessly destroying innocent lives for the past 15 years.
Tomorrow is anniversary 15 of this national outrage and the day that the NFL is to kick off its season for 2016. It will be interesting to see how the protest goes among athletes during this next 24 hours of so.


A fragile democracy that requires wealthy, gladiatorial athletes represent our pretense of loyalty.


This is one hell of a piece of writing. Thank you for this!


Great piece of writing.

I wonder, however, if much of the argument against Kaepernick - deep inside people - isn't really about the disrespect for the anthem or the military, but a belief that Kaepernick's cause is not just. If he were kneeling to protest President Obama, I'd wager many of those who are angry at him now might be supporting him.