In his recent missive, titled “Time to Turn Off the National Anthem Before
Sports Events,” Kevin Blackistone argues that the singing of the national anthem
at all sporting events has outlived its purpose. He submits that very few
Americans even know the song, and suggests that still fewer can recall why the
words were written in the first place. There’s nothing about playing tee-ball
that should stir memories of a lopsided British attack on Fort McHenry during
the War of 1812.
“Sports,” Blackistone writes, “have and continue to ritualize [the anthem] with
barely a shred of relevance.”
In the words of IFE Fellows, here is what 2010 was all about:
Dog killer or MVP? Michael Vick, in his second season back after serving 23
months in jail for dogfighting, lit up the NFL with his MVP-type performances.
Vick's comeback is fascinating because it makes sports fans ask questions that
make them very uncomfortable. Can I root for a dog killer? What is more
important to me: my love for my team or my love for dogs? Does jail really
rehabilitate a person, and since he paid his debt to society, should I forgive
OMG! news reports that James Franco and Anne Hathaway will host “Hollywood’s
biggest night,” the Oscars. Omg! He played the sidekick in “Spiderman,” I
think, and she was in that movie that gave away the ending to “Lost.” Suggests
we are in a between; a time waiting as Israel waits for David, as Markos
Moulitsas and crew from the Daily Kos wait for the Clinton-era people to go
away — the time described by the Wu Priesthood as “wu chi”; undifferentiated
karma between worlds; imagine there’s no heaven, no country, no religion too.
Imagine there’s no Oprah. Imagine Dr. House finally gets a girlfriend. Imagine
the new generation finally arising, but for big-screen Hollywood, there won’t
The moment has finally arrived! An Indian, Rohan Bopanna, and a Pakistani, Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi, have made it to the finals of the U.S. Tennis Open, a Grand Slam event. Hats off to the Indo-Pak Express! The U.S. Open is tennis’s largest event, garnering far and away the most media coverage.
Now it’s spotlighting two world-class athletes and, more importantly, their partnership. What they’re doing takes guts. India and Pakistan have fought three wars since becoming independent in 1947, and remain bitter rivals. For Rohan and Aisam, these facts are history, and should be treated as such.
It does something to see your life pass in pictures, as I did watching a PBS
fundraiser of the early Newport Folk Festival. The young Joan Baez was on stage
asking the audience, “Is Bobby here?” And Bob Dylan was there and he jumped up
on the stage with her. I was there too, sitting somewhere in the audience. Now
his voice pops up on “Mad Men,” ominously foreshadowing “something coming” in
1962. And it was coming. Now it’s leaving.