Time to restore the seventh-inning stretch
October 28, 2011
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I’m watching a baseball game for the first time in a while – game 7 of the World Series. I used to be quite a baseball fan when I was a kid, but in this modern world it just is too hard to follow a sport on a daily basis. They showed the seventh-inning stretch which served to remind me of the fact that they’re still singing “God Bless America” instead of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the break.
Of course, the singing of “God Bless America” is a relic of that post-9/11 nationalism period where we all started acting all patriotic all of a sudden and laughing at blatantly bad Bin Laden jokes to avoid looking like we’re with the terrorists. Now that period is over, and but the song seems to have become a permanent tradition. It’s easy to see why – there’s a fear that somehow bringing back the old song would cause some sort of uproar, while keeping the song does not seem to be causing any problems.
So why do I care about “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”? It’s not like it’s a good song or anything, but that’s not the point. The point of the song is, you’re at a fucking baseball game, isn’t it great? There’s good ol’ peanuts and crackerjack (now replaced by overpriced hot dogs and soft drinks, but still…) and you can root for the home team, why would you ever want to get back to that annoying, hyper-serious reality that we call life? They always get some old player or announce who can’t sing to sing it, because it’s not about the song, it’s about having fun at the game, enjoy the traditions, and forgetting about everything else.
The point of “God Bless America” is the opposite: to take us out of the ballgame and place us back into that annoying life that we were trying to avoid by going there. So we get some country singer (who represents “Real America”) to sing this fucking song to remind us “9/11! 9/11! 9/11!” during what’s supposed our three-hour escape from reality, not to mention the needless prominent mention of “God” to remind us that if you like baseball, you must also be super-patriotic and super-religious too (I know a number of religious people, they don’t all go around singing about God at every opportunity).
No. Stop. Give me my baseball. I want to watch baseball. I don’t want to watch Country Boy remind us of 9/11, or God, or patriotism. I just want baseball. Please, keep it baseball.