Interesting article by Mike Royko written in 1972

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by WinterBorn, Sep 28, 2017.

  1. WinterBorn
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    WinterBorn Gold Member

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    MIKE ROYKO AND THE NATIONAL ANTHEM AT FOOTBALL GAMES

    A column of Dad's from more than 45 (!) years ago. Once again, from the distant past, he nails it, or at least nails one way -- his way -- of looking at what's going on these days, and like nobody else, could also make it entertaining as hell. Ah Dad, we miss you!

    (The photo I've attached is 21-year old Dad, 1953, in Korea during the war.)
    ---
    "Patriotism" At The Stadium
    3 January 1972, by Mike Royko, Chicago Daily News

    Both teams were on the field. The crowd stood for the singing of the National Anthem.

    Everybody except one man. He just sat and studied his program.

    The band began playing. The singing was led by a TV star who had been up all night drinking gin. Ten jets swooped over the stadium. Fifty majorettes thrust out their chests.

    The one man stayed in his seat and looked at his program.

    Somebody gave him a nudge. He ignored it.

    ``Stand up,`` somebody else hissed.

    ``I`ll stand for the kickoff,`` the man said.

    Another man glared at him. ``Why don`t you stand and sing?``

    ``I don`t believe in it,`` he said.

    The other man gasped. ``You don`t believe in the National Anthem?``

    ``I don`t believe in singing it at commercial events. I wouldn`t sing it in a nightclub, or in a gambling casino, and I won`t sing it at a football game.``

    A man behind him said: ``What are you, a damn radical?``

    He shook his head. ``I`m not a stadium patriot.``

    ``I`ll make you stand up,`` a husky man said, seizing his fleece collar.

    They scuffled and struck each other with their programs. Somebody dropped a hip flask.

    ``What`s wrong?`` people shouted from a few rows away.

    ``A radical insulted the anthem,`` someone yelled.

    ``I did not,`` the man yelled. ``I will not be a stadium patriot.``

    ``He says he`s not a patriot,`` someone else roared, swinging a punch.

    A policeman pushed through. ``What`s going on here? Break it up.``

    People yelled. ``He insulted the flag. . . . He refused to stand. . . . He`s radical. . . . Sit down, I can`t see the girls.``

    The policeman said: ``Why wouldn`t you stand?``

    ``Not at a football game,`` the man said.

    ``Hear that?`` someone yelled, shaking a fist.

    ``Let`s go, fella,`` the policeman said, leading him away.

    He was fined $25 for disorderly conduct, and the judge lectured him on his duties as a citizen.

    The next week he had a better seat for the Stupendous Bowl game.

    Both teams took the field and the crowd rose for the National Anthem. They were led in song by a country music star, who had been up all night playing dice. A dozen jet bombers flew over. Sixty majorettes thrust out their chests.

    This time the man rose with everyone else, and he sang. He sang as loud as he could, in an ear-splitting voice that could be heard 20 rows in any direction.

    A few people turned and looked at him as if he were odd.

    When the song reached ``the land of the free`` his voice cracked, but he shrieked out the high note.

    Then it was over, everyone applauded, yelled ``Kill `em`` and ``Murder

    `em`` and ``Belt `em,`` and sat down to await the opening kickoff.

    Everyone but the one man. He remained on his feet and began slowly singing the second stanza in his loud voice.

    People stared at him. But then they jumped up and cheered as the ball was kicked off and run back.

    When they sat down, the man was still standing and singing.

    He paused for a moment, took a deep breath, and started the third stanza. ``Hey, that`s enough,`` someone yelled.

    ``Yeah, sit down, I can`t see through you,`` said somebody else.

    He kept singing. People called out:

    ``Knock it off.``

    ``What`s wrong with him?``

    ``I can`t see.``

    The game was underway. Three plays were run while he sang the third verse.

    Everyone jumped up for the punt return. When they sat down, the man was still singing.

    Everyone around him was becoming upset. People stood and shook their fists. Somebody threw a hot dog wrapper.

    An usher asked him to take his seat. He shook his head and began the fourth stanza as a touchdown was scored.

    The people behind him were outraged. ``I couldn`t see that because of you. . . . Make him sit down. . . . He must be crazy. . . . He`s a radical.`` He went on singing.

    Somebody grabbed his shoulders and tried to push him into his seat. They scuffled and swung their programs. Somebody dropped a hip flask. The man struggled to his feet, still howling the fourth stanza.

    A policeman pushed through. ``What`s going on? Break it up.``

    ``He won`t sit down,`` someone yelled. ``He won`t stop singing,`` someone else yelled. ``He`s trying to start a riot. He`s a radical.``

    ``Let`s go, fella,`` the policeman said, leading him away as he finished the final stanza, holding the note as long as he could.

    The judge fined him $25 for disorderly conduct, and warned him about not shouting in a crowded theater.

    The next week he went to the Amazing Bowl. The crowd was led in singing the National Anthem by a rock star, who had been up all night with three groupies. A squadron of dive bombers flew between the goal posts.

    He stood with everyone else. As the music played, he moved his lips because he was chewing peanuts, and he stared at the chest of a majorette. Then he sat down with everyone else.

    The man in the next seat offered him a sip from his flask.
     
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  2. shockedcanadian
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    shockedcanadian Platinum Member

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    A good story with some not so subtle messages within.

    I still say, there is a time to just conform for the sake of what it means to so many. You just stand for the anthem, that's all. You don't even need to put your hand over your heart, or shed a tear, or sing any of the words, but I think it's an important point of symbolism at the very least, that citizens show the most basic of respect and stand quietly and conform for those short moments. This is particularly true of those who are at work and making a great deal more than those overseas dealing with gunfire.

    If you want to leave the stadium, grab a placard and scream against injustices, go ahead. Stand for the bloody flag though. In fact, stand for the flag for the fact that you AREN'T forced to. In some countries, you had better stand, sing and bow to your leader, if not, you won't be long for this earth.

    Stand on your own volition, because others are dying for you to have the right to sit.

    God Bless America. Get 'er done Trump!
     
  3. TroglocratsRdumb
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    TroglocratsRdumb Gold Member

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    On average there are about 7000 Black victims of murder per year. Only about .00001% of Black murder victims are people who are murdered by policemen. The NFL national anthem protesters are being exploited by left wing demagogue Politicians and Pundits
     
  4. WinterBorn
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    WinterBorn Gold Member

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    Ok.
     
  5. Pogo
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    Pogo Diamond Member

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    :clap2:

    And in 1918, by no coincidence the same year the national anthem was first trotted out at a baseball game, a citizen named Earnest Starr, in Montana of all places, was arrested for refusing to kiss a flag.

    This would be, also no coincidence the same time rabid mob-mentaliityists would rip a Dachshund from its owner and stone it to death in the street because the word "Dachshund" is German. And in the next year the Palmer Raids rounded up and deported people for their political beliefs. And Joe McCarthy wasn't even grown up yet.

    Where it leads, and why to resist it.
     
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  6. Pogo
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    Pogo Diamond Member

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    And in effect what you're saying is, this is one of those countries you darkly describe. Because coercion takes many forms.

    Yeah, how well we know.
     
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  7. IsaacNewton
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    IsaacNewton Gold Member

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    Watch the scene in the original Poseidon Adventure where they are all in the big hall and the purser is telling everyone to stay where they are. Gene Hackman is gathering as many as he can to head up to the only place they can be rescued. The herd all drown, while those brave enough to think for themselves had a chance. John Hancock knew what it meant to stand on your own two feet as did Patrick Henry.

    Forcing someone to pay homage to the state is a North Korean thing. A Soviet Union thing.

    It is not and never shall be an American thing. Here it must forever be voluntary, even if it is uncomfortable sometimes.
     
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  8. WinterBorn
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    WinterBorn Gold Member

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    Thank you!!!
     
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