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Four Color Politics

Mainly the Quotes of the Morning, with occasional Other Crap.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Quotes of the Morning: Nuestro Himno

“Today, with all other problems in the world solved, and peace reigning over all the earth, MSNBC decided to run an article on their front page on the dreaded Spanish language version of the national anthem. Let’s take a look, shall we?”
-Skippy


“The national anthem that once endured the radical transformation administered by Jimi Hendrix's fuzzed and frantic Stratocaster now faces an artistic dare at least as extreme: translation into Spanish.
The new take is scheduled to hit the airwaves today. It's called ‘Nuestro Himno’ – ‘Our Anthem’ -- and it was recorded over the past week by Latin pop stars including Ivy Queen, Gloria Trevi, Carlos Ponce, Tito ‘El Bambino,’ Olga Tañon and the group Aventura. Joining and singing in Spanish is Haitian American artist Wyclef Jean.”
-Washington Post, April 28, 2006

“Cool… Now the Hispanic community is contributing to the American experience by adding their own interpretation of a truly American song. Who could possibly complain about that?”
-Skippy


“Can ‘The Star-Spangled Banner,’ and the republic for which it stands, survive? Outrage over what's being called ‘The Illegal Alien Anthem’ is already building in the blogosphere and among conservative commentators.
[…]
But critics including columnist Michelle Malkin, who coined it ‘The Illegal Alien Anthem’ nickname say the rendition crosses a line that Hendrix never stepped over with his instrumental version. Transforming the musical idiom of ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ is one thing, argue the skeptics, but translating the words sends the opposite message: We are not Americans.”
-Washington Post, April 28, 2006

“Um… Correct me if I’m wrong, but there are one heck of a lot of native born ‘real’ Americans who speak Spanish as their first language, not just illegal immigrants. As a matter of fact, bilingual education is mandatory in places such a Puerto Rico (and Puerto Ricans are American, make no mistake).
The United States has no ‘official language’. You can look it up. And Michelle Malkin is an idiot who enjoys race-baiting (and who is best known for her book written in defense of the internment camps for Japanese-Americans in WWII). You can look that up too.”
-Skippy


‘I'm really appalled. . . . We are not a bilingual nation,’ said George Taplin, director of the Virginia Chapter of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, part of a national countermovement that emphasizes border control and tougher enforcement, and objects to public funding for day-laborer sites. ‘When people are talking about becoming a part of this country, they should assimilate to the norm that's already here,’ Taplin said. ‘What we're talking about here is a sovereign nation with our ideals and our national identity, and that [anthem] is one of the icons of our nation's identity. I believe it should be in English as it was penned.’
While critics sketch a nightmare scenario of a Canada-like land with an anthem sung in two languages, immigrant rights advocates say they agree learning English is essential. Studies of immigrant families suggest the process is inevitable: Eighty-two percent to 90 percent of the children of immigrants prefer English.”
-Washington Post, April 28, 2006

“He is correct. We are not a bi-lingual nation. We are a nation filled with dozens upon dozens of languages. If all of them want to have a version of the national anthem they are welcome to make one. I’m rather fond of Jimi Hendrix version of it. I’m really starting to get the feeling that this is more about racism than about music. Kind of a ‘fear of a brown nation’ thing. These are probably the same people that think that the Bible should only be read in its original version: the King James edition.”
-Skippy


“‘The first step to understanding something is to understand it in the language you understand, and then you can understand it in another language,’ said Leo Chavez, director of Chicano/Latino Studies at the University of California at Irvine. ‘What this song represents at this moment is a communal shout, that the dream of America, which is represented by the song, is their dream, too.’”
-Washington Post, April 28, 2006

“Amen brother.”
-Skippy


“Since its origins as the melody to an English drinking song called ‘To Anacreon in Heaven,’ circa 1780, ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ has had a long, strange trip. Key wrote the poem after watching the bombardment of Fort McHenry in 1814. It became the national anthem in 1931.”
-Washington Post, April 28, 2006

“And we should keep the music of the national anthem as it was written… as a drinking song.”
-Skippy


“At least 389 versions have been recorded, according to Allmusic.com, a quick reference used by musicologists to get a sense of what's on the market. Now that Hendrix's ‘Banner’ has mellowed into classic rock, it's hard to imagine that once some considered it disrespectful. The other recordings embrace a vast musical universe: from Duke Ellington to Dolly Parton to Tiny Tim. But musicologists cannot name another foreign-language version.”
-Washington Post, April 28, 2006

“So what they are saying is that to remove the words (as Hendrix did) wasn’t so bad, but Goddess help us if a single word is changed into another language. Apparently civilization will fall if that happens. Isn’t it lovely when little distractions like this can take our attention away from our government’s lies and deceptions and focus it where it belongs: abusing minorities? Ah, America. God shed his grace on thee.”
-Skippy

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