Monday, February 24, 2014

Madison Rising Rises to the Occasion!

Madison Rising, played their rock version of the Star Spangled Banner at the Nationwide Drive for COPD Nationwide race at Daytona this week and boy, did the shit hit the fan as a result! NASCAR fans were aghast. Veterans were offended. The band was crucified in newspapers and on websites. 

Because we all know there is only one acceptable way to play the Star-Spangled Banner and that is the white bread version with no frills and no flexibility (although a pronounced country twang is okay). In other words, stick strictly to the script without trying to interject your own interpretation, heartfelt though it may be. 

It's ironic in a way because, as a liberal, I love Madison Rising's version of the national anthem in spite of who they are, which is highly conservative. (Listen to some of their other lyrics and decide for yourself). The majority of NASCAR fans are right-leaning themselves and would probably sympathize with the band's political views. And as conservatives, they, if anyone, should know that their brethren are not noted for their acceptance of deviation from their self-declared norm. 

Madison Rising is billed as "America's Most Patriotic Rock Band". Their stage theme is all red, white and blue. The lead singer holds a folded American flag over heart. You'd think that might be enough to gain them a little tolerance but nope. It's "our way or the highway" when it comes to the Star Spangled Banner.

As for me, I say sing your heart out. There is no right or wrong way to pay homage to your country.