A National Anthem Prophecy Fulfilled
Posted on 09.22.16 by Danny Glover @ 10:48 pm

To hear many Americans tell it today, “The Star-Spangled Banner” has been a cherished anthem of national pride almost since the day Francis Scott Key penned it in 1814. But the government-sanctioned reverence the song enjoys in the 21st century actually didn’t take root until the start of the 20th century — and not everyone thought it was a good idea then.

The song gained plenty of attention, particularly in the military, after Scott wrote it to celebrate the American victory over the British at Fort McHenry in Maryland. But even the military didn’t start incorporating “The Star-Spangled Banner” into its flag-raising ceremonies until 1889. It took another 27 years for Woodrow Wilson to give the tune the stamp of presidential approval in an executive order.

The song’s evolution from battle hymn to national anthem still wasn’t complete, though, and the final hurdle on Capitol Hill wasn’t easy to clear. As the National Park Service noted in its history of the national anthem, 11 lawmakers tried to push 15 different bills and resolutions through Congress between 1910 and 1917, and all of them stalled.

Even after a determined Rep. J. Charles Linthicum, D-Md., adopted “The Star-Spangled Banner” as his personal cause in 1918, he had a years-long fight ahead of him. Congress didn’t clear the bill to President Herbert Hoover until March 3, 1931, a day before adjournment would have killed the idea yet again.

That brings us to a surprising editorial that the Baltimore Evening Sun published the day after Hoover signed the bill. With the amateur poet Key being a favorite son of the city, the newspaper had good reason to celebrate the patriotic development. But it saw cause for concern instead:

It must be pleasing to all Marylanders to have a Maryland song thus honored, and yet the occasion is not yet quite one for unreserved joy. Unofficially, “The Star-Spangled Banner” has long been recognized as the national anthem, so nothing much is added to its dignity by this act of Congress.

On the other hand, now that it has official standing, we formally prophesy that not six months will pass before someone comes forward with a proposal to inflict pains and penalties upon those who do not accord the song what the proposer regards as a proper measure of respect.

That is to say, “The Star-Spangled Banner” will now become another excuse for badgering people who do not conform to the patrioteers’ idea of decorum; and this seems a somewhat unfortunate prospect for a fine old Free State song.

Eighty-five years later, the paper’s prophecy has been fulfilled. The new country that repelled the British in the Battle of Baltimore and the War of 1812 is now embroiled in a tense debate about police shootings of black Americans, and the anthem that united us then divides us now.

It’s not enough that “The Star-Spangled Banner” is played at memorial holidays, military ceremonies and athletic contests across the country, or that the vast majority of the nation’s 324 million people (including me) solemnly stand for it, sing it and revere the symbolism behind it. Every single American must embrace that norm or be reviled as an un-American outcast who should shut up or leave the country.

This, indeed, is an unfortunate fate for a fine song written in a Free State, for a free country.

Filed under: Government and History and Holidays and Media and Military and News & Politics and People
Comments: None

‘This Is Target!’
Posted on 12.05.14 by Danny Glover @ 8:04 pm

If you’re a manager at a Target department store and deliver a rousing pep talk to your staff before the store opens on Black Friday … you may be an enlightened redneck.

The entertaining redneck in this case is Scott Simms, a manager at the Target in Westminster, Md. His colleague Chole Frebertshauser captured the pep talk on film, and it’s making the rounds via YouTube to the tune of nearly 2.5 million views as of now.

Filed under: Business and Holidays and Movies and Social Media and Video
Comments: None

Walmart’s ‘Black Friday’ Fail
Posted on 12.26.13 by Danny Glover @ 1:16 pm

My wife and I have never been interested in braving the crazy masses to Christmas shop on Black Friday, and we’re even less inclined to join the insanity now that “Black Friday” actually begins a day early, on Thanksgiving Day. We’d rather enjoy the evening with family than waste it on conspicuous consumption for a holiday that has become far too commercialized.

But this year a confluence of events convinced my wife to go shopping on Thanksgiving night: 1) Our son really wanted Beats headphones; 2) God blessed our new communications business with a surplus of work and income, so we could afford to splurge on the children; and 3) Walmart had a great deal on headphones for anyone who shopped that night.

Many people who shop on the wildest day of the year can’t get the gifts they want because they fly off the shelves. Walmart didn’t have any Beats headphones by the time she trekked to the Walmart nearest to my parents’ house in West Virginia.

But as promised because she shopped during the allotted time, Walmart gave her a rain check and promised to deliver the headphones to our local store in the Washington, D.C., area between Dec. 14 and Dec. 22. One big item off the shopping list early, right?

Wrong. We started getting antsy about Walmart’s ability to deliver on time midway between the two promised dates. Then on Dec. 21 we received this email: “Your Walmart.com order is almost ready for pickup. … You’ll receive a separate email when your item is ready for pickup. We will also be emailing you a $10 eGift Card for any inconvenience that may occur if your item does not arrive” on time.

Less than 24 hours later we learned that “almost ready” in Wally World doesn’t mean “sometime in the next three days before you have to wrap the gift and leave town for Christmas.” We received that $20 gift card but not the gift that our son wanted most this year. Thanks for nothing, Walmart!

Thankfully this Christmas story has a happy ending. We’re regular customers of Best Buy, and they sent an email the morning of Dec. 22 advertising a one-day special on select Beats headphones. Even better, they cost $15 less than what we paid for a rain check that Walmart couldn’t manage to fill in three weeks’ time.

Our son got his headphones; we got a gift certificate that we’ll use at Walmart the day we go to get a refund on the headphones that were never delivered; and we learned never to shop at Walmart on Black Friday. There are better ways to fill the emptiness underneath our Christmas tree.

Filed under: Business and Family and Holidays and Music and West Virginia
Comments: None

How To Fry A Turkey (Not Like Uncle Si)
Posted on 11.28.13 by Danny Glover @ 10:16 am

My wife remembers with much amusement the first time my Mom and I fried a turkey for Thanksgiving. Mom had done so much research into the safety hazards of the cooking technique that both of us were terrified of catching the house or ourselves on fire.

We placed the fryer on the very outer edge of the concrete patio in our backyard to put as much distance as possible between the fryer and our house. We stretched the gas line that runs between the propane tank and the burner as far as it would go and then stood as far away as our arms would reach to light the flame. When it came time to lower the turkey into the boiling vat of oil, we would have used a 10-foot pole if we had one, just to ensure our safety.

We were quite the spectacle as my wife watched from the kitchen window.

But hey, at least we didn’t end up like Si Robertson of “Duck Dynasty” fame in this warning video from State Farm:

Be careful out there this Thanksgiving, all you enlightened rednecks with deep fryers!

Filed under: Advertising and Family and Food and Holidays and Redneck Humor and Video
Comments: None

Candy Corn Oreos: Halloween Trick Or Treat?
Posted on 09.07.12 by Danny Glover @ 4:22 pm

The question in the headline is rhetorical. Anyone who would corrupt the sweet Oreos combination of chocolate wafers and vanilla cream with the horrid flavor mix that is candy corn obviously is perpetrating a vicious Halloween trick on American consumers.

Unfortunately, Candy Corn Oreos are not an imaginary nightmare on Main Street. They are about to become a reality at Target stores thanks to some evil marketing genius with a sick sense of humor.

The news is all over the Internet today, and I knew before I read it that someone covering the story was sure to use the phrase “outside the box,” which too often is synonymous with bad ideas.

I’ve explained my animosity toward that phrase before. Now, with the introduction of Candy Corn Oreos, I’ve decided to revive my regular ridicule of the concept with a new feature on this blog. Consider this the first official installment of “Outside The Box.”

While we’re talking about nasty attempts at sweet treats, enjoy comedian Tim Hawkins’ take on the subject to start your weekend:

Filed under: Advertising and Business and Food and Holidays and Human Interest and Just For Laughs and Outside The Box and People and Video
Comments: None

How To Make A Slingshot Crossbow
Posted on 01.12.12 by Danny Glover @ 12:43 pm

Remarkable redneck ingenuity is on display in this video, which demonstrates how you can turn your Christmas tree into a deadly slingshot crossbow:

Filed under: Holidays and Human Interest and Hunting & Guns and Rednecks and Sports and Video
Comments: None

Sticking It To The HOA Man
Posted on 12.24.11 by Danny Glover @ 6:27 pm

I decided long ago never to buy a home on property controlled by an association of nib-noses who love to impose elitist rules on others. As an enlightened being, I don’t decorate our property with tire planters or cars jacked up on blocks, but the redneck in me cherishes the freedom to do so.

That’s why I like to see people who do choose to live within developments managed by homeowners associations stick it to the HOA man when he goes on a ridiculous and unjustifiable power trip. Overbearing rules usually have loopholes that are ripe for exploitation.

A Facebook friend found just such a loophole during the holidays when her HOA decided to play Grinch. Her understated Christmas decorations — two red bows on the porch pillars and lanterns in the lawn — apparently violated the letter of the association’s lame laws about “seasonal decorations.” The HOA ordered her to remove them.

She didn’t face any fines for the alleged breach, so she decided to keep the decorations in place. But the warning letter from the HOA irritated her and her husband so much that they decided to protest by also decorating their car in Christmas lights. “There is NOTHING in the rules prohibiting decorating your car with Christmas lights,” she said.

Take that, HOA!

Filed under: An Enlightened Redneck ... and Business and Culture and Family and Features and Holidays and Parenting and Photoshop Stop
Comments: None

How To Make A RedNek Fortune
Posted on 12.20.11 by Danny Glover @ 11:43 pm

Today I had one of those “Why didn’t I think of that?” moments — the kind you experience when you realize you could have made millions of dollars if only you had thought of that oh-so-obvious creation before someone else created it and made millions.

I’m talking about the Original RedNek Wine Glass, the kind of novelty item that would have been a perfect gimmick for a blog written by an enlightened redneck. A best seller on Amazon.com this holiday season, the Bell Mason jar glued to a Libby candlestick holder has generated $5 million in sales in just 10 months.

Okie Morris of Newport News, Va., got the idea after seeing the two separate items in a thrift store. She thought it would be neat to forge them together and later sold the rights to a family-owned business in Pennsylvania. The rest is online marketing history.

The uppity folks at Village Voice mocked the RedNek Wine Glass as “tackiness” and said it is “for country bumpkins with class,” but like me, they’re just jealous they didn’t have a multimillion-dollar stroke of redneck genius.

Filed under: Business and Culture and Holidays and Rednecks
Comments: None

One-minute Christmas Tree
Posted on 12.09.11 by Danny Glover @ 9:31 pm

If it were physically possible to install and decorate a Christmas tree this quickly, I wouldn’t be so reluctant to join the annual family ritual:

Filed under: Family and Holidays and Video
Comments: None

Deep Fryers: The Turkeys’ Revenge
Posted on 11.22.11 by Danny Glover @ 4:18 pm

At my wife’s behest, we bought an outdoor deep fryer several years ago for two special meals — catfish and turkey. Kimberly laughs to this day as she remembers the sight of my mother and me lighting the fryer flame for our first deep-fried Thanksgiving feast.

Mom had done a bit too much Internet research beforehand and had both of us terrified of torching the house or taking out the whole family in a massive explosion. We stretched the hose connecting the propane tank to the frier stand as far as we could, and if we had a 10-foot pole, I’m sure we would have used it to ignite the gas from a distance.

If handheld video cameras and YouTube had existed back then, we may well have become a viral hit, albeit in Rebecca Black fashion.

Laugh if you will, but today, Mom and I were vindicated by none other than the Homeland Security Department, which tweeted warnings about the dangers of frying turkeys. The department shared this video to emphasize the warning:

How encouraging to see that the bureaucrats responsible for securing our nation are so committed to their jobs that they even issue an ominous warning about turkeys possessing our fryers in search of Thanksgiving Day revenge.

Filed under: Family and Food and Government and Holidays and Video
Comments: 1 Comment

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