We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
Dave McKenna’s “The Washington Nationalists” (Cheap Seats, 7/22) addresses an overlooked aspect of American indoctrination: its fascination with the spectacle of uniformity. It is interesting how riled up some people become if one does not abide by the unwritten rules of being an “American” at a baseball game. Standing for the “Star Spangled Banner” is not enough, nor is standing for the redundant “God Bless America.” Only blind worship of the flag and any jingoistic fetish that the government pushes is sufficient to ensure that one does not get heckled by the beer-soaked crowd.
Yet, for all the hubbub, attending an oft-boring ball game is a choice, and you know going in that you have to stand or stand the torment. I find the latent Bible-thumping post-Sept. 11 “God Bless America” addition to the repertoire especially horrendous, since “God” is brought into the picture and mixed with national rhetoric. Alas, baseball is just another mirror of our socially-conservative-warped American society. If you don’t like it, don’t go.