A lot of reaction to Fergie's smooth jazz/sexy version of the National Anthem at the NBA All Star game. And a lot of it deservedly not good. People are saying that the anthem is not open to interpretation. That a certain sense of respect and decorum and traditionalism are always called for. I agree with that. You're not covering some silly pop song, Fergie. You've been entrusted with a song that represents a country that many, many people have sacrificed and died for. So, yes, it is a bit unpatriotic to sing it with even a hint of sexiness or sultriness or in the style of a genre that is anything less than totally serious. But that's how Fergie chose to sing it. Playful. But, in addition to it being disrespectful to the country to have sung it that way, her other crime is that it was just plain BAD. And silly. People in the stands and players had trouble keeping a straight face. Fergie's vocal gymnastics and sultry showmanship almost seemed like an ill-timed joke. Strip away your feelings about the National Anthem and what it represents. If this had just been her interpretation of any old harmless song, it still would have sucked. It didn't need to be inappropriate to suck. It sucked on its own merit. Poorly planned, poorly sung, inflicted on our poor, poor ears. If there is a next time for you singing this song, Fergie (hopefully you will not be asked to), please treat it with the sacredness and solemnity it deserves. Remember, the National Anthem is not about you. Not about your artistic choices. It's about a great country that, even with its flaws, deserves a better tribute, especially on a national stage. Yes, it is the land of the free, and I suppose, Fergie, you have the right to sing the National Anthem however you see fit. But I have the right to say, again, it sucked. On every level.
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