The American theme song – or “national anthem” – is as out of date as the electoral college. It’s ponderously slow-paced. It’s obnoxiously bombastic. Nobody even shoots missiles at the White House anymore, so why do we have to hear about them when I just want to watch a baseball?
If we were a nation of patriots instead of cheese-sniveling chihuahua-walkers, the following are what we’d enshrine as our musical signatures.
“The KKK Took My Baby Away” – The Ramones
Punk music is the epitome of American culture: it’s loud, brash, and actually originally British. How better to bring our country to the 21st century than to play “The KKK Took My Baby Away” every time Barack Obama ascends a podium? Wouldn’t you feel proud?
This song has every modern thing that “The Star-Spangled Banner” doesn’t. It has guitars. It has a chorus. It has an actual acknowledgement of our nation’s neck deep involvement in white supremacist violence. Suck on that, Francis Scott Key.
The Space Jam Theme Song
Space Jam embodied everything that was great about America in 1996: Michael Jordan, pre-meme Bill Murray, megalomaniacal brand synergy, and using high-tech computers to mix animation and live-action cinema. And, frankly, aren’t those the happy, pre-terrorism, pre-financial crisis, pre-Iraq War, pre-Star Wars prequel days we all desperately wish to come again? Days when we could ignore all of our problems and pretend that everything was going to be awesome forever?
The ‘90s are America’s zeitgeist, not the War of 1812. Suck on eggs, Franky Keyes.
Let’s face facts: The communists are winning. Obama is president. Hillary will be president. Marco Rubio is clearly a sleeper agent for Castro. There’s just nothing left to do but give up and embrace defeat by making The Internationale our national anthem. Maybe where this nation strayed was our falling behind the cutting edge of revolutionary politics. Maybe the lunatic fringe should once more lead us.
Sure, this was a song beloved by our enemies but it sounds great sung by a teaming throng and the lyrics are so full of hackneyed calls to fighting tyranny and breaking chains that it could pass for a Libertarian stump speech. (Aside from the many references to collectivism.) Suck on retrograde economy theories, John Maynard Keynes.
“Hives Hives” – Xiu Xiu
Everyone always thinks that a national anthem has to be upbeat, inspiring, an embracement of the possibilities of life and nationhood. But what if we went in the exact opposite direction? What if we picked the most acidic, depressing, hopeless, death-desiring song imaginable? What if instead of every time we played our national anthem we all wept and hung ourselves from the nearest rafter?
That would make our country once more unique among the nations.
“I’m a Pioneer” – Tenchi Muyo
Too often we forget the brave and hardy souls who created this land. Too often do we ignore the travails of persecuted pilgrims who suffered scurvy on the on the open sea, the perseverance of wagon-train dust farmers who were murdered by Mormons, the deaths of those racists who boldly defended slavery at the Alamo. Our pioneers are what made this country. They laid the foundation of Indian bones we all walk on/build pet cemeteries on. They drew the completely arbitrary state lines that ensure drought for the foreseeable future. They erected the Sears tower, like a cowboy getting a really big hard-on.
Remember them. Through anime.
“Soup Boys” – Heems
America first fell in love with “The Star-Spangled Banner” because it embodied the heroism of our valiant struggle against the British Empire during the War of 1812. But the British Empire is dead, the United Kingdom is our friend, and our enemies are no longer foreign monarchs but semi-nomadic religious fanatics. We need a national anthem the embodies that struggle, one that praises the bravery of the robots who keep us safe by flying out into deserts to shoot rockets at weddings in order to kill American citizens.
“Who Gon Stop Me?” – Kanye West & Jay Z
America is about one thing—greatness. While France might be baguettes personified and Japan anime personified and Russia evil personified, America is virtuosity, ambition, power, achievement, and an unstoppable, ineffable, monomaniacal urge to reshape the world made flesh. No one understands that better than Yeezus and Hova. No one else knows that the glory of America is the fact that a drug dealer gets to sit at the right of the President while his wife sings the national anthem. No one else appreciates that the ends do in fact justify the means, that all the violence and racism and exploitation were all worth it because at the end of it is an incandescence that outshines all other human achievement. America cannot be stopped. We will destroy the world, but the destruction will be so glorious as to be an honor to those it kills.
Suck on that, everybody.