Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Zooey Deschanel singing "God Bless America" has caused me to have a number of feelings, not all of them positive

Zooey Deschanel singing "God Bless America" at yesterday's Giants-Phillies NLCS game:

I have a lot of feelings about this. But first, let's hear from The Sister, via her actual text messages sent to me just minutes after this happened:

Ugh she is horrible

That bitch cant sing. But she pretty.

Here are my thoughts:

1. She's not that bad. Her voice has that wobbly reedy quality that you associate with country singers from the 50's. It's just that, because of (a) Mariah Carey and (b) American Idol, we are now acculturated to expect explosive, trilly diva-wailing instead of just, y'know, singing.

2. The Mehserle boat. In case you're not up on this, some supporter of Johannes Mehserle, the cop who killed a BART passenger on New Year's Eve a couple of years ago, has been sailing a boat in McCovey Cove behind the ballpark with a big "Free Johannes Mehserle" banner. Thanks, I guess, to the American flag on top, they got some good airtime on Fox. A complete discussion of the Mehserle case is beyond the scope of this post.

3. Is Zooey giving up some hipster cred here? I mean, you can't get much more unhip than singing "God Bless America" at an organized sporting event.

4. You hear the announcer say "Please rise and remove your caps blahdeddy blah" before she sings? This is my big peeve with GBA: It's not the National Anthem. Now, I'm as patriotic as the next guy, and before every game, I dutifully rise and put my hand over my heart and then listen to the Willow Glen Eighth Grade Boys Chorus warble their way through the Star-Spangled Banner or whatever and I think it's great. But we only have one National Anthem, and that's it. I don't even like GBA as a song, and I like even less the forced patriotism of being told to treat it like some secret national anthem. I guess this took off after 9/11 and then just stuck, like permanent war and the TSA. Go ahead and call me un-American if you must, but I'm happy with the one national anthem we already have.

5. Do you think Zooey Deschanel has ever been to a professional sporting event before?


Vic said...

I cannot agree more with number 5.

I don't want anyone to tell me I have to be their kind of "patriot". They need to just stop.

I'll have to watch the video later, but I always thought she had a pretty good voice in "Elf" singing "Baby, It's Cold Outside".

Thank goodness she's NOT Mariah Carey. I like for singers to sing the melody(or harmony) notes in their own style instead of dancing all around them.

Vic said...

Oops! I mean number 4!

Rocco said...

i'm all for folksy, but i do require that one sing on key. plus, it just annoys me that she would never get a record deal if she wasn't famous/married to ben gibbard.

Vic said...

So what? If her records don't sell, then the record company made a bad decision. If they sell, they did what they're supposed to do, which is make money.
There's a lot of people with record deals that can't sing.

Stoney said...

I'm with TK re the reedy, country singer quality to her voice. Sadly that's not so good for a capella singing.

I wish, if people were going to sing something besides Take Me Out to the Ballgame, they would sing This Land is Your Land. That or Too Drunk to Fuck.

Karen said...

Word, Rocco. She was flat for almost the whole song, though to her credit, she pulled it back on key toward the end. I am for some reason going to defend her: it is extremely hard to sing in a stadium setting -- the echo/repeat/delay takes practice to tune out. Perhaps that's why she started out so terrible and ended up OK.

I blame the ascendancy of "God Bless America" on two things: 9/11 and the fact that it's just so much easier to sing than our actual national anthem. How about we replace it with "My Country 'Tis of Thee" instead? Also easy to sing, but much more dramatic and rooted and somewhat less God-y. ("This Land Is Your Land" would work, too, Stoney!)

generic said...

#5. It's a really obscure sport. You probably haven't heard of it.

DrFeelgood said...

Star Spangled Banner is great. I love that it is based on a British drinking song. Kelsey Grammer sings it the best; loud, straight-on, and with balls. GBM is for sissies.

Tamagosan said...

1. I found myself kind of waiting for the song to start, though.

2. THE MEHSERLE BOAT, WTF??? Just to remind us we're watching Fox and okay they'll come to our hedonistic town but they'll insert their killer cop politics?? Last time I was at the park (Game One v. Braves), there was a "Justice for Oscar Grant" boat. My bro has pics, so I should try to track those down, but you can imagine that it was a bit less professional than the Mehserle Boat. I heard it might be from his dad?

3. Irony. I hope.

4. What you said. Just learned that women don't have to take off their hats! Score.

5. What generic said.

Currently listening to the somehow not blacked-out KNBR online. These past two innings have been tough, but I remain faithful, mainly because I would be disowned from my family if I showed any wavering of loyalties.

Brett said...

Regardless of Ms. Deschanel, your reader in Dallas is very much hoping we both make the Series.

Complete side note: heard a very funny description of Katie Perry: Zooey Deschanel's head on a porn stars body.

Civic Center said...

The Mehersle boat people are relatives of Johannes, and the huge-ass boat is named "Sorcerer." And I hate "God Bless America" during the 7th inning stretch, a 9/11 revision to baseball tradition that seriously sucks. The only time I've enjoyed that song was at an old drag bar in Portland called Darcelle's where Darcelle herself would perform her signature lipsynch of Kate Smith's version of GBA, punctuated with cracks of a (real) bullwhip. The memory still makes me laugh.

Unknown said...

As far as GBA goes, I couldn't agree more. But don't worry, we only have to remember 9/11 for about 11 more months, then everything will be back to normal. USA!

Anonymous said...

Agree with #5.

That said, while she is not drop dead gorgeous, she has such the hipster coolness quality that I love. Her characters in Yes Man and 500 Days of Summer are to die for in my mind. She is too cool for school, too cool for me...and it did undermine her coolness to sing at a baseball game....maybe they pulled her in off the street as she was helping with prop 19.

Have to say that her rendition was quite bad, but not as bad as the game 2 military gal....ugh