All this stuff is connected. At least, I’m pretty sure of it after experiences at two spring training games in Florida.
The first was the Red Sox opener.
There is always a risk at ball games that you will be subjected to something awful, depending on who has been picked to sing the National Anthem (in particular, people whose vocal range gives out somewhere around “the rockets red glare”). On this night, we were treated to a rendition by a gospel singer that ranks as the single most embarassingly over-the-top anthem performance I have ever experienced. He bawled this monstrosity over a recorded background of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir On Crack singers (I think he may actually have been lip-synching), speakers hovering just below feedback amplitude, and at the end I could only turn to Mrs. J. and say "I’M CURED!!!".
Then at the Reds game came the 7th inning stretch. Instead of “Take Me Out To The Ball Game”, some starry decrep got on the P.A., announced that this was The Greatest Country In The World, and launched into a quavery version of “God Bless America”, prompting every loyal American in the stands to get to their feet, excepting certain lowlifes wearing Red Sox caps.
No confrontation developed, though I could sense a certain tension in the air.
It may not be safe to wear your antiwar T-shirt with the Darwin fish sticker to the Great American BallPark this year.