Monday, February 3, 2014

Perfect harmony?

I've been experiencing a bit of blogger's block lately when, POOF, a soap box appears in front of me. Not being one to pass up a good soap box, I thought I would hop right on it in this post.

So, not being into football, I didn't watch the game, not even for the commercials. This probably makes me un-American to some before even reading the rest of my post. However, thanks to the internets, I'm able to read people's reactions to the game and its commercials (I didn't have to miss out on the commercials because the world-wide-webs lets me do that. Yeah, I got to see the adorable Budweiser commercial---too cute). Also, thanks to friends on Facebook, I was made aware of some controversy involving Coca-Cola.

Now, given some of Coke's history, it didn't shock me that something controversial would arise. What I didn't expect was that people were upset about the commercial that Coke put out for the Super Bowl! Take a look at the ad:

I know! HORRIBLY OFFENSIVE, isn't it? I mean, so unpatriotic and shameful. How could Coke allow our national anthem be sung in any language other than English!?!?

(Yes, some of those outraged citizens believe that "America the Beautiful" is the national anthem.)

Is the song about America? Yes. Do people consider it a patriotic song? Yes. Can non-English speakers appreciate the beauty it captures and share that in their own languages? Ye----oh, wait, I guess not.

The lyrics are from a poem written by Katherine Lee Bates 1893. She wrote the poem as she traveled up Pikes Peak and looked out from the mountain side to see the beautiful vista before her. I have been fortunate enough to experience this view many times. It is breathtaking and never gets old. In fact, in some ways, taking friends and family on the journey up the mountain for their first time lets me experience it anew through them. Anyone making the trip, English speakers and non-English speakers alike, can look out and appreciate the beauty and splendor Katherine Lee Bates captured in words all those many years ago.

So why is it so upsetting for a company, with a logo which is easily recognizable throughout the world, to have this song sung in various languages? I don't know. Isn't it in keeping with the spirit of this other Coca-Cola commercial:

Maybe the people getting their panties in a bunch are just a bunch of Pepsi drinkers.

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