Tag: national anthem

Statehood for Puerto Rico

many Republicans are wary of adding a 51st state that could add two Democratic senators and seven Democratic electors to the Electoral College.

Others, noting the examples of Alaska and Hawaii, both added to the union in 1959, say it can be difficult to predict how territories will vote as states.

“Those are the same people that 60 years ago said that Hawaii was going to be a super Republican state and Alaska was going to be super Democratic, and that’s why we brought them in together,” said José Fuentes Agostini, the head of Puerto Rican Republicans in the states.

—”Puerto Rico goes to the polls for statehood,” Rafael Bernal, The Hill


who thought that
was that a thing people thought


(Am myself rooting for PR statehood, for reasons that have little to do with shifting the electoral college and everything to do with getting proper rights and representation for 3.5 million disenfranchised American citizens)

Rachel says:  But if Puerto Rico becomes a state, they won’t get to enter all those international sporting events anymore…

Romie: True. I should form my own microstate, becaus that is the only way I am going to be chosen to represent a country, sports-wise. Nation of one Romie, competing to represent Romie, making full use of the official Romie training facilities. My country will consist mainly of a two-by-two square hole I stand in as a reverse podium to honor my eternal last place status, plus a flagpole and someone to play my national anthem backward (I and I alone will understand it is being played backward).


Festa della Repubblica

By the way, today is the Festa della Repubblica, the Italian national day. It is, as you can tell from the name, NOT unification day, when Italy became one country. It’s a celebration of when — in 1946 — Italy voted to become a republic, and formed the current government after WWII.

This was not a foregone conclusion. There were 12.7 million votes in favor of forming a republic. There were 10.7 million in favor of restoring the monarchy.

It makes sense. When the king ceded power to a popular government, that populist government was Mussolini’s Fascists. There was not a great track record with non-kings. Particularly in the south, there was a desire to go back to the way things had been, which included festivals with nice desserts. They didn’t have the benefit of knowing what we know today, which is that a republican Italy has many festivals with nice desserts.

But Democracy won. The country made a brave decision and formed a parliament. It would from that point forward be the duty of the people to protect the people. Which they have done. This is verse three of the national anthem they adopted a few months after the vote:

Uniamoci, amiamoci,
l'unione e l'amore
rivelano ai popoli
le vie del Signore.

Let’s unite and love one another. Unity and love reveal to the people the ways of the lord.

Bravi, italiani.

Nic says: I dream of the day when we can have a referendum about our monarchy… Even if it wasn’t consigned to history’s dustbin, it would be a huge step to even have it.

Chicca says: Those were very violent times, though. Italy got there and sense prevailed, but there was so much animosity against the King and between his supporters and those against. Glad, of course, we’re well over that now, but Italy is starting to forget its own moral centre, the constitution and how we actually are supposed to help one another and any one in need that makes Italy their new home. It’s a day to celebrate and a day to make us remember what we should be like.

Eurovision Final 2017

Yay Belarus! Best song. (It’s a joyful, catchy folk duet. In Belarussian. But fully 2/3 of the lyrics are “hey! hey!”)

However, if you want to see a bad song (which you know you do) I recommend you look at Romania’s entry, “Yodel It!“, or the (no longer in the running) leather pants hair dance of Montenegro.

Portugal’s song (and singer) is legitimately good. Sort of a romantic piano bar feel, or maybe looking through a rainy window at a couple at a romantic piano bar while you are yourself wistful. Salvador Sobral. He’s my second favorite after Belarus. I think the betting odds at the moment say he’ll win.

Dude on a ladder lost all mystique once he took off the horse head.

I am able to hate both the English and the Italian sections of Croatia’s English/Italian mashup song. That’s how far I’ve come.

Sabs says: I like Hungary and Portugal so far. What’s up with the Israeli inflatable weapons?

Romie: I have no good explanation. I also have no explanation for why Romania brought cannons to a yodel.

Bethany: so baffling that one

Sabs: We are all very confused about this too.

I forgot I also like Belgium’s song. Not enough to remember that I like it, but I like it. I’d look up other stuff by the singer (Blanche) but that seems difficult to search. (I think this might be her only single. She’s mostly famous for being in the Belgian equivalent of American Idol.)

Sweden’s song is so stupid and I love the backup dancers SO MUCH.

Katherine: That guy with the long hair was nailing that choreography.

Roberto: Don’t get me started on the blinking at the camera.

Katherine says: Romania was GOLD

Romie: Oh yes I have been e-mailing their music video to unsuspecting friends all week. Possibly it should replace Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” as the E.U. anthem, because it is clearly an accomplishment on that level.

Katherine: SECONDED

Feeling sad for the Israeli broadcasters. What class acts. (I had to research why they said they won’t be around next year.) They found out just THREE DAYS AGO that they’re being shut down, despite decades of very good work. I’ll miss you, IBA.

Italian National Anthem

One of my goals right now is to learn the Italian national anthem because (1) I feel disrespectful for not knowing it (2) I love national anthems (3) I think it’s my Dad’s favorite. (He’s not remotely Italian. He just watches a lot of Formula 1.)

Frankly, I think it would be best that all of you learn it too. It is very dramatic.

Something interesting about it (which is also true of a fair amount of Italian opera) is that it repeats the lyrics but varies the tune, which is the inverse of a lot of English song structure (where we often repeat a musical phrase several times with different words).