Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Entertainment/2010 March 10

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March 10[edit]

Why don't Americans sing along to their national anthem?[edit]

At any sporting event you might only see about 5% of the crowd singing along....I always wonder why more people don't join in. In other countries, it is common to hear the entire crowd singing along. -hello, i'm a member | talk to me! 04:17, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

If you check the article for "The Star-Spangled Banner", or any number of sources that talk about that song, the basic problem is that it requires too large of a vocal range for a lot of folks. You can start it in your normal register, but when it gets to "...and the rocket's glare..." it's fairly much up there. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 04:22, 10 March 2010 (UTC)
Yep, Bugs. Also throw in that in some countries, attending church is regular. And in church, ya sing. And thrown in, that in the good old US of A school kids aren't directed to sing patriotic songs, or anything else that isn't PTA politically correct ... well, you got a nation that's uncomfortable raising its voice in harmony. Must be a moral in there somewhere. Piano non troppo (talk) 04:51, 10 March 2010 (UTC)
Plenty of folks like to sing. The trouble with the Anthem at sporting events is that too often they'll take a professional singer who turns it into a personal performance, with the audience having no clue when the singer is going to pause or embellish. So all's you can do is watch and listen. Get a band playing it straightforwardly, and you improve the odds of the audience singing to it. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 04:58, 10 March 2010 (UTC)
In Canada, everyone sings O Canada. In fact, at NHL games in Edmonton or Calgary (I can't remember), the singer only sings the first couple of lines, then the fans sing the rest of the song themselves. That's because O Canada is an easy song to sing with easy lyrics to remember. The Star Spangled Banner is an absurd choice for a national anthem since people are always forgetting the words or falling off-key. I say we follow the Philadelphia Flyers and use "God Bless America" instead. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 05:38, 10 March 2010 (UTC)
"O Canada" is a good song. Simple and straightforward. TSSB is a relic. It has some interesting verses that never get sung, like the one about how the blood of the British "has washed out their foul footsteps pollution". I'd like to see the Mormon Tabernacle Choir do that one sometime. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 06:14, 10 March 2010 (UTC)
As this clip shows, Canadians get into their singing[1] although they do seem to be a little spellbound in this clip of the late, great Roger Doucet at the Montreal Forum.Starts about 1:55Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 06:26, 10 March 2010 (UTC)
I wouldn't say "everyone" sings O Canada. No one ever sings along in Toronto, anyway. (And no one ever sang along at school.) Adam Bishop (talk) 07:01, 10 March 2010 (UTC)
(OR) While watching the recent Winter Olympics on TV, I noticed that the Canadian gold-medal winners tended to sing along with their anthem much more frequently than the US winners. Maybe that's because so much of the audience was singing, though. Deor (talk) 16:30, 10 March 2010 (UTC)
Bugs may be right. See hello, i'm a member | talk to me! 06:08, 10 March 2010 (UTC)
In contrast, here's what happens when those who cannot sing are allowed to sing: [2]Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 06:17, 10 March 2010 (UTC)
I wouldn't say that church attendance has much to do with it - I think 5% of people in the UK regularly attends church, but that doesn't stop us giving good renditions of the Scottish and Welsh national anthems, like this example from last month. -- Arwel Parry (talk) 19:16, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
Church attendance can't have anything to do with it, since it is higher in the US than most of the rest of the developed world (and I'm guessing the OP is talking mostly about the developed world). Religion in the United States#Church attendance says: "Gallup International indicates that 41%[61] of American citizens report they regularly attend religious services, compared to 15% of French citizens, 10% of UK citizens,[62] and 7.5% of Australian citizens." --Tango (talk) 21:19, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
It is because, as Kurt Vonnegut wrote, it is the only national anthem in the Universe that consists of a bunch of nonsense punctuated with question marks. (talk) 07:12, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
It's not nonsense once you read its history, and if you read all 4 verses; and keep in mind it was put to the tune of a drinking song. Putting it all together, its motley origins in some ways make it perfect for us, as most of us Americans likewise have motley origins. :) ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 11:08, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
Vonnegut didn't mean he didn't understand the message, he meant (and in my opinion with justification) that the grammar of the lyrics is convoluted enough to baffle the most dedicated grammarian and obscure the meaning of the words. Incidentally, I notice that the official lyrics are punctuated differently from the original, making lines 3 & 4 ("Whose broad stripes...) a question which is never answered. DJ Clayworth (talk) 15:17, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
Vonnegut was probably being satirical. The first stanza is primarily a question: Can you still see the flag this morning, which we saw at dusk yesterday? The flag that was illuminated during the night by the British bombs and rockets? Does that flag still wave? The second stanza answers the question, "Yes," and also makes defiant comments about the British. The third stanza asks whatever became of the British, and answers its own question by saying that "their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution." The fourth stanza drips with American patriotism, asserting that we will always take a stand to remain free, to trust in God, Whose power has made us a free nation; that we will use our military might when justified; and that the flag shall wave triumphantly. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:37, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
"And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air". So that's the source of American foriegn policy for the last hundred years. I suspect the real reason is that people cannot remember the words. (talk) 14:22, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
Kind of, but they're not American rockets and bombs, they're English. Hence why it's important to mention that the flag was "still there" afterwards. It makes no sense the other way: "We bombed the shit out of them, but luckily our flag survived!" (talk) 14:46, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
Don't confuse him with facts. :) ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:49, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
And the message of the national anthem, which obviously Vonnegut didn't understand, is that despite being besieged by enemies, we stand firm. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:51, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
See my post above for the fact that Vonnegut did understand the message. DJ Clayworth (talk) 15:18, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
An amusing incident at an England v France Rugby international at the Stade de France few years ago - the French military band (perhaps on purpose?) played God Save the Queen so fast that it was impossible to sing along. After a few bars, the England fans just belted out the words at the usual stately pace, drowning the efforts of the French musicians who had to stand and wait for the singing to finish. Manifique! Alansplodge (talk) 20:59, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
Oh yes, and let's not forget (he never will) John Redwood, the onetime English Secretary of State for Wales, pretending that he knew the words to the Welsh national anthem, "Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau"[3]. Alansplodge (talk) 21:09, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
It's true that The Star-Spangled Banner is a bit difficult to diagram, but really so is O Canada. Yes, it took me years to figure out that the broad stripes and bright stars were streaming over the ramparts we watched, but it's not that much easier to notice that the Canadian singer is ordering Canada to command true patriot love in her sons. --Trovatore (talk) 03:34, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
Yes! I didn't realize that until last week, actually, when there was a brief national debate about the apparent sexism of the lyrics. I always thought it was "all thy Son's command", meaning Jesus, since God is mentioned later. (I blame Catholic school, of course.) Adam Bishop (talk) 14:33, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

Who is this male reporter?[edit]

He is really cute. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:59, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

Looks like one of those events where they have high schoolers take adult jobs for a day - mayor, police chief, news anchor, etc. The key would be to figure out which TV station the clip is taken from, and that station's website would probably have mug shots of all their on-air personalities. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 08:08, 10 March 2010 (UTC)
I have to agree that he is cute indeed. If you managed to stay conscious til the end of the report -- as oppose to swooning over his gorgeousness -- around 2:02 you'd hear that he actually said his name: Chance "Seals?" (can't be sure of the spelling but it sounds like it) for Interestingly, the Transcript tab did not not credit the presenter. --Kvasir (talk) 08:45, 10 March 2010 (UTC)
After a bit of google stalking I found him. He's Chance Seales, and you can drool over him at or
There is about 5,200 google results on "Chance Seales", so good luck. --Kvasir (talk) 08:53, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

Zac Efron related to Marshall Efron?[edit]

Is Marshall Efron related to Zac Efron?--Atlantima (talk) 15:11, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

No positive information to hand, but from the linked articles, elements in Marshall Efron's broadcasting career suggests that he is likely to be a Christian, while Zac Efron's parents are stated to be Jewish. While by no means definite, this would seem to lessen the likelihood. (talk) 00:42, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
Of course they're related: see Most recent common ancestor. Hitler was also related to Winston Churchill, and I'm related to the pope. The correct questions are "How closely are they related?" and "Does anyone know how they are related?". Sharing last names probably makes it more likely that they're somewhat closely related (for example, the "northern Clevelands" (those Clevelands in the US of Northeastern origin) are all descended from a Moses Cleveland (not the the guy who founded Cleveland), while the "southern Clevelands" are either descended from John Cleveland or Alexander Cleveland (depending on which side of the Cleveland geneology debate you find yourself on). I found this fun site about the Clevelands. Typing "efron geneology into Google may pull up a similar site. Buddy431 (talk) 15:20, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
Gee, it sure is pedantic around here... For the record, I tried typing ""efron geneology" into Google, but I realized it was missing a quotation mark. Then, I realized genealogy is spelled with an "a"! Coreycubed (talk) 15:44, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
There are plenty of redirects that try to lead misspellings to the right place, e.g. the "Geneology" item. For something like "Efron genea/ology", if there's nothing here, try googling that phrase and see what comes up. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 01:12, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

1980's sci-fi TV series[edit]

Hi there. I'm trying to think of the title of a 1980's sci-fi series - the main things I can remeber about it are that the bad guy was a brain in a vat, and his headquarters looked remarkably like the Renaissance Center in Detroit (because it was a photo of that building). I think the main plot involved the heroes' spaceship being at the other side of the planet, and they had to fight off different aliens (under the control of said brain in said vat) every week while trying to get back to it. Any hints would be very welcome. (talk) 18:30, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

There are other buildings which look similar to the RenCen, such as the Westin Bonaventure Hotel building the waitresses worked in in It's A Living. StuRat (talk) 18:36, 10 March 2010 (UTC)
What country? US? UK? etc. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 18:38, 10 March 2010 (UTC)
If no-one manages to answer this one, perhaps you'll find it at List of science fiction television programs. Steve T • C 11:34, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
TV Tropes has a list of such things on their Brain In a Jar page but none look relevant. Does the OP know nothing else - was it a kids show? Animated or live-action? Half-hour or hour-long? --Normansmithy (talk) 13:12, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for all the help so far. The building may very well have been the Westin Bonaventure - three glass-coated circular towers, anyway. It was live-action, American, and not really a kids show - about the Blake's 7 level of seriousness, more than Buck Rogers, less than Dr Who. Otherworld (TV series) is ringing a lot of bells as far as the plot is concerned, but the article doesn't mention the brain-in-a-vat villan (definitely the show's most distinctive element). I seem to recall that the brain's chief henchperson was an attractive middle-aged female. Not sure about the episode length - 1 hour would have been unusual, so it was probably shorter than that. (talk) 17:36, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
Both the RenCen and Westin Bonaventure have 4 cylindrical towers around one taller cylindrical central tower. However, when viewed from the side, you only see 3 or 4 towers, depending on the angle. StuRat (talk) 20:21, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

This sounds a lot like an old serial of Doctor Who. I can't remember the name of it, but it had brains in jars and they had to find three keys to turn it off before the bald guy would let them return to the tardis. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Fire2010 (talkcontribs) 20:31, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

That would probably be The Keys of Marinus, the fifth series that first appeared in 1964, and incidentally the first of which I remember seeing any of on its first broadcast, having lived abroad for a few years previously. (talk) 21:25, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
But I would expect the poster to know the difference between a 1960's British sci fi show and a 1980's American one. There's the accents and the black and white, to start. StuRat (talk) 21:31, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I meant Fire2010's suggestion, not the OP's original query, which I agree was probably something more recent. Sorry for the ambiguity. (talk)