I’m a sucker for crowds of people chanting “U-S-A! U-S-A!”
This is not meant to be a reflection on my patriotism. I think there are lots of great things about America, but also a lot of disappointing things.
The USA chant transcends those criticisms.
The other night, I read that the news of Bin Laden’s death was announced at an extra-inning baseball game. When the crowd heard the news, they starting chanting U-S-A. Even just reading a crowd chanting that got me all emotional (all commentary about humans rooting for the death of another human being aside).
I marvel at the power of this chant. It’s American kryptonite (which, by the way, is a fantastic title for an epic American coming-of-age novel). It can turn any situation into something hopeful and powerful, and I can’t resist it.
For example, yesterday I had a dreadfully long staff meeting. Imagine yourself four hours into a staff meeting, and all of a sudden you hear someone say, “U-S-A.”
There’s a pause. Then, again: “U-S-A.”
Someone else chimes in. “U-S-A. U-S-A.”
You’re excited now. This is really happening. “U-S-A. U-S-A. U-S-A.”
Now everyone’s saying it, slapping their hands on the conference table. Louder, faster. “U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!”
This meeting just got Americanized for the win.