Ed. Note: Please listen to the embedded video on the right while you read this post.
Since its inception in 2011, the White House's "We the People" open petition web site has yielded a range of flippant, oddball and downright crazy requests, from Piers Morgan's deportation to the construction of a Death Star (the administration, for the record, "does not support blowing up planets").
Most recently, an anonymous R. Kelly fan has asked the White House to consider changing the National Anthem from the overwrought, hard-to-sing "Star-Spangled Banner" to 2003's bouncy tribute to the importance of an after-party.
America has changed in the years since Francis Scott Key penned "The Star-Spangled Banner," the petition's creators argue. It's time to "recognize the need for a new national anthem, one that even a decade after its creation, is still hot and fresh out the kitchen."
Here's the petition in full:
"We, the undersigned, would like the Obama administration to recognize the need for a new national anthem, one that even a decade after its creation, is still hot and fresh out the kitchen. America has changed since Francis Scott Key penned our current anthem in 1814. Since then, we have realized that after the show, it's the afterparty, and that after the party, it's the hotel lobby, and -- perhaps most importantly -- that 'round about four, you've got to clear the lobby, at which point it's strongly recommended that you take it to the room and freak somebody. President Obama: we ask you to recognize the evolution of this beautiful country and give us an anthem that better suits the glorious nation we have become."
In spite of Kelly's less-than-stellar reputation, Esquire's Miles Raynor writes that the petition's writers might be on to something.
"Right now our country's walk-on song in the global arena is an ode to a violently destructive encounter between nations, and after a century's worth of aggressive military presence around the world, our image could use a facelift. Rebranding ourselves as the international community's cool guy who knows where the after-party is doesn't seem like a bad idea."
As of Thursday afternoon, the petition has received more than 7,000 signatures, far short of the 100,000 needed to receive an official response from the White House. The petition's creators have until April 2.