Bless their little hearts, TechCrunch50 organizers Jason Calacanis and Michael Arrington have had someone sing the national anthem to kick off each day of their startup demonstration conference. Even we here at Valleywag, who will presumably believe anything, couldn't believe this. Marxists, Objectivists and Kurt Vonnegut can all agree: drawing national boundaries and exciting nationalist sentiment through propaganda was so last century. And to have Arrington's former paramour Meghan Asha try to hit that high note in a room full of pitch-perfect math geeks, as pictured here? Deadly.
An ode to the military superiority of these United States can only exacerbate tensions with cheap creditor and chip fabricator China and cause the relatively cosmopolitan diplomats in Europe and the Middle East to shake their heads and hard currency in consternation. We hear, second hand, that it was all Calacanis's idea, but Arrington is as much to blame all the same. You can guess how immigrant entrepreneurs must have felt when they clutched their H-1B visas tightly to their breast — not to mention the service staff at the venue working for subcontractor wages that may or may not be on the books. Please, somebody definitively reveal this as a prank in the comments, because we're saddened and perplexed. (Photo by Frank Gruber)