Sunday, January 21, 2001

Unpresidented

(January 21, 2001)

Junior's in the White House. It's all over now but the strip-mining.

Don't misconstrue the fact that I slept through the inauguration this morning as apathy. I do care about the future of this country. I just didn't realize that Magnolia was a two-taper when Hub put it on last night. I didn't get to sleep until almost 4am.

From the bottom of his heart George W. Bush thanks the American people for putting him in the White House. Georgie, from the pit of my stomach, you're welcome to it. The hope is that you don't do anything that can't be undone four years from now when your simpering, whining ass gets thrown back to the ranch.

For most of the country the Presidential election was a choice between the lessor of two evils. Throughout October and November, I found myself giving advice to the dazed Democrats who were going with the "halo effect" theory. Those were the voters who, however illogically, lumped Bill Clinton's sex life with Al Gore's politics.

I said, "If you're choosing between the lessor of two evils, how about going with the one you haven't tried already." Another Bush in office? Have you been licking windshield wipers? When Junior says that a woman's right to choose is unconstitutional, I feel sick. More so when he simpers that the Bill of Rights says it's okay for street gangs to carry guns and kill you. Add scary health plan ideas, shortsighted energy plans...it's all too familiar. It's all so Reagan/Bush

Not that the Gore leadership would be any better. Any self-respecting American at least wants to put some trust in their leader, and who would trust that guy? Personal integrity is Clinton's problem too, and even Clinton supporters agree that lying under oath is a no-no. And when it comes to integrity Al and Tipper-- because face it, when you get a President you get the spouse in a package deal-- are the original karma chameleons. I don't even mind Al's mercurial politics, actually. Situations change, socially and politically, that would result in a person legitimately flip-flopping on a belief. That does not bother me. What bothers me is that he denies doing it. Just own up. Just say, "Yes, I supported that bill in 1982, but then I realized that it had an effect on health care I hadn't foreseen...."

And Tipper. Oh man.

Every time I look at her I think of it.

You know what I mean.

Come on, sing it with me...
    "I knew a girl named Nikki I guess you could say she was a sex fiend;
    Met her in a hotel lobby masturbating in a magazine..."
It all started with Darling Nikki,, from Prince's Purple Rain. I fucking LOVE this album, it's genius. It sold ten million copies, and the movie made 60 million in two months. When Doves Cry was Number One for five weeks and the biggest selling single of 1984. (1)

Well, one of those ten million copies made its way, unfortunately, into the hands of one of the four or five or six Gore children.

That's another thing. For people so supposedly environmentally-minded they sure bred a lot.

Well, Tipper overheard this song one day and, instead of just taking it away from her OWN child as inappropriate, decided to take ALL TEN MILLION COPIES away from EVERYONE IN THE WORLD. (2)

In what can only be described as blatant criminal misuse of pillow talk to turn the gears of the political power machine, Tip and her babbling coffee klatch of other bored senators' wives gathered and formed a Nazi-esque coalition called the Parents Music Resource Center. The PMRC got all their husbands to suddenly start passing all kinds of outrageous regulations that somehow they thought the music and arts community wouldn't recognize as good old fashioned censorship.

But censorship is what it was, however prettily they wanted to dress it up. They demanded that record companies refuse to release any music these wives would deem "unwholesome." They demanded that music stores make completely subjective decisions about what music to stock, relegating anything that mentions sex or drugs to the dustbin.

One good thing about my parents, they did not for one second buy into the PMRC bullshit in the least. We grew up with Marvin Gaye's "You Sure Love To Ball" and The Beatles "Why Don't We Do It In The Road" and a million other songs the Washington Wives would probably have wanted banned. Sex in rock? Why Tipper, you don't say?

My clearest recollection of the PMRC is Frank Zappa addressing Congress. The man super-heroically stood up and said what everyone was thinking. His statement is reprinted in a terrific autobiography called The Real Frank Zappa Book. Frank railed eloquently about the unacceptable situation wherein the opinions of a few, who happen to have special access to legislative machinery, are infringing on the civil liberties of everyone in the name of protecting children. My favorite sound bite, "What if the next group of Washington Wives demands a large yellow 'J' on all material written or performed by Jews, in order to save helpless children from exposure to 'concealed Zionist doctrine'?" (3)

Despite the efforts of Frank, John Denver, Dee Snider and others, the record industry caved on portions of of the PMRC demands. Today there are Tipper Stickers on music with explicit lyrics. But at least the music is still ALLOWED TO BE MADE. Can you imagine? Legislation about what any artist can and cannot create?

But as soon as it started to look like Al Gore would run for VP, Tipper backed off and Al, who'd previously been "supportive" of this censorship foolishness, pretended that he hadn't been. Deplorable. Disgusting. Had he admitted that he got caught up in the movement because his daughters were young and impressionable, and had he said that in that moment his "dad" instincts took over, he could have explained his change of position. But don't deny that special access to legislative machinery was the only reason the PMRC gained any traction at all. Bitch, please.

So. How about Canada? People move to Canada all the time, right? Toronto is a GREAT city...

(1) Purple Rain sales stats from CNN

(2) In one of those rare "Eureka" moments, something became clear about this Gore kid and what the big goddamned deal was in the first fucking place. Jay Leno had two of the Gore kids on during the campaign, talking about how great their dad is, and if you missed it, you missed the younger one telling Jay that her older sister was wild when she was a teenager. Staying out all night, sneaking around, damaging the car. A ha...I see. THIS is the girl that caused all that bullshit. She was a little slut that her mother couldn't control. Oh yeah, I'm sure it was because of SONG LYRICS.

(3) Frank Zappa quote from The Real Frank Zappa Book. Out of print, try half.com

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