The guest contestant for the 'Not My Job" segment of the NPR quiz show Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me! is Lindy West, author of the 2016 memoir, Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman, which the Hulu series is based on. Her interview with host Peter Sagal is -- as you might expect -- enthusiastic, and a lot of fun. Fun too is the topic of her quiz.
On this week's Al Franken podcast, the guest is former North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp, who knew that she was in a very tight race for re-election and tha if she voted against Trump's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh she'd like lose. She voted against him and lost.
As for the episode, Al writes --
The Founding Members of the Senate’s now defunct “Oh Ya! Caucus,” former North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp and I discuss Heidi’s new organization, One Country.
How do Democrats get more votes in rural America?
Keep coming back.
Listen to the podcast.
Heidi lost her re-elect in a state that has turned solidly red over the past ten years. I won both of my races in a purplish-blue state by winning big in the Twin Cities and Duluth. But I did better all-around and in rural Minnesota in my second race (2014, a bad year for Dems) because I showed up, listened, and kept coming back. Turns out rural Americans care about what other Americans care about: health care; their kids’ education; keeping their kids close to them. Which means jobs
There's a type of humorous song that is considered parody which put new lyrics to existing music. They can be very funny often wonderfully so but for my taste are not precisely parodies, per se. To me, a parody song is one that not only creates new words to existing music but uses the words of the original song and twists them.
My favorite example is Alan Sherman's "The Ballad of Harry Lewis," a parody of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," whose chorus begins, "Glory, Glory Harry Lewis," and which includes these lines about the tailor who worked for Irving Roth --
O Harry Lewis perished
In the service of his Lord
He was trampling through the warehouse
Where the drapes of Roth are stored."
To be clear, this is perhaps mostly a personal view and (more importantly) isn't a value judgement. A comic song to existing music can be far more creative and entertaining than a mediocre parody. But I just view the category of the work differently.
I think Randy Rainbow's song are mostly funny lyrics, but also do generally overlap as song parodies, using the words of the originals to twist for comedic effect.
This version of Paul Simon's "The Sounds of Silence" is not only a parody song, but a wonderful parody. It's from a couple years ago by Don Caron and Linda Gower. There's a more recent sequel but I didn't find it nearly as good. It's funny, but mostly just funny words, not so much a parody. This, though is -- in its terrific writing...and performance.
I wanted to write something about all of this, but wasn't sure where to start -- or whether to do a series of pieces on each outrage. Fortunately, Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) came along and did it for me in a single tweet, responding to a news story.
What I'll only add to it briefly afterwards are three things.
The first of my additional commets is that left out of this is that it's all being done while the Amazon rain forest is catastrophically burning.
The second is that also left out is that on top of all this -- and as the Amazon rain forest is catastrophically burning, the Trump administration has announced their plans to allow mining, drilling and cutting down trees in the Alaskan rain forest.
And the third is that I think there is more importance to these Trump actions than just environmental disaster. As has long been known, the part of the public that is hardest to motivate to vote is young people. This year, polls show that the three most important issues for young people are gun safety, student loans and...Climate Change. I suspect that Trump and the enabling GOP have given little thought to how they are driving young people to the polls in greater numbers than historically usual. It is not just the environment they're hurting -- it's their own political survival.
Here's the latest song parody from Randy Rainbow. It's slightly different from his others, in that he doesn't do a single parody song, bur rather a medley -- all from (very understandably) "Jesus Christ Superstar." And what I most appreciated is that the first song he uses is the same song I posted here a week or so ago, "King Herod's Song."
Another wonderful video from the fine folks at The Dodo. This one is about complete strangers helping a totally different species in distress. What a concept.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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