Saturday, November 26, 2011

Dear Michele

By Greg Maniha

Dear Michele,

I wish to make it clear that I am in no way attempting to “apologize” on behalf of The Roots or ?uestlove. The Roots have more than earned their artistic credibility and as such, they have no reason to explain themselves to the likes of me, or some network president for that matter. For Iladelph Halflife alone, The Roots have secured their place in music history, but of course, there is far more within their body of work that makes love to the ears and the soul. Great, so now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s focus on the task at hand, shall we?

I originally thought about focusing this piece on the blatant double standard dominating conservative media that Michele Bachman ran crying like a baby to once she discovered The Roots were actually making fun of her. It seemed like a good idea at the time to discuss the sudden awareness on the part of Fox News for the treatment of women in the professional world that was suspiciously absent when Herman Cain’s professional conduct was at issue. I had every intention of shedding light on the fact that conservative public figures whether candidates or media personalities have no issue dishing out the nasty comments to the other side yet when the other side bites back, they suddenly reveal their thin skin and cry like babies, but then I remembered how aware of this the majority of us are and figured, “where’s the fun in that?” Indeed, the very thought of The Roots playing Fishbone’s “Lyin Ass Bitch” for the intro music of Michele Bachman during her appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon was in and of itself, “fun.” It was right then and there that I knew I needed to keep the “fun” going myself!

Dearest Michele, I know the chances of you reading this will be slim to none, still, in the interest of feeding the sense of entitlement you possess, you deserve nothing less than some helpful suggestions for intro music should you ever be invited back to the medium that is late night television. Granted, if I had to guess, I would say the house bands on pretty much any late night program wouldn’t take kindly towards any attempt on your part to take possession of their artistic control, but hey, you seem to have a desire to be in charge of everything else for the benefit of you and you alone, so why not give it a shot? If nothing else, you might get a smile when you’re told where to go or when you’re told to shut that hole you eat pie with. Since you love smiling as you demonize the gay community, the African-American community, and children that suffer from constant bullying, I already know you’ll feel right at home with this kind of response. Just as a little caveat before we continue, my suggestions will range from your “psychological stability” to the “beacon of tolerance” that is Michele and Marcus Bachman, so, without further delay, here are my suggestions to you.

-Psycho Killer – Talking Heads – This, Michele Bachman, quite frankly, would be a perfect song for you. I’m sure it wasn’t written about you, but my god, it should have been. There are both individual lines and entire verses that seriously speak volumes to you. The opening line alone of “I can’t seem to face up to the facts” simply speaks volumes in your direction. If that’s not enough, “ you start a conversation, you can’t even finish it. You’re talking a lot, but you’re not saying anything. When I have nothing to say, my lips are sealed. Say something once, why say it again?” is a verse that describes you to the letter!

-You’re Crazy – Guns N’ Roses – In continuing with the topic of rock solid “psychological stability,” when you change one word from “boy” to girl, we end up with yet another picture perfect description of you. It’s like a gift that keeps on giving. Here, read this and see what you think! “Say girl where you’re coming from, Where’d you get that point of view, When I was younger, I knew a motherfucker like you.” Yet again, it’s like the song jumped out and wrote itself for you!

-They’re Coming To Take Me Away – Napoleon XIV – Okay, perhaps this song represents wishful thinking on my part (I KID YOU MICHELE, ERR, UH, HONEST!) but I promise this will be the final installment that centers around “psychological stability.”

-Boom Bye Bye – Buju Banton – Michele, I had to think carefully about this and it is with hesitation that I included it. On the one hand, I know it’s perfect for your penchant towards tolerance of the gay community. Indeed, Jamaican dancehall offerings are loaded with like-minded feelings towards our gay brothers and sisters. Take this little line from “Boom Bye Bye” as an example, “(Two Man) hitch up on and rub up on, An lay down inna bed, Hug up on another, Anna feel up leg, Send fi di matic an di uzi instead.” This song says, I am Michele Bachman and I love the gay community…oh wait, it doesn’t say that at all! It actually says, I am Michele Bachman and I would love nothing more than to kill the gay community, which is pretty much the message you’ve sent. You’re most likely wondering why I hesitated to include this suggestion and the answer, Michele Bachman, is actually a very simple one. I started to feel sympathy for poor Marcus. Should you decide to choose this song as your intro music, little miss Marcus would be afraid to come home. Without Marcus by your side, what would become of all those lovely garden parties and not to mention, that fabulous dance he did on camera revealing his preference to the world. I am not a proponent of demonizing the fabulous Miss Marcus Bachman even if he wishes to demonize all others like himself. I’m “behind” him all the way. Because I don’t wish to strike fear into the heart of Miss Bachman the way he has with so many, I decided the only remedy was to include this song for you and dedicate my next one to him. So, Michele Bachman, if you want the lovely garden party upon returning home from your next late night appearance, might I suggest this next title as your intro music.

-If You Were Gay – Avenue Q- This, Michele Bachman, is dedicated exclusively to Miss Marcus because we want her, uh, I mean, him to feel safe and unthreatened when you come home to him. The last thing I wish to see happen is for Miss Bachman to get so upset that he cries and never dances on camera at a state fair ever again. My god, watching that disappear from our eyes doesn’t even bear thinking about. Still, be careful with this one because at the same time, the last thing you wish to do is even come close to showing the slightest bit of tolerance for our gay brothers and sisters. What would you do with one less segment of the population to demonize? That would be even scarier than Miss Bachman crying over a Buju Banton song.

-Strange Fruit – Billie Holiday – While we’re on the subject of tolerance, Michele Bachman, this was the first song I thought of when you signed that Christian conservative pledge that stated our African American brothers and sisters were better off during slavery. “Southern trees bear strange fruit, Blood on the leaves and blood at the root, Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze, Strange fruit hanging from the popular trees” might be an appropriate intro for you, but be warned, Billie Holiday intended for this to be an anti lynching and anti racist song, so perhaps a Johnny Rebel song might be more appropriate for you. I won’t recommend it myself because, well, I find his work revolting, but you might like it.

-Don’t Dream It’s Over – Crowded House – One line says it all, “Hey Now, hey now, don’t dream it’s over!”

-Running On Empty – Jackson Browne – Just in case you’re not quite ready to accept certain realities from the previous recommendation, you could always fall back on this Jackson Browne classic.

-Stay – Otis Redding – I’ll include this but I’m kind of yanking it at the same time because the last thing I would ever wish to do is mislead you. The promoter DOES MIND, and the union DOES MIND if you stay, so it wouldn’t be fair to recommend this title to you. Still, what a great song it is! I have both Otis and the prior suggestion to thank for even considering it. Oh well, if unions liked you I guess it might have worked for a second the same way it worked for both Otis Redding when he first released it and Jackson Browne on that history making day he performed it at Merriweather Post Pavilion as the encore, but I guess that’s not quite you now, is it!

-It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue – Bob Dylan – I think, Michele Bachman, we have a winner here with old Zimmerman! This doesn’t so much express you as much as it expresses the general feeling of the majority of the nation. I know what you’re thinking, “but the people elected me to the House Of Representatives!” Am I right? Well, fair enough, but that’s just one district in a nation of 350 million. It’s fair to say that the majority of America is getting kind of annoyed with your style of demonizing and dividing as a method of propelling yourself into the spotlight. There are many lines in this song, but I will cite only one, “Strike another match, girl, start anew, and it’s all over now baby blue.” PERFECT!

In closing, Michele Bachman, perhaps it would have been best to either keep your mouth shut and get through the experience the way our far more classy Michelle (that would be Michelle Obama) handled a group of idiots booing her when she appeared at a NASCAR event with a decorated veteran and children to get things started. Clearly that wasn’t possible for you and look what happened. We’re only laughing harder now at the whining by the original mean girl of presidential politics. As for me, I’m really nowhere near as good at this as The Roots are. They are, in fact, much better at what they do than you are at what you do (what exactly do you do?) Perhaps it might be a good idea to take a cue from one of their song titles. “Never do, what they do” because you kinda suck at it. In the future, if The Roots or anybody else decides to play “Lyin Ass Bitch” by Fishbone as your intro music, take it as a compliment that you’re worthy of even being associated with Fishbone. Though I do have one tiny little suggestion for our iconic hip-hop legends. Imagine how funny it would have been had The Roots decided at the last second to accompany your introduction with Lily Allen’s “Fuck You.” That, Michele Bachman, would have been unbeatable! As a matter of fact, I would guess there’s a greater chance you would have known that song immediately which means we would have actually been able to witness your hissy fit, but once again, The Roots are better at this than I am and as such, they understood the art of subtlety. Oh well, you fantasize about being the president and we fantasize about watching you make a complete ass of yourself. It’s pretty safe to say we get what we want far more often than you get what you want. I wish you the best of luck with the remainder of your campaign and will miss your leading lady Marcus when you’re gone. Seriously, that dance and that wave were beyond priceless! Take good care now!

Greg Maniha



E Streeter for Live said...

Brilliant concept and great choices, I just wanted to add Frank Zappa's Trouble Every Day and Stevie's Living For the City. And I didn't even dwell on her many levels of hate. Maybe I need to write a "Stupid Manipulative Beard from a Gerrymandered District of Minnesota"--the Minnesota NOT nice.


Two more five star choices! Very well stated, E Streeter for Live! Upon completing this piece, I actually chastised myself for not including anything by Frank Zappa (Republicans, from the Guitar suite would make an interesting choice as well.) In addition to this, my brother suggested "One More Minute" by Weird Al Yancovic. My guess is that there are thousands of potential choices and I would love to discover each and every one of them! Thanks for sharing yours!