The brilliant Tim Minchin, ladies and gentlemen.
Here’s the rest of the thread it was part of. It’s so good I’m going to cut and paste it verbatim:
There is nothing in the 2nd Amendment that says the “right to bear arms” means there should be cheap or unfettered access to dangerous weapons. They’re dangerous, can we all at least agree on that?
Requiring permits and safes and insurance in no way hinders the ultimate “right” to be armed. If you want to argue that this means only the rich will be able to afford guns, then the answer is “perhaps.” I can’t go buy a Ferrari because I can’t afford to maintain it. I can’t buy a tiger because I can’t properly take care of it. And if you can afford to spend thousands on weapons, you can afford a goddamn safe and insurance and every safety precaution necessary so that some kid or your mentally ill son can’t get at it. And truly, you’ve got two hands: how many guns can you shoot at once to defend yourself?
Nor does the 2A say anything like, “And as many guns as you fucking want.” Let’s face it, the nutters have ruined it for the rest of you responsible owners. You didn’t check that shit when the NRA was pushing their poison, so now you get to live with new rules.
I just cannot see how people can argue that their right to own killer toys trumps everyone else’s right to live.
A few weeks back I got inspired to try something, so I cast this out to some like-minded peeps. As you can tell from the words “part one” in the title, this will be a multi-part series. Similar to a couple of other musical discussions on this here blog. Six seems to be the going number for these things.
The task? Couldn’t be simpler. List six songs that you think everyone should know. Be serious, silly, pedantic, ironic: anything you like.
Briefly explain your choices. If a song has been recorded or performed by more than one artist, pick the version or artist you like best.
A handful of responses have trickled in, and I’m assured of more to follow. If you’re reading this, consider yourself invited. And if you’re just hear to read the entries, I hope you tumble onto a song or three that you seek out and enjoy.
I showed mine first. (Story of my life: but the less spoken of that the better.)
1. “Happy Birthday To You”: C’mon, this is a song that everybody in the world sings at least once in their lifetime.
2. “She Loves You” by The Beatles: My favorite song of all time. (Jon Gordon picked it too – see below.) Not only did it introduce the lads and “yeah, yeah, yeah” to the world, but it’s a great premise: the singer tells his friend to get over his damn self and apologize to his woman.
3. “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” by Frank Sinatra: The epitome of Sinatra cool, the best thing he ever recorded, and a transcendent moment in American popular music. Plus a trombone solo by Milt Bernhart that just plain shreds.
4. “Take The A Train” by Duke Ellington and his Orchestra: Not necessarily the most popular song from the big-band era, but arguably the best blend of swing and sophistication.
5. “Like A Rolling Stone” by Bob Dylan: The song starts like a door being kicked open, releasing a flood of harshness and resentfulness. “How does it feel?” It created the template for folk-rock. What’s more: radio DJs demanded that Columbia Records release the entire six-minute song on one side of a 45, instead of splitting it, and they did.
6. “The Gilligan’s Island Theme”: Not only is it part of 20th century cultural heritage, but it’s a textbook example of exposition in a TV theme song. See also “The Brady Bunch,” “The Beverly Hillbillies,” “Green Acres,” and “Mystery Science Theater 3000.” I think it would be awesome to start each day with a song that succinctly sums up what’s going on in your life.
Music producer/arranger/composer/performer Jon Gordon was next to join in. Besides highlighting the genre-busting “Stereo Hearts,” he articulated the perfect approach to this challenge: “There is no way this can be a definitive list. It would have to be more like 600 songs everyone should know! I’ll just go with what comes off the top of my head, with no attempt made to filter or be relevant. My apologies to many skipped decades, artists, and genres.”
1. “Rock Around The Clock” by Bill Haley and The Comets: Whether or not this is the song that started it all, it is a worthy contender.
2. “Jailhouse Rock” by Elvis Presley: A definitive song stylist of his era, Presley gives life to this odd celebration of jailhouse life. Honorable mention to “Folsom Prison Blues” by Johnny Cash.
2a. “Long Tall Sally” by Little Richard: Okay, this one is partially guilt. But if I’m attempting any sort of historical perspective on early rock ‘n’ roll, there must be some black artists too! (Apologies to “Sweet Little Sixteen” by Chuck Berry.)
3. “She Loves You” by The Beatles: About as infectious as it gets.
4. “Stop! In The Name Of Love” by The Supremes: The Motown pop-soul machine at its best.
5. “I Want You Back” by The Jackson 5: See above, plus an immortal James Jamerson bass line!
6. “Stereo Hearts” by Gym Class Heroes featuring Adam Levine: Skipping several decades, this song is just extremely cute and catchy.
(The only thing I can add to Jon’s list is: “Appreciate every mix tape your friends make. You never know, we come and go, like on the interstate.”)
My good friend Jessie Osipenko joined in, and hit on a couple of my favorites along the way:
1. “Hurt” by Johnny Cash: This was first released on Nine Inch Nails’ 1994 album “The Downward Spiral,” but this is the version I absolutely love.
2. “Pump It Up” by Elvis Costello: This is my family theme song. We used to play it on our camping trips. My kids would be bopping their heads up and down in the back of our minivan to this song when they were little. They had no idea what the lyrics meant.
3. “Boom Boom” by John Lee Hooker: My first introduction to the blues
4. Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”: My kids are both in the high school orchestra, and they have an annual String Fling concert in which sixth through twelfth graders play for their parents in a packed gymnasium. Every year I dread going, because my idea of fun is not sitting on bleachers for two hours. The last song they play is “Ode to Joy,” and I get tears in my eyes very year I hear it (I’ve been going for seven years).
5. “More Like Falling In Love” by Jason Gray: My church pastor played this song during a sermon he gave a couple years ago. He said if you want to share with someone how you feel about God but don’t have the words, play this song. To me, this says exactly how I feel.
6. Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”: The version I like best is sung by k.d. lang.
My friend and co-worker Laura Martin (read her blog, folks, it’s awesome) said that her attempt led to a discussion with her son Alex, and he got inspired to make his own list. A twofer! Laura writes: “This is mine. I’m not completely satisfied but if I don’t finalize it soon, I never will.”
1. “Poor Elijah” by Delaney and Bonnie and Friends: Not only a classic blues/rock song, but a classic blues song about a classic blues artist. They and their friends really nailed the feel of the Johnson blues, and yet they brought it nicely into that late 60′s.
2. “Can’t Help Falling In Love” by Elvis Presley: For me, a quintessential love song. Simple lyrics that touch my heart every time. As powerful for your lover as it is as a lullaby.
3. “I Walk The Line” by Johnny Cash: Again, another great love song, but not as sweet as “Can’t Help Falling In Love.” It’s more of a pledge after a warning. For me, with every key change in this song, I feel a little more excited and a little more unnerved.
4. “Sing, Sing, Sing” by Louis Prima: The best recorded version is by Benny Goodman. Musically superior to many of the big band classics of its time, the drum line is the thing. Every drummer should be made to listen to this and play it, the same way that every young piano ingenue plays Bach or Vivaldi.
5.”Baby Blue” by Badfinger: This is an underplayed classic from my youth. They sound is evocative of the 70′s music experience for me. They managed to keep alive the young Beatles sound long after the Beatles were no more. Their association and influence from the Fab Four is clear, and yet I don’t consider them a copy.
6. “I Think It’s Going To Rain Today” by Randy Newman: One of the most prolific writers of my generation, this song has been recorded dozens of time. I think it’s great example of Newman’s style: sad and ironic. The world is already full of silly love songs (see “I Walk The Line ” and “Can’t Help Falling In Love). Newman’s poetry is edgy and challenging, I have always loved him, from “Mama Told Me” to “Life’s Been Good To Me.” Newman’s humor for life is amazing. like Leon Russell and Warren Zevon, Newman is a musician’s musician; and because of this he (as they did) could fly just under the radar of top-40 record play. Maybe that gave the a freedom to create more art and less three-minute-and-and thirty-second sound bites. It’s just a thought.
And, from Alex Martin-Vouk:
1. “Janie Jones” by The Clash: This is the truest form of punk rock. It’s poppy and yet anti-establishment.
2. “Rebel Rebel” by David Bowie: It’s all about freedom. It’s the classic first-day-you-can-drive-with-your-car-window-down song.
3. “Sabotage” by The Beastie Boys: If you can hear this song and not get riled up, you’re not listening close enough.
4. “Beast of Burden” by The Rolling Stones: Everyone loves the Stones, but no one ever talks about this song. It’s from their crappy disco album and gets overlooked. (Alex, many’s the time I drove down a rural road, all windows down, singing along with this one at the top of my lungs.)
5. “Barracuda” by Heart: If Bach heard the first 30 seconds of this song he’d say, “Shit, how can I play this on the organ?”
6. “Play It All Night Long” by Warren Zevon: Simply because it was written for me.
Bonus pick: “Rumble” by Link Wray and the Wraymen. It was banned by some radio stations because they knew it would make teenagers back in the ’50s stay out late, do heroin, and have sex.
That’s the first installment. More will follow. Stay tuned. Better yet, send me your own list. If I like it, I’ll post it.
They are perfectly entitled to make and sell any size clothing they choose. I could give a rat’s ass: I’ve never shopped in their stupid stores, and I’m certain that I never will.
The issue is the company’s stated reasons for making that choice. CEO Mike Jeffries was very clear about his company’s practices. Their goal is to cultivate a sense of coolness, like all clothing companies do. But he was clear that their strategy depends directly on there being rejects in the world: people who just aren’t good enough to cut it. Their business model relies upon their being “losers” in the world who aren’t worthy to work, let alone shop, in his stores. His business model thrives on exclusionary and dehumanizing attitudes.
Such an outlook may be inevitable, especially among the adolescents to whom A&F markets. But encouraging and celebrating that attitude is grotesque, and it is going to be shamed. Today’s world is one of social media, and people start movements all the time out of much less than this. If a company isn’t smart enough to avoid making statements like this, then they face consequences in the modern world.
Did he break any laws? No, of course not.
Was he being an ass? Yup.
Does he, and his company, deserve to be called out on it? You bet. He was stupid, and he deserves his lumps.
For A&F to make such statements reveals how out of touch they are. One might even say “uncool.”
There are plenty of clothing stores out there. The ones run by assholes don’t need my money.
This song is truer to my growing-up years than I probably should admit. We lived out in the sticks, a quarter-mile from our little country church. So when the pastor and his wife (both lovely people, I might add) felt inspired to do some “outreach,” our home was a natural first stop.
“Church folks comin’!” was regularly announced at my home. Panic ensued. We would go into “red-alert” mode, and scurry around to appear more presentable and less heathenish. Terry Anderson could have been part of my family.
It’s in east central Minnesota, on state highway 95, about halfway between Cambridge and Princeton.
By reading the sign, you’re defeating its intended purpose.