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Bonnie “Prince” Tyler’s resume includes stops at The Pyongyang Post-Dispatch, the Eritrea Times-Picayune, and the Bollywood Bugle. He can be reached in care of his Sydney-based second cousin. 

WASHINGTON D.C.: Ever since I accepted the position of Political Reporter at the Passion of the Weiss, I’ve been holed up, hobnobbing with the country’s political elite, meeting disgruntled public service officials in freezing cold parking garages, and drinking coffee and cocktails with the cream of the city’s backroom operatives and seedy spin doctors, all aimed at scooping the next Watergate, Whitewater, or at least a garden-variety Whiskey Ring for the Internet’s best music blog.

It’s been tough. I’ve talked to more old white men than a waiter at a Georgia country club, I’ve sniffed more coke than any reporter should in an entire lifetime, and I’ve discovered the best place on K Street to get a handjob (pretty much anywhere if you can offer enough in return). I’ve been told that nearly every politician in the city has a secret habit of cruising for gay sex in airport bathrooms, spending public funds on seven diamond hoes, or stashing stacks of Benjamins in a freezer to pay off the pages he propositions, but I pretty much knew about all of that before I arrived here. No, I wanted a real scoop. Something that would make a jaded, scandal-weary public sit-up and take notice.

I got it last week. With the whole city abuzz about the inauguration of some dude I haven’t been interested in since he won something or other last November (us political reporters have memories like goldfish), I was approached by one of the few guys in town not brimming with suspicious optimism. Being a professional, I can’t reveal his identity, but I can tell you that he has high-level connections with the Bush administration, and that his name rhymes with Zack Zabramoff. And, boy, did he have something exciting for me.

Chris Martin: The American Dad of Pop

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Seems that back in 2005, British newspaper The Guardian interviewed Coldplay singer Chris Martin, and Martin mused about the power of music to soothe savage beasts:

“Actually, to be fair, I was wondering whether certain people’s policies would change if they heard certain songs,” he says in his slightly sinusy, barely West Country-accented voice. “Would it be possible to start Nazi Germany if you’d just been listening to Bob Marley’s Exodus back-to-back for the past three weeks and getting stoned? Would the idea of the holocaust seem so appealing? I know this sounds really trite, but I mean it seriously, because music is something every human responds to. There’s a reason why people who’ve had bad relationships with their parents listen to angry stuff.”

Martin then offered some listening advice to the United States’ then Vice President:

“So in some sense,” he continues, “I do think melodies can do a lot. It would be interesting to see how the world would be different if Dick Cheney really listened to Radiohead’s OK Computer. I think the world would probably improve. That album is fucking brilliant. It changed my life, so why wouldn’t it change his?”

According to my source, sometime after the interview was published, Cheney got wind of it. Now, in a Passion of the Weiss exclusive, I can, in what must surely be the biggest story in music-related political reporting since Bob Woodward revealed Jimmy Carter’s failed kazoo lessons back in 1978, share with you the missive Cheney wrote after reading Martin’s comments, which includes his review of OK Computer.

 Cheney Gives it a 7.3, With Points off For Overly Derivative Liberalism

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Dear G.W.

Have a read… uh… get Laura to read to you the attached newspaper clipping from this British rag. Now, being a death metal man, I don’t keep up with much of the rock ‘n’ roll the kids are into these days, but from what I’ve heard of this Chris Martin character, he’s one of those fair trade, environmentalist, limp-dick liberals. Seeing him make these comments about how I should be listening to some set of soft cock socialists called Radiohead made me think I should get Tony Blair on the phone and have him arrange for Chris Coldplay to experience a bit of rendition— the extraordinary sort. Have him flown out to one of those facilities in Eastern Europe that you don’t know about where I could get to work waterboarding him with my own piss. “What’s that Chris?” I’d ask. “’It was all yellow?’ You goddamn right it was.”

Then I remembered that Blair had quit in favor of that pussy Gordon Brown, and decided to give Martin a pass this time. I’d got all fired up thinking about pissing on someone though, so I decided to buy that OK Computer disc Martin was talking about, and piss on that instead. First, I wanted to test his theory about how listening to some modern rock would transform me into an NPR-addicted war protester, which I expected to be one hundred per cent garbage. I don’t know about Auschwitz and Bob Marley’s Exodus, but I can guarantee that Rumsfeld and John Yoo dreamed up Gitmo after a heady mix of mushrooms and Matisyahu. How could OK Computer have any effect on me?

Secondly, I’ve always had dreams of being a music critic like my hero Bob Christgau. So arrange to have this review sent to Rolling Stone, and tell Jann Wenner that I’ll be available for a regular position once 2009 rolls around. I know Wenner’s a terrorist-loving freedom-hater who can’t stand you or me, but remind him of the size of the file the CIA has on him, and that should make him a bit more compliant. I don’t actually know that the CIA has a file on him, but come on; the motherfucker was in San Francisco in the late ’60s. You couldn’t look at San Francisco on a map back in the Nixon days without attracting the attention of the Secret Service. Good times.

Matisyahu: Also the Vice-President of AIPAC

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Radiohead

OK Computer

1997

4 Stars

Given that I began listening to this album on the recommendation of Chris Martin, I expected OK Computer to be the worst kind of nancy boy British moaning; tepid guitar strumming and songs about peace, warm lager and feeding the hungry. To my great… well, I understand many people experience a feeling they describe as “joy,” which I take to be something similar to the exhilaration I experience when I pull the trigger and launch a load of birdshot into another man’s face. If that is joy, it was to my great joy that I discovered Radiohead singer Thom Yorke is a man very much after my own heart.

I have recently begun to grudgingly appreciate the latest Coldplay single, “Viva La Vida.” The lines about rolling the dice and feeling the fear in your enemies’ eyes prompt a faint tingling in my (admittedly desiccated) loins. But Yorke is a more creative man than Martin. He knows when to go to the dark side. He knows when to stack his hostages into a naked man-pyramid. Yorke doesn’t roll the dice to decide the fate of his enemies; he looks them square in the eye and tells them that on his coronation, they’ll be first against the wall. A word of advice, Yorke: King? Vice-President is more than good enough. Trust me.

That delightful sequence occurs on one of the record’s best tracks, “Paranoid Android,” but Yorke lets his magnificently sadistic imagination run loose through the other eleven songs here as well. My favorite is “Climbing Up the Walls.” If I’d known about it a few years before, I would have suggested we make use of it to promote the NSA wiretapping thing (I would have preferred we didn’t make it public at all, but a horrible conglomeration of Anti-Americans consisting of the New York Times, the ACLU, the Senate and, worst of all, the courts, had to get involved). What red-blooded, responsibly Republican American would not get a charge out of hearing “Either way you turn, I’ll be there/ Open up your skull, I’ll be there”? And Yorke’s got a solution to any Moveon.org-ers wanting to talk about the Constitution too: “Fifteen blows to the skull.” I would have suggested sixteen.

I tell you, this Yorke fucker has some good ideas. I don’t know how a Karma Police would work, but it sounds just the thing to beef up our Homeland Security department. And “This is what you get if you mess with us” is such a glorious slogan I can’t believe I didn’t come up with it myself.

Cheney: A bigger fan of Hobbes

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Yorke knows how to run a political campaign, too. In “Electioneering,” he lays out a strategy of such elegant sophistication that even Karl Rove would be in awe: “Riot shields, voodoo economics.” He proposes using cattle prods! Now that’s getting out the vote.

Such is Yorke’s ingenuity that he even manages to squeeze some balls in his drippy acoustic love song. He starts off spouting Shakespeare at some weeping dame, but by the end of the song he’s telling her he hopes that she chokes. It almost makes up for the “bring down the government” nonsense he spouts in “No Suprises.” However, given his strong form in the other songs, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he’s referring to the Reagan method of bringing down government, through less regulation and lower taxes, rather than actual sedition.

But what makes OK Computer the best album I’ve heard in a long time is that Yorke’s lyrical ingenuity is matched by his band’s inventive musicality. Jonny Greenwood’s guitars slice like razor wire, while Phil Selway’s drums clatter like bombs over Baghdad, or maybe even like that song “Bombs Over Baghdad.” Radiohead seems to realize that you can’t trust weak human flesh with anything important, and its music is bolstered by a computer framework that has all the cold sensibility of a corporation outsourcing its activities to India. And in a personally appealing touch, the machine voice narrating “Fitter Happier” sounds uncannily like me in the morning before my first cup of coffee. Ask my wife, she’ll back me up on that.

Chris Martin thinks if I really listened to this album, the world would improve. I suspect he is right. After fifty minutes with this disc, I’ve decided to run for President in 2012. I’ll be a jackknifed Juggernaut in the next world war. The Democrats might have yuppies networking, but I have dust and screaming. I will stop at nothing when electioneering. I trust I can rely on your vote.

Dick Cheney

Download:
MP3: Radiohead-“Paranoid Android”
MP3: My Morning Jacket-“Evil Urges”

Related Resources

*Radiohead’s Ok, Computer
*Computer equipment leasing
*Equipment Leasing
*Why lease
*Music instrument leasing

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