Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Tales from the Archives: A Gore-y Mess

They claimed that they did not want to take away our music; that they just wanted it allocated into new and helpful marked designations. They said it was for our own good. They always say that, and yet somehow our own good never seems to involve an expansion of our rights, or a reduction of their authority over us. 

We asked the gods to send us someone, anyone. One who would fight for us and stand up to those who hungered so much for power. One champion.

The gods sent us three.

The Illusionist Zappa rode forth, with his mournful eyes and his boss mustache. He had spent a lifetime mocking not only our rulers, but also our confederations and systems that produced such rulers. So his appearance on that day was not entirely unexpected. He was occasionally described as mad. He was never described as obedient.

His defense that day was flawless, and the attack he unleashed was absolutely withering. Gone was the merry prankster, the creator of delightful whimsies that mocked the clerics and the academies. Instead we witnessed barely contained fury directed at our kingdom’s corrupt and corpulent ministers.  

With the government forces still reeling, there were gasps of astonishment as Snider the Barbarian entered the field. At this point, I must ask you to understand that I am not prejudiced at all. Why, some of my best friends are barbarians. But I was… we were… skeptical. This was not a fight that could be won by bellowing, or by dramatic shenanigans. What could Snider hope to accomplish?

Our doubts were foolish and unfounded. Behind that wild ruffian’s demeanor lay the power and wisdom of a wizard. Time and again that day the would-be tyrants recoiled from Snider’s forceful counterblows. You almost wanted to feel sorry for Tipper Gore. Almost, but not quite. 

It was not enough. The forces of aesthetic oppression were bruised, yet they still held the field. We needed one more. And from the high plains in the West, he came.

Small of stature and bespectacled, the druid had long eschewed the harsh Germanic name of his forefathers, taking as his surname that of the city that floats a mile above the seas: Denver. Some said he could communicate with animals. Others said he conversed directly with the heavens. He arrived fully prepared for battle, and yet seemed serene. It was as if he knew the outcome before it began.

Message for my descendants: Children of my children, learn from the mistakes made by my parents and their compeers: Know that if you find yourself in opposition to a legendary lawful good druid, you are on the wrong side of things.  

And the outcome was this: it was a rout. The Druid Denver was unscathed, yet magnanimous in victory. The vile bureaucrats and their toadies cowered and ran and backslid and swore that they had never intended to do the thing that they had absolutely said they were going to do.

The people were ecstatic. We cheered, we danced, we huzzahed, and we told Senator Hollings to go fuck himself. Our music, our arts, and our culture would be safe for a while yet.

Editor’s Note: Yeah I know. I had to take a lot of liberties with the facts here. Here are the most egregious:

Zappa, Snider, and John Denver are technically all Bards, though I would argue that Zappa is some kind of odd multiclass.

On that day, the order was Zappa, Denver, and then Snider. But I was 8 years old when Rocky Mountain High was released, and 18 year-old me was absolutely amazed that it was John Fucking Denver stepping up to smack the government’s greasy hand away. I mean, my grandmother liked John Denver. So I changed the order to reflect that.

This story also reads like John Denver was more eloquent than the other speakers. But honestly, Dee Snider’s telling the committee:
 “As the creator of "Under the Blade," I can say categorically that the only sadomasochism, bondage, and rape in this song is in the mind of Ms. Gore” 
was, as modern young people would say, the sickest burn of the day.

Also, John Denver got busted for several DUIs, so he’s probably not lawful good. But as Winston Churchill once said: “History is written by the bloggers.” 


Karl Smith said...

I somehow forgot to mention anywhere above that this was 32 years ago today.

Angus said...

The world needs FZ back about now.