Thursday, February 03, 2005

A Pop History Lesson for Today

A philippic is something of which we in the bloggalaxy are very familiar ... it's a tirade, a verbal denunciation characterized by harsh, often insulting language. The word comes from the orations of Demosthenes against Philip of Macedon in the fourth century B.C., and any of the orations of Cicero against Antony in 44 B.C. It's a rant, Gentles. Here's a not-so old tirade set to music once upon a time that I've loved for many years ... hypertexted by lil' old me. Warm up your mouse... your mice... meese...

"A Simple Desultory Philippic" by Paul Simon
(Or How I Was Robert McNamara'd into Submission) (1966)

I been Norman Mailered, Maxwell Taylored.
I been John O'Hara'd, McNamara'd.
I been Rolling Stoned and Beatled till I'm blind.
I been Ayn Randed, nearly branded
Communist, 'cause I'm left-handed.
That's the hand I use, well, never mind!

I been Phil Spectored, resurrected.
I been Lou Adlered, Barry Sadlered.
Well, I paid all the dues I want to pay.
And I learned the truth from Lenny Bruce,
And all my wealth won't buy me health,
So I smoke a pint of tea a day.

I knew a man whose brain was small,
He couldn't think of nothing at all.
He's not the same as you and me.
He doesn't dig poetry. He's so unhip that
When you say Dylan, he thinks you're talking about Dylan Thomas,
Whoever he was.
The man ain't got no culture,
But it's alright, ma,
Everybody must get stoned.

I been Mick Jaggered, silver daggered.
Andy Warhol, won't you please come home?
I been mothered, fathered, aunt and uncled,
Been Roy Haleed and Art Garfunkeled.
I just discovered somebody's tapped my phone.

Lists fascinate me as a poet. Our SpinDentist has a wonderful link to Eliot Weinberger downblog. We also talk about lists in the comments there. This has been on my mind since early this morning. My little hoofies are hypertexted to their quicks, but the muse was upon me. (Yes, I typed every tag) So, if you will, a skewed, not-quite diversion from today's Happy Planet headlines.