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You Are Dumb, which is not a blog, posts new columns every weekday, except for a couple of days each month when it doesn't. It is also a Twitter feed, @youaredumb, with content in a similar vein but much shorter. My spinoff food site, Forkbastard, can be found easily enough by the clever.
Archive - Jun 4, 2009
Memo to the Young Cons: STOP MAKING BEN SHAPIRO CRY.
First, let me state right off the bat that the reason I haven't covered this sooner was that I needed to give it a week to see if anyone would out it as a parody. I didn't think it was, but this is the Internet, and the Internet lies to you, because it thinks that's funny. But no Internet hoax can survive for a week, and everyone seems to be treating it as legit, so it does appear that young Republicans have tried to rap.
This is clearly a bad idea, for so many obvious reasons regarding culture, history, power dynamics, and the role of music as political speech. So clearly that I'm not going to even focus on the conceptual flaws. And I don't have to, because there's the execution. Oh, the execution.
See, when I think of Republican rap, certain ideas come IMMEDIATELY to mind. "I like tax cuts and I cannot lie." Fight The Powerless. "Here we go, yo / So what's the ticking time-bomb scenario?" And Ice Ice Baby reworked as a Vanilla Inhofe global warming denial joint. Or maybe just the homophobic bits from all the Eminem albums spliced together. The Young Cons "Young Con Anthem" is none of these things, and suffers mightily for it.
And what's with all the shitty YouTube Anthems? In April we had the Tea Party Anthem, and that sucked too. Now we have the Young Cons Anthem. What's next? A Confirmation Hearings Anthem? An Abortion-Doctor-Shooting Anthem? Not everything has to be an anthem, assholes.
So anyway, the rap. Stylistically, it's like John Cena without the vocabulary or enunciation. The backing track is mostly synth-violin, The video production values are about what you'd expect from college settings, camcorder microphones, and the basic effects in iMovie. The Young Cons are "Serious C", AKA David Rufful, who does indeed have ridges. On his brow. That you can see because he's totally rocking the prematurely balding frat boy look. And then there's Stiltz, AKA Joshua Riddle, who looks like a Dick... Tracy villain. He goes by "Stiltz" because he's six foot nine and still thinks adding a Z at the end of things is what rappers do.
And then there are the lyrics. I could do a theme week on the lyrics. I won't, but I could. Instead, I will simply provide a taxonomy of rap war crimes with selected examples.
RHYME STRETCHES: - They are desperate to make their point, and they're also very stupid. This leads to some epic stretches to make words rhyme that even their mumbling flow can't hide. For example, statements, merchant, restaurant, and pavement. Like nails on a fucking blackboard, that one. See also: philosophy, conspiracy, integrity, and Pelosi.
TALKING POINTS: The Young Con Anthem is essentially any Freeper or Big Hollywood comments thread from the past six months, just reformatted into what two Dartmouth douchebags think verse looks like. It's all there. Obamatrons! Socialism! Terrorists walking the streets because we closed Guantanamo even though we didn't close Guantanamo and we weren't actually going to free any real terrorists anyway. Even the "gave the Queen an iPod" bullshit gets referenced. For people who keep saying "the movement has begun", they're so close to wingnut orthodoxy they could give Newt Gingrich a reacharound.
GATED COMMUNITY DEAD END CIRCLE CRED: Trying to fit conservative tropes into rap is awkward. Trying to fit rap tropes into conservatives is just embarrassing. There are so many yo's in this song there should be a Robert Van Winkle co-writing credit. And when they're not saying yo, they're saying ya. Carrie Prejean becomes "Miss Cali". There's a crew. There's repping. And there's the horrifying "We Americans, son" from the chorus. I hope Dartmouth offers a summer remedial thuganomics course. Maybe they can just audit it.
And finally, I have to give a special shout-out to what, given my advanced semantic parsing skills, I believe to be the closest thing the Young Cons have to a thesis statement. It crops up in each chorus, with some minor variations, but it goes a little somethin' like this. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!
"EVERYONE can succeed cause our soldiers bleed, daily"
Finally, we have empirical proof that you can take a metaphor and boil it down until all you're left with is a really creepy and literal-sounding statement. Hey, I got a raise! Thanks, soldier blood! If their video had a budget, they could pull up to a station in their pimped out Hummer and fill it straight from a tank of good old American hemoglobin. Forget regular, fill it up with AB Negative, beeyotch! I'm a SUCCESS!
And truly, the Young Cons are a success. If by "success", you mean global Internet laughingstock. Word to your home-schooling mother.