September 23, 2004


Kerry on Letterman (so to speak)

In case you missed it, here's John Kerry's complete "performance" on The Late Show. Ratings update (courtesy Reuters):
The Democratic presidential challenger's guest spot gave the show its biggest autumn season opener since Letterman's first year on CBS in 1993, registering a 5.4 "metered-market" rating, or 5.4 percent of all households with TV sets in more than 50 major cities, Nielsen Media reported on Tuesday. The Letterman show also led its arch-rival "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" on NBC by a full ratings point.

Part 1 (includes "A Message From John Kerry", "George W. Bush: Show-Off" and Interview, Segment 1*)
Part 2 (Interview, Segment 2)
Part 3 (Interview, Segment 3 and Top 10)
Bonus (Green Day: "American Idiot"**)
Bonus Bonus (Elvis Costello/Regis & Kelly***)

*Apologies in advance for some glitches toward the end of Segment 1

**Disclaimer: Okay...I'm not really a big fan of Green Day. But you've got to admit they have the chops and they've got the heart (plus they've got a verse, inexplicably censored by CBS, that goes "Maybe I Am The Faggot America/I'm Not A Part Of A Redneck Agenda/Now Everybody Do The Propaganda/And Sing Along To The Age Of Paranoia"****). Plus, they're not "Good-41" or "Sum-Charlotte"...

For more on the Kerry-Green Day show, Salon's got a nice little War Room piece entitled A wakeup call for "idiot America".

***We watch Regis & Kelly so you don't have to. Check out how huge E.C. looks next to R & K. Hard to believe he used to be the scrawny guy with the knock-knees and glasses. Also check out Kelly sniffing vinyl (it's priceless). What does all of this have to do with John Kerry and the future of our country? It's all about Evolution, Revolution, Peace, Love & Understanding...and there's nothing funny about that.

****As good as those lyrics are, they've got nothing on E.C.'s lyrics to the song "Bedlam" off E.C. & The Imposters' new disc The Delivery Man:

I’ve got this phosphorescent portrait of gentle Jesus meek and mild
I’ve got this harlot that I’m stuck with carrying another man’s child
The solitary star announcing vacancy burnt out as we arrived
They’d throw us back across the border if they knew that we survived
And they were surprised to see us
So they greeted us with palms
They asked for ammunition, acts of contrition and small alms

I might recite a small prayer
If I ever said them
I lay down on an iron frame
Found myself in bedlam
I wish that I could take something for drowning out the noise
Wailing echoes down the corridors

I’ve got this imaginary radio, and I‘m punching up the dial
I’ve got the A.C. trained on the T.V. so it won’t blow up in my eye
And everything that I thought fanciful and mocked as too extreme
Must be family entertainment here in the strange land of my dreams
Now I’m practicing my likeness of St. Francis of Assisi
For if I hold my hand outstretched
A little bird comes to me

I might recite a small prayer
If I ever said them
I lay down on an iron frame
Found myself in bedlam
Escaping from the fingers that were stretching through the bars
Wailing echoes down the corridors

The player piano picks out “Life Goes On”
Ring tone rang out “Jerusalem”
And in this pit of sadness
Where the rank of wretched plunge
We’ve buried all the innocents
Now we must bury revenge

They’ve got this scared and decorated girl strapped to the steel trunk of a mustang
And then they drove her down a cypress grove where traitors hang and stars still spangle
They dangled flags and other rags along a coloured thread of twine
And then they dragged that bruised and purple heart along the road to Palestine

Someone went off muttering, he mentioned thirty pieces
Easter saw a slaughtering, each wrapped in bloodstained fleeces

Then my thoughts returned to vengeance, and I put no resistance
Though I seemed a long way from my home
It really was no distance

And I might recite a small prayer
If I ever said them
I lay down on an iron frame
Found myself in bedlam
Bowing like an actor acknowledging applause
Playing the Crusader who was conquering the Moors
When he knew the consequences, but he won’t admit the cause
Wailing echoes down the corridors

If you like the words, wait'll you hear the music. It's killer.

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