Friday, February 06, 2009

Terry, Upstanding Citizen

As a friend said last night, "It was pretty dumb for Michael Phelps to smoke pot."

Yeah. I didn't mean to vouch for Phelps' intelligence in the matter. If I was one of the four or five most high-profile people in the country at any given moment, and had millions of dollars in endorsement money, I wouldn't make out with a bong in a crowded frat house.

But as members of the media continue to use the story for finger-wagging purposes (Pat Forde says it's a good time to tell your kids not to look up to people like Phelps, but to family and friends instead; how about telling them that everyone they look up to is fallible?), and as the authorities swagger, I'm reminded of the hilarious "Irony Of It All," a song by The Streets about alcohol and pot.

The song takes the form of alternating personal testaments by Terry, a heavy drinker, and Tim, a serious pothead. To a menacing beat, Terry sings about liking to get "fired up on beer" and about his right "to get paralytic and fight." "I'm likely to cause mischief," he chants, "good clean grief, you must believe, and I ain't no thief. Law-abiding and all, all legal. And who cares about my liver when it feels good?"

Then, to a light-footed piano, Tim tells his own story: "I don't see why I should be the criminal / How can something with no recorded fatalities be illegal? . . . I just completed Gran Turismo on the hardest setting / We pose no threat on my settee." The song gets funnier as their strands start to intertwine, culminating in Tim saying, "Now Terry, you're repeating yourself / But that's OK, drunk people can't help that."

You can watch the video here.


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