CringeFilter
February 7, 2008 4:25 PM   Subscribe

Across the nation, not long ago, millions cringed watched enrapt as a collection of earnest young celebrities musically celebrated Barack Obama with the "Yes, We Can" video. Not to be outdone, most of Pearl Jam (mysteriously, bellower Eddie Vedder abstained) united to record a...a...a cover of Bill Haley's "Rock Around the Clock." Retitled...oh, I think you can guess.
posted by kittens for breakfast (49 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
One of these made me cringe, and one did not.
posted by washburn at 4:33 PM on February 7, 2008 [4 favorites]


I guess Eddie Vedder is just so broken up over Mitt Romney dropping out of the race that he just doesn't know who to vote for anymore.
posted by The World Famous at 4:33 PM on February 7, 2008


I really, really like the "Yes, We Can" video. I've sent it to several people and it might just be the sappy-West-Wing-loving soul of me, but I found it incredibly moving.

This Pearl Jam ... thing? This is shit.
posted by kbanas at 4:36 PM on February 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


oh, I think you can guess.

Not me, I had to click. (Is your man's name meant to be pronounced like the 17th Century artistic movement, or like the place where soldiers live?)
posted by jack_mo at 4:44 PM on February 7, 2008


That Will.I.Am video, in black and white and so deferential, reminds me of something someone would produce for the 25th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr's "I Have a Dream" speech. Did Barack pass away while I wasn't looking?
posted by billtron at 4:46 PM on February 7, 2008


Barack is my man. Anything that helps him succeed is fine with me. That Yes, We Can video was awesome - suck it haters.
posted by caddis at 4:53 PM on February 7, 2008


So... they only had the one picture of him I guess?
posted by spilon at 4:58 PM on February 7, 2008


Is it called "Barack around my cock"? Because that's what I'd call it.
posted by klangklangston at 4:59 PM on February 7, 2008


I really, really like the "Yes, We Can" video. I've sent it to several people and it might just be the sappy-West-Wing-loving soul of me, but I found it incredibly moving.

This Pearl Jam ... thing? This is shit.


I definitely concur with the last part. The "Yes, We Can" video...I think I'm just too cynical for something like that; it feels like some kind of compressed hagiography to me, and all the fawning famous (and quasi-famous) people...just...well, I'm just not its audience.

(And, um...yeah, jack_mo, I see what you're driving at. "The nation." The nation! Sorry, yo. My America-as-the-center-of-the-universe was showing.)
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:59 PM on February 7, 2008


You know, cringe-worthy Obama-related videos are a two-way street.
posted by Rhaomi at 5:00 PM on February 7, 2008


"Stop worshipping celebrities so much."
posted by plexi at 5:03 PM on February 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


You know, cringe-worthy Obama-related videos are a two-way street .

I just wanna say, when you get "Hussein" out of "Barack Hussein Obama"? You're not playing Boggle right.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:04 PM on February 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


I wish Eddie Vedder had sung it:

"Wah un Tew Tharee Foura we'reaaaa gon a rawk round tha clawk town aight (nawt men tew) rawk rawk rawk t eel broad wayuh laight (hawt men tyou) were gon a rawk round bah raq two fight (nawt mint few)."

Well, it sounded better in my head.
posted by robtf3 at 5:04 PM on February 7, 2008


ugh.

loved the first one, "yes we can." this one is....not so much.

one person's breath-catching inspiration is another person's smarmy platitude. go figure.
posted by CitizenD at 5:04 PM on February 7, 2008


Hey, I thought it was going to be "Rock Around the Cock," too.

But man. How could he play this back on the studio monitors and think, "Yeah, this is great! It's definitely going to help!"
posted by ignignokt at 5:06 PM on February 7, 2008


But man. How could he play this back on the studio monitors and think, "Yeah, this is great! It's definitely going to help!"

In fairness, I've never been sure how they could do that with most of their music.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:12 PM on February 7, 2008


ignignokt writes "But man. How could he play this back on the studio monitors and think, 'Yeah, this is great! It's definitely going to help!'"

Well, you can't exactly tell Ted Kennedy that his endorsement might cause problems in the general election, either. It may not help, but you can't stop people from doing this sort of thing, and it won't really hurt in this case. Anyway, campaign music is historically pretty cheesey anyway. The '92 Clinton campaign had the theme song of "Don't Stop (Thinking About Tomorrow)" by Fleetwood Mac, who were way past their prime by then. If there's anything that epitomizes the cocaine-fueled, sunny California style of the '70s, that song is it.
posted by krinklyfig at 5:15 PM on February 7, 2008


Okay, fuck it. I'm voting for Hitler.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:15 PM on February 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Not a fan of either of these but the first one had Kareem Abdul Jabar, and he rules.
posted by cell divide at 5:15 PM on February 7, 2008


(Is your man's name meant to be pronounced like the 17th Century artistic movement, or like the place where soldiers live?)
More movement than dump.
posted by Floydd at 5:17 PM on February 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think I'm just too cynical for something like that

I've done cynical for years now, and while I don't doubt that I'll do it again I've got to admit that it gets tiring. I know, I know, it'll all end in tears; we'll be betrayed and ignored and sold out, but damn if it doesn't feel good to just hope for three or four minutes. My rational mind doesn't really expect that a twenty-first century administration could remotely live up to that sort of soaring rhetoric, but it sure is nice to close my eyes and dream for a bit.

Hell, after the last seven years, having a President who can speak in complete sentences will seem like Camelot.
posted by Zonker at 5:20 PM on February 7, 2008 [9 favorites]


Wow, that's bad.
posted by blaneyphoto at 5:23 PM on February 7, 2008


It certainly helps Barack to have Hulk Hogan in his corner, I'll say that much. In fact, I thought it might sway the primary his way. But then damning news today: Whoopi switches from Obama to Clinton.
posted by billysumday at 5:31 PM on February 7, 2008


That's terrible. At least, the first ten seconds are. Who knows, maybe it gets fantastic after that...
posted by pompomtom at 5:38 PM on February 7, 2008


If I had a vote in this wretched process, Barack would have just lost it. That was awful.
posted by doublesix at 5:49 PM on February 7, 2008


Somehow a looooong time ago, i got it in my head that Whoopi Goldberg was a smart lady.

Boy was i wrong.
posted by billyfleetwood at 6:08 PM on February 7, 2008


Hearing most of Pearl Jam sign like that, has meant I can officially be declared an old man.
posted by Deep Dish at 6:10 PM on February 7, 2008


Yellow Ledbetter was actually one of the first songs about Obama. The lyrics say it all.
posted by null terminated at 6:17 PM on February 7, 2008


True story here. The first big concert I ever went to was Pearl Jam. I think I was 17. My friends were really into them, so I went. This was right around the time of Clinton getting impeached because of the Lewinski, uh, mishap. At the time, there was a lot of sympathy for Hillary. For their last song, Vedder approached the mic and said, "This song goes out to the First Lady..."

Waitin', watchin' the clock, it's four o'clock, it's got to stop
Tell him, take no more, she practices her speech
As he opens the door, she rolls over...
Pretends to sleep as he looks her over

She lies and says she's in love with him, can't find a better man...
She dreams in color, she dreams in red, can't find a better man...
Can't find a better man
Can't find a better man
Ohh...

Talkin' to herself, there's no one else who needs to know...
She tells herself, oh...
Memories back when she was bold and strong
And waiting for the world to come along...
Swears she knew it, now she swears he's gone

She lies and says she's in love with him, can't find a better man...
She dreams in color, she dreams in red, can't find a better man...
She lies and says she still loves him, can't find a better man...
She dreams in color, she dreams in red, can't find a better man...
Can't find a better man
Can't find a better man
Yeah...

She loved him, yeah... she don't want to leave this way
She feeds him, yeah... that's why she'll be back again

Can't find a better man
Can't find a better man
Can't find a better man
Can't find a better... man...
posted by billysumday at 6:21 PM on February 7, 2008


billyfleetwood writes "Boy was i wrong."

I can't really hold it against someone. One thing that the Bush years have taught me is that life is too short to let politics color my view of people too much. But if she switched to Bush, it probably would be pretty shocking. Some of my family members voted for him, though, and you've gotta be members of a family before members of a political party. They're good people, just not coming from the same place politically at all.
posted by krinklyfig at 6:43 PM on February 7, 2008


Some time after Andrew Wood died, I ran into Jeff Ament in the Frontier Room bar here in Seattle. He told me that he was in a new band called "Mookie Blaylock". I had no idea who Mookie Blaylock was, and the name seemed a far cry from how cool "Mother Love Bone" was. Eventually they changed their name to Pearl Jam, which I always thought had something to do with semen.

Maybe these guys just have a thing for black men with unusual names...
posted by Tube at 6:45 PM on February 7, 2008


That was deliciously dumb. And I like the Yes We Can song. It gets stuck in my head, but in a good way.
posted by Kattullus at 6:50 PM on February 7, 2008


Christ, that's horrible. I don't really get the appeal of the yes we can video either. Seems like a great speech ruined by a crappy interpretation, but people seem to like it so whatever.

Obama's my candidate. I desperately want him to win. I can talk about him for hours with anybody who wants to, but this seems like too many Obama posts within such a short amount of time for MeFi.
posted by willnot at 7:04 PM on February 7, 2008


I would like to see Barack Obama publicly ask YouTube to take down that almost-Pearl Jam abomination....


...or did I mean Obama-nation!
posted by birdherder at 7:05 PM on February 7, 2008


Man, I love Rock around the Clock.

And I'm really excited about Obama.

But boy did that suck.

(hmmm... however... now I've got this idea about my Barack-et 88... helloooooo Chordie)
posted by Reverend John at 7:22 PM on February 7, 2008


Zonker: "I know, I know, it'll all end in tears; we'll be betrayed and ignored and sold out, but damn if it doesn't feel good to just hope for three or four minutes."

Heroin Politics is a hell of a drug.
posted by Kadin2048 at 7:27 PM on February 7, 2008


(And, um...yeah, jack_mo, I see what you're driving at. "The nation." The nation! Sorry, yo. My America-as-the-center-of-the-universe was showing.)

No driving at anything: I just didn't glom how Mr. Obama's given name could possibly fit the song. (Is 'Barack' is supposed to be pronounced 'ba-rock', making for a not very amusing but natural gag, or are the Pearl Jam people twisting the pronunciation to their own "hilarious" ends? I usually defer to the BBC Pronunciation Unit on such matters, but I've heard the name pronounced in so many different ways now that I'm willing to consider the Pearl Jam Pronunciation Unit's viewpoint.)
posted by jack_mo at 7:30 PM on February 7, 2008


(Is your man's name meant to be pronounced like the 17th Century artistic movement, or like the place where soldiers live?)

I take it you're British? If this is the case, I regret to inform you that you are mispronouncing all three.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:30 PM on February 7, 2008


Any time that humorists, MAD magazine, or musicians create riffs on songs in order to make them "fit" with current events (such as JibJab and this Barack garbage), a little bit of musical history dies. They are lame, boring, and the lazy-man's way to sound funny or hip.
posted by davidmsc at 11:11 PM on February 7, 2008


jack_mo -- it's pronounced Barry O'Bama. He's black irish.
posted by empath at 11:30 PM on February 7, 2008


Eventually they changed their name to Pearl Jam, which I always thought had something to do with semen.

I seem to recall that somebody's aunt Pearl used to make hallucinogenic jam, or something.

The fact that I remember that after all these years is almost as cringeworthy as that video.
posted by streetdreams at 11:56 PM on February 7, 2008


I think I agree with the authors of Generation Ecch!, who, as I recall, were intensely skeptical of the Aunt-Pearl story, figuring that 'Pearl Jam' was another hoops reference, just like 'Cracked Rear-View' and 'Fairweather Johnson' both reflect Hootie and the Blowfish's lowbrow sense of humor.
posted by box at 8:54 AM on February 8, 2008


I expected it to be terrible... But not this, this... Thing.

Good thing I'm not hungry for lunch yet, or I'd have an appetite to lose.
posted by sparkletone at 9:27 AM on February 8, 2008


Once heard, it can never be unheard. You may never eat again.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:55 AM on February 8, 2008


Barack is pronounced "ba-rock" by everyone I've heard pronounce it. "Baroque" is pronounced "ba-roke."

Yes We Can is alright until 1:33 when the girl sings the echo of "Heal this nation" and it totally crosses the line. There's another cheeseball moment like that later in the song, but I can't make myself listen to it again to tell you where it is.
posted by ludwig_van at 10:24 AM on February 8, 2008


I think I agree with the authors of Generation Ecch!, who, as I recall, were intensely skeptical of the Aunt-Pearl story, figuring that 'Pearl Jam' was another hoops reference

I think "Pearl Jam" was taken from a 1970s-era Nike poster for Earl "The Pearl" Monroe. I seem to remember seeing such a poster during my childhood, long before Pearl Jam existed.
posted by jonp72 at 10:53 AM on February 8, 2008


ludwig_van: "Baroque" is pronounced "ba-roke" by North Americans, but I've heard many Brits pronounce it "ba-rock".
posted by operalass at 11:04 AM on February 8, 2008


eh, it was kinda lame but I don't see how it was any worse than the "yes we can" video. I guess that one appealed more to the emotional sensitivities of people, and since this one was just a light, upbeat support song, there was no chance for heartstrings to overwhelm good taste...

I'm fine with either Obama or Clinton, at this point. I initially thought Obama might be a generational shift, but I now kinda feel like he's more show than anything (eg, Hertzberg re: teleprompters). And a woman in the white house seems like the biggest shift of all, for America. There are allegations of negative tactics on both sides, so to claim "obama's different" is nothing but getting teary eyed at the flag waving. THey are both decent candidates, but neither is radically different from the rest of washington or anything.

THe important thing is who could ultimately beat McCain, which really isn't clear to me. I don't think current polls are all that indicative - so much will depend on running mates & how people come across in the months to come. If Obama continues to be seen as the "liberal" candidate, that will make lots of crossover voters prefer to think of McCain as moderate enough for them. I just hope the dems don't destroy each other in the primary process...
posted by mdn at 11:19 AM on February 8, 2008


Metafilter: Your favorite band sucks. But not nearly as much as Bono.
posted by Fiberoptic Zebroid and The Hypnagogic Jerks at 3:24 PM on February 8, 2008


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