Arts Desk

Let Me Get This Straight, “Arlington Rap” Dude…

Fairly or unfairly, the Occupy Wall Street protests that have spread to urban centers around the country have taken plenty of heat for the vagueness of their message. Now a familiar local satirist has added his voice to the call for coherence: Comedian Remy Munasifi, best known for his "Arlington rap" video, posted up at the some of the protests currently going on in D.C. to record a satirical ode to the movement. Although he doesn't support corporate bailouts, he tells TBD, “I just disagreed with some of the proposed solutions...Some people choose personal attacks over substantive discourse, and it’s neither productive nor persuasive.” Still, as a critique of the Occupy protesters, his video for the libertarian Reason.TV leaves a little to be desired. What's Remy trying to say? Here's my best guess.

Come gather young people, come and join your hands/We're taking Wall Street and we're making demands/And we're heeding the call and we're crying for help/Only 1 percent of us have wealth

Translation: By choosing a melody and rhyme scheme suggestive of Bob Dylan's iconic protest song "The Times They Are a-Changin'," I hope to juxtapose the incoherent "Occupy Wall Street" protests with the widely-agreed-to-be-worthwhile social movements of the 1960s!

But first we need posters, we need to make signs/But to do so it seems that we need some supplies/We need poster board, I can't make it myself/But it's 10 cents a sheet at the store it's on sale/An example of economies of scale/it's so evil

Translation: Because anti-capitalist protesters need to buy things to mount their anti-capitalism protests, they are hypocrites!

They're saying that freedom's done little to stop/corporations from keeping the wealth at the top/But at what point in history could a kid and a king/both have clean water to drink?

Translation: You should not complain about the 9.1 percent unemployment rate given that you are able to fill up your Nalgene!

George Washington was the richest man of his age/But he lost all his teeth at a very young age/because they didn't have Scope and they all crapped in trays/We're not wealthy

Translation: Because of 200 years of advances in dental care, you really should not criticize corporate greed!

Now there's fountains in streets from which clean water pours/Four-dollar generics at all big box stores/A sultan and a student both have iPhone 4s/It's not fair

Translation: Why complain about inequity when everyone can have Angry Birds? Also, I am really serious about the clean water thing!

Come gather, young people, come on everyone/and I'll tell you a tale of a fortunate son/He's born in a country and given vaccine/and rendered immune to all kinds of disease/The Kardashians are on all his TVs/It's not perfect

Translation: Things are mostly OK, and therefore you should not question what you got for your $2.3 trillion bank bailout!

See banks don't need bailouts, on that we agree/So let's start up a group and let's take to the streets/Cuz if we do so, well you know what that means/We're racists

Translation: I will now obviate critiques of my critique by ending on an absurdist note!

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  • Wes

    It's satire. Not meant to be taken literally. I think it brings up a good point about the protests.

  • Walker

    The author seems to think there's something suspicious about Remy's claim to oppose bank bailouts. But why? It makes perfect sense to support free markets and oppose bailouts. And if Remy shares the libertarian views of other folks at Reason, then of course he's against bailouts. That seems to be a point that OWS and Tea Partiers agree on.

  • http://www.facebook.com/PeterOrvetti Peter Orvetti

    The final line is meant to point out that the Tea Party began as an anti-bailout, anti-spending movement, and its critics quickly said it was really about the fact that the president is black. Granted, the Tea Party has become about other things as well.

  • trulee_pist

    Remy must love slavery. And cars.

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