I’d be the first to admit (had thousands not already admitted as much) that these are confusing — indeed confounding — times. Little on the international scene is making sense. The world is in turmoil, a situation that appears to grow worse each day. Heck, even the Mike Duffy saga took an unexpected turn or two this week. And the Old Duff was about the only thing we thought we could understand.
One likes to think cooler heads will ultimately prevail. At present, though, circumstances are ideal for a dangerous and destructive figure to rise from a smouldering political and social tinderbox to seize power. And that’s scary stuff. Not the anti-Christ, perhaps, but an ambitious figure poised to prey on a vulnerable global society.
I’m referring, of course, to ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic.
This week, more than one otherwise-discerning critic, pundit and hack has without irony proclaimed that the artist of no fixed funniness is a genius. A comedic genius. A juvenile genius. A musical genius.
Mozart. Chaplin. Ellington. Yankovic.
That’s how far down the slippery slope we are, folks. It ain’t pretty. And it certainly ain’t funny.
Now, I’ll admit I may have been a bit harsh when, some years back, I entitled a column in ye olde X Press, “Weird Al must die.” I mean, I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. But Weird Al must leave us alone? Weird Al must retire? Still works for me.
True, his most recent parodies, which set social-media geeks all aflutter this week, are among the finest of his career. But then, the bar has been set extremely low, where Weird Al is concerned. As low as, say, crafting a song around references to food that sort of rhyme with the original lyric.
I’m not laughing already.
Not at world events. And not at Weird Al. Maybe it’s me.
No, it’s Weird Al.
Moreover, it’s those who would encourage him. World events, it seems, have beaten us into submission, to a point where Weird Al is considered a genius. Granted, we’re not talking an evil genius, like Vladimir Putin or the Old Duff. On the contrary, Mr. Yankovic seems to genuinely want to be a force for good. And for the promotion of klezmer music — which is also good. Would that Weird Al’s quest to do good were, well, good. Or gooder, at least.
We could all use something to lighten things up at the moment. I hope it arrives soon.
In the meantime, Weird Al, you’re not helping matters.