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How the Oregon State Legislature Rocks at Rick Rolling

Clearly, things have gotten ugly in American Politics recently, and I’m not just talking about John Boehner’s face. Ok… I AM talking about John Boehner’s face, but also, on the larger scale, we have politicians on both sides of the aisle ready to let the government be shut down rather than work with each other. Throw in that the Democrats are largely neutered and spineless in the face of guileless and pitiless Reptiles… I mean “Republicans” as well as the unwashed barbarians at the door demanding a Tea Party approach to politics that reminds one of the Nazi’s bonfire approach to the Dewey Decimal System.

Fortunately, there is still hope for gentle humor in American Politics, which in turn means, there is still hope for America at large. Check out the recent actions of the Oregon State Legislature and its distinguished member (snerk! I said “member”!!!!) Jefferson Smith.

Concerned with the national air of adversarial politics, The Oregon State Representative from Portland decided to lay a gentle prank on his fellow House-mates. he gathered a bunch of his colleagues and together, they read the lyrics to Rick Astley’s 197 hit “Never Gonna Give You Up” totally straight-faced.

Rep. Smith found it was not hard at all to talk his colleagues, from both sides of the aisle, into the idea. Apparently, being “Rick Rolled” is common enough to have entered our cultural parlance. First though, they had to sneak this past the House. The lyrics were split up between all the conspirators, and hidden in their statements read before the House during a session in February 2010. Think of it… the people who had to work phrases like “Never gonna give you up” or “I want you to know how I feel” had it easy; the rep who had to work “ooh!” into their statement? Not so easy.

Then came the arduous process of going through hours of videotaped speeches to extract the Astley Bits (as it were) and assemble the whole into the video that is enjoying viral life on Youtube. after it was assembled, everyone was given a framed copy of what lyric they worked in, as well as a photoshopped photo of Rick Astley dancing on top of the Oregon State House building.

Reacting to remarks and rumors, Rep. Jefferson Smith has stated that all the clips are real (in fact the only thing faked was the afore-mentioned photo) and – more importantly, for the humor-impaired crowd – was not paid for with any taxpayer or public money. His wife shot and edited the video, taking over a year to assemble it.

He just did it for the laughs, and also for the fact that, even for a while, it brought Republicans and Democrats together in a common purpose that establish and/or strengthened working relationships between the two parties, the kind that lead to reasoned compromises instead of tense stand-offs. Can’t beat that, right? Check out the video here:

So, here at Blogosaurus Stampede, our hats go off to Rep. Jefferson Smith and The Oregon House of legislature for making politics a little more human, and giving Rick Rolling a new landmark achievement.

April Fools Day or, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gregorian Calendar

Filed under: Anniversaries,Holidays,Life & How to Live It,Satire,Useful Information — Tags: , , — Positronic Dave @ 1:24 pm March 31, 2011

For those amongst us who are children, and for those that are just otherwise malicious, April Fools Day is tomorrow. As I’m sure you are aware, busy as you must be, unscrewing sugar and salt shaker tops, plugging up toilets and preparing to phone in false reports to the local police. April Fools Day is the holiday when cruel, emotionally-taxing hoaxes are the gifts that keep on giving.

As a side-note, apropos of nothing more than it is; my wife and I were married on April 1st. Many of our friends weren’t sure if they were actually going to a wedding that day. We asked everybody to dress in black, and the neighbors thought there was a wake at our house, so they were extra quiet. Tomorrow will be my wife and I’s 5th anniversary. I’m going to have someone phone her from the RI Hospital Emergency Ward, telling her I didn’t make it. It should be a “laff riot” as they say in the “gag” world.

The birth story of April Fools Day goes back to the early 158os, when King Charles IX of France decided to revise the calendar, in order to make room in it for pictures of cute kittens hanging from trees and exhortations to stand strong until “Friday.” This caused quite a stir back then, as it moved the New Year’s celebration back 3 months By God, some people just weren’t having it, and continued to celebrate as they always had. This gained them the mockery and derision of everybody else, who played tricks on them. They became known as “poisson d’avril” or “April fish” and people would hang paper fish on their backs when they weren’t looking.  And then turn them in for being witches, or educated, or both.

As you can imagine, the joyous celebration that was April Fools’ Day spread throughout Europe like a second, funnier plague. If you can’t imagine this, close your eyes, lean your head back, and open your mouth… trust me…

In Scotland, it became known as “Taily Day” and features buttock-specific humor. The old classic “kick me” sign taped to someone’s back owes its origin to the Scots. You have to love the Scots.

One modern April Fools Day favorite, and very popular amongst those working in the plumbing profession, is the old “mix jello into the toilet” trick. It takes a couple of boxes, but when it gels, there is nothing funnier to a man being paid $40/hr for house visits.

So remember, nothing says “I Love You, Special Person” on this merriest of predacious holidays than a faked call from the Police Station “because of what they found in the trunk when they pulled you over.” After all, you’re not doing this April Fools’ Day prank for yourself… you’re doing it for them. Because you’re a people person. You care.

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