The Opinions Below Are Not Necessarily Endorsed By This Recording
by Tess Lynch
Some conversations you have had more than once in your life include:
1. What character from Sex and the City/Entourage you are most like, and which of your friends is most like Miranda/Turtle, and how you feel sorry for them.
(Senior Ed. Lambert Notes: I take offense here, because I am clearly the Miranda. However taking offense and blogging about it is just what Miranda would do, so point taken. Anyway I feel worst for Samantha because she is a worn-out old queen and they gave her cancer!)
2. How much you like The Beatles, and which of their most amazing records you find the most amazing.
3. Your favorite Conchord (is Jemaine).
F.O.T.C. fan-art by Molly, the Bret to Tess’s Jemaine (Tess is taller)
“The Tape of Love (Sticky Stuff)” — Flight of the Conchords (mp3)
4. How stupid the Atkins diet is.
5. Your amazing weight-loss on the Atkins diet.
6. How stupid the Atkins diet is, after trying it.
7. The drawbacks of a liberal arts education in the job market (this applies whether or not you actually went to a liberal arts college, because if you read blogs I can’t believe you don’t know an unemployed former liberal arts student), but also the benefits of your education in mindless bullshitting at parties.
“How’s Showtime?” “Oh shut up dyke.” “At least I didn’t get dumped for Angela Chase.” “Betch!”
8. How great the White Stripes are.
9. Asking your friends how to get out of jury duty, then a discussion of ways you found on the interweb that might get you off the hook for having to serve on a trial.
10. Whether or not the rampant downloading of music should be allowed.
It’s totally inevitable; in fact, I could even tell you how these conversations will proceed. For instance, your friend will say, “Did you see Flight of the Conchords the other night?”
Like F.O.T.C. Molly and Tess also have a novelty folk band. They have released two imaginary albums.
You’ll say, “Yes,” because you did. If you didn’t, you’ll say, “No! No! So don’t tell me anything!” which will only delay the conversation you’re about to have until you see the episode, at which point you will feel compelled to at some point mention this to your friend, who will resume as if no time had elapsed at all.
“Did you see that David Bowie thing? It was so funny.”
Up until this point, everything had been normal. You were sitting at a coffee shop, or on a grungy rug on someone’s floor passing a clogged pipe around, or mouth reading at a bar.
“Use the force, Tess.”
But the problem is that there is only one way to react to this question, which is to agree that it was so funny.
This conversation is being had somewhere at ALL TIMES OF DAY AND NIGHT. In Japan, some kids who were extras in Babel are talking about it, or texting on their cooler-than-yours cell phone going “Ths s bwe 2 bwe, do u hear me out thr man?” in Japanese. They think it was a laugh riot. They loved when Jemaine dressed up as Labyrinth-Bowie. It was their favorite. (Senior Ed. Note: Au contraire, my favorite was Jemaine as “Ashes to Ashes” Bowie because that is my jaaaaaam and also I have never seen Labyrinth.)
In the Midwest, there’s a group of Sigma Chi dudes Youtube-ing the episode to show some drunk girls tonight. It’s not happening yet in Malawi, but it will. One day. They’re sitting around waiting to talk about how funny Flight of the Conchords is, and they don’t even know it yet.
Tess spends her nights coming up with ways to further sexually frustrate Star Wars fans.
But what if you were to say, “I don’t think Flight of the Conchords is that funny”? Regardless of whether or not this is true, you should try it, because it makes the person you’re talking to furious.
“What? What do you mean? You didn’t even like “Bret, You’ve Got It Going On”? What’s the matter with you? Do you think anything’s funny? Oh, I’m sorry, you’re too busy watching Supernanny. You’re too busy playing online Scrabble. I’m sorry; you don’t have time for funny things. Tell me, then, what exactly your problem is? Why don’t you like this hilarious new show about two hilarious and undeniably attractive New Zealand hipsters in Brooklyn?”
“Fuck you Tess, we are hilarious.”
“Bret You’ve Got It Going On” — Flight of the Conchords (mp3)
They take a sip of their weed or smoke their macchiato. They compose themselves. But it’s never the same.
“I don’t know, I just feel like any two jackasses picking away at their guitars with lots of time on their hands could come up with it. You and I could come up with stuff like that, if we wanted to.”
Don’t say this, because then the person opposite you will argue that that’s the brilliance of the show – that anyone can do it, and they enjoy it because it makes even the laziest funny person feel like one day, they too will have a show with their best friend on HBO that people discuss everywhere, all the time.
You will lose this argument, because the cosmos has decided that there is only one answer to the question you were asked. Eventually, your friend will turn to the stranger sitting behind them or call someone on the phone for backup.
She smiles, yet her joyless soul will not laugh at folk-parody
“I’m sitting here with [your name], and they’re trying to tell me that Flight of the Conchords isn’t funny. No, he/she saw the Bowie thing. Yeah, I know. Sure, come over, we’re done here. She/he’s leaving. No, it’s fine.” Then they’ll excuse themselves and you’ll drive home, wondering what you did wrong. Except you know: you dissented. With the cosmos.
Have you had a friend who has tried the Atkins diet? Sure you have. Everyone has. And before they started it, hadn’t you talked to them about how stupid it would be to eat fat and meat all day? And what a totally bizarre idea that is?
“I can’t believe the Atkins diet. Who’d want to eat steak wrapped in bacon six times a day?”
You both look at your turkey sandwiches. The look on your friend’s face belies the fact that, actually, maybe they’d be into it. Three weeks later they order a double-cheeseburger, minus the bun, with a pat of butter on a round disc of salami. Your only choice is to keep mum and say, “You know, you look great.” Which they probably do. But you can’t go back in time to the kinder, gentler place you two shared a few weeks ago, where you agreed. A chasm has formed. The calls become less frequent. She starts humming the Bowie song.
Music copyright issues are another good example of a conversational 405 freeway (if you’re not from L.A., this is the freeway that you, at some point, must take, even though you know it’s better not to, because it’s always jammed. It also goes in two directions, which is initially the metaphor I wanted). It’s usually acceptable to choose either the “for” or “against” position, but only until you’re able to suss out how the other person feels.
If, for example, they’re against stealing lots of good music off the ‘net (ummm, of course, I count myself in this camp…especially if The Law reads This Recording), you have no choice other than to check yoself. The only acceptable thing to say if, for example, you just found out you’re speaking with someone whose dad owns a record label, is that of course you meant that it’s only okay if the person pays 99 cents. Otherwise, you’ll pay with your friendship.
The Force is totally PLUR
That is, if you’re lucky – if you’re not lucky, you’ll be like one of those poor saps we all know who had to pay a gazillion dollars for a shitty version of an O.A.R. song he or she downloaded BY MISTAKE and which ruined his or her life because now everyone thinks he or she loves O.A.R. and also had to cough up $5,000 to O.A.R.’s label.
As Carrie Bradshaw would write, when did dissenting about certain topics become verboten? And what’s the deal with men leaving the toilet seat up?