I've gone through an awful lot to get this story for New Times, but what happened to me this morning is the last straw. As you recall, you wanted me to write something about State Senator Jan Brewer's bill forbidding the sale of record albums with dirty lyrics to children under eighteen. You know, the one where the albums would be labeled.
I did what you said. I researched the bill, which I think is pretty stupid. I mean, doesn't the Bill of Rights tell us we can listen to what we want to listen to? But I did it. I found out all about that woman's dumb proposed law. I even agreed to pose as Doug MacEachern, that columnist or something at the Mesa Tribune, who's a really great guy, by the way. (You were right when you warned me that hardly anyone at the legislature would give me the time of day if I said I was from New Times. I guess I have you to thank for that, pal.)
But when I had to listen to Jan Brewer talk dirty to me, as she did on the phone this morning, I had to rethink my whole career as a journalist. Do you know what that woman said?
Would you believe, "`Fucking' is what we're concerned about"? The woman said that to me! What a foul mouth!
But she didn't stop there! She told me she'd just eaten a banana. Then she was telling me about some songs she thought were offensive. She told me one of them was "Fuck Like a Beast"! I heard those words from her very lips! I was so shocked at the suggestion I scarcely had the presence of mind to say, "No, thank you!"
She told me she was only quoting song lyrics she objects to, but I didn't believe it. I think this woman likes the stuff! I mean, did she have to mention the banana?
Let me refresh your memory a little bit. Jan Brewer is the 45-year-old Republican from Glendale who has hopped on the bandwagon started by Tipper Gore and the Parents Music Resource Center a few years ago. She says she put together her bill, which she plans to introduce to the legislature, after constituents started complaining to her about nasty lyrics. So far, she and her staff have compiled a list of about forty songs she thinks kids shouldn't hear.
From what I heard on the phone this morning, boss, she was doing more than listening. She was doing some memorizing.
For some of these records, boss, she didn't have to go far. I found out her kids had some of them! She told me this! "I brought home these records, and I threw 'em on the bar. And my middle son said, `Oh, Michael's got that one, and oh, I've got this one.'"
I'm telling you, it makes you wonder what kind of a mother she is!
She claims, naturally, that her favorite singers are Neil Diamond and Engelbert Humperdinck, but she seems really familiar with the W.A.S.P. album Live . . . Animal and its American Kennel Club jacket.
She even insisted on describing the jacket to me! "The cover on it has a gal sitting there all disheveled with her legs all naked with a big Doberman pinscher between her legs." She said this to me. Let me tell you, I was like, "Gross."
And do you know what else is going on? She told me that kids in her neighborhood are snooping around looking for this stuff! She sounded happy when she told me that. If Brewer wants to encrust her own family with all this dirt, fine. But now she's proudly telling me that the kids are going around looking for the filth they won't be able to buy if her bill gets passed!
She told me this! "People keep giving me titles," she says to me. "The kids are kind of getting interested in this, and they've said, `Have you listened to this, and have you listened to that? This says this, and this says that.'"
This woman is out of control! One version of her bill even required a label on albums that included lyrics that mention nudity. Nudity! How does she take a shower without nudity?
Even the rest of the legislature is shocked. I called up Jesus Higuera, the Democrat from Tucson, you know, the one they call Chuy? and he says to me, "I tell you, when Senator Brewer came over to me, she made reference to some very vivid titles. She used some four-letter words that I don't think are appropriate to have out there, especially when some children might get ahold of those records."
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She's going around the legislature talking filth to everyone! Boss, I don't want to have to do this kind of reporting.
And then, as if listening to her say those words weren't enough, I had to write them. She knew she could get away with talking dirty to a daily newspaper reporter--remember I was posing as MacEachern--because those rags would never print any of the sewer language that comes out of her mouth. But when I had to actually type out the letters, F-U-C-K-L-I-K-E-A-B-E-A-S-T, I kept thinking about my mother, who this woman is old enough to be.
So, if you don't mind, I would like not to have to do any more legislative stories. I'd like to stick to reviewing music, because you can't hear the words anyway.