Thursday, October 19, 2006

Weird Al festschrift

Slate has an article on 25 years of Weird Al, with many links to YouTube videos of his oeuvre. Inevitably in discussions of transformative fair use or the parody/satire distinction, someone will bring up Weird Al (and the fact that he always gets permission). Here's Slate's argument that all Weird Al songs are parodies, not satires:
Even at their silliest ("I Want a New Duck," "Addicted to Spuds"), his parodies do important cultural work: They defuse whatever seriousness clings to the ubiquitous megahit, whatever tiny sliver of it colonizes our lives and makes us dream of a pop Xanadu where everyone has perfect abs and dances synchronously for our never-ending pleasure. He has singlehandedly tutored the MTV generation in critical thinking.

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