Protest Pop Comes of Age


From the sad-sack-press-release-of-the-day file comes this keeper:


Bobby "Boris" Pickett Records New Take on Holiday Hit "Monster Mash"; Bush, Political Appointees "Star" in Flash Movie Urging Public to Speak Out.

WASHINGTON, D.C.//October 20, 2004//The song that defines Halloween–"Monster Mash"–is being brought back to life today with the help of the original recording artist as a new Web-based appeal ( from the Campaign to Protect America's Lands (CPAL) and Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund to oppose the Bush Administration's controversial plan to permit logging, mining and other commercial exploitation of roadless federal forest areas….

The new song–"Monster Slash"–was recorded by Bobby "Boris" Pickett, the co-creator of the 1962 hit "Monster Mash" and also the vocalist on the original recording. The Flash presentation features well-known Halloween horror characters based on photographs of President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, as well as key forest-related Bush political appointees U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Ann M. Veneman and USDA Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment Mark E. Rey….

Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund President Rodger Schlickeisen said: "While the big timber companies get all the treats from President Bush, the American public gets nothing but tricks. 'Monster Slash' gives people a chance to laugh, share something fun with their friends, and then get active to protest the Bush plan and restore some balance in our National Forests."

Now I'm all for anything that targets USDA Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment Mark E. Rey–that goddamn motherfucker! that unacknowledged master of all that is wrong and evil in the world today!–but I worry that "Monster Slash" will start a run on novelty songs, arguably the highest form of art, right after the colored-sand terrariums, being turned to crass political purposes. That ruined punk and it may well ruin "The Streak." Do we really want to live in a world where Ray Stevens becomes the grand poobah of American political satire, putting unfunnyman Mark Russell back on workfare, cleaning the johns at the Katherine Cornell Theater (hmm…)?

Ah, terrible, terrible freedom of the press…

"Monster Slash" is online here.