Thursday, July 28, 2005

What a Crazy Pair!

Someone who knows more about these things than I should really try to make a list of all the parodies that have been done of the theme song to "The Patty Duke Show." (Which, by the way, was composed by Sid Ramin, best known as an orchestrator on such Broadway shows as West Side Story and A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum.) Many TV theme songs are easy to parody, but the "Patty Duke" theme song is particularly easy because all you have to do is take the phrase "identical cousins," plug in another word to replace "cousins," and change a few other words here and there in the song, and presto, you've got a song parody. Some of you may remember the SCTV episode that had a running bit about increasingly strange variations on the concept: "Identical Bellhops," "Identical Cheese Hostesses," and finally "Identical OPEC Oil Ministers." And one of the few really memorable posts on the "Jump the Shark" website was a sapphic version of the theme song. It's very malleable.

In fact, I think you could easily adapt the song into a song about the so-called blogosphere. Like so:

Meet Cathy, who writes that it's unfair
To over-tax a millionaire,
While Patty says she only fights
Reactionary troglodytes --
What a crazy pair!
But they're bloggers,
Identical bloggers, both of them,
Boosting their different parties,
Bashing the M-S-M.
Where Cathy insists that you're all wet
If you won't fight the terror threat,
Our Patty always wants to know
What happened at Guantanamo --
What a wild duet!
But they're bloggers,
Identical bloggers, and you'll find
They rant alike, they preen alike,
They hate Time Magazine alike,
You will lose your mind
When bloggers... are two of a kind!

By the way, and to veer off-topic again, have you noticed that any kind of humor or satirical writing (and the above is semi-humorous, sort of) seems to demand a certain even-handedness? I actually think that on the whole conservative blogs are worse than liberal blogs (there is no high-profile liberal blog that is quite as bad as, say, Powerline), yet the above song parody implies that they're equally annoying. It couldn't be done any other way; even if I have a partisan preference, it would be totally unfunny and generally ineffective to try to push that notion in a humor piece about blogs. Humor is better for generalized attacks on general annoyances; trying to do partisan humor often results in something that is partisan hackery rather than humor. I think that's why many of the best political comedians are actually rather even-handed in their satire -- because good comedians know that partisanship, while it may be necessary, isn't very funny.

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