By Jake and Glenn
"Weird" Al Yankovic is a popular parody artist from the United States of America. He is often called "America's Greatest Treasure (Parody Category)." This question has always loomed over Mr. Yankovic: Is "Weird" Al really Weird? This debate will attempt to answer the question definitely and end the debate once and for all, but like all of our debates, we are likely to fall very short of this goal. Still, there are jokes in it and you could do worse with the ten minutes it takes to read this such as suicide, writing your own parody song, or watching the first ten minutes of "Juwanna Mann."
Glenn: Thank you for referencing ABC’s new breakout situational comedy hit about someone who lives in apartment 23 - a sitcom so popular that I could see Weird Al writing a song called “Don’t Trust the Bee in Apartment 63” which involved a bee flying into someone’s meatus and stinging them to death from the inside. That’s the kind of shit Al writes about it and yes, it’s weird. Imagine the musical landscape when Weird Al first dropped “I love Rocky Road” in 1982. The two biggest singles (besides the inspirational track “I Love Rock and Roll”) were “Survivor” by Eye of the Tiger and “Down Under” by Men at Work. Compared to that drecht, releasing a parody song was indeed weird and completely groundbreaking. It was weirder than whatever Kraftwerk released that year!
Glenn: Yes of course being a genius is weird! And of course Kevin Sorbo is jaw-droppingly handsome. Not even Oscar Wilde or Charles Dickens would deny that - they who said “I have nothing to declare but my genius” and “Eccentricities of genius” respectively. If I were to hear these quotes today, I would assume they were in reference to “Weird” Al, who many have called our generation’s Wilde. I will not weigh in on that debate; the video for “Born This Way” parody “Perform This Way” speaks for itself. If you think there is something “normal” about that video, I would hate to drill into your head while you are sleeping and let your nightmares escape. It is horrifying, challenging and so bizarre that it made me consider leaving my wife of 13 years, whom I love very much.
Glenn: I guess this debate comes down to how the reader interprets genius and to a lesser extent song parodies. Thanks to the ubiquity of self-started e-zines, blogs (not this one) and Pinterest, the masses can now create more content than the masses could ever consume. This has led to a plague of mediocrity inflicted upon us, the masses. Weird Al is certainly weird when you think about the lack of parodies during his heyday and especially the lack of good parodies today as he claws his way towards death’s door. The modern media landscape is littered with recaps, snarky criticisms and extremely tedious analysis but few parodies. That is where Al comes in. He creates content that is unsettling, content that holds a mirror up to society and makes us want to rip our eyeballs out. I choose to blind myself instead of watching this deeply disturbing, Aphex Twin-style video ever again: