the people who applied for “protester” status during the chinese olympics have disappeared, but i apparently can’t be bothered

OK, the plan for tonight was to write a brilliant, comprehensive piece on free speech in China, the missed opportunity of the Olympics, and the fact that most all of our major news agencies decided to hold off until the last day of competition to bring it up. But then something magical happened. I can’t really explain it. I just sat down at the computer to type, and I got almost immediately sucked into a Youtube dimension where none of that shit on the other side of the world mattered. My time in this dimension did, however, lead to an important revelation. And the revelation is this. The three best songs in the universe are:


Styx “Come Sail Away”


The Blues Image “Ride Captain Ride”


Thin Lizzy “The Boys are Back in Town”

I’d like to apologize to the people of China, but these songs really fucking rock.

[note: Also in the running were several songs by Mississippi John Hurt, The Beatles, King Oliver, the Velvet Underground, the Pixies (early), the Flaming Lips (late), Daniel Johnston and Leonard Cohen. When push came to shove, however, it came down to the three songs mentioned above, Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing,” and Christina Aguilera’s, “Beautiful.” The three above, however, won fair and square. They are the best songs ever written in the history of the world.]

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16 Comments

  1. applejack
    Posted August 24, 2008 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    I want to open a BBQ restaurant that only plays Mississippi John Hurt on the stereo. and maybe Robert Johnson.

  2. mark
    Posted August 24, 2008 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, I like Robert Johnson and Bessie Smith and a few other folks too. But lately I’ve been gravitating toward Hurt… And, as for freedom of the press in China, I didn’t mean to come across as glib. It’s criminal what the Chinese have done. When they got the Olympics, it was with the understanding that they’d ease up on their citizens. They promised to allow protesters, and areas where they could congregate. (Like Bush’s bullshit “free speech zones” in the U.S.) In reality, however, it never happened. Those who went to the government to register as protesters weren’t heard from again. There was not one single protest in Beijing.

  3. Brackache
    Posted August 24, 2008 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    Convenient that the Olympics overshadowed the zombie outbreaks as well.

  4. Ol' E Cross
    Posted August 24, 2008 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know. I just watched the closing ceremonies and kind of want to be Chinese. (Props to China, it worked.)

    All those glorious glittering bodies floating in harmony, especially juxtaposed to London’s “Don’t we wear funny trousers and look, a Jimmy Page cameo” intermission.

    Free speech is incoherent. Incoherence is discord, discord is violent. The Tower of Babel, on the other hand, makes me feel a human. There is something powerful about mass, and China has mass.

    I’ll think different in the morning, but, for tonight, I just wanted to dangle like a power ranger on a wire in the bird nest of black powder and flashing feats of flesh. I want to be mass.

    If I were Chinese, tonight, I’d be something close to proud.

  5. kez
    Posted August 25, 2008 at 1:38 am | Permalink

    may i veto with a ditty by status quo:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1cJFIGHkJA

  6. Fulton
    Posted August 25, 2008 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    I’m going to have to object. No top three list can exist without this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sn7d7gZj_qc

  7. Reclusion
    Posted August 25, 2008 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tb4t0Mxq3J4

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uUFhZaZj-xk

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Q2dsny6mU4

  8. Posted August 25, 2008 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    This one kicked the crap out of all your top three, Mark…and everything anyone’s posted links to from here yet.

  9. Hillary
    Posted August 25, 2008 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6-anJ5bGrY

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5z9789Tbss

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dDxmNjLV78

  10. EoS
    Posted August 26, 2008 at 12:43 am | Permalink

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-j-pf5LykQ

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWLw7nozO_U

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K91Qj870HHk

  11. Robert
    Posted August 26, 2008 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Dang, Hillary and EoS! I want to hang with you two…

    …but probably not at the same time.

  12. Posted August 27, 2008 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    I din’t mean to kill the thread. This is one that I’d like to go on forever, with someone adding something to it every day.

    Here’s one I’d like played at my funeral.

  13. Posted August 27, 2008 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    That last one has the best electric violin solo of any pop song I’ve ever heard.

    Now here’s the one with the best xylophone solo.

  14. Posted September 3, 2008 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    This is by far the best rap song and performance ever. It dwarfs all other rap in its relevance and meaning.

  15. Robert
    Posted September 4, 2008 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    Wait a minute! “Come Sail Away,” “Ride Captain Ride,” and “The Boys Are Back In Town”?!?! Is there something in particular on your mind, Mark? You aren’t contemplating an escape are you? …and what ‘town’ were ‘the boys’ planning to be ‘back in’ precisely? Someone get over to Mark’s place NOW! He’s gonna make a run for it!

    To be truthful, I actually do like your song choices. I admit it. I’m a sap. I’m sorry I tried pretending not to be one. I hope you can forgive me and help me keep this fucking thread alive.

    What you said about The Flaming Lips is true too. I think they’re one of the best pop bands of this decade. I especially like “Do You Realize?” I love songs with such beautiful sentiment.

  16. Posted September 4, 2008 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    Oh, maybe I should have included the link.

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