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Author Topic: Get down with John Ashcroft!
Babbler # 478

posted 08 December 2001 01:56 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Heather Mallick has done us the service of reviewing, in today's Grope and Flail, U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft's 1995 recording of songs he wrote hisself, Gospel (Music) According to John.

You can listen to a sample at, which has so much other fun stuff too.

As Mallick says, "It is not clear where Ashcroft's soul path will ultimately lead him, to more vocalizing or just sticking with the fascism. But I do know that whichever he chooses, it will be a painful experience for anyone in the vicinity."


[ December 08, 2001: Message edited by: skdadl ]

From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
sean s.
Babbler # 860

posted 08 December 2001 02:57 PM      Profile for sean s.   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Here's the column. Enjoy!

Yo, it's Snoop Doggy Ashcroft, a rockin' and a reelin'


Saturday, December 8, 2001 Print Edition, Globe & Mail, Page F7

Canadians are so sweet. Everyone in Ottawa was polite to U.S. Attorney-General John Ashcroft when he came visiting last week, and he was polite to us. We swallowed what he was dishing. He's going to patrol the borders with the National Guard -- ah, I remember those federal bouncers, so helpful at Kent State -- and set up secret military tribunals to discreetly execute foreigners. How very Soviet, nay, how positively Chinese.

Now, Ashcroft is not sane. He is a pro-Confederacy religious extremist who celebrates career success by anointing himself with holy oil. He has declared himself opposed to dancing. He's a gun nut, a lawmaker who opposes family planning and thinks raped women should not be allowed abortions. He's a bully. In other words, your garden-variety white southern Republican.

But I can't get exercised about the man because I feel desperately sorry for him. And Canadians are never so nice as when they feel social embarrassment. I've heard him sing.

Ashcroft, who has been a piano-playing holy roller for years, wrote, sang and released a cassette tape in 1995 entitled Gospel (Music) According to John. This is true. One of the songs is available on the Internet, but I would avoid it if I were you. Here at journalism's sharp end, it's my job to listen to the world's second most powerful yokel get down. But Ashcroft's game effort -- it's actually more like talking with a beat -- has a way of lingering in the wee insomniac hours of the morning. He's a notoriously wooden speaker who once under-impressed a Christian Coalition audience so severely -- they gave the second-string guest speaker a standing ovation -- that he abandoned his presidential hopes on the spot. You could bore a hole in him and let the sap out, as they say.

Yet he's a tunesmith.

Surely this is inconsistent with his views on dancing, you ask. No. Because you can't dance to what he sings. Although he is a member of The Singing Senators who croon for charity, his music don't have no rhythm stick. Listening to the MP3 of his Blessed Be That City,I froze in shock, I writhed inwardly, I covered my face, and I called my husband up from the kitchen to "have a listen to this darlin,' the steaks can wait!" But at no time did my legs move.

Ashcroft is not a rocker nor a balladeer. He's a genuine song stylist with a voice that sounds a little like a baritone Pat Boone, but a vocal caress that brings to mind the great Nick Rails, Bill Murray's smarmy Amtrak lounge singer on Saturday Night Live. I offer some lyrics, which you should imagine accompanied by a tinny piano and a bunch of more-jolly-than-funky backup singers from Kansas City.

"Now there's lots of folks acquirin', and even more aspirin'/To have things and toys and stuff that bucks can buy/ They got boom boxes a-blastin', big bass boats for castin'/More new tricks and truck than you and I could ever hope to drive.

Now there's lots a folks 'a been thinkin', that real joy it comes from drinkin'/At the well of pleasures that the world provides/But the fleetin' highs they're feelin' gonna send you rockin' and reelin'/With an emptiness you must confess that eats out your insides.

We got hot-shot jocks explainin' how eatin' right and trainin'/Gonna save you from yourself and make you free/But just buildin' up your body, with kung fu and karate/Ain't no ticket to a bright eternity."

We can learn a great deal from Ashcroft's lyrics. First of all, he is against shopping, which will interest Rudy Giuliani. Ashcroft used to be against government spying on the Internet, but as he is currently explaining in Senate hearings, he has changed his position 180 degrees on this as well.

He is against physical exercise, as am I. He is opposed to the playing of loud music while people are bass fishing, and as an experienced angler, I'm with him on this one. Anything above a whisper will scare the fish away. This explains the later reference to "rockin' and reelin."

He is also opposed to "fleetin' highs" (note the dropped 'g,' a hallmark of hip from Billie Holiday to the Ramones to L'il Kim). What a coincidence. So am I. I like a consistent buzz. Nothing's worse than coming down too soon -- oh, he didn't mean that? Never mind.

Ashcroft's rhyming style is unorthodox. "Your body" does not rhyme with "karate" no matter how hard you try. But it is this willingness to break the musical rules that marks the rebel spot. "Songs she sang to me" doesn't work with "Words she brang to me" but that didn't stop Play Me from being a big hit for Neil Diamond.

Also, Ashcroft is playing the piano. How could he dance at the same time? Oh, Elton tries, but does it really work? Clearly, the keyboard is his lady.

It is not clear where Ashcroft's soul path will ultimately lead him, to more vocalizing or just sticking with the fascism. But I do know that whichever he chooses, it will be a painful experience for anyone in the vicinity.

To listen to Ashcroft singing, go to Click on archives and scroll down to Ashcroft Comes Alive.

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From: montreal | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 441

posted 08 December 2001 08:51 PM      Profile for MJ     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I can't resist.

Quotes on the site from Ashcroft:

"Southern Partisan magazine helps set the record straight. You've got a heritage of doing that, of defending Southern Patriots like Robert E. Lee, Gen. Thomas J. (Stonewall) Jackson and Jefferson Davis. Traditionalists must do more. I've got to do more. We've all got to stand up and speak in this respect, or else we'll be taught that these people were giving their lives, subscribing their sacred fortunes and their honor to some perverted agenda."

"They say you can't legislate morality. Well, you certainly can."

He also opposed desegregation of schools in Missouri in the mid-80s.

From: Around. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 228

posted 08 December 2001 10:00 PM      Profile for Pimji   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Ashcroft Deconstructed. As if the article posted above didn't do the job.
Just what the world needs is another religious fanatic running about.

From: South of Ottawa | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged

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