August 06, 2008

The Cartman Prophecies--They've Come True


A few years ago, the I'm-not-saying-you-should-watch-it-but-I'm-just-referencing-it-to-make-a-point-I-mean-I-don't-even-watch-it-because-even-though-I'm-30-I'm-pretty-sure-my-parents-would-still-ground-me TV show called South Park ran an episode where Cartman decided that it would be quicker to sell one million copies of an album if he were to go into Christian music. His entire strategy was to take secular pop songs that everyone loved and change the word 'BABY" to "JESUS". 6 million albums later, his projections came true. Christians have criticized this show for many reasons, including the fact that South Park has a habit of making fun of...well, Christians. Unfortunately, they got this one right on the nose.

Enter musician/worship leader Rick Pino and his remake of 80's hair band Dead or Alive's You Spin Me Round (Like a Record). The Cartman Prophecies have come true:



Now, there are a lot of places that I can go with this. I could talk about how he pulled the whole "serious worship leaderspeak" ploy up front of sounding all holy and serious right before asking kids to spin their socks around. I could point out that this is just a stupid, stupid song to replace the word BABY with JESUS..."you spin me right round Jesus, right round like a record, Jesus"...what does that even come close to meaning? Add the rest of the song and it gets weirder:

If I, I get to know your name
Well if I, could trace your private number, Jesus
All I know is that to me
You look like you're lots of fun
Open up your loving arms
I want some, want some

I set my sights on you (and no one else will do)

And I, I've got to have my way now, Jesus
All I know is that to me
You look like you're having fun
Open up your loving arms
Watch,out here I come

You spin me right round, Jesus
Right round like a record, Jesus
Right round round round

I got to be your friend now, Jesus
And I would like to move in a little bit closer

I could also point out that no one has had the "shingle" look shaved into their head since Vanilla Ice in 1992. I could point out that Rick Pino claims that for one of his albums, he was visitied by the angel from Zechariah 4 and that said angel gave him the songs for that album. I guess the angel forgot to mention that covering Dead or Alive in front of a bunch of kids who weren't born when they broke up is not "worship". I also think that if angels were delievering music from on high that the album would crack the top 40 on the Christian charts.

I know you're thinking, "but look at all of those kids worshipping...isnt' that great?" First of all if "throwing your hands up in the air and waving 'em all around like you just don't care" is worship then everyone at any Outkast concert in 1996 was submitting themselves to Jehovah when they played the song "Atliens". Secondly, everyone at the local squaredance is ushering themselves into the Lord's holy presence when the caller says "swing your partner dosey-do". I don't know if you've met a teenager, but get them in a crowd, crank up the music, and throw out some Hollister and Abercrombie & Fitch clothes and try and STOP them from getting excited. Look, I'm all for having fun in church...believe me...but weren't you just praying about that place being Holy Ground, Rick? Is that what you meant?

But, instead of being all negative about this, I say we spin (pun intended!) this into a positive. I present to you the Top 10 Songs that Christian Artists Should Remake:

10. Where Did Our Love Go? (originally by the Supremes):
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, where did our love go? This has all the makings of a prodigal son song. Maybe Barlow Girl could do a number on this one keeping the 3-girls vibe alive.

9. Jesus, Jesus (originally by Amy Grant): This works on multiple levels! Amy Grant, a Christian artist, could remake her own song and make it about Jesus!

8. When I'm With You (originally by Sheriff): Jesus, oh I get chills when I'm with you, oh, Jesus, my world stands still when I'm with you. Now we're talking! This has all the makings of an 80's power ballad. Plus, this song holds the record for the longest note held in a pop song. Michael English, if you're looking for a comeback, this song is your chance!

7. Jesus Got His Blue Jeans On (originally by Mel McDaniel): Christian Country is still a niche market, so what better time to hit the mainstream? Carmen, this one has you written all over it. (Editors note: I know the lyrics make this idea creepy. This just illustrates my point.)

6. Be My Jesus (originally by the Ronettes): Be my little Jesus. Sacrilege? Yes, but catchy too.

5. Jesus Don't Forget My Number (originally by Milli Vanilli): Insert lip-synching joke here! In an effort at humility, I will admit that in the 6th grade my girlfriend broke up with me and my sister caught me crying in the bathroom while listening to Milli Vanilli's Blame it on the Rain. To be fair, our love was falling, falling...

4. Jesus Got Back (originally by Sir Mix-a-lot): Whoa, that's a little too far, right? Think that some youth minister somewhere wouldn't do this and try to put his own spin (one more pun!) on it? Think again! OK, let's be honest. That video is hilarious!

3. Ice, Ice Jesus (originally by Vanilla Ice): Staying with the rap scene, we're really beginning to tap into something. Keep my composure when it's time to get loose, magnatized by the mike when I kick my juice. Jon Reuben, you the man on this one.

2. Tell Me Jesus (originally by Red Hot Chili Peppers):
Actually, now that I think about it, that's not too shabby of an example...except that it would be plagarizing someone elses's creativity and making it worse.

1. Hit Me Jesus One More Time (originally by Britney Spears):
Was there ever any doubt? Can't you see now a converted warehouse full of teenagers on a Sunday night hands raised in the air singing those words out? Just remember, WHEN (not if) this is done, you heard it here first.

We can do better than this. Those teenagers need better than this.