When I drafted my Mission Statement three years ago I had the highest hopes, but now I am a daydream DIS-believer. Oh, you’d like me to re-print that Mission Statement right here, wouldn’t you? So you and your buddies can have a little laugh? Well, I’m not going to do it. Okay I’m going to do it.
Mission Statement (December, 2010):
“I am a committed referencer to the pop band The Monkees (created 1966). I will do everything in my power to ensure that no quip, witticism, parody, pun, or allusion leaves my mouth that I myself would not consider an exceptional and delightful listening experience that would satisfy my friends’ eloquent thirsts. I recognize each reference is an individual and will seek to foster a humorous and creative environment that will have everyone who comes through my doors leaving impressed by my aggressive wit and excited to return. I will be a giving member of the community. My hope is to prove that delightful Monkees references can even help decrease depression, criminal behavior, and frequency of pornography-usage.”
I’m sure you and your buddies are slapping high-fives at my misery. But I had some moments. In June, 2011 we were all enjoying a backyard barbecue when I turned to a friend and said, “Well, it’s just another Pleasant Valley Sunday, isn’t it? Here in Status Symbol Land.” This a great reference, but you probably don’t know it, cause you’re a hooligan who wouldn’t know a sweet Monkees reference unless it was reported on some dopey website.
So what were the responses? Look, I can’t remember the specifics, but imagine a chorus of “Sweet Monkees references, dude!” and “Dude, what a sweet-ass reference to the Monks!” The overarching emphasis was on the sweetness of my references to the Monkees, or, as someone a little more “hip” might say, the Monks.
What went wrong since then? Is it something I’ve done? Are you all bitter Beatles fans who are mad that the Monkees are much more artistic and have a better overall oeuvre? I bet you don’t even know what oeuvre means, or why it needs all those vowels. Well let me tell you something, it needs all those vowels. The French made that word, and they don’t fuck around. If they could have made that word with one vowel, don’t you think they would have? You want to go into a Parisian cafe, knock the beret off a guy in a striped shirt and tell him his language sucks? Be my guest, mister.
I suppose many great minds were under-appreciated throughout history. There’s always Kafka and Dickinson, of course, to motivate me. No one understood their genius, either.
You might say, even, that “no one got Emily’s Dickinson’s sweet God references,” and you’d be correct. No one did. But she kept truckin’ along, didn’t she? If I am remembering her wikipedia page correctly, she fucked every guy in Massachusetts in the hopes that maybe one of them would be a poetry “guru” who would have the connections she needed to land in the hot poetry journals. And you know what? It worked. She got “consumption,” which sounds fun and very American, and I think it probably entailed trips across the nation to various lobster fests and barbecues, which were rare back then. We take lobster fests for granted now, but there weren’t many in 1867.
As for Kafka, his first name was Franz, which is German for Frank, which is German for hot dog. One of his novels, I see, is called Die Verwandlung. Boy, I bet Kafka experienced the same alienation I feel when he tried to publish this. Who was Verwandlung? In 1912, I imagine that everyone loved Verwandlung, and didn’t want him to die. Then this Kafka character comes down the pike, much like me and my sweet Monkees references, and is all, “Hey, I know you love Verwandlung, but he’s got to go. Plain and simple.”
I suppose I could switch to another band, like REO Speedwagon, and make references to them. Do the kids still jam to REO Speedwagon? I’d say yes. REO Speedwagon is just one of those bands that will never go out of style. Walk into a high school cafeteria right now, grab some potato wedges on a tray, sit backwards on a chair, and say, “Hey, y’all down with the `wagon?” Do this, and young, floppy-haired Bobby, the high school quarterback and Prom King, will jerk a thumb at you, and say to his minions, “Yo, this fella cool.”
Then a girl who is usually quiet will probably stand on a chair, her books pressed close to her, and softly, yet passionately, sing the line, “I can’t fight this feeling any looooonger.” At first us cool people will be like, “Who the fuck...?” but then she’ll go into the next line, “And yet I’m still afraid to let it flow,” and Bobby will put his hand out to stop Ralph, a linebacker, from getting up to stop the girl. Ralph is dumb. We know this because he’s big and plays defense. He also has one of those faces that are always red. What’s with that?
A few others would probably join in: “What started out as friendship has grown strooooonger.” Then it just escalates. There’s a whole dance and shit, the lunch lady lets loose in a clever hip-hop bridge, and even Mr. Davidson, the stuffy history teacher, busts a move despite being corny with those corny sweaters with the corny diamonds on them. “Gargoyle,” I believe they’re called.
That would all happen. Of course it would. But I don’t want to switch to REO Speedwagon. I am a Monkees man, through and through. I can feel it in my blood. I can also feel it in my skin, due to my tattoo that reads, “I am a Monkees man, through and through.” It’s in Japanese, though, cause I’m deep. (Recently, a Japanese man told me that there was probably an error on the tattoo artist’s part, since my tattoo actually translates to, “I fuck monkeys, through and through.” )
There remains nothing to be said to you. My voyage is over, and perhaps I will set sail on a new quest, a new treasure. I can only fade into the mist now. Before I go, please just consider the following lines of poetry:
We go wherever we want to
Do what we like to do
We’ve got no time to get restless
There’s always something new
Hey hey we’re the Monkees!
At first, there is confusion. Who is this? Where are we? These people are going wherever, they are doing whatever, who do they think they are? Is there any rhyme or reason? Is there any law and order? These people are detriments to society, you think to yourself. But then - surprise! It’s the Monkees, who we met in the previous verse!