|The fabulous George Washington Bridge (wikimedia image)|
I have been fascinated all along by the power of a simple one-sentence email. One sentence! "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee." I hope the email is archived somewhere. For a fee, maybe we could have it forwarded to us.
So simple was the emailed statement, I saw potential for a song "hook." I wrote a song in which the statement, repeated, makes up the whole chorus. I invite you to click on the YouTube link below to give a listen. I had the song recorded in Nashville TN, home of my favorite music people.
You might want to describe my song as "quirky." It is definitely satirical. Maybe a better word would be "pathos." "Satire" indicates the words aren't to be taken at face value. Frankly, the words do ring with authenticity. Truth can be stranger than fiction. There's a comic effect even with the facts laid bare. What a tangled web we weave.
Why are politicians guilty of such excesses? Chris Christie had a clear path to New Jersey's governorship. Scorched-earth hardly seemed necessary. Sometimes, politicians who are in the driver's seat are the worst for chutzpah and aggressiveness. It must say something about human nature. The more power we have, the more we seem to crave for it.
Think of the title of my song: "Bridgegate." Where did the "gate" come from? You millennials might need a little primer. It's kind of embarrassing to share. "Watergate" was "my" scandal in terms of being the scandal of "my" generation. Not only did it reflect chutzpah, it was incredibly stupid. The movie "All the President's Men" shows up on cable TV occasionally. Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman played the newspaper reporters. Watergate was defined in part by the role of newspaper reporters. Print media had its primacy then.
Media analyst Paul Gillin has argued that Watergate was the worst thing to ever happen to journalism. Gillin observes that Watergate resulted in reporters/writers feeling they ought to be celebrities. My own approach to the field may have been influenced by this.
Today, of course, writing is hardly a specialty anymore. We're all "writers." Watergate would have unfolded through the world wide web, probably much quicker. Revelations about the Viet Nam war would have unfolded quicker too. All that would have been a blessing. War protesters had to disrupt normal life. Today they could just sit down and type.
The Viet Nam war made many of us ashamed to be Americans. By comparison, Bridgegate seems hardly a blip on the radar screen. It's mere pathos - fodder for my songwriting avocation. The Port Authority closed down two of the three access lanes connecting Fort Lee NJ to the George Washington Bridge. You can imagine the commuter delays.
The whole thing was payback directed at Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich. I refer to the mayor as "the hero" in my song. His sin was to be a Democrat. He felt he ought to endorse his party's nominee, Barbara Buono. Yes, I'm able to work Buono's name into my song. She's an attractive and vivacious woman.
Democrats these days are defensive, everywhere. That will change. That was how the Founders intended it.
Bridget Kelly was the person who sent the notorious email, arguably the most famous email ever. "Time for some traffic problems." The email recipient was David Wildstein.
Governor Chris Christie has pleaded no knowledge of the shenanigans. I don't hold back making light of Christie's physique in my song. I realize this is politically incorrect. It's just a song - parody, pathos, whatever. It's a "topical" song. Anytime I write a topical song, I feel there's potential for a "viral" following. No guarantee, just potential. And, what would this gain for me? Well, fulfillment I suppose.
Journalists have the raw material of words. I have long been a journalist. Now I'm seeking to parlay that into music. Whatever happens, it's fun.