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Donkey Kong Tag

donkeykong frontThis week’s Way Out Wednesday brings you that video game icon, Donkey Kong. This album gets credit for trying to give Donkey Kong a little backstory (as improbable as at might be). Interspersed through the story are some songs. We’ll feature some of the songs here, and I’ll do my best to fill you in on the story.

Here’s a catchy (and very ’80s) theme for DK himself. One note about the song: I don’t know whyit speeds up like that. The record isn’t warped (although some of the people involved with the record might be). I think it’s supposed to remind you of when the game gets faster and faster. Or the original version was warped when it was recorded and transferred to the record in the same condition. This is already more time than I’ve spent in years worrying about Donkey Kong.

Donkey Kong Theme

The story opens with the circus coming to town with Donkey Kong as one of its attractions. He used to be part of the zoo, until the zoo closed down and he was sold to the circus. The circus truck passes by the old site of the zoo, now torn down. DK goes there, reminisces, and escapes from the circus truck to head to the construction site. This goes into a song called “The Climber,” which really has nothing whatsoever to do with DK himself. It could just as easily have been a song about Spider-Man.

Jon: What were your impressions of Ted & the Kennedys? He looked pretty good, considering.

Ted: He did a very good job. Kennedy finished probably his last political speech, and it was nice to hear and see him look so vibrant.

Jon: If, as you say, this was Ted’s last political speech, it was certainly high on emotion…if utterly devoid of substance. It was as though he were running purely on motor memory…how to give a rollicking speech full of Kennedy-esque rhetoric, without actually saying something. I found it interesting to hear him speak within 24 hours of reading news reports of Margaret Thatcher’s rapidly advancing dementia. An era is ending, a generation of leaders is falling by the wayside–and I don’t (merely) mean to be snarky when I note that John McCain is only four years younger than Ted, seven years younger than Thatcher. Chris Matthews put it succinctly: “We have watched a Kennedy grow old.”

Ted: He’s a guy who represents the last of the liberals who have attracted so much ire from the Right. Kennedy’s brand of liberalism (characterized by the term “Big Government”) is one that became increasingly marginalized by both the Right and the DLC since the ’80s. To end up on the stage talking about Obama — whom he supported in the primaries — was a nice passing of the torch to a candidate who’s not a Kennedy liberal or a Clinton/DLC type.

Jon: Interesting perspective you have–though I actually think Obama is more of a Kennedy liberal than he would want to admit to the nation in general.

Ted: I don’t really see the same kind of “Big Government” stuff coming from Obama, but…

Jon: It was fascinating watching the choreography of Ted Kennedy’s appearance play out. Beforehand, Caroline Kennedy, John Kerry and others claimed they didn’t know whether Ted would speak at all, and on MSNBC Olbermann and Matthews seemed not to know either. After allowing that suspense to build, only afterward did Olbermann, without a hint of apology or irony, begin his analysis with, “They told us that speech would be four minutes long”–making clear that they knew the speech would be happening all along. I wonder if Fox made the same effort to build suspense for an audience full of Kennedy-haters; heck, I wonder if Fox showed Ted’s speech without contemporaneous heckling from Hannity. Maybe a Fox viewer can let us know…