15 April 2011

who did it? politicians' speeches and Rick Astley song

you've seen the awesome display of cooperation in Oregon's state legislature. i'm talking about the video in which a number of Oregon lawmakers agreed to insert pieces of Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" lyrics into their actual speeches, as they spoke in front of their colleagues during actual legislative sessions.

oftentimes, people forget how the process is more rewarding than a result or outcome. rarely do we see politicians who have a sense of humour, let alone any who would agree to attempt something like this. what a way to show bipartisan cooperation! only music, even bad music, reaches across the aisle...or at least most of them.

i imagine most 'serious lawmakers' would simply dismiss a similar project as a frivolous waste of time...or maybe i'm too quick to assume that congresspeople are all business and no human. then again, how come the guy responsible for coming up with this idea only has 516 'Likes' on Facebook as of midnight on April 16th 2011?

according to NPR, state representative Jefferson Smith (OR-D) was behind this true act of congress. Smith represents Oregon's 47th District. a LegislativeStudyGrp account is credited for uploading the rickroll to YouTube. [vks opinion - however, isn't a legislative study group really just any number of legislators who (ideally) gather, present and consider facts or statistics with the goal of providing accurate information to its members?] the only official 'Legislative Study Group' online seems to be a state caucus out of Texas.

Oregon's House of Representatives has 30 Democrats and 30 Republicans. this carefully planned and crafted video took not only Smith's creativity, but also the concerted effort of many congressional aides, in addition to the state representatives who agreed to participate. filming took place over days, but no public money was used in the effort. it took the work of volunteers to produce the final edit in time for release on April Fool's Day. listen to the story behind how it all came together.

i don't know if it's a good or bad thing, but apparently all the bills presented on the legislative floor which contained the song lyrics passed. unfortunately, i didn't have the time to compare the congressmen/congresswomen in the video with their photos, but i'd love to give props to the men and women who took part. if you know the names of any of the participants, please email or leave a comment. thanks!

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