[internetworkers] "This Land is Your Land"
cmccarthy1 at nc.rr.com
Sun Jul 25 10:07:11 EDT 2004
For anyone who has not seen this yet, here it is
Political version of 'This Land is Your Land' is a hit with liberals,
By Stephen Kiehl
The Baltimore Sun
July 24, 2004
In a summer that has seen politics turn nasty and profane -- from Whoopi
Goldberg's scatological jokes at a fund-raiser about President Bush to Vice
President Dick Cheney's vulgar outburst on the Senate floor -- an overheated
nation has finally found relief, courtesy of a 60-year-old Woody Guthrie
tune updated for today.
The song is "This Land Is Your Land," a left-leaning vision of America that
evokes the golden valleys of California and the food lines of the
Depression. But the song has been rewritten to trade those earnest couplets
from the Dust Bowl's poet laureate for schoolyard insults -- Botox-user!
Dumb ass! -- sung in the voices of the sparring presidential candidates.
The parody was written by Evan and Gregg Spiridellis, brothers and business
partners who run a small animation studio out of a warehouse in Santa
Monica, Calif. They posted their three-minute video of the song on their Web
site, jibjab.com, and it quickly resonated with Americans of all political
The video opens with Bush standing in front of a map of the country
("Mass-uh-chew-sits" he writes over Sen. John F. Kerry's home state) and
singing: "I'm a Texas tiger/You're a liberal wiener/I'm a great
crusader/You're a Herman Munster/This land will surely vote for me."
Cut to Kerry, scrawling calculus equations on a chalkboard while Bush,
nearby, adds 9+3 (and gets 14). Later, Kerry sings, "You can't say
nuclear/That really scares me/Sometimes a brain can come in quite handy/But
it's not gonna help you because I won three Purple Hearts/This land will
surely vote for me."
Only after production work began on the film did the brothers learn that
Kerry had been playing Guthrie's song at fund-raisers. Gregg Spiridellis
said, "Seeing him strumming with Bon Jovi, raising millions of dollars
singing 'This Land Is Your Land,' that's kind of funny."
The brothers Spiridellis make their money doing animation for ads for major
corporate clients including Sony, Revlon and Disney. In their free time,
they make political cartoons because they like to and they think it will
help promote their company. Their last short film, "Ahnuld for Governor,"
was shown at the Sundance Film Festival. (Schwarzenegger makes a cameo in
the 'This Land' film, as does Bill Clinton, in a hilarious bit with a
But nothing they've done has hit a nerve like "This Land." It was posted on
their site July 9 and had 5 million visitors in its first week. They stopped
counting after that because their server couldn't handle the load. They've
since switched to a larger server, and many millions more have seen it.
"We do these things as a labor of love," Evan Spiridellis, 30, said in a
phone interview this week. He thinks the appeal stems from the even-handed
approach of the film -- Bush and Kerry get equal time and are equally
"It pretty much cuts down the middle, and there's something in there for
everyone to laugh at," he said.
The brothers won't say who they support in the election, and it's impossible
to tell from their cartoon -- probably a good thing, given their big-name
clients. They're working on an animated movie for Disney called "Grumpy
Santa," based on their children's book of the same name, though work has
certainly slowed with the crush of responses to "This Land."
They've received more than 25,000 e-mails, almost entirely supportive and
grateful, and appeared on national television in recent days. Evan said he
got a call this week from his mother-in-law in Holland, saying the film was
on the news there, complete with Dutch subtitles. They also got a hundred
dollar bill in the mail from an anonymous donor.
It's not at all what they expected.
"We're just two guys in a warehouse in Santa Monica," Gregg said.
He thinks part of the film's success is the levity it provides in a campaign
that is certain to get nastier as November approaches. As one fan posted on
their site, "With months to go in the campaign, I needed something like this
to put it all into perspective."
The film ends with Bush and Kerry trading insults.
Bush begins, "You're a liberal sissy."
Kerry: "You're a right-wing nut job."
Bush: "You're a pinko commie."
Kerry: "You're dumb as a doorknob."
But then the candidates put their arms around each other in a spirit of
camaraderie we're certain not to see this side of Nov. 2, and they sing
together, "This land belongs, this land belongs, this land belongs to you
Colleen McCarthy, BSEE, MBA, PMP
Office of the Governor
State Department of Information Technology Services
colleen.mccarthy at ncmail.net
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Size: 3072 bytes
Desc: not available
Url : http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/internetworkers/attachments/20040725/414434b6/attachment.bin
More information about the InterNetWorkers