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Wednesday, July 09, 2003


whitechocolatespacegg in Monrovia Dept.

I get the most interesting e-mail. Two days in a row! What are the odds?

From: "Charles Taylor" []
To: "Bunsen" []

By now you've probably heard that your President has asked me to step down as President of Liberia and leave the country to hopefully facilitate the end of this civil war. I'd already decided that I was going to leave. I don't need the great Mr. Bush nagging me, so I'm headed to Nigeria, where they've offered me asylum.

I was packing my bags when I noticed that one of my handlers had left the new Liz Phair CD by my Sony Discman. I enjoy listening to music while I pack, so I put on the album as I hung some suits in my poached ivory steamer trunk and thought about my life away from my country.

And now I must tell you that I am not leaving Liberia until I figure out exactly what Ms. Phair is trying to accomplish on this new record by hiring the red-hot hitmaking producers du jour, The Matrix (obviously The Neptunes were unavailable), to seemingly fashion herself into an Avril Lavigne that teenagers' fathers everywhere can desire carnally without feeling guilty.

On some level I find this very appealing since I was indeed quite shamefully desiring to possess the Lavigne girl bodily, but Ms. Phair is ruining her credibility with fans of indie rock like myself. What happened to the whip-smart riot grrl who so sexily and expertly deconstructed the cock-rock mystique of the Rolling Stones on Exile in Guyville? That album was the soundtrack of my sexual awakening and the unofficial anthem of the revolution of 1989. I can say without reservation that my forces could not have triumphed over the dictator Samuel Doe if it were not for "Fuck and Run's" brutal honesty and introspective dissection of the emptiness of one-night stands. Sir, I have been there and so have you.

Please do not misunderstand; it's difficult to begrudge Ms. Phair's partaking of the rock star harvest she enabled for the likes of the edgeless Alanis Morrissette and Sheryl Crow. She is entitled to this type of success. But her references to "hot white cum" and seducing boys are weak nods to her earlier, vital material and out of place in the sanitized radio-friendly candy-and-rainbows pop she's trying to sell to the TRL set (I will admit to some MTV watching). In my humble opinion, soccer moms and semen do not make an appetizing pairing.

Until Ms. Phair reconciles this need for commercial success with her earlier honesty and intelligence, I cannot in good conscience leave Liberia. Perhaps there will be an edgier release of B-sides in the near future that will allow peace to return to my land. Perhaps a private performance of "Supernova" can be arranged in the interim.

Kindly inform your venerable President Bush of my position on this matter.

Yours in peace,
Charles Taylor

About this site

This is the internet home of Mark Lisanti, a Los Angeles writer sometimes known as Bunsen. He is the founding editor of Defamer, a weblog about Hollywood, where he now serves in the nebulous capacity of "editor-at-large."
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