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The top Oscar song was off-key to me

Tuesday, March 7, 2006

I was born in 1947. The Oscar for Best Song that year was "Zip-A-Dee-Do-

Dah." Now, I admit that little musical memory was just a feel good, whimsical tune but the truth is, many of us can still at least hum along with it on those rare occasions when we might hear it. Kids lucky enough to be born in 2006 can look back at the ever-popular "Hard Out Here For A Pimp" as the song that captured the top Hollywood title this year.

My how we have changed. And let me tell you right up front, I don't think for one minute we've changed for the better.

I watched in amazement as this hip-hop song captured the top musical prize on Sunday night. It illustrates and also verifies how out-of-touch the Hollywood elite are with the rest of America. But then I looked at the top selling CDs today and realized that hip-hop and the urban culture have taken over the music scene. Maybe I'm wrong and Hollywood is right. And if that's truly the case, then it's time for me to exit stage right and retire to that great eight-track in the sky.

I tried to look up the lyrics of this year's top movie song. I put the title in my Internet search engine and found 6.2 million references to the word "pimp." That should have been my first clue. I read where the Academy Awards producers demanded a special rehearsal of the tune to assure that the F-

word and the S-word were omitted from the national airing on Sunday night.

If this is the direction of our culture and our entertainment community, then I've been fighting a losing battle for years now. I'm either forced to accept this new sick culture or find a small ranch in Idaho and live my remaining days lamenting what once was.

I listened to each nominated song Sunday night during the Academy Awards. I heard some beautiful melodies and glorious lyrics. The "Pimp" song was not among my favorites. But when the winner was announced, it became a moment of true understanding on my part. It was a honest-to-God epiphany.

My attitudes developed over 58 years were obviously out-of-step with the majority of society. Whatever small battles I have waged in my lifetime to address the developing gaps in American culture were wasted effort. I am more convinced today than ever before that white, middle-class working America has lost the cultural war. I pray for the future of my granddaughter and yet I would not change places with her for all the tea in China.



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Michael Jensen
Michael Jensen