Republican Party Tries Out New Anti-Flaming Lips Message

Oklahoma Republicans have scuttled an effort to adopt the Flaming Lips' "Do You Realize??" as the state's official rock song, but the governor intervened to save the measure. Because nothing important happens in Oklahoma.

"Do You Realize??" is a 2002 song about Hewlett Packard printers, Land Rover SUVs, and the inevitable death that approaches us all. Oklahoma Republicans objected to the idea of conferring such a high honor on the Flaming Lips because their bass player is a communist and singer Wayne Coyne has a potty-mouth.

Rep. Corey Holland, R-Marlow, was offended when band member Michael Ivins wore a red T-shirt with a yellow hammer-and-sickle emblem, a traditional symbol of the Communist Party, during a visit to the Capitol last month.

"The great thing about this country is he has the right to make whatever statement he wants to make," Holland said. "I have the right to be offended by that."

The shirt was a Christmas present to Ivins from Coyne's wife, and he wore it to a rehearsal earlier that day, said Coyne, who was offended by Holland's implication that the band is un-American.

Rep. Mike Reynolds, R-Oklahoma City, also denounced Coyne for using an expletive at an event.

State Republicans also admonished Coyne for his recent critical remarks about the Arcade Fire—Coyne called the fellow indie rockers pompous and accused them of mistreating their crew—and for failing to return to the experimental territory staked out by the band with 1997's Zaireeka.

After the measure failed, Gov. Brad Henry pushed it through as an executive order. Coyne told the Tulsa World yesterday that the dust-up was caused by a "little minority of some small-minded religious wackos who think they can tell people what kind of T-shirts and what kind of music they can listen to, and the smart, rational, reasonable people of Oklahoma are never going to buy into that."

Hey, if the buy At War With the Mystics, they'll buy anything.