In which I make a punk rock mix tape to round up the top news of summer ’11

Blogger’s note: Due to a severely slow Internet connection the likes of which I haven’t seen since oh, say, 1996, this week’s post is up a few minutes late and the actual mixtape itself is not yet created and linked to the blog.  Feel free to throw the songs together yourself if the wait is just killing you and you can’t wait a day or two more for it!

Who needs the equinox to tell us the summer’s over?

It’s after Labor Day, the temperature dropped from 87 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit in DC in a day, and traffic was unexplainably horrible as it always is at the start of September with the older generations grudgingly back at work and youngings ready to sleep through first period and forgetting to study for exams.

Yup, the cycle of life continues.

With the symbolic end of summer come and gone, and autumn already saying “hey guys, what’s up! Remember cold?” now is surely the best time to do a summer news round-up.  Punk rock style.

So I present to you, dear reader, the Punk Rock Summer ’11 News Mix Tape.

1. WEINERGATE (5/29)

The event: Rep. Anthony Weiner tweeted some questionable photos of his unmentionables, presumably accidentally, to the entire world.  He vehemently denied it at first, saying his account was hacked.  He pointed out the euphemism that connected his last name to the images. But then Weiner came clean about his, well, weiner.  What a way to kick off the summer, huh?

The song: Suburban Legends “This Cherry” I mean, I think you get it.

2. WASHINGTON POST REPORTER COMES OUT AS ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT (6/22)

The event: Jose Antonio Vargas is an award-winning former Washington Post reporter who wrote an article that was published in New York Times Magazine to reveal to the world that he’s an undocumented worker in the United States.  He sparked a major controversy in the illegal immigration battle, but as far as I can tell was never deported and is still in the country as I type this.

The song: The Menzingers “Home Outgrown” Tones of feeling like a stranger in a place you thought you knew, not knowing where home is or if one exists, yada yada yada.

3. NEW YORK PASSES GAY MARRIAGE BILL (6/24)

The event: Passing the bill into law made NY the largest state to legalize same-sex marriage.  A month later, holy matrimony kicked in and celebrations ensued across the state.  With that, however, came the obligatory opposition groups promising to overturn the law.

The song: The Queers “Today I Fell in Love” Because awww.  And because their band name is, coincidentally, pretty fitting.  Almost went with a Weakerthans song, but this is way more appropriate.  And more punk rock.

4. ROD BLAGOJEVICH FOUND GUILTY OF TRYING TO SELL OBAMA’S SENATE SEAT (6/27)

The event: This is the event that feels like it dragged on the longest, since it started way before summer 2011 did.  Rod and his helmet hair were found guilty of lots of corruption and faced a hefty prison sentence.  And Rod’s response to the verdict? “I, frankly, am stunned,” he reportedly told the Chicago Tribune.

The song: Against Me! “Walking is Still Honest” Because irony.  And because Rod must’ve felt pretty defeated after that trial.

5. MARK HALPERIN CALLS OBAMA ‘A DICK’ ON LIVE TV (6/30)

The event: Halperin wasn’t too happy with how President Obama handled a press briefing about the debt ceiling deadline, so he decided to air his views on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” for the world to hear.  His view was that Mr. President acted like “kind of a dick” during the presser.  He promptly apologized and was suspended.

The song: Big D and the Kids Table “We All Have to Burn Something” This seems to have been Marky’s breaking point; his figurative burning down of the house that was his status as a regular MSNBC contributor.  Hope it made him feel better!

6. FAIRFAX COUNTY BUTT SLASHER (continually through June and July)

The event: This wasn’t so much of a national or world event, so for your kids not in the DC area, one of the top local stories of summer ’11 was a guy going around stores in northern Virginia and slashing women on their butts.  At least one of them thought she had ran into a hanger that scratched her, but it turned out to be a guy with a weird serial habit of getting all stabby up on some ladies’ backsides.  As far as I know, he’s still at large.  So watch your bums, NoVa gals.

The song: The Flaming Tsunamis “If You Really Love Me” Because it’s as weird to ask someone you love if you can eat their brains as  it is to make a regular event out of slashing women’s buttocks.

7. NEWS OF THE WORLD PHONE HACKING SCANDAL (7/4)

The event: In England, The Guardian on the US Independence Day alleged that rival paper News of the World had hacked into the cell phone voicemail of a murdered school girl and deleted messages.  Allegations of corruption sort of spiraled all over the place from every side after that and the paper soon shut down.

The song: Dillinger Four “Portrait of the Artist as a Fucking Asshole” Excuse the language.  Listener discretion advised.  But seriously dudes, don’t hack into anyone’s voicemail next time.

8. HEATWAVE (7/18-7/24ish)

The event: It happens every summer!  But the weather is always a story because people love to talk about it, especially when Congress is no longer in session and it’s been a full three weeks since a Democratic pundit has called the President “a dick” on live TV.  And, you know, it was really hot.

The song: The Bouncing Souls “It’s Not the Heat, It’s the Humanity” It’s also an excuse to throw one of my favorite Souls songs in there.  Interesting side note: I considered using Souls songs for two other tracks on this punk rock summer news mix tape.  Fun game: Try to guess which ones!

9. RAISING THE DEBT CEILING / US CREDIT RATING DOWNGRADE (8/2, 8/6)

The event: The debate over whether to raise the debt ceiling dominated the news for at least a solid two months of the summer, despite however many dozens of times it’s been raised in the past.  It had to be an argument filled with spewing rhetoric, because that’s what Congress does and it’s how congresspeople get their names in the paper.  The Tea Party should be happy with itself over this one, because getting into a frenzy about every single dollar spent by the federal government helped the movement and the story make news.  In the end, the debt ceiling was raised because it had to be and always is.  Four days later, S&P downgraded the country’s credit rating from AAA to AA+, which essentially means nothing.  A few weeks later, the east coast is faced with two natural disasters and S&P downgrade jokes about earthquakes and hurricanes ensue.

The song: The Dopamines “June 4th” The date doesn’t correspond to the summer dates, but the theme behind the song sure gets the money woes.

10. ENGLAND RIOTS (8/6-8/10)

The event: A peaceful protest in response to the death of a man who was shot down by police quickly escalated to violence by masses who seemed bent on causing destruction and damage and no longer related at all to the original protest or even cared what sparked the madness.  Damage was estimated in the several millions of pounds (which is even higher in US dollars), many were injured, and destruction was widespread.

The song: Rancid “I Wanna Riot” Personally, I don’t wanna riot.  But a lot of these hooligans in England obviously did.

11. THE 2012 GOP PRESIDENTIAL FIELD (all summer and onwards into 2012, but particularly the Iowa debate on 8/11)

The event: I’m not even really sure if the party is trying.  Republicans don’t have a serious candidate for the presidency in 2012 yet, and while some in the party have candidates they strongly support, the general consensus is trouble for the GOP.  The bright side is the circus of face-palm-inducing gaffes that give the media fun fodder for slow news days.

The song: Against All Authority “In on Your Joke” The entire Republican presidential field right now is a joke, so yeah.  Plus it’s AAA so the lyrics make sense politically, too.

12. EAST COAST EARTHQUAKE (8/23)

The event: The horrifying experience I wrote about in my last blog entry.  EEEARRRTTTTTHHHHQQUUUUAAAAAAKKKEEEEE!!!

The song: Harold’s Trousers “Calvin’s Klein” Though the first thought keeps going to the Carole King song “I Feel the Earth Move,” which is incredibly annoying, Harold’s Trousers is perfectly chaotic earthquake music.

13. HURRICANE IRENE (8/28)

The event: It was a hurricane.  In more detail, it was a hurricane that destroyed North Carolina and Vermont, barely scraped DC, and caused some flooding and damage but was mostly a lot of hype in New York. Got to stay inside for two days watching a lot of CNN, local NBC4, and Dexter while eating a lot of bagels, so can’t really say whether it was a good or bad way to spend a weekend.

The song: Bomb the Music Industry! “Hurricane Waves” It’s just too perfect.  End of summer album with an accurate end of summer song.  As I tweeted when the hurricane was first becoming an issue, this is my song of choice for the hurricane an infinite number of times over everyone thinking they were hilarious for coming up with “Come on Irene.”

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    • Winer
    • September 8th, 2011

    Good news mix. Others: Casey Anthony, space shuttles

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