Saturday, November 9, 2013

An Open Letter to John Cougar Mellencamp

Dear John Cougar,

In this day and age, as politicians, pundits, and other politically minded animals cast aspersions on various political, and ethnic groups, blaming anyone and everyone for the decline of our once proud nation (America) I have, after much research, come to the conclusion that you are truly to blame. 

As you can see from graph 1.1, a clear causal link exists between the release of your song in 1982 and the decline of American exceptionalism.  Despite the folksy message of your lyrics, Jack and Diane, clearly, were not doing the best they can (could).  All they did was fool around!  Jackie laid all his eggs in the farfetched basket of becoming a football star, and poor Diane seemed to have no ambitions other than being a debutante in the backseat of Jack’s car.  (What does that even mean, by the way?  Is that sexual?   If so, I’m offended!)

Rather than devoting their lives to the betterment of their society, Jack and Diane chose only to indulge their most selfish and prurient instincts and by glorifying it through song, You, Mr. Cougar Mellencamp, encouraged others to do so as well, paving the way for every selfish, entitled recording artist(and impressionable listener) that came after you.  The negative impact on our society is self-evident and incalculable.  I calculate it to be at least a gajillion. 

I only wish you could go back in time to record and release a hit song in which Jack and Diane apply themselves toward the betterment of their fellow man and embrace the responsibility that comes with citizenship.  Alas, time travel is not yet possible, perhaps because too many of Jack and Diane’s ilk never bothered to open a science textbook. 

The least you can do now is to write a follow-up in which you attempt to mitigate the damage you have caused.  Perhaps you can inspire those people still in a leadership position, or in nursing homes, to take responsibility for their actions, and to try and repair some of the damage you and they have caused.

I hope you don’t mind, but  I have taken the opportunity to draw up some sample lyrics, set to the original tune, that I hope will inspire you.

“Little ditty about Jack and Diane.

Two older Americans who are responsible for destroying the homeland.

Jackie wanted to be a football star,

when he really should have devoted his time to rebuilding America’s infrastructure

Jackie said, ‘Hey Diane, let’s run off to the city,’

He then did so, becoming an investment banker whose predatory lending practices, along with reckless speculation in the derivatives market, led directly to the destruction of the housing market.

Oh yeah, Life goes on, long after after I destroyed America with my previous song.”

Okay so the rhyme scheme is a little iffy, but if you don’t like that song, I can offer you another version that exists primarily to make fun of your aging fan base.  Take a listen:

“Little ditty, ‘bout Jack and Diane

two older Americans doing the best they can.

Jackie wants to eat an oatmeal bar.

Diane has a little trouble driving her car.

Jackie says, ‘Hey Diane, let’s run out behind the shade tree.’

Diane says, “Why don’t you take that hussy you met at the Tasty Freeze.’

I hope these songs will, in some small way, resonate with you and that you will finally admit that your music is what’s wrong with society, and that you will then record a new song using my lyrics and then split the royalties with me.  It’s the least you could do.  You owe it to your country.


Sally “Panther” Putterman

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