“Happy” Inspires Revolution
by Phillipa Diamond
As expected by record label executives and radio station owners, musician Pharrell William’s recent release “Happy” has given Americans the pep-in-their-step they needed to begin addressing structural forces that keep them down.
“People aren’t able to challenge capitalism as a force hell-bent on keeping them feeling inadequate until they feel good about themselves first,” said Columbia Records Executive Vice President Joel Klaiman. “By putting out this song, we at Columbia are just doing our part to continue to bring power to the people.”
And Klaiman’s efforts are succeeding in Springfield. Local WalMart part-timer Jim Blime appreciates what “Happy” has brought to his life. “After listening to the song, I just wanted to quit my sucky job and spend some time at the strip club with my friends. I mean, I deserve to be happy, right?” stated Jim Blime. “But then I decided to smash patriarchy.”
“That song makes me dance!” said waitress Jane McPerson. “It made me feel so good that I knew I should snatch up that pair of shoes I had been looking at in the shop window. They cost more than my monthly rent, but I knew I could ring my credit card up to the limit Sex in the City style and things would still turn out all right. And knowing this gave me the go-ahead to start union organizing and to begin dismantling institutional racism at my workplace.”
“The last time I felt like this was in the late eighties when that Bobby McFerrin song was huge,” said Juan Valdez, as he popped the collar of his pink polo shirt. “I was unemployed then, too. But boy if that song wasn’t similarly inspiring. I’ve pretty much forget about how me and my neighbors have lost our jobs and houses and kids in the war while CEOs’ and bankers’ profits soar.”
When told that his comments rhymed and would make for a great song, Mr. Valdez replied: “Ha! You know what rhymes better? ‘Bring me down, Can’t nothing bring me down!’” He then excused himself to get to a community meeting organizing around campaign finance reform.
Programmer Chris Cross also felt moved by the song. “It’s like Pharrell sings: ‘I’m a hot air balloon that could go to space, with the air, like I don’t care baby by the way.’ I don’t really know what that first part means,” he said, “but the ‘I don’t care’ part I could really relate to. That’s exactly why I joined the effort in my town to oppose our tax dollars going to fund the prison-military industry, and to question why corporations getting tax breaks are able to poison American waterways, air, and lands. And it’s why I stocked up on plaid and paisley chinos for spring!”
Chuck D was not available for comment.