The Worst Joke Ever

September 3, 2007

When I started this project, I figured this one would be easy —  “The Worst Joke Ever? More like “The Worst R.E.M. Song Ever,” ha ha! — but I’ve decided that approach is lazy, unfair, and actually kinda untrue. If I had to isolate the single worst song to appear on an official R.E.M. album, my pick as of right now is “Make It All OK.”  Don’t get me wrong, though. The song is undoubtedly a total dud, but it’s not embarrassing and misguided, just sort of clumsy and half-baked. It mainly fails because the band is simultaneously trying waaaaay too hard, and not at all. Michael Stipe’s words and vocals are awkward and unflattering, and even when the tune lifts up a bit, the track feels tepid and limp. Quite simply, it sounds like an unfinished demo slapped in the middle of a proper record, rather than relegated to the b-side of a single as it surely would’ve been in the old days.

100 Responses to “The Worst Joke Ever”

  1. ozon Says:

    I don’t know, this has always been the highlight of Around the Sun to me (which isn’t saying a lot of course). I love the guitars on the chorus and the way it’s almost constructed like a classical piece.

    The lyrics are also at least interesting, except for the “I never” bit which sounds like a placeholder.

  2. maclure Says:

    Hurrah, the Worst Joke Ever! Probably the worst song on ATS in my opinion – and, am I the only one who thinks Make it all OK, is, well, OK?

    I’ve just looked at the lyrics and I suppose they could’ve been quite good with different music. But a song about a bad joke, whose first chorus ends “Don’t bore me” with musical accompaniment that fits the lyrical content just a bit TOO well? It might be smart but it’s just not interesting.

  3. Paul Alferink Says:

    I had been waiting a long time to say “Worst joke ever? More like worst song ever!” You ruined a lovely labor day weekend.

    I got this album for Christmas, mostly because my wife says she never knows what to get me. So I purposely held off buying it so that her family would have something to buy me. On the way home from here parents, I listened to the album on the way home. I had heard Leaving New York a bit, and liked it, although didn’t love it, so the album started well enough. Electron Blue was pleasant enough. Then I started not really getting it. Tuning out large portion. Finally, as it got to this song, I said “Screw this!” and put on the radio. Kind of a shame, as the next two song are fairly good. . .

    Worst Lyrics:
    I don’t know what I’ve done, but it doesn’t feel right!

    That’s not even a joke, guy!

  4. ScottMalobisky Says:

    the best part of TWJE is , the obvious response of the listener of, what does he mean , “The worst joke ever ?”..What exactly IS the worst joke ever being referenced (?) here ; many of you know my thoughts on the subject (though the lyrics don’t exactly point in that direction)..I ‘ll give you a clue :it starts with a C and Nietzche also recognized it for the totally warped anti-human disease that it is.

  5. xman Says:

    regarding that nietzche comment, i would argue that nietzchism when applied to the socio-political context is far more damaging than the church. look at hitler. or stalin. or mao. people have to realize that when individuals are separated from their spiritual nature to indulge in existentialism/materialism/scientism, they are prone to surrender humanity. not saying the church is innocent, but no institution or school of thought is, as all are just forms of control.

    ya, the song’s a boring dud basically. i like playing the intro and verse on guitar, but the words are more

  6. jim jos Says:

    I believe someone once told me the worst joke ever, it involved a 35 year old man who still believed in leprechauns.

    you know, the lyrics are not terrible on this one, Just as Stipe saw the Springer show and said “I’ll write a song about this talk show thing” he seems to say here “I will write a song about telling a joke.” and thats what he does.

    I think that this is a very misunderstood political song. In 2004, many people were gung ho about the war
    in Iraq, and there is R.E.M. telling people that the type of rhetoric the government was spitting was the same “joke” they had been telling since 1954 (Vietnam’s independence from France and turning communist).
    “You see there’s this feeling I have heard this one before” has turned, for many, to be all to true with the relationship of Iraq and Vietnam.

    The chorus would have worked better, if they would have incorporated that final line of the song after the first line of the chorus (taking out I never and the life story part). The “Now I’m floating” verse could be scrapped. It’s half done, and overproduced, like most of the album.

    A lot of good ideas on this one, I don’t hate it anymore, once I “got it”.

  7. xman Says:

    oops..blah blah blah the lyrics are more forced than any song i’ve EVER heard

  8. Paul Alferink Says:

    The worst REM song of all time anywhere would be “Organ Song”

  9. Kirsten Says:

    Wow, I really like this one. But, I like a lot of ATS. I believe Jimjos got it right on the context of the song, but I’ve always taken it on a more personal level. The worst joke ever – my life. And the way he emphasizes the word “joke” with such contemptment and anger. Once again, it’s the tone and feeling in Michael’s voice that lifts the song to a higher standard.

    Oh, and I love my burglar T-Shirt!

  10. xman Says:

    worst r.e.m. song ever= the outsiders, by a far far stretch. by like a million trillion miles times infinity.
    my god, what a disappointing album.

  11. jim jos Says:

    “oops..blah blah blah the lyrics are more forced than any song i’ve EVER heard”

    Bullshit! They’re not that bad, or you need to listen to more music! Give me any great band/artist who has more than a couple discs under their belt and I’ll give you a couple of crappy songs.

    Even on Stipe’s worst day his lyrics are better than many others at their best. This isn’t “My Humps” for chrisakes.

  12. ScottMalobisky Says:

    Yeah , xman , but Nietzcheism doesn’t CLAIM to be all about all-consuming love and then throw you in hell for all eternity if you fail to worship me right. That’s the problem . the HORRENDOUS joke. It would be hilarious if it had’nt done so much irreparable damage …Nietzcheism may have it’s drawbacks , sure , but the KEY is that it doesn’t CLAIM to have all the answers only to be totally hypocritical .look at Stalin, Hitler , Mao, ??!!, Come on ,Dude , look at the millions who aren’t Stalin , Hitler, or Mao..Blaming those three’s behavior on Nietzcheism is like saying spoons made Rosie O’Donnell fat.

  13. Kirsten Says:

    Oh-oh, I love The Outsiders too.

  14. ScottMalobisky Says:

    and I never said that people should be seperated from their spiritual nature , they should be seperated far far away from religion but certainly not their spiritual nature

  15. ScottMalobisky Says:

    I think you’re right jimjos , that explains it , the 1954 reference, now I get it

  16. Kirsten Says:

    No more religion?
    Half as many wars.
    Half as many murders.
    Half as much hatred.

  17. Paul Alferink Says:

    Even on Stipe’s worst day his lyrics are better than many others at their best. This isn’t “My Humps” for chrisakes.

    “What the hell does that mean?”

    “No one knows, it’s PROVOCATIVE!”

  18. I think you are probably right about “Organ Song”… yet, I have to say, I absolutely LOVE the “Here I Am Again” bootleg track!! Not even sure why, haha.

  19. xman Says:

    it does not matter what something claims to be- let’s look at how it’s put into practice. the irony is this- throughout history, society has existed in a church-state. it was the same in ancient greece, rome, egypt with the mystery schools throughout the middle ages to the enlightenment. religion had always been used to sway the masses, but with the scientific revolution, the system had to be updated. all the major secular philosophies that came along were just as different as throwing a new coat of paint on something.

    nietzchism is a philopsophical counter-part to darwinism, which was reinterpreted by governments in a socio-poiltical context to justify imperialism, eugenics, various political dialectics, arms races- things which inevitably led to world wars 1 and 2.
    that’s mainline history.

    it is incredibly naive and glib to think the abolishment of religion will lead to half the wars and violence and murder. most of the world’s religions have eternal truths which endow people with a purpose. the belief that we have another dimension to us and were created by a supreme being or beings is the last line of defense for existing. once you take that away, a person is just another mouth which can be eliminated if necessary.

    there are many examples of violent secularist movements throughout history. the long bloody french revolution is probably the first attempt at a scientific government as opposed to a church government. hitler, stalin, and mao are responsible for the deaths of millions upon millions in more advanced, more orderly fashion following these principles. hitler’s “ubermensch”, stalin’s “soviet man”- those terms are synonymous with the idealized nietzchean superman.

    the problem is that reasonable philosophies, theories, and ideas, including religions both spiritualist and secularist will always be corrupted and used by someone for control purposes. start emphasizing indivualism, not some idea that was just given to you by someone you don’t know, and things will gradually work themselves out.

    as a sidenote, i saw “the invasion of the body snatchers” remake, a story that has been retold since the fifties as part of the sci-fi/predictive programming movement which this time used its normative fiction for pro-war propaganda, as if war was a natural human trait. bullshit. wars are waged by rare psycopaths, right up to the present day.

    well, i don’t think i could get anymore of the subject of this stupid song. really my problem with the lyrics is that they’re just stupid and naive. utopianism is for the perpetual children.

  20. Perpetual Child Says:


  21. Ignis Sol Says:

    “The Worst Joke Ever” is simply a bland song. It may not be the worst R.E.M. song, but it is does lack that fine complimentary balance of lyrics and music. The production could not help it. I don’t hate this song, but I not dancing around the living room to it either.

  22. Mr Cup Says:

    I have to say, the discussion generated is far more enjoyable than the song ever was.

    Give me Swan Swan H anytime.

  23. xman Says:

    “oops..blah blah blah the lyrics are more forced than any song i’ve EVER heard”

    Bullshit! They’re not that bad, or you need to listen to more music! Give me any great band/artist who has more than a couple discs under their belt and I’ll give you a couple of crappy songs.

    well, yeah that’s kind of how its works. so? there’s a bunch of shitty to mediocre bands and artists who have some pretty great songs too.

    Even on Stipe’s worst day his lyrics are better than many others at their best. This isn’t “My Humps” for chrisakes.

    i hate thhat arguement. i believe the best measure of an artist’s work is his or her own best work. depending on how good that is, then it can be compared to other things.

    there’s a difference between bad and forced. i’ve heard lots of bad lyrics, but hearing stipe squeeze lines like “the crowd of old men can’t wrestle with change or face this life’s misjudged unknowns” over a lethargic two-chord back and forth progression–> that’s the dark side of the force.

    i’m with matthew on this one, they’re trying too hard and not at all at the same time. whatever, i don’t like the song but you do. i also happen to love “make it all ok”. at least they’re r.e.m. songs, right? i do like the f-em chord change though in the verse though. that’s a good part.

  24. maclure Says:

    xman you’re on fire today. Lovin all this Church vs Nietsche stuff. I feel like I should say something (being as I am religious) although I don’t have much to add…

    I have a distinct distaste for the excesses of organised religion while also holding that a society that attempts to stifle the spiritual instincts of its members does even greater harm to its members on an individual and communal level. I also think that organised religion is like an iceberg – we see the (often very negative) tip and write it all off. If you take the church out of the equation, you write off immeasurable humanitarian, educational, scientific and health advances even within the last half a century. Youth groups, soup kitchens, orphanages, old ladies raising money for charities — if they all threw in the towel the world would stop spinning (possibly).

    re: Paul Alf. Organ Song rocks. I once got a b-side bootleg back in the mid-90s when I was first getting into REM. I loved this track! Each to his own…

  25. Paul Alferink Says:

    Four chords with a resolving one at the end of the sequence, the only change being dynamics. And no lyrics?!?! All played on a pipe organ? I don’t even thing they where trying. I bet Michael wrote that one while they were tuning Buck’s guitar. . .

  26. maclure Says:

    Wait a minute. Maybe I’m thinking of Fruity Organ. That’s marginally better, right?

  27. 2d Says:

    this song is my least favourite on “around the sun”, surpassed maybe only by the horrendous “around the suuuuuuuun” vocals on the eponymous track. “the worst joke ever” fells indeed forced and doesn’t work for me on any level. it falls flat on its face. it’s not horrible, but it’s pointless. and maybe that is even worse than me having an extreme hatred position. at least it would be interesting… this is just slightly more bland than “what if we give it away?” for me… just one of the several songs i wouldn’t actually mind not hearing anymore. ever. completely erased… from existence!!! (back to the future)

  28. ScottMalobisky Says:

    “Most of the world’s religions have eternal truths which endow people with a purpose.”—Now that may be the most absurd statement ever on record in a few different ways (and after reading that entire comment I can see that continuing the discussion is pointless, like arguing apples and oranges) ………And , so sorry , but obviously the product of a miniscule mind… I mean , really , that is just an unbelievably absurd thing to say !! …BTW, I like this song……..

  29. xman Says:

    ah you see scotty, you brought it to the level most condescending existentialists do. since you can only be content with easy, simple answers, here’s one: you’re an idiot and happily so.
    given the room, i would expand my answers, but it’s an r.e.m. song blog, not a rough draft for my book.

    “A little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism; but depth in philosophy bringeth men’s minds about to religion.”- Francis Bacon

  30. xman Says:

    organ song= here i am again, which is a nice outtake with lyrics and star me kitten-like guitar. thats a good song. why they releaseed it odfficially as organ song is baffling.

  31. ohlife Says:

    Michael Stipe has stated that he had writers block when bill Berry left in 98. He said he broke through that block and they started making albums again. I dont believe he ever did get through that block. He went from intricate word play like, “Hang your freedom higher” and “the amber waves of gain” to this type of dreck! Keep trying Michael! It took Dylan almost all of the 80’s and 90’s to fight out of a sever bout of writers block. That being said I cant wait for the new album. The posts from Dublin are encouraging.

  32. Scott Says:

    The Apologist walks into a bar and sees his friend Sad Professor.

    “You don’t look so at peace,” Sad Professor says.

    “I don’t want to talk about love,” the Apologist says.

    “Know any jokes?”

    “My life is a joke.”

    “Mine, too.”

    “Do you hear Spanish guitar?”

    “No,” Sad Professor says. “That was the last song.”

    “I’m glad that’s over. Pass the nuts.”

  33. ScottMalobisky Says:

    ok, cool

  34. mouserobot Says:

    I’ve always thought of this song as a sequel to Sad Professor.

  35. kris Says:

    I’m jumping in late on this one, but jimjos pretty much summed it up. I’m glad everyone else has mostly negative reactions to this song, because I’ve always thought of this tune as one of the weakest they’ve ever written. I don’t normally hit skip when I have an REM cd in, but I do with this song! I just want to point out that I think the debates about songs in the comments section is stellar. Matthew, you started something good here and I’m glad it’s continued on so well. And I think it’s funny how some people are arguing FOR this song so vehemently. Remember everyone, this isn’t a Rolling Stone forum; everyone who posts obviously loves REM to begin with. You don’t have to convince us. But this song, unfortunately, is a dud.

  36. lightaugust Says:

    When I first heard Document, I liked it because it took some work to come to. I gotta stick up for this song on the same level. And by that measure, the last third of ATS… If felt like it was the first stuff REM had put out since Berry left that the listener had to bring it to listen to. And come on… it can’t be that bad- chimes!

  37. davegassner Says:

    Maybe it’s ahead of its time.

    …wow, I’m not sure that’s a future I want to live in!

  38. wolfy Says:

    I thought this song referred to the 2004 election and how it was supposed to bring about change…the disillunsionment of it all.

  39. Beethoven Was Deaf Says:

    Wow! Religious venom abounds on this particular blog. Have to say that this is a bottom 5 song. While I am the rare apologist for most of ATS and like well a fair half the CD, this song is nearly unlistenable. The music is dull and boring and never ignites or takes off. The words are vague (and not in the good REM way) and don’t really tell a story or cause vivid and/or emotional imagery to come to mind. It is simply a pedestrian song. As to the religious debate. Let me briefly state that God (and the belief in God) can be ennobling and empowering. However, I also must state that I understand those who feel turned off by Christianity as the religious fundamentalists have come to dominate American Christianity and even I, a Christian with convictions, feel that these Christian fundamentalists do no favors for Christianity.

  40. Kirsten Says:

    >>If you take the church out of the equation, you write off immeasurable humanitarian, educational, scientific and health advances even within the last half a century. Youth groups, soup kitchens, orphanages, old ladies raising money for charities — if they all threw in the towel the world would stop spinning (possibly).

    Maclure, surely people could still do/have done all of those things without the Church? Out of the goodness of their hearts instead of fear of retribution – a much more possitive reason for it.

    I am no longer going to get upset at everyone else’s dislike for this song. Instead, I’ll just keep it as my own little secret pleasure….

  41. jim jos Says:

    I’ll give you fish
    I’ll give you candy
    I’ll give you everything that I have in my hand!

  42. xman Says:

    this has been a good discussion. to cap off the zany, religious socio-poiltical side of it, i would just like to say that establishing a personal understanding/connection with one’s faith is more important than any corrupted human institution. anything’s the opiate of the masses. i just think it’s a profound mistake to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

    anyway, anyone else hear the dublin songs? a lot of em are fun to clap along to.

  43. maclure Says:

    Hi Kirsten, yeah, I thought somebody might make your point. And it is a fair point. I guess I wanted my example to be used to say that the church has done/does do a LOT of positive things in the world, irrespective of whether non-religious people could do it/have done it or not. I just wanted to wave a flag for an institution that is often derided…

    But, to pick up on what you mention, I suppose I don’t think Christians (at least the ones I know) do these things from fear of retribution as a primary motive. At least, I don’t in the things I do for other people. I do it because I am inspired by the example of Christ as a starting point. And to try and live out the call to love our neighbours as ourselves. This is a positive and fulfilling call on my life…

    I also think that our faith and the writings we draw on for our worldview direct the nature of our social action. This produces interesting and exciting practical outworkings beyond what (IMO) a non-religious/secular outlook provides. For example, Mennonite Christians have pioneered peaceful solutions to conflict – some of them are the leading researchers and practitioners in this field – because of their readings of Bible texts.

    Gosh, I’ve got more I could say about all this as I feel passionately about it all. But it’s late here. So I’m off to bed now. Dreams they complement my life.

  44. dan Says:

    without religion, there’d still be bad people doing bad things and good people doing good things. i personally feel that religion is to blame for good people doing bad things.

  45. dan Says:

    er, that came across pretty harsh. i mean obviously a lot of good things have come out of religion. all religions. but for the most part i think they’ve served their purpose.

  46. Kirsten Says:

    Never meant to take away from the possitive things done by Churches and different Religions around the world. I support ALL good work, no matter who it was done by or what their motive.

    Most imporatantly though, without religion, there’d be no Losing My Religion! 🙂

    Good, interesting point from Dan there, too.

  47. Paul Alferink Says:

    Yeah. I’m not going to argue whether it is better to be theist, atheist, or agnostic. I’ll just argue that fundamentalism, be it Christian, Jewish or Islamic, is wrong, ridiculous, counterproductive, counterintuitive and dangerous. And the first people who use it as such are often the people who truly understand the least about it. Clearly cherry picking which parts they want to follow, and ignoring the rest.

  48. Mr Cup Says:

    In an effort to get this to 100 in a peaceful, non-violent way, who wants to form a group who once a year come together (through the magic of internet) and swim nude sans our various belief systems?

    Show of hands?

  49. protimoi86 Says:

    Sounds beautiful, Mr. Cup, but i fear it will be a sausagefest.

    As for “The Worst Joke Ever,” it used to be my favorite off ATS until “Aftermath” skyrocketed out of the murk. Still don’t get the “joke” at the beginning, but maybe Stipe wrote such a bad joke that it doesn’t even make sense. In that case, well done Stipey.

  50. Paul Alferink Says:

    Alas, Mr. Cup. September’s coming soon. And it deserves a quiet night. Who’s to say one man’s quiet night is anothers?

  51. Tim Says:

    I posted this in the now infamous High Speed Train comments. This is a summary of Stipe’s introduction and explanation before playing “The Worst Joke Ever” at the recent Dublin shows:

    “He started out by saying “The Worst Joke Ever” is one of his top 5 favorite REM songs and its also one of the hardest songs they’ve ever written to perform live, which is why they’ve only played it live a couple of times.

    He then says that He and Peter are both terrible at telling jokes. Michael says he has no comedic timing.

    Stipe says he had to write a terrible joke for the song “The Worst Joke Ever”

    He said the premise of the song is referenced in some of the lyrics of the new songs referring to a group of people he refers to as the “flat earthers” who are the generation that grew up in the 50’s in America, part of his parents generation, and he’s now learning his generation too, who refuse to acknowlege the earth is not flat, i.e. they have pulled us backwards politically and culturally to some insane idea of what the 1950’s were meant to be like.

    He says the terrible joke he wrote speaks well of this mentality of people who are holding all of us back with their actions and their policies. (Iraq war, etc)

    He ends by saying its a fucking hard song to sing.”

    Don’t know if that adds any more insight into the song, but thats almost word for word what Stipe had to say about The Worst Joke Ever in 2007.

  52. ScottMalobisky Says:

    no , I ain’t heard any of the Dublin stuff, don’t want to because I want the new album to be a totally new thing for me to delve into and digest slowly ……if my duodenum can handle it , slowly now it slips on by the ulcers forming there ……

    All I know is “he’s not the kind you have to wind up on Sundays.”

  53. ScottMalobisky Says:

    Kirsten , why is your life so terrible ?

  54. ScottMalobisky Says:

    I’ll bring the kolbassi to the sausage fest

  55. 2d Says:

    i am pretty sure it’s not going to be that kind of sausage fest 😐

  56. Ignis Sol Says:

    i am a vegetarian 😉

  57. 2d Says:

    is that how you spell veterinarian?? 🙂

  58. Kirsten Says:

    I guess it’s up to me to bring the eggs then??

  59. Ignis Sol Says:

    no comment Kirsten, no comment…. (so hard to resist a GOOD JOKE here)

  60. Ignis Sol Says:

    That would be the Worst Yolk Ever! ha!

  61. Kirsten Says:

    Oh, Ignis – THAT was BAD!!

  62. Mr Cup Says:

    Isn’t there a “I can’t believe it’s not sausage” sausage?

    The fact that you don’t like sausage Ignis, is really confusing.
    I feel like I’ve learned nothing about anyone.
    I don’t know what to believe anymore.

  63. Ignis Sol Says:

    I live in Seattle, dude. Lots of veggies here and yes there is a tofu-type sausage out there. It tastes like ***.

    Do you believe they put a man on the moon, Mr Cup?

  64. Mr Cup Says:

    I believe in coyotes and time as an abstract….

    What I meant was, back there the metaphor of sausage was used in the place of mass nudity. Amid the ‘Sos’ Fest, you say I’m a vegetarian…

    …my humour is wearing thin and change…is what I believe in.

  65. Ignis Sol Says:

    Mr. Cup, don’t be sooo confused. I did get the original intent.
    I thought it would be funny to deflect it and play dumb. Of course I like sausage! 😛 Tasty! Tofu be damned.

    ….And foolish said my fool awake…….

  66. Ignis Sol Says:

    And I also get Kirsten’s “bring the eggs” reference….

  67. Mr Cup Says:


  68. Mr Cup Says:

    Ignis, what happened there is quite funny. You were playing dumb.
    I was playing dumber to your dumb. Then I just got confused.

    I have had coffee now. I am a little more awake. Let the day begin.

  69. Figgy Says:

    Ah yes, Ignis and Mr Cup. That’s the problem with written communication. When you’re not physically in the presence of someone, seeing their facial expressions and hearing their tone of voice, the subtleties are lost.

    I honestly thought that everyone had missed Kirsten’s original egg joke (I was tut-tutting and shaking my head as I read subsequent comments) and I thought that Ignis had missed the sausage reference too. I’m sure the confustion wouldn’t have happened if we were all sitting round a table chatting away over a few beers.

    To my great shame I enjoy puns so I chuckled at Ignis’ “Worst Yoke Ever”, terrible as it is.

  70. Figgy Says:

    While I’m here I might as well say something about the song being reviewed. I remember seeing Tim’s comment first time round on the High Speed Train blog about Stipe’s explanation of Worst Joke Ever. I recently listened to the whole of ATS and took that explanation into account when this song came on.

    I thought about some people’s – perhaps misguided – belief that the 1950s were truly great times (birth of consumerism, big cars, idyllic suburbia, new economic opportunities, more leisure time… you know, the optimistic images used by Hollywood to portray that decade) and got the notion that if they really were such great times, it was probably foolish to believe that such a lifestyle was sustainable long term (e.g. environmental impact).

    Even though the song works a bit better for me when I look at it this way, I still don’t really like it. As for listening to the whole of ATS in one sitting, I found I enjoyed quite a bit of it. Still isn’t anywhere close to REM at their best. For me, the lowlight is Aftermath. Just unable to like that one for some reason.

  71. 2d Says:

    ha ha, so it seems it would take some kind of face-to-face gathering in order for the jokes about things such as the sausagefest gathering to be understood, perhaps it could have a purpose too, like… naked nightswimming, providing a basis for conversation. and so the circle is complete 😀

    i got all the jokes, including kirsten’s egg one. nice twist! as for ignis’ yolk one, i laughed really hard – and i just woke up! imagine reading that when fully awake! 😀

    i like that, in the words of the cheshire cat, on this board “we’re all mad here” 😉

  72. Mr Cup Says:

    It’s been a bad day…

    I rode 17kms to work to discover I left my hard drive at home!
    Rode home, pick up hard drive, back to work- forgot spare shirt. Stinky me!

    If I could work the line about having egg on my face into this…I’d probably stuff that up too.

  73. maclure Says:

    You all crack me up… (somewhat like an egg). It’s a great way to start the day reading this here blog.

  74. Ignis Sol Says:

    My bad day was yesterday (really bad, but it was at work so it really doesn’t count or matter in the long haul), but I managed to eek out some humor above it all.
    And, I too, forgot my extra shirt! I just walked home in just my t-shirt which happened to have some logo on it.. the logo said LOGO. This blog is a good pick-me-up.
    Any news on where R.E.M. plans to finish the recording of their next album?

  75. 2d Says:

    i believe they still have a 3-week recording session in athens and, after the live cd/dvd in october, the next album is scheduled for a spring release – at best 😀

  76. 2d Says:

    oh right, and what are all your nicknames on murmurs? always been meaning to ask that!

  77. Figgy Says:

    Hi, 2d. I don’t contribute to murmurs. This is the one and only blog I’ve ever contributed to and I reckon that’s more than enough. I can’t imagine how much more distracted from my work I’d be if I viewed other sites as regularly as I do this one!

    I pretty much filter my viewing of reality TV shows in the same way. It’s just too easy to get hooked on all sorts of mildly entertaining but vacant crap. Sometimes my wife doesn’t filter the telly viewing in quite the same way and hence I find myself developing an interest in the outcome of things like ‘Project Runway’. Sad.

  78. Kirsten Says:

    Hey Figgy, I caught the end of Australia Idol one day last week (it was running about 15 mins late as usual – very frustrating for those wanting to watch the show afterwards) and a girl was singing “Everybody Hurts”. Yikes!! It was TERRIBLE!!! I hope she was voted off from that performance. I am guilty of just 1 reality show – “Motorway Patrol” from New Zealand. It’s on tonight and I quite enjoy it. Doesn’t always leave you Kiwis in a good light, though…

  79. Figgy Says:

    Phew, I’m glad Australian Idol doesn’t screen in NZ anymore. I share your pain – I hate hearing REM songs being debased by people who just wanna be famous for the sake of being famous. I remember seeing a Michael Stipe lookalike many years ago on a British TV “talent” show (Stars In Their Eyes, I think) belting out Losing My Religion. He dressed like Stipe did for REM’s first MTV Unplugged, even tried to imitate some of Michael’s mannerisms. The guy actually sang the song quite well but I found the whole thing really corny and infuriating.

    (Now that I think of it, this guy could be a regular reader or contributor to this blog, as he was obviously an REM fan at the time of his TV appearance. Sorry if I’ve offended any fellow blogger! Hope it wasn’t you, Maclure…)

    As for “Motorway Patrol”, I don’t watch it regularly myself but any show that confirms New Zealanders are the world’s most inconsiderate drivers with little grasp of the basic rules of the road gets the thumbs up from me. It’s educational. Should be a public service broadcast!

  80. ScottMalobisky Says:

    Hey Kirsten , stay out of Sydney now , don’t wanna have your ass kicked by all the president’s men

  81. Kirsten Says:

    Don’t worry Scott, I’m in a different State! Sydney got a public holiday today ’cause of all the commotion. Did you hear about the Chasers (a comedy program here) got through all the baracades, security and police (1 dressed as Osama himself) and came within 10 metres of your President?? Didn’t get caught until they turned around to leave (not expecting to get that far). They were arrested, but if they were real terrorists who knows what could have happened…

  82. ScottMalobisky Says:

    yes I did , just one of the outragreous things on the news today….

  83. Mr Cup Says:

    I honestly thought Shanon Knoll (?) would have been publicly flogged for singing “what about me”. If that isn’t celebrating, even championing mediocrity across every level I don’t know what is. It’s a crime against humanity I tells ya!

  84. ScottMalobisky Says:

    Kirsten, the USA woulda had to send you Aussies a Thank You card, oh wait , that would have put Cheney in charge. Holy Moly Guacamole !!!!!!!!!!! Gee Gadz And Little Fishes

  85. Beethoven Was Deaf Says:

    Why is it the ATS posts are always the longest strings? And why does Matthew always seem to vanish after posting a song from ATS? Hmmmm…

  86. ScottMalobisky Says:

    and if we took out Cheney that would leave Pelosi in charge—–YIKES!..unless Alexander Haig should come out of nowhere and suddenly, inexplicably declare himself “to be in control here”……

  87. Ignis Sol Says:

    Everyone knows the aliens are in control here. Everyone.

  88. kirkl100 Says:

    m…can we end this? please.

  89. Mr Cup Says:

    Dubbya is here attending an OPEC summit apparently.

  90. Ignis Sol Says:

    Ol’ Georgie is confused again. OPEC, APEC…

    On American TV, Talk Show icon David Letterman does a bit every night called “Great Moments in Presidential Speeches” (Kennedy, Reagan etc) then he shows Dubbya flubbing. HIlarious every time, every night… (You Tube it)

    Is HE The Worst Joke Ever? Only Stipe knows for sure. No one is laughing.

  91. Mr Cup Says:

    I see a few of those Letterman episodes Ignis. Must be hard on the researchers coming up with new stuff…ha!

    If he is the Worst Joke Ever, then That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore.

  92. Mr Cup Says:

    …oh and he’s thanking the Austrian troops or their help in Iraq.
    Cheers mate, wrong country.

  93. ScottMalobisky Says:


  94. jim jos Says:

    Yes, 9/9! This must go noticed! Good call Scott!

    Thanking the Austrian troops, why am I surprised about this…”amazing”.

  95. Hey guys — sorry this kinda dragged for a week, I meant to write more entries, but it kept getting lower on the list of immediate priorities, and plus I wasn’t really listening to R.E.M. much and thus wasn’t really in the headspace to just knock out an easy one. I’m going to do by best to get seven entries in this week. Don’t hold me to that, though!

  96. adam Says:

    always liked the melody of the chorus.. and loved the music.. just not the best lyrics, i agree

  97. Kevin Says:

    Nah, “The Worst Joke Ever” is far from the Worst R.E.M. Song Ever–that title is reserved for “The Wrong Child.”

  98. Michael Black Ph.D. Says:

    FOr me, the “key” to this one (And let me stress that I don’t think there are meanings to REM songs, so much as there are impressions or feelings) is in the this lyric…

    “The crime of good men who can’t wrestle with change,
    or are too afraid to face this life’s misjudged unknowns
    you’re not hurting anybody else’s chances,
    but you’re disfiguring your own.”

    While I really like jim jos’ notion that it’s about political rhetoric, I’ve always felt it was describing a man who has become “stuck” in life and is incapable of the reflection and flexibility it would take to reconceive himself. I mean, an unlucky cat burglar who can’t see in the dark might want to reconsider his vocation. Some things don’t hold up over the course of a lifetime.

  99. ScottMalobisky Says:

    live from DC, Sir ?

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