Modern Humorist - A Democratic Response to Barbra Streisandıs Memo
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To: Barbra Streisand
From: Sen. Kent Conrad (D) ND
Re: "Nice Guys Finish Last" memo

Thanks so much for your memo of last week, which helpfully informed us Democrats that we’ve been "paralyzed, demoralized and depressed" since the election of President Bush. Your "chutzpah" (hope I’m using that word correctly) is just what the doctor ordered to galvanize a lethargic, battle-weary Left.

Based upon your pellucid arguments, it is clear you and I share the conviction that art-making, like policy-making, is the product of criticism and compromise. In that spirit, herewith follows a few notes on some of your career choices.

I. The Music
More than fifty albums is a lot of ground to cover. I’ll just hit the high notes:
  • A quick glance at your catalog reveals a hesitancy to employ eponyms. Only about one quarter of the LPs include your name in the title (The Barbra Streisand Album, The Second Barbra Streisand Album, Barbra Joan Streisand, My Name is Barbra, Simply Streisand, Je M’appelle Barbra, etc.). As a result of your apparent distaste for self-promotion, perhaps you should consider lobbying SoundScan to meta-tag all new releases that are not your own with the code: "This is NOT an album by Barbra Streisand." This could prevent much angry confusion at the check-out.

  • Wet. Your 1979 concept album included only songs with water-related words in their titles. Most notable among them: "No More Tears," "Niagara" and the classic "Splish Splash." Should you ever consider revisiting the concept album, here are a few words for you to riff on: "Curd," "Megalomania," "Ipecac," "Pensacola Wings of Gold." (Four words. Sorry.)

  • Soundtrack to The Owl and the Pussycat. This album contains only your speaking voice via excerpted bits of film dialogue, complimented by tunes from jazz-rock fusion supergroup Blood, Sweat and Tears. Your best work, hands down!

II. The Films

  • The Mirror Has Two Faces. As a rule, films condense time by selecting certain pivotal events that would in reality occur over many years and remove the intervals between them. I realize it is your choice as director (and as star/producer/composer/focus puller, etc.) to dispense with this contrivance. But two years is an awfully long time to spend in a multiplex. On a side note, my doctor tells me that with extensive physical therapy I may one day regain full feeling in my ass.

  • In Yentl, Amy Irving’s character, Hadass, is forbidden by her parents from marrying her true love, Avigdor, as Avigdor’s brother committed suicide. So is it plausible that Hadass's parents would encourage her to marry instead what appears to be a freakishly small, high-voiced, homosexual American man?

  • The Prince of Tides. Kudos, Babs. A true work of art. A thoroughly original portrayal of what happens when a Jewish New York psychiatrist (married to a world-class European violinist) treats a suicidal poetess by banging said poetess's brother (a married goyim football coach from South Carolina). Prince reinvigorates a genre long mired in cliché. Good going.

III. The “Final” Concert Tour Merchandise

Looking forward to your memo on campaign-finance reform,

P.S. Joe Lieberman asked me to tell you that last Saturday he walked—it being the Sabbath—to Tower Records to buy A Love Like Ours, your tribute in song to James Brolin. Joe says that after the third track, he got into his car, drove to Tower and demanded his money back. On his way home, he stopped at Burger King for a bacon cheeseburger, then mailed the refunded cash to Suha Arafat.

More political humor:
G.W. Bush Scrapbook

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