Howard Dean Throws it Up for America
Originally published 2008, January 9.
Just a little under four years ago, we witnessed an epic night in Iowa. It was the start of the presidential primaries, and Democratic contender and internet celebrity Howard Dean had, sadly, just finished third. I was at home watching the events unfold on C-Span, also listening to the popular music of the time, crunk pioneer Lil' Jon. This artist's work had not yet reached it's peak popularity level of self-parodying multisyllabic exclamations yelled by every drunken idiot stumbling down city sidewalks. Instead, it was still fresh and silly fun, especially my favorite song 'Throw it Up' whose lyrics read like a inebriated geography lesson of American cities.
I don't quite remember how it all unfolded; it all seemed to happen so fast. I had probably had a few drinks myself, after all, how else could I have handled watching C-Span on a Monday night. But at some point Dean showed up to speak to his constituents, and suddenly I found myself staring dumbfounded at the television as he yelled off state after state, seemingly more and more enraged as each was named. That's the say nothing of the later infamous 'Dean Scream' that finished it all off.
The resemblance was too much for me. I quickly went to TheiowaChannel.com to get a copy of the speech, found an interview clip of Chris Matthews saying Howard's name, and worked feverishly to construct a top quality remix for the internet to enjoy. The next day and a half were a total blur, spent dived into Goldwave getting state names to replace city names, and politician screams to complement rapper screams. But at the end of it all, I had made something beautiful.
Since I didn't have anything setup on my webspace at the time, I decided to host the song on a friend's site, and sent links around to a couple of forums. I did not anticipate the whole thing turning into quite the meme that it did, spawning multiple sites that collected the Dean Remixes. Many are no longer available, so I'm reposting my original mp3 creation 'Howard Dean Throws it Up for America', here where it belongs.
All in all, I sort of feel bad for the guy. I actually kinda liked Dean, since he was totally cool with the cyberweb, and was the closest thing to the punk rock choice for presidential candidate. I've wondered sometimes if perhaps what I made helped contribute to his downfall, but really I think it was inevitable. You can't get away with pontificating like that on national TV without getting a heap of negative press. Plus, I really thought Lil Jon plus Dean was a pretty obvious joke (and a lot funnier than Crazy Train), and believe such a remix would have turned up eventually. So in the end, thank you Howard, for all you've contributed to the world of internet humor.