Since no one is going to say it, I will; WORLD WAR
IV IS OVER!
The US wins again! Hip Hip Hooray! Let's all go to McDonalds,
they have a 4 for 1 deal, after that let's go over and buy
some jeans on sale at Old Navy! The Slurrrpies are on me!
But let's take your car -- mine's an SUV and I'm out of gas
Now that the war is over, I thought as a way to move on from
all this craziness, we should go right into reviewing the
TV news theme songs and see which one was the best.
Although there were many,
I have limited the songs to those that showed exceptional
production and effort. For example, I excluded some
local stations in the San Francisco Bay Area, such as
channel 427 the Stockton public access student news
program "War Dudes", which was put together
by the "Metal" clique at Richard "Dick"
Johnson High School, because it used "Enter Night"
Alternately, I also rejected the use of "Pour
Some Sugar on Me" by Def Leppard, by local UPN
affiliate KWIZ in Laguna Niguel. Not because it wasn't
appropriate, I just hate that song.
So here are my picks;
CNN: "WAR in IRAQ"
Proud and pompous every bit as over achieving as the
"Billy the Kid" Ballet by Aaron Copeland-
that it draws inspiration (and a lot more) from. Nothing
says America more than a heaping helping of Copeland.
Brilliantly captured by CNN. I was shocked then awed,
over and over again.
news story theme composer Garth Henneman, works
on a few ideas for CNN's next breaking news stories.
Although he does not have any idea when or what
it will be, Henneman is one of several young composers
on staff at CNN who work around the clock developing
new themes. "I just whip out a few chords,
MP3 it, and upload it to CNN and they use it.",
"Sweet." Hennemen quipped.
Fox News: "Operation: IRAQI FREEDOM"
Wonderfully reminiscent of the CNN theme, but this time a
la the "Rodeo" ballet, once again courtesy of Aaron
Copeland (who is now officially turning over in his grave)
but with just the right amount of the theme from "Dances
with Wolves" to give it a bit of a cowboy-Indian feel
to it. A bit of a rip-off but nicely swiped nonetheless. I
love the recurrent use of the lament of the strings mixed
in with the timpani drums. It almost has a Japanese-Saipan-Death-March-Taiko-esque
sound to it. Wonderful.
ABC: "WAR with IRAQ"
Closely resembles the main ABC news theme, a brilliant move
to reinforce their brand and cost effective. And I personally
never tire of the ABC News theme. I love that tune. Dah-Dah-Didah!
NBC: "Target: IRAQ" (See also "SQUEEZING
A little sad and weakly romantic, it's one way to do it,
but I mean come on, we're winning this thing! How about at
least a variation on Copeland's "Fanfare for the Common
Man", even I could have come up with a techno version
of "2001: A Space Odyssey"! I'll give them props
for at least departing from the worn out Dang! Ding! Dong!
NBC theme. Let's hope they can eke out a win if we go to war
AL Jazeera: "Al Marines Al Amaliyat Al Hamleh-at-Al-Araaaagh"
Although this wasn't the absolute worst one, I have to give
them credit for trying. They are new at the tabloid journalism
game after all. I mean what idiot keeps his camera rolling
after he gets caught standing behind the guy firing a machine
gun from a hotel balcony at the American army? Look, maybe
the use of the theme to "Shaft" might have sounded
like a good idea when this all started, and maybe it would
have even been on my brainstorming short list, but come on!
Also am I the only one who wonders why they're called Al Jazeera
when the only island in the Arab world occupied by humans
CBS: "America at War"
A little too ragtimey if you ask me. These things need to
have a lot of initial punch to them, and this one is like
an Iraqi tank that won't start. A good theme must evoke the
patriotic tear when played behind a close up shot of a sweat
and dirt caked GI from Kansas. And I'm sorry, but playing
the Polka Ooompah Ooompah song while showing an injured US
soldier being airlifted to Germany is just wrong. This effort
was way too weak, and a little too cabaret for my taste. This
is an example of precisely why CBS is in big trouble.
Univision: "Ataque a Irak" (see also Cayo
Tikrit: el pueblo natal de Hussein"
I'm not sure that the use of a Merengue was a good choice
here, I would have thought Tango maybe, but give them credit
for taking a chance and going for it. But it's kind of hard
to notice anything when the tight dress and spiked heel wearing
news "Anchor-isitas" seated oh-so-precariously high
on those barstools say anything in Spanish!
This war produced some pretty awful music when I stop to
reflect on it for the minute it takes me to re-charge my Starbucks
card. But I'll raise my latte to them; here's to all the networks
and the wonderful creative spirit they bring to the table.
Just like those zooming in satellite maps of Baghdad. I mean
that was awesome. And I loved the addition in this war of
the weather reports with the weatherman standing in front
of the map of Iraq as he showed how "the dust storms
are going to be coming in from here and moving out to there
by Wednesday, clearing up and sunny for the weekend."
But the next time we sit and watch the field of battle from
our La-Z-Boys, I hope they can do something to fix that awful
pixelation and delay from those horrible satellite phones.
I mean what's up with that? I mean how do they expect anyone
to see what's really happening?
Oh wait... never mind. Click.