We now know the genesis of addled actor Clint Eastwood’s “talk to the chair” routine at the 2012 Republican National Convention.
Seems the man was arest in his hotel room, preparing his speech, when some puckish alien-being forcibly piped in over the radio Neil Diamond’s 1971 emu-pop hit “I Am . . . I Said.”
This is the Diamond number that contains the notorious foursome:
i am, i said
to no one there
and no one heard at all
not even the chair
This last line is one of the great clunkers in all of songwriting. People active and practiced in the craft, to this day they cannot understand why persons and/or sound machines emitting such a travesty are not pelted with tomatoes, squash, eggplant, and other rotting substances.
I mean, yeah, the guy needed a rhyme for “there.” And, in this tune, Diamond is deeply afunk in Bummertude. Because he ain’t being listened to. About the crushing burden of having to live in Los Angeles, rather than New York. In order to earn eleventy-billion dollars in the music business.
So sure, okay, we get it, nobody’s listening to him bleat.
And, among the nobodies, can be counted a chair.
But, like, had the chair ever heard him? When he was moaning about having to earn more money than Midas, out in LA, rather than in New York? Was it normal for the chair to give ear, when he was on about such things? Was this like . . . a magic chair?
Or, since we are talking 1971 here, a drug chair? A chair that, when Mr. Diamond delved into the many fine psychoactive substances of the time, heard and talked and danced and sang and otherwise engaged in all manner of merry wonderful weirdness?
We receive no information about any of this. All we know is that the chair doesn’t hear him.
And this is not surprising. Because a chair—unless it is a drug chair, and/or a quantum physics chair—is not equipped with aural apparati. Hearing is not what a chair is supposed to be about. The thing is there but to plant your butt on.
No. Sorry to say, what we must here reluctantly conclude, is that Diamond was a lazy-ass mofo. Who just settled on some “chair,” not hearing him, because he was too slothful and/or thickheaded to come up with any other rhyme for “there.”
And it is said that the man spent four months writing that song.
And in all that time the best he could up with was “not even the chair”? The mind: it reels.
Today, while driving, it took me about four minutes to come up with about fourteen alternatives.
For instance, if Diamond had not been suffering from a city-disability, and were singing instead from or about some country place Normal, then various and sundry animals could have been mustered not to hear him. We could have had “not even the bear” or “not even the hare” or “not even the mare.” Who were not hearing the guy.
Or he could have complained “not even Aunt Clare,” which would also have allowed him to go wild with banjos in the break. Or “in all County Klare,” which would have permitted him to pour a thundering wall of bagpipes into the song.
Since Diamond at the time was riding a wave of songs in which he praised unrestrained bibulation—”Cracklin’ Rosie,” “Red, Red Wine,” etc.—he could have referenced his ongoing rednoseness by admitting “and no one heard at all/when I tripped on the stair.”
He could have been all stoic, and defiantly proclaimed: “and I did not care.” He could have gone dada, and pronounced: “so I ate a pear.” Or strayed into Isaac Hayes territory, with “so I porked the au pair.” He could have envisioned the onrushing cult of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and come out as a crossdresser, boasting “so I shaved with Nair.”
And so on.
Anywho. Clint—fast-forward to 2012—is there in his hotel room, when suddenly the extraterrestrials—who, as has previously been documented here on red, owned and controlled the GOoPer portion of the 2012 presidential campaign—bring to him over the radio Diamond declaiming about the obdurate chair that will not hear.
And Clint, he experiences a truly massive brainshower. He will go on stage, with a chair, and pretend it is President Obama. And, like the Diamond chair, the Obama chair, when Clint pours out upon it his complaints, it will just sit there; it will neither hear, nor respond.
This brainshower, it will be remembered, when it was spewed out across the land, was considered a laff riot by that 23% of the American population that occupies what is today the equivalent of Dogpatch.
“Way to put it to the black man, Clint!” the Dogpatchians, they squealed like a pig. “Yeehaw!”
However, those of us who have not married or otherwise had sexual congress with our sisters, and/or other blood relatives, we had quite a different reaction.
Not even the Captain Underpants people, it developed, not even they, could easily stomach the chair scene. Literally, they could not stomach it. Senior Underpants advisor Stuart Stevens, it is said, vomited. While the Neil-inspired Eastwood, he was dying there, on stage, with the chair. Stevens, he wished that, like in the Diamond song, no one would hear Clint. At all. Not even the chair.
It was the astute AvoWoman who first pointed out to me that this speech was not the first time that Eastwood had publicly addressed wood products.
Oh no. For way back in 1969, Eastwood wandered around on screen, “singing,” in the film Paint Your Wagon, “I Talk To The Trees.”
And even back then, the wood gave ol’ Clint the deaf ear.
And it was not only the trees. But every other blessed natural element, as well.
I talk to the trees
But they don’t listen to me
I talk to the stars
But they never hear me
The breeze hasn’t time
To stop and hear what I say
I talk to them all in vain
Be warned. Beyond the furthur, I shall embed Mr. Eastwood. “Singing.” Not only that, I shall also embed, from the same film, Lee Marvin, also “singing.” And this last, some say, is the aural equivalent of the Holocaust.