The House of Representatives of the sovereign state of Oklahoma has stirred up controversy, but not about gay rights, teenage contraception, or Indian territorial claims. This time the controversy stems from the Flaming Lips song “Do You Realize?” In March, the Lips’ anthem was voted by a 51% majority of Oklahomans to be named the 48th state’s official rock song. The song beat out classics like “Heartbreak Hotel”—penned by Oklahoma schoolteacher Mae Boren Axton—and the Ventures’ classic “Walk Don’t Run.”
All seemed well until the band was invited to the state capital in Oklahoma City for a photo-op. Flaming Lips’ bassist Michael Ivins wore a t-shirt with a sickle and hammer—the traditional communist emblem—to the event. This enraged Republican legislators, who condemned the band saying, “Their Lips ought to be on fire.” A dumbfounded Ivins said, “I just got the shirt at The Watchman show last night in the OU student coffee shop. I thought it had something to do with gardening.”
Rumors circulated about a protest concert involving Natalie Maines and Bob Geldolf reciting passages from “Why Does the Caged Bird Sing?” being held on the capital mall. Much to the chagrin of many pot-smoking hippies of central Oklahoma, all protest plans were put to a halt on Friday when Gov. Brad Henry (D) announced he would sign an executive order next week making “Do You Realize?” the official state rock song, even without legislative approval. Sighs of relief could be heard across the former territory reserved exclusively as tribal lands. “Never has such injustice been seen in Oklahoma as that committed against these poor rock stars.”
An independent counsel has been assigned to investigate a possible pay to play scheme involving lawmakers and the All-American Rejects in an apparent coup d’etat attempt to grab the coveted state song title.