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Programmed to Self-Destruct

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When was the last time you attempted to download “God Bless Our Homes & Families,” “I Am Happy,” “Climb Inside His Loving Arms,” or that durable show-stopper “America Rocks!”? Be quick, now. And, most important, be honest.

The awful, unavoidable truth is that no one has downloaded these songs, all the work of our esteemed Sen. Orrin Hatch. There are several reasons for this, beside the fact that the senator’s “tunes” have all the warmth of a cold-water enema. (That’s not some knee-jerk assertion. It’s based on research. We at City Weekly have listened to the fruits of Hatch’s songwriting labors.) First off, anyone possessing the know-how to swap music files is too young to enjoy this kind of music. Second, the overwhelming majority of people who enjoy the sort of white-bread devotional and patriotic tunes Hatch peddles are rich enough to buy it themselves. It’s proven and fact that rich people have no taste in music. Hell, rich people can’t even dance! Third, government-required disclosure of Hatch’s income shows that last year he earned $18,000 in songwriting royalties. That’s $17,999 more than most of us would have expected. No matter. The point is this: Hatch is deluded into thinking that vast throngs of people want his music, so he endorses the destruction of any computer used to unlawfully download music for a third time. It’s not possible that throngs of people want his music. But here are a few amusing suppositions:

Hatch has a secret crush on his good friend Bono, who endearingly donned him “Johnny Trapdoor.” Determined to win the Irish pop star’s affections, Hatch hopes to impress Bono with his muscular legal and political power—and destroy the computers of anyone who tries to file-share U2 songs.

Hatch knows he can’t stop the destruction of his other great love, Old Glory, without forcing a fascistic amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Protecting his smarmy patriotic songs from file-sharing technology is the next best thing—even if it is a delusional, irrational fear.

Hatch knows he must preempt an upcoming Senate Bill proposing that special computer-chip, stroke-inducing technology be inserted into the head of any member of Congress who considers running for a third term. Term limits are bad. Especially when you’ve been representing the good people of Utah since 1977. Destroying peoples’ computers on the third attempt, however, is good. Even if you can’t be certain that the person using said computer is the owner! But never mind that.

Hatch wants his very own, really neat, super-duper Senate Recording Studio. But he doesn’t want to pay for it. He’ll get Bill Gates to do that for him, because any technology that smokes hard drives is bound to increase sales of software for Microsoft.

Hatch suspects that Steve Jobs, the man behind the iTunes music store, holds dark sympathies for feminists, liberal university professors and single parents. Hatch suspects that profits from iTune, which lets people download songs for a marginal fee, could be a cash-cow for liberal PACs. And anyways, the sight of a flaming hard drive is so friggin’ cool compared to the placid scene of an iTune customer. It’ll impress Bono, too!

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