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Oklahoma State House Sinks Flaming Lips Over T-Shirt

05:01 PM Friday 4/24/09 | |

April 23 was supposed to be a great day for The Flaming Lips, as their home state of Oklahoma was set to designate the group’s “Do You Realize??” as the official state song. That is, until one of the House members noticed band member Michael Ivins’ T-shirt.

Naming the Lips’ song as the state’s official tune seemed like a done deal. Oklahoma’s senate passed a resolution supporting the choice in March, and the state’s governor was firmly behind the choice.

What happened? A state representative took offense because Ivins wore a t-shirt emblazoned with a hammer and sickle – the longtime symbol for communist Russia when it headed up the now defunct Soviet Union – during the band's visit to the state capitol.

Republican state representative Corey Holland said he was bothered by the emblem,” reports The Oklahoman.

“I’m rising in opposition because of my disappointment in one of the band members’ decision to come in here wearing a communist T-shirt.”

Republican Rep Mike Reynolds also spoke against the band, opting to diss the Lips because singer Wayne Coyne once dropped an F-bomb while expressing gratitude in 2007 for Oklahoma City naming an alley after the band.

“Their lips ought to be on fire,” Reynolds said.

The resolution naming “Do You Realize??” as Oklahoma’s official musical ditty needed 51 votes to pass, but yesterday’s final vote in the House was 48-39. Democratic Rep. Joe Dorman, who sponsored the resolution, told the Oklahoman that three Republican members told him they would vote in favor of the Lips, but decided instead to “run with the mob.”

“Had those three members kept their word, this resolution would have passed, and Oklahoma wouldn’t be experiencing national embarrassment,” Dorman said.

But all is not lost for the Flaming Lips. Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry said he will sign an executive order Tuesday morning naming “Do You Realize??” as the Sooner State’s official song.

In the meantime, the House will have to put up with the bad press it’s getting for the Lips incident. Oklahoman editor Ed Kelley recorded a video condemning the legislative body’s action, calling it “another black eye” for the state and accusing the House of punishing “diversity of thought, religion, politics and just about anything that doesn’t conform to its narrow view of what Oklahoma ought to be.   Kelley then wraps up his op-ed piece, saying, “to the outside world, we must look like a bunch of hicks.”

Please click here to read the entire Oklahoman article.]


  1. Anonymous wrote:

    11:09 AM, Apr 28, 2009

    lol @ state songs.

  2. skychotic wrote:

    10:17 AM, Apr 27, 2009

    *with   (my bad)

  3. skychotic wrote:

    10:16 AM, Apr 27, 2009

    C'mon guys, what's will all the hatred? Although I think we can agree that this whole thing is rather stupid. Who needs a state song anyway?

  4. hooterville wrote:

    08:55 AM, Apr 27, 2009

    the citizens of Oklahoma should be embarrassed such a sorry ass group as Flaming Lips is even being considered for this psuedo honor and that they have such idiots in their legislator to waste time on it.

  5. Saneaux wrote:

    07:02 AM, Apr 27, 2009

    Who gives a ***, really? why the OK legislature is wasting time (and therefore tax dollars) on this is one good question, another would be why they would even consider  "Do You Realize" for the state song. The lyrics don't reflect Oklahoma at all, and quite frankly are sophomoric and pretty *** lame (can you imagine a choir of Tulsa elementary students singing the state song, refraining "Do you realize that everyone you know will someday die"). Simple solution: name "Okie from Muskogee" the state song instead and everyone wins.

  6. swordoftruth wrote:

    11:22 AM, Apr 26, 2009

    Why is it an embarrassment for Oklahoma to make the moral judgment to condemn Mr. Ivins' shirt, but not an embarrassment for Mr. Ivins to make the moral judgment to publicly endorse communism at a hosted visit to the state capitol?  Yes, a studied "*** you" to America while visiting a government capitol just might have consequences, Mr. Ivins (and his rude-is-the-new-hip supporters).

  7. HSLono wrote:

    11:17 PM, Apr 25, 2009

    Why anyone thinks this is burning political issue of our time is beyond me. John Raiitt's "Oklahoma" is far more desrving that some blog driven dopey contest winner as a state song anyway.

  8. NYGTO wrote:

    11:13 PM, Apr 25, 2009

    "warm up band" for who? When's the last time you got to a show that wasn't an act from the '70s/'80s Ernest?

    BTW ever heard of a "warm up band" called Arcade Fire? How about White Stripes? Should I go on or is that already too much for your fifth grade learnin'?

  9. LASCENE wrote:

    08:03 PM, Apr 25, 2009

    Too bad a 2nd band member didn't sport a Che Guevara shirt ala RATM!  That would have looked nice & cheery.  Probably would have been OK though as Obama is courting Cuba!

  10. Studebaker Hawk wrote:

    07:54 PM, Apr 25, 2009

    well,maybe after timothy mcveigh and the oklahoma city bombing,they pushed this south state a bit conservative.anyway,if they wanna be punk and wear a hammer & sickle shirt(lets face it,its not great attire to go meet bigwigs of the u.s. govt)they should'nt care about having a state song.if this could explode like the bill grundy incident they could be the hottest hype since the sex pistols(!),not that the pistols did'nt have any merit.they have some killer tunes.  

  11. hooterville wrote:

    05:36 PM, Apr 25, 2009

    ya ny..low wattage....they're a frikin warm up band for gods sake...get a grip

  12. landathelost wrote:

    02:24 PM, Apr 25, 2009

    sigh...incidents like this make me remember why I chose to move away.

    But try to realize that the Oklahoma House represent the Oklahoma people no more than Bush represented the American people...heavy sigh

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