Oklahoma City News, Entertainment & Occasional Humor • Established 2007

Yoshimi Battles the Big Hypocrites…

On March 2, the Oklahoma Senate passed a resolution naming “Do You Realize?” as the state’s official rock song.  The resolution passed by a vote of 58 -0, and ended with the Flaming Lips receiving a standing ovation from the Senate.  After the celebration, the Lips took the time to pose for some photos with various senators, interns, and a few hypocritical state reps.  Pictures of these state reps are located below.




Unless the voting information available at okhouse.gov is wrong, David Derby, Marian Cooksey and Lee Denney all voted against the “Do You Realize?” resolution when it came up for a House vote last week.  And if you ask me, they did it for one of the following two reasons:

Reason 1: They are amazing hypocrites. The consensus excuse amongst Republicans who voted against the song is that Michael Ivins wore an old Soviet Union hammer and sickle t-shirt to the Senate vote.  If you’re going to freak out about something that meaningless, all power to you.  But if you do, should you really pose for a picture with the band and the guy wearing that shirt???  Probably not.  That would be like posing nude in Playboy as a representative of your father’s employer’s biggest rival…or something like that.


Reason 2: They are spineless lemmings. When you look at the resolution voting, you’ll notice that all 39 of the “nay” votes came from Republicans.  Are these three Republicans so weak that they can’t cross party lines to vote in favor of a simple symbolic gesture that they probably supported ?  Take Lee Denney for example.  She seems pretty excited to be hugging Wayne Coyne.  Plus, she is or was a member of the House Sub-Committee on Arts and Culture.  How can you be on an Oklahoma Arts and Culture committee and not be supportive of the Flaming Lips?  The answer is simple: be a spineless lemming.

Fortunately, though, why these people did what they did doesn’t really matter.  Tomorrow, our sane and logical Governor will sign an executive order proclaiming “Do You Realize?” to be the state’s official Rock n’ Roll Song.  Here are the details.  Maybe we’ll see you there.

2 p.m.
Tuesday, April 28
Oklahoma History Center
2401 N. Laird Avenue, Oklahoma City


  1. I know for a fact that Lee Denney’s outfit was made in China. Probably by prison labor. Way to stand up to communism!

  2. I don’t mean to be the voice of the state GOP on this issue (God forbid), but isn’t it pretty plausible that several of the members of the House didn’t notice the shirt he had on? He had that jacket on, after all. Then maybe afterward, the Republicans who did notice pointed it out to the ones who didn’t, and some GOP rabble rousing happened after that? That makes as much sense to me as any other explanation.

    As far as “meaningless” goes… so if Garth Brooks shows up to accept an award at the Capitol wearing a confederate flag or swastika t-shirt, nobody would care?

  3. Dusty: As someone that was there throughout the whole thing and never heard a word of disgust mentioned about Ivins’ t-shirt or language that the band has previously used (btw, I hear Rep. Reynolds has quite a potty-mouth himself), there is little to no chance they didn’t notice his shirt.

    Not only did the Lips stand before the entire House for a good five minutes, but they were also in the press room for almost half an hour. Each one of the Lips shook hands with people coming in to have their picture taken with them. It’s highly unlikely they didn’t notice the shirt. Most likely, they didn’t care until their party leaders told them to care.

  4. OklahomaRock – I don’t want to get into jacket-gate, so if you were there, then I’ll be on board with that version of events. But the idea that this makes sense as a reprisal against Gov. Henry… doesn’t make sense. What’s the motivation? How does that help the GOP at all? And even if there are a few hypocrites among the GOP’s ranks, I’m not clear how that makes the argument from the rest of them wrong.

    Unless of course, the brilliant leaders of the state GOP knew that democrats and Lips fans would throw a fit, thereby giving the GOP the opportunity to declare its fierce opposition to Communism. But I think that might be giving them a little too much credit.

  5. I personally love the lady with her mouth wide open in the background of the 2nd picture with Marian Cooksey.

  6. Why all the attention towards republicans in the state house?

    Why not devote some anger towards someone wearing a t-shirt that symbolizes the evils of the Bolshevik Revolution. Please, will someone explain their ties to communism?

  7. Who is the guy on the far right of each picture? Republicans stand up to the principle that symbols on t shirts really matter – please don’t try to change them – this kind of thing is why they are losing traction all over the country.

  8. I have to admit, it’s a little weird reading this really great post, and then looking over to see an Ann Coulter ad. She gives me the willies.

  9. @nermel considering a majority of all products that we use daily are made in China, our consumerism is tied to China way more than some eclectic guy’s ironic t-shirt. if you can buy it at “hot topic”, no need to get in a fuss about it.

  10. Hi Dusty

    I think that a swastika or confederate T-shirt would have been much more offensive because there are hate groups and other overtly anti-American groups currently active within the US who use those symbols. Those symbols carry a current and poisonous weight that the hammer and sickle symbol just doesn’t.

    Maybe (and only maybe) back when the USSR existed and Americans were concerned that someone could have loyalty to our arch enemy, it would have been more understandable to be outraged by a hammer and sickle shirt. But it’s just weird kitsch now. I think most Americans feel like we defeated the USSR, and by extension, Communism, and feel that a picture of the hammer and sickle isn’t a threat to our self esteem or society. Does anyone really believe that the Flaming Lips could have loyalty to China or North Korea or Cuba? Aren’t we more confident in our country than that? What’s to be afraid of here? What if they wore a British flag shirt? The Brits did terrible things to Americans at the time of our revolution. Should we be afraid to wear British kitsch, too? What if they wore an American flag shirt? Would people be up in arms about flag desecration? It’s all silly.

  11. @Dusty – Communism is bad… we get it. Thankfully we live in a country where we can exercise our freedom of speech and not be thrown in jail or murdered. By making a stink about how wrong it is that he was wearing a shirt you oppose, you my friend sound like the communist.

  12. Dusty – I’m not going to claim I know the motivations of the Republican representatives (or any politician for that matter), however it does make sense that the same Representative (Rep. Reynolds) that led the charge to make stem cell research a felony in the state only to get vetoed by the Governor would fire back with something like this.

    Now it could be sour grapes or it could be pandering to the right-wingers that got him elected, but it’s a mighty fine coincidence that he was the charge-leader in two big us vs. them votes last week.

    Derby, Cooksey and Denney’s 180 degree turns are more likely due to colleague pressure than anything else.

    ianok – The guy on the far right is the Flaming Lips’ longtime manager, Scott Booker.

  13. Spinlenox:

    Why are you calling him a communist? Nowhere was it suggested that he not have the right to wear that t-shirt. However, if you lived under communism, you wouldn’t have freedom of speech.

    Hopefully you all defending the t shirt, will be just fine if he were to wear a swastika t shirt, nazi storm trooper uniform.

    The hammer & sickle are poweful signs of hate.

  14. @nermel And Godwin’s Law proves itself. you lose the argument by the reference to Nazism. nothing compares to Nazism, not even Stalinism/Communism… 2 completely different things.

    plus, it’s a t-shirt.

  15. @nermel – I’m calling him a communist because he is putting WAY to much meaning into the motives of wearing a t-shirt. That type of thinking, where if you don’t agree with someone/something that it should be held against them and they should be punished for exercising their right to free speech.
    When the House Republicans voted down this wholly symbolic resolution to declare “Do You Realize?” the state rock song, which was chosen in an open on-line election by a 2-to-1 margin, the repubs took a stand against freedom of speech and democracy… all because of a t-shirt. It might not be communist… but it certainly isn’t democracy.

  16. I think the hammer and sickle are powerful signs of things the U.S. has destroyed. Since they haven’t been adopted by white power groups the way the swastika or confederate flag have, I think it’s a mistake to make that comparison.

    As for The Flaming Lips, I think the wealth they have secured using the capitalist system is enough to prove they aren’t communist sympathizers.

  17. It would be interesting to see what would happen if someone did wear a swastika t-shirt or a had a tattoo or something how people would react.

    For some reason people wear Che Guerra shirts too and ignore the fact that he was a war monger, and brutal murderer. It’s all pop culture and what society and the media deem acceptable. I think I’d go on a limb here and say that if Toby Keith showed up at the state capital to accept an award for the official Oklahoma “country song” or something dumb like that and wore a confederate flag shirt with blazer, people in here wouldn’t be quite so open minded.

    Uncle Joe Stalin killed roughly 18-22 million people (give or take a few million). He starved close to 15 million to death, an estimated 5 million killed as political dissidents, 1.3 million killed in Gulags. They were an authoritarian state and had political prisoners until the Gorbachev era, it’s not like they kept record of how many people they needlessly murdered.

    So a member of a rock and roll group is wearing a symbol of this “open minded” political era. It honestly doesn’t make me think they deserve the state “rock song” title any less. It makes the house leadership kind of look like douches, and I love the lips but it also makes me roll my eyes at the idea of wearing such an offensive shirt just to “stick one to the man” or make a statement.

  18. Dusty and Nermal – the Cold War was a war of ideologies, not moral absolutes. The hammer and sickle is no more a “symbol of hate” than the stars and stripes. It was a symbol of the enemy, an enemy we defeated.

    I can understand the outrage if the Cold War were still active or if we’d lost. But we beat them. Who the hell cares? The hammer and sickle represents a flawed political ideology and an empire that crumbled because of it. It is not in any way comparable to a swastika or even the confederate stars and bars. Those symbols are linked with racism, not merely political ideology. Yes, Stalin purged millions. But those purges were about Stalin’s pshychotic paranoia, not Communist ideology.

    I offer a different analogy. Wearing a hammer and sickle t-shirt is no more an endorsement of the ills of communism than wearing a British Union Jack t-shirt is an endorsement of the evils of monarchy.

    As for the motivations of members of the House who voted against the song, I offer this. Reynolds was either still mad that his stem cell bell was vetoed or he was legitimately outraged by the t-shirt. Either way, he is a moron. Most of the other members who followed him are spineless. Rather than stand up to their fellow caveman and risk offending some of the cave people who voted for them, they chose to metaphorically burn books because they are weak minded.

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