musicThe Emperor decrees

The Emperor decrees that reggae may no longer be played on rock stations

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I have been declared Emperor of the World. Let us not waste time explaining why or how; let’s all simply accept the fact that we are better off, as a result; hence, my next decree:

Emperor’s Decree No. 3T-45: Rock and roll stations are no longer permitted to play reggae music. Reggae is the polar opposite of rock and roll. There are no similarities between rock and roll and reggae. The rhythmic stresses occur in different places. Reggae is “laid-back” and rock and roll is “in-your-face.” Barry Manilow fits a rock station playlist about as well as Bob Marley does. (And, no, excessive marijuana use is not enough of a connection between rock and reggae to justify its presence on the playlist.) Hearing reggae on a rock station is like finding a picture of one’s grandmother edited into a pornographic video: it just breaks the whole vibe; lets the air our of the balloon; jams on the brakes; busts the groove; kills the buzz — and all those other cliches that you lowly minions always identify with. It’s a bird in the face of roller-coaster-riding Fabio. When the Emperor is cruising along, slamming his face against the dashboard to “Hell’s Bells” he doesn’t want it followed up with “One Love.” You can’t do the devil’s horns thing to Marley, plain and simple. When the Emperor wants to suck on a juicy mango and loaf in a hammock, he welcomes all things Rastafarian. But when the Emperor feels the need to bang the royal head, he doesn’t want a pillow thrown in front of it. (It just ain’t a party until the crown gets dented.)

The Punishment: DJs who play reggae on rock stations will have headphones duct-taped to their heads and they will be forced to listen to Don Ho singing “Tiny Bubbles” for one solar year.

Now, go forth and obey.

The Emperor will grace the world with a new decree each Tuesday morning.


Chris Matarazzo is a writer, composer, musician and teacher of literature and writing on the college and high school levels. His music can be heard on his recent release, Hats and Rabbits, which is currently available. Chris is also the composer of the score to the off-beat independent film Surrender Dorothy and he performs in the Philadelphia area with the King Richard Band. He's also a relatively prolific novelist, even if no one seems to care yet. His blog, also called Hats and Rabbits, is nice, too, if you get a chance...
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