Jeremy Messersmith is giving away a free songbook of Obscenely Optimistic songs. I don’t know if we should be encouraging this sort of thing:

It’s jam-packed with ridiculous songs about kittens, world peace, flying cars and the transformative power of love. Why? Because we all need a ray of sunshine every now and again. Because it’s important to not lose sight of how good things could be. Because the first step to a better world is to imagine a better world.

He’s not kidding. Look at the song list:

Everybody Gets A Kitten
There Is Nowhere We Won’t Go
We All Do Better When We All Do Better
Love Sweet Love
Everything Is Magical
I’m A Snowflake, Baby
You Belong Up There With The Stars
We Can Make Our Dreams Come True

I tried sneering and fixing the lyrics to better reflect my attitude — “Everybody Gets a Vicious, Bloody-Minded, Bird-Slaughtering Predator”, for instance — but then found that they don’t scan anymore, and they don’t fit the notes, either, so I guess we’re stuck with the cheery words he’s giving them. I think I was also bitter because I looked at his tour route, and noticed he wasn’t coming anywhere near western Minnesota.


Then I realized he couldn’t, because his route makes a perfect heart shape*, and he couldn’t visit Morris without wrecking the pattern, so I’ll forgive him.

Get a copy and print it out, and attend his concerts — they’re going to be singalongs, accompanied by ukulele. Presumably without the accompaniment of Vicious, Bloody-Minded, Bird-Slaughtering Predators, but you never know.

*Before you all peevishly tell me that that doesn’t look like your heart**, note that I didn’t say what species. That pointy triangular shape looks exactly like the heart of a salmon, which are better than people anyway.

**Any salmon writing in will not be making that complaint. I appreciate your support. Don’t ask how I know the shape of your heart.


  1. says

    The route is very clearly avoiding Indiana (and Kentucky), and quite frankly that makes sense because all the optimism would shrivel up and die if he came here.
    And yes I do see he goes to Indiana once. It’s in Gary. From what I’ve heard of Gary, that’ll be enough to sap away all the optimism.
    Also, Ukulele? There’s already a special Ukulele of sorts coming in a week.

  2. microraptor says

    My cat is not a bird-slaughtering predator.

    She’d like to be one, but I keep her inside.

  3. weylguy says

    Ah shucks, ain’t the Heartland grand? Come on, folks, doncha wanna sing along to Christian love songs, sweet Baby Jesus and the transformational power of the indomitable human spirit? No, I guess you’d rather live in the real world.

  4. cartomancer says

    Perhaps I should bring out a competing volume: “Vaguely Tolerable Songs about Tedium and Mediocrity”.

  5. anchor says

    Flying cars? They have existed for over a century now. They’re called ‘airplanes’. What people really seem to mean when they speak of ‘flying cars’ is a contraption that flies without any aerodynamic lifting appendages like wings or rotors. Unless or until there is a technological breakthrough that repeals the action of gravity, the fantasy is as preposterous as imagining that colonizing Mars will alleviate the population problem.

  6. says

    Hovercars. People just want to strap jets to the bottoms of their cars and then go wheee.
    I want to know when we’ll get flying carriages pulled along by teams of albatrosses.

  7. jrkrideau says

    Vicious, Bloody-Minded, Bird-Slaughtering Predators

    I’m beginning to worry. Have you considered a pet psychologist? They might be able to help you. Oh and they could meet your nemesis as well.

  8. Raucous Indignation says

    Who’s a cute whittle Vicious, Bloody-Minded, Bird-Slaughtering Predator? You are! Yes, you are! Look at your cute whittle nose! Who’s cute whittle nose is all covered in gore!? Yours is!! Who’s a sweet whittle Vicious, Bloody-Minded, Bird-Slaughtering Predator!? You are!!

  9. numerobis says

    My Vicious, Bloody-Minded, Bird-Slaughtering Predators have never killed a bird!

    Just one mouse and countless flies.

    And they wistfully look out at birds all the time.

  10. DanDare says

    I like the idea.
    Even if I was in the US I’m not sure if I would respond well to this particular execution of the idea. Maybe I can get my quartet back together and we can do a barbershop version here in Brisbane.

  11. birgerjohansson says

    In one of the Laundry novels, Bob Howard describes a kitten as a solitary ambush predator, basically a velociraptor with fur.

  12. petesh says

    @4: “Vaguely Tolerable Songs about Tedium and Mediocrity”
    I believe that was the second album from Talking Heads.