Saturday, May 12, 2012

Beastie Week: "Ch-Check It Out"

"Ch-Check It Out" was the first single from To the 5 Boroughs. It's a lovably mature, old school record for the 21st century, reverting to sparse production and relatively PG boasts. Some listeners accused the Beasties of playing it safe, although I'd argue that the album's divisiveness proves the critics wrong.

The New York Times' Stephanie Zacharek was one such critic, trashing "Ch-Check It Out" and its music video upon release and causing director Nathaniel Hornblower to write in.

To the Editor:

I had the great pleasure of reading your unsolicited critique of the ''Ch-Check It Out'' music video [''Licensed to Stand Still'' by Stephanie Zacharek, May 16]. It took some time to get to me, as it had to be curried (sp?) on goatback through the fjords of my homeland, the Oppenzell. And in the process the goat died, and then I had to give the mailman one of my goats, so remember, you owe me a goat.

Anyway, that video is big time good. Pauline Kael is spinning over in her grave. My film technique is clearly too advanced for your small way of looking at it. Someday you will be yelling out to the streets below your windows: ''He is the chancellor of all the big ones! I love his genius! I am the most his close personal friend!''

You journalists are ever lying. I remember people like you laughing at me at the university, and now they are all eating off of my feet. You make this same unkind laughter at the Jerry Lewis for his Das Verruckte Professor and now look, he is respected as a French-clown. And you so-call New York Times smarties are giving love to the U2 because they are dressing as the Amish and singing songs about America? (Must I dress as the Leprechaun to sing songs about Ireland so that you will love me? You know the point I make here is true!)

In concluding, ''Ch-Check It Out'' is the always best music film and you will be realizing this too far passing. As ever I now wrap my dead goat carcass in the soiled New York Times -- and you are not forgetting to buy me a replacement! Please send that one more goat to me now!

Eight years later, Zacharek has posted the following tweets:

In memory of Adam Yauch, a hilarious letter he wrote to the NYTimes in response to a review I wrote. (He was right.)

And that letter was two years before Borat, too. Genius
I still owe him one goat, big-time.

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