...Monday, October 27, 12:00pm EST, in unhaunted, ghost-free international waters:
In the tribally-regionalized democratic election for LJ Idol Tribe One Week Five, LiveJournal professional and budding Idol star srs_bidness is consigned to a second-place finish by one vote... and an extremely dubious situation.
...Saturday, October 25, 11:03am CST, in the Rev. LaRock's unhaunted, ghost-free chambers:
Rev. LaRock's poor desk was always taking some kind of domestic abuse from me. Today, for some reason, I found myself kicking its modesty panel. I guess I was not in a mood for modesty.
"She can't get away with this, Rev. She just can't. What about integrity? What about the principles of democracy?"
"To be fair, Mr. Bidness, I think you may be blowing this situation a bit out of proportion."
"Ever since the polls opened, she's been 3 votes, 5 votes in the lead over me... and it's all because of THIS. I'm just sick and tired of the ones with massive f-lists getting away with murder in the election year after year, Rev. It's shameless, it's disgusting, it's a blatant insult to the very principles upon which LJ Idol was founded."
"One, Syrius... if may I call you that at this point in our personal relationship, Mr. Bidness?"
"Well, of course, Rev."
"One, Syrius, keeping perspective is so very, very important; please try. This isn't an actual election, it's a completely absurd LiveJournal contest. Every day, I find myself questioning why you are willing to pay me thousands of dollars every week to be involved. Maybe you should occasionally question your priorities as well.
"Two, don't play self-righteously dumb here. You knew, going in, that this contest is almost entirely a game of how many e-Friends one has at the ready. Overcoming your serious friend deficiency and, further, your generally misanthrophic behavior has been the primary focus of my advising team since day one. We even talked about this situation in our very first conversation in Week Three, do you recall?"
"Rev, just because we have both been haunted by this ongoing issue with the contest doesn't mean that we are going to sit here and accept it like a couple of suckers."
"Well, I'm not really sure that we have much of a choice. And besides, Mr. Bidness, you can't claim that this was all due to her formidable f-list power. After all, that weird arm-tilting thing she kept doing in the video was pretty fuckin' dope. Ever since I watched the video from her entry, I can't stop doing it myself. My only wish is that she'd sung Soulja Boy instead."
Rev. LaRock then began to act out his fantasy.
"Right, meh, I guess the arms-tilting thing was alright. But, Rev, you are as cynical and analytical a man as anyone I know. Surely, you of all people can see right through this ploy of hers."
"I guess not, Syrius. Tell me, just what is her sinister 'ploy'?"
"Isn't it obvious? One, by posting herself singing under the clever guise of 'facing a fear,' thusly garnering the attention and sympathy of both the Idol reader base and her own LJ friends, she hoped to upstage and completely overshadow my superior post. Put it another way: With absolutely no justification for such brutish force, she used one of the deadliest weapons of mass destruction in LJ Idol... the You-Go-Girl weapon.
"Two, having already taken a bye in the previous week-- perhaps to escape a community-only vote, or perhaps because she simply had nothing to say-- her video content distracted from the fact that she still had nothing in particular to say in writing in her own post. She managed to replace interesting prose with flashy multimedia... in a writing contest, Rev. And the voters of today are so dumbed-down, so enamored with blinky lights, horrid ringtones, shiny crap and Cloris Leachman, that they are just letting her blatantly get away with it, letting her get away with noise and pretty pictures over written substance..."
"Ahem. A h e m."
"Excuse me, Rev?"
"Sorry, Syrius, I was just clearing my throat."
"Anyway, she took the low road to first place here, explicitly targeting me, because she knew she couldn't take first-in-tribe otherwise. Seriously, how do you compete with that love letter and the posting of the world-famous rarity 'Calculator Girl', posted by the original artist behind this often-cited-never-heard chestnut? Ah, but it's very simple, Rev. Just go post yourself via Youtube, moving your arms in an angular, oddly hypnotic fashion through the duration of a Beatles song, then immediately switch on your personal unthinking botnet to brutally crush your overly-endowed challenger, that's how."
"Yes, well, returning to reality... or whatever passes for it on the Internet, Mr. Bidness... you seem to think you can change all of this somehow-- that you can somehow counter a 500-plus-person friend list and accordingly restore the sanctity of democracy in the West. Of course, I personally helped put an end to democracy with the help of Katherine Harris and the Diebold Corporation nearly a full decade ago. Who knows, perhaps it's finally due for a comeback this week. So what is this miracle you plan to generate single-handedly? What could you possibly plan to do?"
"Well, I reckon I'm gonna do the only thing a right-thinkin', tight-rhymin' American can do, Rev."
Across the desk, the Rev was momentarily speechless.
"...You can't be serious."
"I am, Rev. Deadly serious."
"Mr. Bidness, we have been over this many times already. No one aside from you considers the staging of a 'rap battle' as a viable winning strategy in this campaign."
"Listen, Rev... what could be more patriotic, indeed, more American than responding to a direct, underhanded, undeserved assault on one's own otherwise-certain victory with a declaration of hip-hop war... with the public demand that your foe then get on the mic and show us all what kinda shit she really made of, yo?"
"Please never speak in such a fashion in my office again. You sound like a bigger poser than R. van Winkle in his 'Really, I'm smoking pot and shooting people now, honestly' phase."
"Well, anyway, Rev, that's my plan. I'm publicly declaring war on my foe-- a hip-hop war-- and although she started the conflict, I'm firing the first round of the battle. She may either choose to fight honorably in the traditional retaliatory diss track, or she may surrender."
"You do realize that in reality she doesn't give a damn about you, has no idea she's just been challenged, and will probably 'surrender' in the form of failing to respond to this utter nonsense, don't you?"
"Rev, as discussed above, I have no doubt in my mind that her entry in Week Five was nothing short of a calculated attempt to deprive me, and me specifically, of the first-place victory she knew was both inevitable and deserved. But in the event that she fails to respond to my war challenge, it will be patently obvious to everyone that I am the true and legally recognized victor of Tribe One, Week Five. I will immediately petition clauderainsrm to change the poll results on public record."
"Syrius, you are completely fucking insane. Alright, and if she accepts the challenge and loses in the eyes of the public, what are the terms of the resulting treatise?"
"She must agree to never ask her friends list to vote for her again."
"Mr. Bidness, as your campaign manager, I should advise you that I find this whole thing an extremely poor idea, and I must insist that you not pursue it. Instead, I'm assigning you to write on the assigned topic... a nice, family-friendly posting about ghosts, personal demons... whatever. That kinda thing. You know as well as I do that Idol readers love overwrought blurbs on personal demons. Make up a debiliating knitting addiction or something, you'll knock it right out of the park."
"Nope, too late, Rev. I've already booked the studio time and DJ N-wee, the hottest hip-hop producer in suburban Topeka. This week, one way or another... I know one fool that is goin' down."
"Mr. Bidness, wait... don't go... we really should talk about this more..."
"Peeeeyace out, Rev. LaRock."
It's official. We are now at war. There will be casualties.
THE INITIAL HIP-HOP CHALLENGE (mp3)
(or perhaps you'd like a work- / child-safe mp3 instead)
Lyrics here (opens in another window or tab)
Dear unnamed foolish war-enemy on a hill somewhere: Should you choose to fight honorably in this conflict, you may use either the original instrumental beat, or any other instrumental beat you may find online, as your backing in your wartime response.
Said response must be delivered in prosaic rhyme in the new-fangled "hip-hop" fashion of the day, and shall be accompanied by an absolute minimum of dope-ass angular arm-tilting.
Said strategic war response is also required to be submitted no later than Week Seven and the victor shall be decided here by the voting public in Week Eight. Otherwise, you shall forfeit this war, and victory is automatically mine.