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The people of America will frequently be politically apathetic, and deflect their own guilt by accusing celebrities of the same. As if those wealthy, important, busy people had nothing better to do, or were to blame for the indifference of the masses. This is especially fallacious when it comes to athletes, who are not role models and spend a lot of time on airplanes.
However, every once a while, an issue arises that seizes the great and powerful as if by storm, forcing them to take notice and assert their reluctant social relevance. This year, our nation's right to live the principle of plural marriage hangs in the balance. No one on our shores cares about this more than the Chicago Bulls and the Portland Trailblazers, who fought a double overtime battle on the hardwood as the Iowa caucus results rolled in, and who all have at least twenty wives. Right down to the trainers and announcers. Therefore, they have chosen to take action the only way they know how: by making a mixtape dedicated to the candidate they believe is most committed to achieving their goal. They will stand up and fight—for polygamy—by loudly touting their human horse in the political race.
With the Iowa caucus now cemented as corn-fed prophecy, we are able to share some of the players' choices with you. They all reveal an incredibly subtle taste in music, eschew all radio rap, and have absolutely no overlap between them. This is democracy in action on many levels, a marketplace of ideas from which we might very well never recover.
Chris Duhon: Hillary Clinton
If there's only one thing you can remember about Chris Duhon, make it his love for the ladies. Don't let his altar boy looks fool you, this man gets trim for days--literally. He has exactly 30 wives, one for every day of the month (whenever there's a 31st, he takes a night off). The first woman with a legit shot at the presidency may seem like an odd choice for someone whose number one issue is legalized polygamy, but Duhon is confident in the knowledge that Hillary let Bill get some on the side.
Mixtape: "Longfellow Serenade: The Best of Neil Diamond" (the name makes him giggle)
Kirk Hinrich: John Edwards
People like to think Hinrich is some hick, and himself the son of a Midwest dock worker. But one of us once heard him dismiss a Bulls employee as a "cracker-ass cracker," and his nickname 'round the stalks used to be "Young Glove". The vote here is for the Edwards daughters, who happen to look like wives 3-5 of Hinrich's harem of 50. Kirk's always wanted to make a difference, and if Edwards gets elected, he can subtly exchange his wives for the President's kids and all of a sudden be in a position to make moves. Chew on that, Karl Rove!
Mixtape: "Stick It In, Crank the Ignition: Two Decades of French Joe C Impersonators"
Joakim Noah: Dennis Kucinich
Noah is torn between his love of the limelight, his man-of-the-people internationalism, and his secret longing to attend Antioch. Luckily, his need to keep fourteen wives in his stable lights the way; Kucnich is a staunch monogamist, but he's down with being open and letting people live their lives. Even if Noah didn't practice polygamy, he'd be drawn to Kunuich's unreconstructed, timeless campus liberalism, and his affinity for people losing their jobs overseas. Also, Michelle is handsome and all, but Kucinich's wife is actually, unqualifiably, hot. Just the way that Obama's ethnic and crusading and all, but Kucinich really wants to shake things up.
Mixtape: "Principled Lady: Great Moments in Caribbean Boogie"
Joe Smith: Mitt Romney
Smith has an obvious interest in the religion founded by his namesake, and his years of research have resulted in profound respect for the Church of Latter Day Saints, although he has not himself converted. His affection for East Coast hip-hop has him in a more Five Percent state of mind (another uniquely American religion founded by a Smith!), but whenever he plays in SLC, he always gets to thinkin' what if. Celestial marriage sounds dope, and he's got multiple earthly wives already, even if D. Original has him beat (34 to 22).
Mixtape: "Ammonite Wizdom: Obscure Early '90s Hip-hop from New Jersey" (mp3 available at Cocaine Blunts)
Steve Blake: FUCK VOTING
Years spent living in DC and the Pacific NW have radicalized this young man, whose shaved head once symbolized a solidarity with his closely shorn black teammates, but is now evidence of a different kind of struggle. You'll find Blake setting fire to one of his teammate's Range Rovers before you find him in a voting booth. Barack Obama or Mike Huckabee? It doesn't matter, they both suckle at the corrupt, hollow teat of Christian capitalism.
Mixtape: "Empire Death: Crust Punk From Scotland and Northern Ireland"
Jarrett Jack: Rudy Giluiani
Jack plays like a bulldog—a bulldog of a point guard! That's like Giulani, a bully of a mayor and an iron-fisted prosecutor, trying to have some common touch on the campaign trail. These two men need each other. Giulani has been married eight times and some of these must have overlapped. A few of Jarrett Jack's twenty wives think they're married to Cuba Gooding, Jr., and the pocketbook ain't disagreein'. Plus everyone wants to be from New York.
Mixtape: "A Man's Got to Mean It: Rural Black Eighties Hardcore"
Travis Outlaw: Mike Huckabee
Anyone notice how Huckabee went from a fringe hick, to a novelty act, to a viable candidate who made the same old crap seem refreshing? That's a lot like Travis Outlaw: wasted draft pick, athletic cyclone, and now all of a sudden a deadly shooter and clutch item. But like Huckabee, the Fender-cranking preacher who somehow won a primary, Outlaw's teetering between incidental and truly original. Poor Man's Gerald Wallace (thanks, Ziller) or Rashard with a motor? Only God knows. Plus he has three wives, and Huckabee is a fundamentalist.
Mixtape: "Quiescent Shapings: New Delta Musique Concrete"
Coach Nate McMillan: Barack Obama
Basketball is a font of eternal youth. Politics can bring on age's majesty and wear with unspeakable quickness. Except in this case. A Nate Supreme has seemed forty since he turned twenty-five, while Obama's got hearts fluttering like he was Elvis. But wait, when the cards come out, these two men are of the same generation, and have shared together some very general and fuzzy hopes and dreams. They know each other. And if one of them—not saying who—had a few legal girls on the side, the other one wouldn't dime out his brother in the struggle. Both are very good husbands, too.
Mixtape: "4-2 = me +u : Sweet JUCO Soul"
*Original concept, color illustrations, and much of the text provided by BETHLEHEM SHOALS.