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March 2023
Vol. 22, No. 6
32nd Annual San Diego Music Awards

Hosing Down

An Open Letter to Carrie Underwood

by José SinatraJanuary 2014

Before I pour my heart out to you once again, I feel it best to expose and exile some old imperfections that have threatened the once-promising beauty of our relationship. You can always trust me, Undies. If truth indeed is beauty, then right now I must be Jennifer Lawrence.

I wonder if you can understand the terrible amount of pain you caused me about ten years ago. So much has happened to you in the intervening time it would not surprise me to learn that the details of our relationship and all that we shared so long ago have been entirely forgotten by one of us. And I assure you, Carrie, the “one of us” I refer to is not me.

Think back to your pre-stardom days when you were simply a contestant on American Idol. You got a handwritten letter of encouragement every week, which I personally sent to you care of the local station that carried the show. It was just something I felt compelled to do since I first saw your face on the two-inch screen of my palm-sized television and loudly exclaimed, “Lawd! I gotsta have me some of that!”

I hope you at least remember the one I sent just before the final show when I wrote, “I just know there’s magic in the air and if your eyes have landed on these words, you will indeed be this year’s winner. If you haven’t yet received this letter by the final show, be comforted by the fact that you should have won.”

And sure, it’s old news but you did win, which means, of course, that you did indeed read my letter (as well as all my earlier ones) but for some unknown reason you never answered a single one! Not even after I started including self-addressed, stamped envelopes, which I wouldn’t mind having back so I can maybe send them to someone else who might actually give a damn. And it wouldn’t hurt if you’d augment the value of the existing stamps to reflect the current postal rates. Or are you just too busy these days?

Now, I’m not saying that you owe me anything (except perhaps credit for a good portion of your fame), but (oh, and those envelopes, too) just understand that because of our difficulty communicating with each other, a part of me — a very special part — was gravely wounded and has never recovered 110%. Oh, I’ve gotten on with my life and everything, but really, Carrie, it really hurt bad for many months of that bleakly distant year.

And now I have the feeling that you yourself have been hurt by a bunch of stupid people, so I guess I can finally say, “Hey, now you know how it feels,” before jumping to your defense.

Hey, now you know how it feels.

I am here for you now, Carrie, and this is simply my small way of letting the world  know it. You’ve been getting a lot of abuse all over the internet about your December television special, The Sound of Music. Newspaper critics in several areas treated the very idea of your live broadcast as a sort of blasphemy. The attitudes, in sum, were, “How dare she step into Julie Andrews’ shoes in a needless remake of one of America’s few perfect films?” First of all, Carrie, they’re a bunch of brain-dead snobs. Second of all, they’re probably jealous of our special relationship — one the likes of which they can never share. And third above all, they

To compare your live television special with that old Julie Andrews megaproduction is, on its face, Ludacriss (see, I’m still hip) and on its hands and knees, pathetic and demeaning. Your Sound of Music special was a revival of the original stage musical (which would later become the basis for the film) and was one of thousands that have been mounted over the last near-60 years. As in all reproductive cycles, successful offspring do not result from every mounting. Among those thousands, better productions and worse productions have undoubtedly existed, but the fact remains that the stage show and the movie are separate entities!

You did it live, babe, and you did it really well. ( I’ve had dreams of you being my very own sort of “governess” ever since I first watched it. This very bad boy needs his discipline from time to time, as you can well imagine.) The decision to delete the Scarecrow, Tin Man, Lion and the song “Over the Rainbow” was a controversial one but, in my estimation, a brave one that streamlined the action and endowed the production with a fresh sense of realism. Getting rid of the ridiculous “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” did a service to your younger viewers as well as fans of hip-hop, who have enough trouble already understanding words and concepts consisting of more than two syllables.

Back to the biting idiots, who seem to make up the greatest portion of the active public. How can they condemn a perceived “remake” for being a remake when a lot of their favorite cinematic meals in recent years have in fact been remakes? Think of all those delighted burps they’ve had from Spiderman and Superman and everything from Tarantino. Oh, there you go, getting me started on Tarantino, whose films consist of remakes of scenes from a lot of older, better movies, mixed into sometimes-different narratives, which are spiced up with a musical soundtrack consisting of cues that some other directors originally commissioned for their own older, better films of which the biting idiot public has no knowledge and, hence, considers Tarantino a genius. If you feel like killing me for that atrocious run-on sentence I just perpetrated, Carrie, you’ll probably feel more comfortable wearing leather gloves, boots, and a bathing suit… as I said, I’ve been very bad and am in need of chastisement.

Overall, I guess my point is that all the ugly criticism has come from a bunch of hypocritical numbskulls whose God is not initialled J.C. but Q.T. (get thee behind her, Quentin!) They thrive on remakes (they think they come off as being smarter when they call them “reboots”). And they are increasingly intolerant of hot-looking singers who don’t do rap or deface their awesome bods with faddish tattoos or skin-piercing jewelry. I applaud you for remaining so unsullied; I sometimes doodle tattoos or nose rings and tongue studs onto pictures of you in magazines when I’m bored and, believe me, you’re better off just as you are!

Your Sound of Music was music to my ears and a delight to my eyes. You sang your songs beautifully and acquitted yourself well as an actress — you certainly teared up superbly when it was required. If someone decides to do an American remake of France’s recent Blue Is the Warmest Color, perhaps even as a musical, I’d love to see you star in it.

So put all those “Maria Von Crapp” slurs in the garbage where they belong. I say “Ave” to your Maria, Miss Underwood, Miss Understood, Miss Mountain-I-Would-Climb-’Til-I-Find-My-Dream.

Ford Every Rainbow,


P.S. I enjoy your Country stuff too, from time to time.

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