New Zealand Fights Fire With Manilow

Christopher R. Weingarten | March 3, 2009 11:00 am

The New Zealand town of Christchurch has a bigger problem than the orcs in the Mines of Moria. It’s being overrun by mall rats! With their texting gizmos and saggy pants and Sbarro breath and fat silent friends in trenchcoats giving life lessons about relationships! The Central City Business Association has seen an uptick in litter, graffiti, drunkenness, drugs, and worst of all, swearing. Their solution: Playing Barry Manilow. I’m glad someone finally had the bright idea to play crappy music over a mall sound system, because if I go to the Palisades and hear Big Black and Amon Duul II one more time, I’m gonna toss my Cinnabons.

“The intention is to change the environment in a positive way… so nobody feels threatened or intimidated,” Central City Business Association manager Paul Lonsdale told The Associated Press. “I did not say Barry Manilow is a weapon of mass destruction.” Tell that to the dudes in Colorado who were sentenced to listen to the B-Man after playing their car stereos too loud.

What could a sullen goth teen kicking a Fosters can in the alley of a mall find in a Manilow song?

I mean look at these lame-ass lyrics to “Mandy.” “I remember all my life/Raining down as cold as ice.” OK, well that’s a pretty cool way to think of pain, I guess. That’s not totally as lame as I expected. All right, forget that line, let’s move on. “A shadow of a man/A face through a window.” Oh, geez. I’ve felt that way too. I mean it’s not like when Maynard sings, but it’s making the same point in a way. Right bro? Don’t look at me like that, I’m saying. Shit. “Just another day/Happy people pass my way.” Yeah, that’s kind of lame, but you know he’s right, Everyone’s just putting on a front, just a bunch of phonies but they’re not really happy, y’know. Imagine if everyone could just say what they were really thinking all the time, you know, man? “I see a memory, I never realized.” Oh man, oh man, oh man, I’m gonna graduate soon and I still don’t know if there’s anything in this world for me… I… I… OH MANDY, YOU CAME AND YOU GAVE WITHOUT TAKING!

Also, the kids said they’re just gonna bring their own stereos.

Mall wants Manilow music to drive out teens [AP]