Not All Of Oklahoma Is OK With The Flaming Lips

Dan Gibson | April 24, 2009 1:30 pm

When the Flaming Lips’ “Do You Realize??” was named as the official rock song of Oklahoma, I was a little surprised and impressed; after all, an act like the Lips would seem to offend the occasionally delicate sensibilities of the sort of person who aspires to state office. Well, as it turns out, Michael Ivins wore a hammer and sickle T-shirt to the state Capitol the day the state Senate announced the Lips’ honor, which didn’t sit well with some of the more conservative members of the Oklahoma House. And then Wayne Coyne added an f-bomb to his acceptance speech.

Rep. Mike Reynolds, R-Oklahoma City, also spoke against the measure, saying the band has a reputation for using obscene language, recalling the leader of the band used the “F-word” in expressing his gratitude during an event in 2007 after the city named an alley after the band. “Their lips ought to be on fire,” Reynolds said. The House voted 48-39 to approve the resolution — it needed 51 votes to pass. Rep. Joe Dorman, the House sponsor of the resolution, said three Republican members told him they would vote for the resolution “but ran with the mob” and voted against it. “Had those three members kept their word, this resolution would have passed, and Oklahoma wouldn’t be experiencing national embarrassment,” said Dorman, D-Rush Springs. The Flaming Lips were scheduled to be at the Oklahoma History Center next week for a ceremony that included the governor signing the resolution. National media members also were invited to attend, said Dorman, and The Flaming Lips were to appear later in the week at a music exhibit at the center. “They may as well have burned Flaming Lips albums on the House floor today,” Dorman said.

The governor has stepped in and overridden the House’s non-passing of the resolution, so “Do You Realize??” remains Oklahoma’s official rock song, for whatever that’s worth. I’m certainly thankful that all this trouble has worked itself out, and that my fourth- or fifth-favorite Flaming Lips song can have a largely meaningless honorific. Yay for democracy! Singing Lips’ praise despite opposition from Oklahoma House [NewsOK]