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Trust Me, fun.'s "Some Nights" Is Secretly About Mitt Romney

By Jeremy Gordon

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The author may be dead, but artistic interpretation remains tethered to the text; we can look at the shadows in the fog and try to point out the color of their hair, but there's a fine line between reasoning in theoretical good faith and becoming the ignoble author of a never-cited academic text on JSTOR entitled, "Tyler, The Emaciator: How Odd Future Became Icons Of The Pro-Ana Movement." The scholars of the future will attempt to identify when the "Everything Is Anything, Anything Is Everything" approach became the preferred rhetorical tool of scared-shitless undergrads, but it's probably equally attributable to: 1) The rise of the blogosphere, which gave a voice to everyone arrogant enough to think they deserved a voice, and 2) Chuck Klosterman. I passed into my college years hoping to emulate the Bearded Bard Of Overthinkery, but enough time spent on Tumblr shamed me into never trusting the white man and his way of doing things, ever. As such, I promise you can read each of my words and have complete, total faith that I'm being entirely on the level with you, all of the time.

So bear with me: Here's why fun.'s "Some Nights" is about Mitt Romney and his abortive presidential campaign.

I have no claims that Nathaniel Ruess and the boys in fun. wrote "Some Nights," their gloriously cheesy Peter Gabriel-meets-Queen pa-rum-pa-pum-pum, with any conscious intention of allegorizing Mitt Romney’s life. But genius can be unintentional, too, and the lyrics of "Some Nights" align so perfectly with Romney's biography and presumed mindset that I'm almost shocked no one else has made the connection. (I Googled "fun + Mitt Romney" to confirm this; unsurprisingly, it returned few results.) If you'll tolerate the pedantic, Rap Genius-styled Socratic method, I'll take you line by line through the song to confirm what everyone should accept as truth: This song is awesome, and it's about a depressed Mormon robot.

Some nights, I stay up cashing in my bad luck/Some nights I call it a draw

It's important to mention right away that it takes a little time for the Romney-as-narrator theory to build steam, and there's admittedly not too much to draw from this one. I'll move on. (You could argue that political campaigns are essentially draw-lose situations, measured by the candidate’s capacity to not fuck up from day-to-day, but I won’t burn out the goodwill I’ve done nothing to deserve just yet.)

Some nights, I wish that my lips could build a castle/Some nights, I wish they'd just fall off

As everyone knows, Romney's lack of charisma was one of the many reasons why it took him so long to secure the Republican presidential nomination; he was competing against a perma-stoned toupee (Rick Perry), your terrifying aunt twice-removed who makes no attempt to hide her disgust at your liberal arts education come Thanksgiving (Michele Bachmann), a molesting pizza baron (Herman Cain) and Rick Santorum (Rick Santorum), and still couldn't wrap things up until May. Because he had to say so many far right things in order to convince the likes of Rush Limbaugh that he was indeed a culture warrior, and not the gay-loving, health care-providing monster he'd been as governor of Massachusetts, Romney quickly became a cognitively dissonant caricature to anyone insane enough to actually follow the campaign on a daily basis. In a political climate predicated on talking as much nonsense as can be sold by an army of Adderall-driven flacks, Romney drooled enough politico babble to make Jim VandeHei walk around for most of 2012 with an undroppable boner. He wanted his words to work so that he might build a castle from which he'd reign as figurative king of the United States, but because he is a man powered by an immense feeling of guilt, he also wished they'd just fall off and spare everyone the trouble of taking him seriously.

It's worth mentioning, again, that this song is about why Mitt Romney hates himself.

But I still wake up, I still see your ghost/Oh Lord, I'm still not sure what I stand for/What do I stand for? What do I stand for?/Most nights I don't know anymore

George Romney, Mitt's father, was widely lauded during the campaign for bearing little ideological or character resemblance to his son. The chance to publicly shame Mitt for his perceived differences from dear old Dad was too convenient; George refused to cave to the southern segregationist faction of the Republican Party, openly spoke out against the Vietnam War when few politicians, left or right, were willing to do so, and even released 12 years of his tax returns. Oh, he wasn’t perfect, but he cast enough a shadow over Mitt’s existence—in the filthy liberal media, I mean—that it’s easy to imagine the son being haunted by visions of the father, in some sort of fucked up modern Hamlet situation. And of course, Mitt had no idea what he stood for.

This is it boys, this is war, what are we waiting for?/Why don't we break the rules already?

Speaks for itself. Operating on a truly scandalous level, the Republicans attempted to disenfranchise voters, claim President Obama was shipping GM jobs to China, robocalled voters to convince them Obama was Hitler Antichrist, literally discouraged and prevented citizens from waiting to vote, and so much more. Let's move on before the bile rises.

I was never one to believe the hype/Save that for the black and white/I try twice as hard and I half as liked/But here they come again to jack my style

Reader, this may as well be the Zapruder moment of my theory; the moment where everything snaps into clear focus, and it's impossible to ignore the evidence. I'll let it slide if your reaction thus far has been "Noisey needs to stop hiring shameless gentrifying dorks," because I have a hard time getting out of bed every morning. But come on: Romney says that you can save the hype for the black and white—a.k.a our very biracial president—and the feverish attempt to puncture Obama's celebrity has long been a conservative point of attack. (Like, Limbaugh probably earnestly believes that young people support Obama because they love Jay-Z.) Romney, obviously, tried very hard to be liked, but his detachment from humanity is partly why he had such a rotten time securing that nomination.

As for the jacked style, it’s an open secret that Obama’s Affordable Care Act is partially copied from the health care plan that Romney instituted in Massachusetts while governor—an accomplishment he was forced to disavow as everyone on the right basically screamed, "Socialisty Socialism!" at the idea of trying to keep your citizens alive for a low price.

That's alright, I found a martyr in my bed tonight/Stops by bones from wondering just who I, who I, who I am/Oh who am I

I wouldn't call Ann Romney a "martyr," but you remember how she put herself out on a limb by standing up for her man, right? As tough as it must be to run for office, it's even harder for the spouse; wives are always subjected to a higher standard of conduct than their husbands, and are asked to act as emotionless proxies for the vague ideal of what a national matriarch should look like. At least Mitt and Ann's bedroom love is the type that doesn’t even need a spark to start a fire, according to these lyrics.

Some nights, I wish that this all would end/'Cause I could use some friends for a change/And some nights, I'm scared you'll forget me again/Some nights, I always win, I always win

The second the campaign was over, practically every Republican leapt at the chance to IRL subtweet Romney, anonymously claiming that they knew all along he was a lame duck candidate and that his hair was really dumb. Who couldn't use a friend in a situation like that? And anyone who runs for president, really, has to be the kind of a narcissist who openly wants to be remembered by the American people; with that in mind, it's not too difficult to imagine each and every one of them idly daydreaming about their obviously impending victory. Even now, I bet Romney has dreams where he always wins, but they quickly turn into night terrors in which he’s the bad guy from Django Unchained.

But I still wake up, I still see your ghost/Oh Lord, I'm still not sure what I stand for/What do I stand for? What do I stand for?/Most nights I don't know anymore

See above.

So this is it? I sold my soul for this?/Washed my hands of that for this?/I miss my mom and dad for this?

Open existential meandering, here; I like to imagine Mitt standing on the rooftop of a Hilton at 4 A.M., shaking a tumbler of Nun's Island Whsky at the skyline and sobbing about what he’d become.

When I see stars, when I see stars, that's all they are/When I hear songs, they sound like a swan, so come on/Oh, come on, oh, come on, oh come on!/Well this is it guys, that is all, five minutes in and I'm bored again/Ten years of this I'm not sure if anybody understands

Mitt Romney became governor in 2002, and he ended his second failed presidential campaign in 2012. That's ten years of the political grind, ending in clear failure. I'm sure it's not easy for him to attempt civilian life, which is why all the photos snapped of him at Disneyland and the gas pump revealed an awkward, slightly disheveled manic guy who genuinely (probably, possibly) doesn't know how to interact with regular people on a normal level. I mean, he introduced himself to Manny Pacquiao by saying, "Hi, I'm Mitt Romney. I ran for president and lost." Dude just needs a hug.

This is not one for the folks at home, I'm sorry to leave, mom I had to go/Who the fuck wants to die along all dried up in the desert sun?

There's a reason why his concession speech didn't take place in Arizona. No, I don't know, I don't really have an explanation for this one.

My heart is breaking for my sister and the con that she called love

Romney has a sister, Jane, who's spent most of her life trying to become a Hollywood actress without much extended success; this strikes me as the type of lifelong endeavor that ruthless, Bain-employed Mitt would find completely pointless and sad. And what are the arts to a Republican but a con?

But when I look into my nephew's eyes/Man you wouldn't believe the most amazing things that can come from/Some terrible nights

I just want to point out how secretly fucked up this passage is; at best, he's talking about his sister getting knocked up after getting too drunk one night. At worst, it's an entirely different, uglier night we're talking about. A rare bummer in this otherwise inspirational PowerPoint of a song.

Oh whoa, oh whoa, oh whoa, oh oh/Oh whoa, oh whoa, oh whoa, oh oh

No lyrical connection, but this part of the song slays.

The other night, you wouldn't believe the dream I just had about you and me/I called you up, but we'd both agree/It's for the best you didn't listen/It's for the best we get our distance, oh/It's for the best you didn't listen/It's for the best we get our distance, oh

Mitt Romney dreamed about leading America, but America didn't want Mitt Romney to lead. In retrospect, he understands it was probably for the best, and for now, the best move is probably to spend some time apart (until he emerges in a few years as some mecha-lobbyist). Sorry, guys, you won't have ole Mitt to kick around anymore. But we do have this song, which can remind us of how weird the Romney experience was with every outlandish harmony. Oh whoa oh.

 

Believe me, Jeremy Gordon often wonders about what he stands for - @jeremypgordon

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