It's occurred to us that readers probably don't know that Framed is generally written several weeks before it's posted. Here's how it works:
Every Monday, about five minutes after the blog posts on Y! Music, we receive an encrypted e-mail cosigned by President Obama and Justin Bieber. The e-mail tells us which artist we'll feature next, which of their videos, and just "how funny" our captions can be. The directions are unexpectedly precise. For example, we've been told stuff like "Go light on the irony, please," and "Hold off on Gummo this week."
(As an aside, we've also gleaned some insight into future policy plans of the current administration. We don't want to say hold on to your guns, readers, but, seriously, hold on to your guns.)
In any case, we were surprised to be assigned this week's video, "Lean On Me" by Kirk Franklin. For one thing, we'd never heard of Kirk Franklin. For another, "Lean On Me" was released by Bill Withers about 40 years ago; it was a big hit. Confused, we decided to call the Y! Music Blogger Suicide Prevention Hotline.
"Hey, how have you been, man?" said the voice on the line. "Do you want to kill yourself yet?"
"No, not yet," we replied. "Of course, we haven't read the latest New This Week."
"Yeah, we get a lot of calls whenever that posts," the voice said. "The exclamation point shortage, you know. Anyway, what can I do for you?"
We explained our dilemma. The voice thought it over.
"Kirk Franklin's a gospel singer. He's won all sorts of Grammys. 'Lean on Me' is a song from 1998 that features some big guest stars like Bono, Mary J. Blige and R. Kelly."
"Wow. This is a pretty knowledgeable Suicide Prevention Hotline," we noted.
"Well, I double at the Y! Music Accuracy Desk," he said. "No one ever calls that, of course."
"We certainly appreciate your help," we said. "How can we repay you?"
"Tell me something. Is Wall Girl, you know, real? And is she hot? Like, super hot?"
"Thanks again," we said.
1 -- "I'd better call June and have her discipline the Beaver in more random and inexplicable ways. To build character."
2 -- "Mr. Trump? I have your younger, more handsome, and surely more intelligent doppelganger in sight."
3 -- "Yes, sweetheart, the president has gutted welfare. Heck, let's go get mommy some liquor and Lotto tickets."
4 -- "Thank you, Mr. President!"
5 -- "Seriously? I need a tie to get into the blog?"
6 -- "That's either Jim The Bird or Framed is screwing with everybody!"
7 -- "OK, then. Young black man. Dead. Gunshot wound. Now, let's talk about cutting taxes on the job creators."
8 -- "I'd like to take a moment to address the readers who don't think I'm a smarmy jerkface."
9 -- "Oh mama mia, mama mia, mama mia, let me go!"
10 -- "Wait! Stop the session! 'Ant Jesus' says that we have to sing about all the Jesuses!"
11 -- Their low, long frequency sounds would soon be known to marine biologists everywhere!
12 -- "Well, I'd best be off to solve a water crisis or empower an emerging nation or something. Whatever; it'll be important."