July 28, 2008

Dear George Clinton: Bring Back the Funk, Please

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July 2, 1979: the day that Funk died. According to the legend (courtesy of The Mighty Boosh), Funk is actually a living creature, fallen to Earth from another planet. Discovered by Bootsy Collins, the Funk was milked, which was turned into a Funky milkshake and consumed by Bootsy, bringing himself some Funk and transforming him into the funk-master he became. Funk’s death was a tragic accident — while Parliament was touring, George Clinton knocked it off the mothership.
George Clinton is responsible for the death of Funk. Supposedly.
I don’t believe that Funk is dead. I, in fact, witnessed the funkiness of George Clinton and the P-Funk All Stars at BB King’s a few weeks ago and have concluded that George, in fact, kidnapped the Funk for his own selfish needs.
The venue was incredibly packed and there was absolutely no way for me to move without either touching the sweaty old man with the beer gut who danced a little too intensely to the stock music on my left, or interrupting the couple in their mid-twenties who were making out on my right. The band had little more room on stage than the crowd did in the pit; watching the performance was like watching the Polyphonic Spree go to Tacky Formal. All twenty-two band members were crammed onto the tiny stage, decked out in the wildest threads they could find — clearly influenced by the Funk. (One guitarist dressed in a gold Elvis-style jacket and a diaper. This was not the Funk. This was gross.)
The band was as psycho-funkadelic as ever with one exception: Georgy C. was MIA for almost half the show. There was no logical reason for the main attraction to be missing during his own concert. That is, unless he was running low on the Funk and going backstage get some more of the Funk at the expense of his fans’ disappointment in not seeing the rainbow-dreaded man himself. While he thought the twenty-two other people on stage could mask his disappearance, the missing Funk he emitted when he was offstage was too strong an absence to go unnoticed.
There is no way that Funk is dead — it was just missing for a while. If George Clinton wants to bring Funk to the world, let him do so by spreading the Funk to everybody who’s coming to get some, instead of keeping it backstage and all to himself. I think we should give Mr. Clinton a taste of his own medicine and revolt to hand over the Funk to someone who is more appreciative of it and less elusive under the influence (of the Funk, that is). He must have read our minds when he sang, “We want the Funk. Give up the Funk.”