Monday, December 01, 2003

ABBA 2004 

Press Release
December 1, 2003
Solvang, California

We are pleased to announce that as of noon today we have submitted the necessary legal documents and tax dodge forms to establish a political action committee called Anybody But Bush Again 2004 and hereafter known as and commonly referred to by its acronym ABBA 2004.

First off, we wish it to be known that ABBA 2004 is in no way associated with any political party — major, middling, minor or fringe — currently running, planning to prepare or preparing to plan to run a candidate for the presidency of the United States in 2004. Our purpose is simply to closely track, and periodically publish our opinion on the likelihood of electability among the emerging contenders. We will quantify our opinions, and lay odds when appropriate. We do this free of any party affiliation, ideological baggage or agenda beyond assisting in the defeat of George W. Bush in the upcoming presidential election.

On a lighter note, our legal department insists that we state publicly and for the record what is surely clear to everyone else. Despite the purely coincidental resemblance of our acronym to the name of the 70s Swedish pop combo ABBA, we are in no way associated with them — either individually or collectively — their record label or any of the dozens, it turns out, tribute bands and websites devoted to them and their music, and do not have, seek or imply their endorsement for our use in any manner or for any purpose that could bring us financial or material gain. You'd think this would all be obvious, but you know legal departments, a couple of threatening letters from Scandinavia and they get their briefs all in a bunch.

We would also like to take this opportunity to distance ourselves from wags who have noted with relish that an outfit with the same name (but no relation) to Swedes who sang English phonetically is opposed to an American president who delivers his speeches in much the same way, albeit without the complex harmonizing and catchy backbeat. There has also been some loose talk about our organization's having some sort of Scandinavian-style socialist agenda. To this we say, meningslös ljudföljd!

With the necessary legalities out of the way, we can proceed to our first order of business: choosing an appropriate theme song.

"Take a Chance on Me" and "So Long", both from the self-titled 1975 album "ABBA", each got lively responses from some staffers, but the former was deemed 'Awfully risky' by Gil in accounting and the latter 'A bit presumptious, maybe' by Ellie and Gregg, who never agree on anything. Gil thought that "Take a Chance" was 'Upbeat and optimistic', but he has a huge crush on Jennifer, who suggested it, so his opinion is a little slanted. "S.O.S.", also from 1975's "ABBA" was met with some initial enthusiasm but on further discussion was dismissed as 'Kinda desperate'.

Jason thought that "Waterloo" from the 1974 album of the same name had potential, but it was decided that the historical reference was probably too 'oblique' (Jennifer's word), and would be lost on too many people to be worth it; Matt said it was 'Like, totally lame', and, even though nobody else in the room expressed such a strong opinion, there was a lot of me-too headshaking when he said it. "Watch Out" from that same release got everybody pretty excited until we realized that all we knew about the song was its title, and until Matt fixes the 8-track tape player in his El Camino, we can't give it a listen. "Hasta Mañana", also from "Waterloo", had a few boosters, but was ultimately thought to be too similar to Schwarzenegger's famous "Terminator" catch phrase 'Hasta la vista, baby' and would confuse people. "The King Has Lost His Crown" from "Voulez-Vous" came up a couple of times but it might be better as a victory song, should W actually be unseated, and even then not entirely appropriate.

All in all, "Move On" from 1977's "The Album" brought the fewest objections, if only lukewarm enthusiasm.

Clearly, we're still far from a final decision, and in the spirit of grassroots democracy and interactivity (our website, abba-2004.org, should be up by Christmas), we invite your thoughts and feelings on this matter. Your vote counts!

We look forward to keeping you up-to-date and informed about our progress and opinions with press releases, editorials and announcements of events throughout the coming months.


Sven "Golly" Larson-Nelson-Peterson
Executive Director
ABBA 2004

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