What Happened to Randy Newman?

Veteran musician Randy Newman has just released the new satirical song “I’m Dreaming (of a White President)” that has your diarist, frankly, baffled beyond belief.

It’s terrible. Newman sets out to mock a certain kind of nostalgic white American chauvinism and then rabbittrails off into an explanation for what happened to all the would-have-been African Einsteins. They were eaten by lions!

Seriously, watch as much of this video as you can stomach and then scroll down for more comment:

Newman’s latest song is particularly awful set against some of his previous triumphs. Take “Political Science,” a satire so good it actually merits the descriptive “Swiftian.” Give that a listen right now:


In “Political Science,” Newman got himself right inside the heads of a large number of Americans. He made the case, from their perspective, for something horrible and thereby warned them not to go there.

In “I’m Dreaming,” he doesn’t even try to understand. He caricatures and thereby condemns. This doesn’t even work as effective propaganda. Why in the world would he release such an awful song?

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