John Roderick is the singer and songwriter responsible for Seattle's The Long Winters. He tweets @johnroderick.
John Roderick's full Answers & Advice column can be


Inslee to Roderick: Should Ironic Mustache Syndrome Be Considered a Pre-Existing Condition Under the Affordable Care Act?

John Roderick is the singer and songwriter responsible for Seattle's The Long Winters. He tweets @johnroderick.
John Roderick's full Answers & Advice column can be read inside the August issue of SW's music magazine, Reverb Monthly, which is on the streets, on the Kindle, an online now.

Who likes Nickelback more--you or Rob McKenna?

--Democratic Party gubernatorial candidate and former U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee

I appreciate your question, Representative Inslee, but I feel obligated to tell you that the band Nickelback is what we call a "dead meme." That is to say, using Nickelback as a coded reference to indicate you know the "uncool" bands is now itself generally understood to be a super-unhip move. Stay with me here, because this could be the key to unlocking the hipster vote: If you make a Nickelback joke in a public debate with Rob McKenna, there is every possibility that his handlers will have prepared him to say with a COMPLETELY STRAIGHT FACE that he actually likes Nickelback, which will function as a kind of anti-ironic "reverse burn."

So I'd leave Nickelback humor completely off the table, and instead talk about how you at first thought Gotye was cool, but then he got irritating, but now you think he's pretty cool again. McKenna will be completely lost.

Curiously, my editors at Seattle Weekly sent me two questions from you. The first was a query about Ironic Mustache Syndrome, or "IMS." But I quickly received an e-mail saying that you had nixed it in favor of the Nickelback one. I then received a final e-mail stating that you had come to your senses and given your blessing to the original question. So let's get right down to it:

I just recently attended the Capitol Hill Block Party, where I noticed a high ratio of men suffering from Ironic Mustache Syndrome. Treatments are effective, but access is still a problem. My question is: Should IMS be considered a pre-existing condition under the Affordable Care Act?

--Rep. Inslee

In all honesty, I think this is a much funnier question. It references the Block Party, irony, mustaches, and Obamacare, and it coins a new acronym. I'm curious to know what is going on over there at Inslee Campaign Headquarters, where a dynamite question like this would get kiboshed in favor of that unfortunate Nickelback business? When McKenna makes a hilariously on-point joke about ironic mustaches later this year, will voters be fooled into thinking his robotically weird "center-right" Republicanism is a hipper ideology than your consistently ethical liberalism? Don't lose the high ground here.

I recommend you have a staff meeting and give your absolute confidence to whomever voted for the mustache question. They understand the shifting tides of popular culture, and should be given cabinet-level positions. Those staffers who lobbied for the Nickelback question should be chastised and upbraided, perhaps including a bread-and-water diet for two days. They're overthinking your campaign, and need to get up to speed before some unscrupulous reporter starts to ask uncomfortable questions about whether Owl City still sounds too much like The Postal Service.

More Questions for Roderick:

-- Aerosmith's Tom Hamilton: Should I learn how to read music?

-- Rosanne Cash: How many bare-chested women does it take in the audience before they cause a natural disaster?

-- KEXP's Cheryl Waters: What does it mean if I'm annoyed by the racket the teenagers are making?

-- Nirvana's Krist Novoselic: Many musicians have left Seattle. What keeps you there?

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