Academic Probation

Frankie Yankovic goes to Hollywood

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I don't mean to step on the toes of the Gauntlet entertainment section, but something is lacking in their coverage. A female classmate in my economy class actually brought this to my attention. It appears that many sexy-like-a-fox women like the seductive beats and yodeling of polka music.

If you think polka is just some annoying music that has no place on God's green earth, you could be wrong. However, just like the techno genre, Polka has many different sub-genres, and I'm not making these genres up. Scandinavian folk, Alpine Polka Music, Contemporary Polka and--my favourite--Music of the former Yugoslavia. There are over 100 records listed under this heading. Bizarre.

One thing about most polka musicians' names is that you must major in linguistics to be able to pronounce them. Witness such famous names as Eric Noltkampr, Moron Florun, Fedorchak (as in Madonna or Cher), Frank Yankovic and Betty Thrynch. My favourite band name goes to Those Damn Accordions from North Carolina.

There are a couple of ways to name a polka song. Firstly, you must think of a word or sentence that has nothing to do with the actual polka song (though hopefully having to do with our favourite short-chain hydrocarbon). Once you have a word or sentence, just add the word "polka" to the end of it, like so: No Beer In Heaven Polka, Rock And Rye Polka, Beer Barrels Polka, Old Whiskey Shoes Polka, Love And Peace Polka, Let's Do The Time Warp Again Polka, Kiss Me I'm Polish Polka, Answer To Stella At The Wheel With the High Heel Shoes Polka, Monday Morning Polka, Chit Chat Polka, Nik Nak Polka, Happy Tappy Pappy Polka, Too Fat to Dance Polka, G.I. Joe Polka, Strip Polka (read: strip poker). The winner for most bizarre name is Suicide Polka.

Of course, over the last 10 years the younger generation of polka musicians have started to change the names of the polkas, like so: Just Polka Like All The Other Times We Did It, Polish And Proud Of It, Everybody Polka, Let's Have A Polka Party, Just Add Polka (read: vodka). I don't need to make this stuff up, it's just spooky.

The album names can be just as bizarre. Polka Your Troubles Away, Polka Dots & Moonbeams, Polka Comes To Your Haus!, Polka On A Banjo, Polka Magic, 16 Most Requested Polkas, Polka All Night Long (I have better stuff to do at night than polka, like staying up all night talking with the debate club), 20 Jukebox Polka Favorites (have you ever seen a polka record in a jukebox?), Polkas Y Sones Mexicanos (what the bastard son of polka and Mexican music would sound like), 25 Million Seller Polka Hits and the Grammy-winning Polkasonic.

This article could not be complete without mentioning Canada's own golden polka-boy, Walter Ostanek. This man's man of polka accordion-playing has been nominated for a Grammy every year since 1980 and he has won the Grammy three times. In the next federal election, I will vote for whatever party throws him out of Canada. Living beside an airport or maybe an open toxic waste dump doesn't seem so bad when you might have to live next to the world's greatest accordion player.

If you would like to find some of Ostanek's work, try I Like Frankie Yankovic or Frohliche Tansmusik. A must-have from his repertoire is his Dance Party, not to be confused with Much Music's Dance Party--although they are both crud.

If anyone was wondering where on earth "hell on earth" is, I will now share the secret. Those with small children in the room or those sensitive to bad music should avert their eyes now. Chicago has long been associated with the blues, but ever since 1989 it has also housed the Polka Music Hall of Fame (4145 S. Kedzie Avenue).

Many musicians have immortalized the city in songs like Chicago-Land Polka and Polka Lounges in Chicago. I will give a shout out to the International Polka Association who runs the joint as they do have a clever phone number for the place. Use this number in extreme emergencies only as it is the International Polka Association's real number:

1–800–TO–POLKA.

In a true sign that Satan is indeed expanding his empire on earth, the Polka Music Hall of Fame's web site is www.internationalpolka.com. Now you truly can access the Polka Music Hall of Fame from anywhere with phone access. As you can imagine the page is lacking all the Flash Multimedia stuff, and you may want to gouge your eyes out before you view this page. If you choose to listen to a Real Audio clip from this Web site, as I did for this article, only God may save you.

The following message is a real posted message from a bulletin board at www.polkas.com. An interesting fact about the page is that they boast over a whopping 500 hits a day.

"From: Reeses23. RE: PEOPLE ARE SAYING POLKA WRONG. hey everyone. have you noticed that ppl are lazy in the way they say the word polka? they always pronounce it poka, without the "L." this drives me crazy and i wish more ppl would pay attention for this. it's should pronounced pole-ka. can you believe some ignorant ppl?"

As you can see, polka is just scary. Let us never speak of it again.

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