NEWS

  /  

September 26, 2007

Jon Tester: Hip-Hop Icon?

It’s the first week of classes here at the U of C, which means that most students are busy adding, dropping, and shopping classes. But even the most selective student will at some point end up stuck in a class for 10 weeks with a teacher like Professor Binns, the teacher in Harry Potter who continues to bore his students long after his life has expired. After a while it becomes a sort of routine: The door closes, the books open, and the brain shuts completely off. We all have various ways of getting through such ideals. Some sleep. Others surf the internets on their laptops and laugh at inopportune moments.I come up with rapping aliases for historical figures and contemporary leaders.In the past this has led m to such gems as “Walter Crunk-ite,” “Kim-Jong Ill,” and “Shockratese,” but as I was sitting in my [name withheld] class this afternoon with a professor who may or may not have been fully conscious, my mind wandered to the question of which U.S. Senator would have the brightest future in Hip-Hop.At first glance, John Rockefeller of West Virginia is the clear winner. His family name has already been the inspiration for a record label and a clothing line, and his robber baron ancestry would no doubt give him a fair amount of street cred. But that almost seems too obvious. Richard Burr of North Carolina is another candidate—as a distant cousin of the infamous Aaron, he’s a natural villain in a musical genre that so often embraces and feeds off of crime. While both are solid picks, neither really compares to Jon Tester.For those who aren’t familiar, Tester is a freshman Democrat from Montana who unseated the lovably inept Conrad Burns last November. Hailed as part of a new wave of western Democrats, he’s a former organic farmer and public school music teacher with a buzz cut that makes all the ladies swoon. And perhaps more significantly for the purposes of this post, he’s missing the middle three fingers on his left hand—the result of an unsuccessful row with a meat grinder when he was nine. He’s the 21st century’s answer to “Three-Fingered” Mordecai Brown, only with one less digit and thus 12.5-percent more courage.His debut album, “The Three-Fifths Claws,” will be in stores in time for the holiday rush, with the acclaimed follow-up, “Buzz-kill,” coming a year or so after that. As for an album cover, this is probably the most intimidating thing in the history of republican government. He doesn’t even need a gold chain with giant letter “T” on it to establish his cred—the facial expression says it all.