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Jefferson Smith Gets the Oregon State Legislature to Rickroll Itself

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, April 13 2011

Oregon state Rep. Jefferson Smith put together a plan to get his colleagues on both sides of the aisle to, over the course of a year, utter bit by bit parts of the Rick Astley classic, "Never Gonna Give You Up" while on the House floor. Put together -- and Jefferson had to get some of the footage under public records requests -- and that's one slow rickroll.

If you've followed Smith's career, and in particular his work with the Oregon Bus Project, you're not surprised. I got a chance to interview Smith back in 2007. I asked him why he brings the funnies:

As for humor, my view is that it captures a piece of the zeitgeist of our generation. In the 60s and 70s, "Kumbaya" was the activist's soul. Today, it is something more akin to the Daily Show. We want to be at the cutting edge of including humor in effective politicking.

We have a saying: "Smart and funny is better than stupid and boring. But if you have to pick, stupid is better than boring."

The rest of that interview is here.