As a purveyor of inoffensive children’s musical entertainment for more than 40 years, the guitar-wielding human version of the “Got your nose!” game known as Raffi has had a long time to reflect on what he considers appropriate language for children. And confarn it, he’s had it up to here (gestures to collar of festive Hawaiian shirt bearing an anthropomorphic strawberry giving the thumbs-up) with the word “pornography.” Responding to a tweet about Canadian band The New Pornographers, Raffi Cavoukian sent out his estimable judgment on the fact that, darn it all to h-e-double-hockey-sticks, that word should not be put in front of the eyes of children, artistic intent or acknowledgement that maybe things for grown-ups should also exist in this world be damned.
Yes, the man who wrote the song “Bumping Up And Down”—which, Jesus, Raffi, save some titles for R. Kelly—just wants you to please, think of the children.
After taking the appropriate amount of time to reflect on just what dark choices had led him down this path of moral depravity, smut-peddler and New Pornographers frontman A.C. Newman decided to get into the mindset of young people and respond to Raffi on the same level as any other kid: by trolling the living shit out of Mr. Baby Beluga.
Newman takes the route of a classic, old-school trolling: First, pretend to be on the side of the person who decided it was their place to tell you how awful the name of your life’s work was, with some commiseration over other appalling things that should definitely not exist.
From there, Newman pivots and goes the route of the wounded man, alone in this world, faced with the wide eyes of a child and staring into the abyss of the cruel mockery his band has made of the very idea of innocence in this cold world.
And towards the end, he turns on his prey, batting Raffi around like a cat with a mouse who has some silly opinions on language, art, and society.
Pitchfork has collected the entire thread to peruse at your leisure, but these are really the highlights. The lesson is plain: Canadian musicians all hate each other, and if you come at the Pornographer, you best not miss.
UPDATE: Despite the good-natured tone of Newman’s trolling, it seems the guy who made millions singing about Bananaphones actually felt bad enough about condemning the band name to issue a statement. “In a fleeting moment I reacted to a word, which I wrote about in my book Lightweb Darkweb. My Tweet was without context, on a gig night, Not cool. I apologize, Meant no disrespect to the band, its music, or its fans. RC.” Very kind, apologetic, and sincere of him, no? And best of all, Newman is still keeping the same story going on Twitter following this statement: