Monday, May 25, 2009

99 Luftballons.

You'd be surprised to know how many medical students actually prefer Scrubs over Grey's Anatomy. It might be the over dramatization in Grey, or the excessively goody too shoes Meredith with her woe-is-me attitude, or even the fact that watching TV is meant to escape daily tragedies and not add on to them. Ok so in a way, maybe I shouldn't be watching Scrubs either, maybe I should stick to The Nanny's endless reruns, but Scrubs is something a medical student can relate to and laugh at in the same time.

Which brings me to yesterday's episode on ShowComedy: My Interpretation Season 2, Episode 20. In this episode, J.D. is trying to communicate with a German patient, and at one point they're shown dancing in the hospital to 99 Luftballons.

This scene struck a chord. I had been introduced to 99 Luftballons a few years back and I loved it. Besides the fact that the song is catchy, the lyrics are expressive and right on the spot for a little Lebanese girl in a semi-torn country. Flash Forward to Scrubs' episode: I wasn't sure what to think, here they were parodying a song about the cold war, about a once divided country. However, they were harmless, they were including historical references in a sitcom, and even more so they were exposing a new generation of viewers to a song that they should listen to. And the verdict was in: Kudos!

In a way Scrubs seems like the South Park of medical shows. The writers are actually sending messages across, while offering a good laugh. And why the heck not?! (Ok so South Park is a tad more offensive but just as creative if you ask me.)

So here it is 99 Luftballons, a song about how 99 balloons floating in the air would trigger exaggerated military reactions in divided Germany in 1983.

Scrubs - 99 Red Balloons

99 LuftBallons, Nena. English Translation.

You and I in a little toy shop
Buy a bag of balloons with the money we've got.
Set them free at the break of dawn
'Til one by one, they were gone.
Back at base, bugs in the software
Flash the message, Something's out there.
Floating in the summer sky.
99 red balloons go by.

99 red balloons.
floating in the summer sky.
Panic bells, it's red alert.
There's something here from somewhere else.
The war machine springs to life.
Opens up one eager eye.
Focusing it on the sky.
Where 99 red balloons go by.

99 Decision Street.
99 ministers meet.
To worry, worry, super-scurry.
Call the troops out in a hurry.
This is what we've waited for.
This is it boys, this is war.
The president is on the line
As 99 red balloons go by.

Edit: As I read these last sentences I can't help but visualize the Israeli Defense Forces and their commander actually acting this out in 2006, right before they declared and launched an incredibly disproportionate war against Lebanon.