Monday, November 26, 2012

Andrew W.K. Announces That He Will Be 'Cultural Ambassador'; State Department Disagrees

Posted By on Mon, Nov 26, 2012 at 3:22 PM

Andrew W.K., noted rocker and extoller of the virtues of partying hard, made an interesting claim on his website last week—namely, that the U.S. State Department invited him to Bahrain in an effort to "promote partying and positive power."

In response to the surprising (to say the least) announcement, W.K. had this to say on his website:

"This is a tremendous invitation. I'm very thankful to the Department of State for giving me the opportunity to visit a place I've never been before. And I feel very privileged and humbled by the chance to represent the United States of America and show the good people of Bahrain the power of positive partying. I can hardly wait for this adventure!"

Of course, the idea of sending someone like Andrew W.K. to the Middle East sounds kind of, well, insane. I mean, this is a guy whose first album makes it appear as if he was smashed in the face with a brick—and whose most recent album is entitled Close Calls With Brick Walls. So a number of media outlets were understandably skeptical, reaching out to the U.S. State Department for confirmation. Their response, as recorded by Washington D.C. blog, DCist:

Andrew W.K. will not be visiting Bahrain in any official diplomatic capacity, DCist has learned. A State Department spokesperson says that while the singer and evangelist of partying was invited by the U.S. Embassy in Manama, the department, after considering W.K.'s wild oeuvre, cancelled the trip.

W.K. was also never designated a "cultural ambassador," the spokesperson says, though embassies around the world routinely invite artistic and cultural figures to make appearances. But such events are subject to oversight, and W.K.'s offer of showing the Persian Gulf island nation the "power of positive partying," did not pass muster.

"The embassy determined that was probably not a best choice and didn't meet our standards," the spokesperson says.

So, there's that. I'm disappointed, honestly—not as disappointed as future Weekly boss Dan Gibson, who apparently owns an autographed copy of I Get Wet on vinyl, but still disappointed.

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