25. The Prodigy – Smack My Bitch Up

Change my pitch up, smack my bitch up.

Back in the old days my brain used to function in a rational way and I was a programmer at Microsoft on the ‘Web Excel’ team for Office 2000. It was a tight unit. We  went out to lunch on my first day and the boys wanted to check my motorcycle on the way out. It was an old King County cop bike named ‘Bargearse’ after a fat parody detective on The Late Show.


We hopped into the elevator and I pushed button ‘A’ for the top level of the underground lot, where I’d parked that morning. One of my fellow developers, Matthew Androski, looked at me and said, “What are you doing parking on A? Excel developers park on C!”

As silly as I thought they were, there was a reason. It turned out that Excel guys worked late at night and when they got in late the next day, levels A and B were full and they ended up on level C. What started as a necessity became a habit and then part of the culture. They parked on C whatever time they arrived.

One of the team members collected arcade video games and left them in the hall so we could play Battlezone and pinball at all hours. Another had two large boa constrictor snakes in his office. He fed them live rats once a month while the team watched the asphyxiation and swallowing. Our building was the home to Microsoft’s art collection and the walls were hung with expensive and interesting art, so Wes Cherry on our team built up a collection of two dollar art from the local Goodwill store and hung it on the corridor walls. When the Art Committee complained about an item, it moved into our offices.

This picture is titled “Is the Pope Catholic?” The collection in on archive.org.


The team listened to a lot of loud music. I’d heard Rage Against the Machine so many times I decided to buy the CD to give Rage some royalties. There was a lot of electronica with Juno Reactor and Shakta. Rising above all this in importance was Smack My Bitch Up. It was our theme song.

Here’s the infamous video. If you haven’t seen it then watch it as part of your education, for this video is now part of our cultural history. Sex, drugs, violence, DJs in hoodies, it is all here in a four minute chronicle of our times. You can’t watch it just once.

Jean choreographed a dance to Smack My Bitch Up, a jazz number called Vamp with six dancers – five girls and the fit and hot Jeff Froome. It was performed at Dance on Capitol Hill and I watched every performance. I love jazz dance. There’s no deep message so you don’t have to take it seriously. It is all fun and energy, high leg kicks, glitter and hot, sweaty dancing. Smack My Bitch Up is the same – don’t think of any serious message in the song, just treat as hot, sweaty music.

The album is The Fat of the Land.


Next: 24. Motörhead – Bomber

Previous: 26. Grace Jones – Walking in the Rain


4 Responses to “25. The Prodigy – Smack My Bitch Up”

  1. 1 Matthew Androski
    August 3, 2009 at 23:41

    I was thinking about this very thing just last week and consequently made Boom Boom Pow the official team theme song of Excel 14. To mixed reviews I’m afraid. You can lead a horse to water…but you can’t keep it from whining.

  2. August 7, 2009 at 07:39

    I had always wondered about your seemingly preternatural skill with pivot tables. I suppose there are some things that are clearer now than they were 10 minutes ago.

    Re: $2 art, my father in law sent us some Arte de Garbadzh for our anniversary one year. At the time, I blogged about it, which prompted a quick response from the father in law.

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