Party Ben Pre-Live-Blogs the Grammys

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This will be so much easier than actually watching the thing.

8:00 PM – Ceremony opens with alleged “mashup” of Gnarls Barkley and the Dixie Chicks. There’s some confusion because Gnarls Barkley are in Dixie Chicks costumes. Randy Newman saves the day by descending from ceiling to sing 15-minute extended version of “Crazy”

8:16 PM – First Award, for Best Spoken Word Album. It’s a tie: Al Franken and Jimmy Carter! They accept with a witty back-and-forth that puns “tied” with “apartheid.” Polite laughter

8:19 PM – Reba McEntire and Diddy emerge as presenters. McEntire: “Hey Diddy, can you believe it, the Police are here!” Diddy: “Hold on, I gotta call my driver!” Slightly less polite laughter

8:23 PM – Carrie Underwood wins Best Country Song for “Jesus, Take the Wheel,” forgets to thank him in acceptance speech. Camera shows Jesus in audience smiling uncomfortably. Guy behind him pats him on back. You kind of get the feeling maybe things aren’t going so great, like Jesus heard a suspicious message from Buddha on the answering machine and you can see in his eyes this kind of confirms everything. Of course he forgives her but it just seems like she’s already moved on

8:27 PM – John Mayer and Tony Bennett perform “Candle in the Wind” accompanied by a montage of moments from the life of Anna Nicole Smith

8:43 PM – Chamillionaire wins Best Rap Song for “Ridin’,” sends Weird Al to accept

8:58 PM – Earth Wind & Fire peform theme song from “Snakes on a Plane” with Samuel L. Jackson, and, inexplicably, Melissa Etheridge

9:22 PM – The Flaming Lips win Best Alternative Album. Wayne Coyne attempts to crowd surf in giant bubble, “accidentally” crushes David Spade

9:40 PM – Neil Young wins Best Rock Song; rambling, embarrassing acceptance speech actually converts most liberals in audience into Brownback supporters

10:24 PM – Pussycat Dolls win Best Pop Performance. Camera searches audience in vain, but no-one has any idea what they look like

10:44 PM – Police perform medley of “Roxanne,” “Every Breath You Take,” and, awkwardly, “Don’t Stand So Close to Me,” accompanied by same Anna Nicole Smith montage

10:58 PM – Record of the Year goes to James Blunt; thanks fans because “they’re the ones who really are beautiful;” 90% of viewers experience fatal brain hemorrhage. Casualties in the high single digits

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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