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Jesse



Joined: 02 Jul 2002
Posts: 6166
Location: privileged homeless
No Church In The Wild  Reply with quote  



This isn't just a random video, so I gave it its own thread.

I wrote what I think about it on my tumblr - in a nutshell I think it kind of shoots itself in the foot, message-wise, because in making the protesters look too bad-ass it makes the police violence look less unprovoked, and I feel like either of those things would have been great but both feeds into a confusion that helps out-of-control state security look more reasonable than they are.

Anyone else think anything about it?
Post Sat Jun 02, 2012 8:51 pm
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anomaly
Loserface


Joined: 22 May 2008
Posts: 2540
Location: DFW, TX
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Not iPhone friendly. Boooooooo
Post Sun Jun 03, 2012 12:48 am
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poopsnack



Joined: 15 Jan 2004
Posts: 2834
Location: Mid West
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feels like a fan made video. a fan with a bunch of resources.
it seems really late for a video to be coming out to promote this album.
I kept waiting for the video to go somewhere. it. just. didn't.
Post Sun Jun 03, 2012 1:36 am
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Mark in Minnesota



Joined: 02 Jan 2004
Posts: 1971
Location: Saint Louis Park, MN
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This is a video made by rappers who have spent the better part of a decade promoting how rich and successful they are. Jay-Z and his staff have bragged in public about how his decision to stop supporting a premium alcohol brand hurt the sales of that brand. In this video and song, that guy is wondering aloud whether the protesters have abandoned the moral high ground in their clash with the police, at a time and in a place where the popular protest is of the disproportionate accumulation of new wealth in the hands of the already-wealthy.

One way to interpret the work is as a plea for peace, but the plea here is coming from a couple of dudes who, in the real world, are standing behind the cops. As in, two of the people who will be left unprotected when those protesters finish flipping over cop cars and setting themselves on fire and shit. The video ends right at the point where we need to know what happens next.

When we have a video where those cops put down their riot shields and helmets and join the protesters in rushing whatever is at the far end of that street, I think we'll have something to be excited about. In the meantime we what we have some minor noble writing a play about the horrific scene that would ensue if the Parisian middle class were ever to wig out and storm the Bastille--and casting himself as an innocent bystander worrying aloud what will become of the world if conflicts end like this--as though the mob will sweep past him to torch the houses of the truly despicable noble classes who aren't trying to see two sides in the conflict.
Post Sun Jun 03, 2012 2:34 am
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Jesse



Joined: 02 Jul 2002
Posts: 6166
Location: privileged homeless
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Mark this song is from before #OWS popped off at all, and literally zero of the lyrics have anything to do with protesters, their use of violence, and whether they retain or have abandoned the moral high ground.

If the short film by Roman Gavras that accompanies their song is asking that question, their connection to it is arms' length. I didn't read that question in it, but now that you bring it up it suggests a thesis that may have been eluding me. I don't really see it that way, though.

I hold my breath a bit when white liberals, or even white radicals, start grumbling about Jay-Z et al. as capitalist bastions or part of the problem - it's pretty rich in America to criticize African Americans for rising in the system that oppresses them disproportionately. I don't think it's Jay-Z or Kanye's job to reject success in those problematic structures to assuage the expectations of white people who don't like them (the structures).

There's a level on which demanding of a person of colour that they reject white standards of material success is akin to answering the equal marriage debate with the sentiment that marriage is an oppressive institution, so how about same sex couples just be glad they can't do it. It's based on a valid analysis of the institution, but it ignores the privileged position required to look at this thing as something you could take or leave.

Am I making sense? I just woke up.
Post Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:05 am
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Mark in Minnesota



Joined: 02 Jan 2004
Posts: 1971
Location: Saint Louis Park, MN
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I never proposed that they reject success, nor did I suggest that the race of the artists should direct or constrain their behavior in any particular way.

Nor did I mention Occupy specifically. Protests against the IMF, the World Bank, the G8/G20 summits, against austerity, etc. -- are all rooted in similar objections to the ways in which entrenched power use money to further entrench themselves at the expense of everyone else. The riots in France a couple of years back had a similar theme.

Anyway, I simply said that to the extent that this video is a commentary on that form of protest, it is an attempt to disassociate those artists from the entrenched power that the riot police are defending in the clash. This is not the same thing as me saying that those rappers have "sold out" or should not celebrate their wealth and success--it's just saying that the piece puts the artists unrealistically above the fray.

I'm not criticizing them for rising. I'm criticizing them for having made a video which, to me, glosses over the fact that they have risen. Mourning the violence of the riot is an implicit condemnation of the conflict itself. When those condemnations are made by people in power who are threatened by the demands of the rioters, we need to see them differently than we would if they were made by anyone truly outside of the conflict.

Anyway, just my take. You're entitled to disgree.
Post Sun Jun 03, 2012 1:53 pm
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Jesse



Joined: 02 Jul 2002
Posts: 6166
Location: privileged homeless
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I should have been more clear that I wasn't trying to attribute all of those perspectives to you - I've been thinking about the umbrage from when Jay made the "OCCUPY ALL STREETS" shirts.

Not rumblin' just ruminating.
Post Sun Jun 03, 2012 3:00 pm
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