These are just a few of the things I have to remind myself of in order not to jump off the Golden Gate Bridge after watching M.I.A's new video Born Free. We need to discuss this . . . have y'all seen it? I'm dying to know what other people think, as I've been obsessing over it since I watched it ( . . . okay, repeatedly) last night.
Typically, I'm a champion of anyone who is willing to talk frankly about the rampant racism and racial profiling in our country and/or confront genocide directly. Or anyone who addresses these things in his or her art. I think it takes a lot of bravery to talk about these toughest issues; issues that many people don't really like to think about. It's much less stressful to think about beagle puppies & the cutest baby ever & martinis, for sure.
M.I.A and director Romain Gavras hold nothing back in their new video. They create a dusty, violent world in which American soldiers wage a war on redheads--a seemingly arbitrary group of people based on a superficial characteristic--and transport them to a concentration-camp like desert, where several of them, including the 9 minute video's "main character," are viciously killed. Don't watch it if you don't want to be disturbed by these images . . . I kind of wanted to bleach my brain when the video ended. And then I watched it again. That's the kind of controversy this video summoned within me.
On one hand, this music video/short film seems over the top, excessively vulgar, and displays all of the wretched violence that so many of us complain exists within modern movies and video games. Upon first watching it, I thought "WTF?! This crosses every line I can think of! I'm preemptively mad at M.I.A for the nightmares I am sure to have tonight!" But then I slept on it, and I woke up this morning thinking, "How is it vulgar to showcase the kinds of violence that currently exist in our world, especially in our country, which has a history of things like the Native American slaughter, slave brutality, and the Japanese American Internment?" I mean seriously, it was only in 1942 that then President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, ordering that all Japanese Americans be taken to internment camps.
So if you've seen the video, please vote! It might help settle me down a bit to hear what other people think:
a. M.I.A is a f'ing warrior! She's amazing for bringing these issues to light. So what if it makes people uncomfortable; we need to fight against racism and genocide!
b. This video is totally grotesque and disturbing and she's deranged for having made it.
c. I can't/don't want to watch it.
d. I'm torn! She's a deranged warrior. ;)
Tell me what you think tell me what you think tell me what you think!!! And then go back and look at the pics of the puppy and baby Suri. :)