Thursday, April 29, 2010

Born Free

M.I.A, Born Free from ROMAIN-GAVRAS on Vimeo.

The video is clearly controversial. I am not that into it, other than the fact that places like YouTube have banned it. I just have a sinking feeling that such massive internet-based, privately owned social media are becoming giant international social norm makers. Why should this video be banned? because it makes people feel uncomfortable? Well any half-witted human being can see that there are reasons why it does. 1984, Huckleberry Fin, Apocalypse Now etc. all made its audiences uncomfortable, but were equally all masterpieces that have changed our perception of the world. Yes redheaded people are singled out in this video, but it is the ludicrous nature of this act that would be the clear point of the video, in an evocation of Martin Niemoller's lucid commentary on Nazi Germany:

"THEY CAME FIRST for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.

THEN THEY CAME for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.

THEN THEY CAME for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.

and by that time no one was left to speak up."

-in essence, telling us, the viewer, to speak up.

In the name of freedom of expression, free from hate, full of passion, outrage and careful reflection, here is "Born Free" by MIA.