Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Martial Matters

Though we're only a week away from knowing whose team of lawyers will decide the future course of global affairs, we've so far avoided explicit politics here on Hectic (bar the sidebar and our liberal arts university educations) - frankly because the blogosphere has its goddamn fill of the stuff. And if we ever needed a reason to disallow ourselves a political voice re: the US, not only are we just some rambling furriners, but Kaiser is a wanted man in at least one American state.

Pop culture, however, belongs to everybody. So if you've read between the lines and suspect that you're on our side (and are confident that your internet connection can handle streaming quicktime), go here, watch the video for Eminem's strategically-released latest single "Mosh", and be moved.

The song itself, which I heard before the video - is not especially good. Even given Eminem's "simplify the rhyme: amplify the noise" conceit, it's kind of a plodder. It makes sense that Em would wanna evoke a heaving mass, marching towards polling stations to make born a new American era, but (as Government Names's Al points out) would it have killed him to amp it up with some hi-hats or something? I mean look at Lil Jon's job on Pitbull's "Anthem" if you're not convinced that you can make epic goth-rap that still moves. Plus the actual verses are intentionally monotone, monotime - sounds Biblical, sure and there's some undeniably venomous invective - it kinda feels like we're mired in the mosh pit, though.

But if you're looking at the video, forget the music nerd quibbles (I'd hand over all production on future music to Just Blaze and force every song to feature a manditory Mystikal verse if you want to know my default position on these matters)- the thing REALLY coheres when you're watching it. I could further nitpick - the offputting Flash-iness of the animation, for one - but it's just an immensely powerful, angry, hopeful, overtly antiBush 3 minutes (especially coupled with the knowledge that it made it's TRL premiere today, and is therefore on the verge of complete MTV saturation).

The pitch: ordinary Americans, having had their fill of racial profiling (okay this is not ALL Bush's fault but if he appoints another Scalia to the bench, he certainly isn't helping), billionaire-friendly tax cuts, paranoia in the name of patriotism (look at the cutout Bin Laden!) and "blood for oil" (Marshall's words!), don black hoodies and take to the streets to... vote! I suppose I should've seen it coming, but when the video ends not with Eminem having usurped the seat of Commander in Chief or with an AK47-strapped Bush (yes, we see that here) being beheaded (which would've been pretty strirring too!) but with Em's coalition of the ill (in both senses of the word) standing in line to register to vote, I.. I got kinda choked up. Which felt strangely affirming, after having surrounded myself with polls and URLs and students protests and family disputes and partisan hackery.

I listened to the track as a fairly disappointing confirmation that Eminem was quite rapidly falling off (it takes more than some hot guest verses to make up for "Just Lose It"), but I saw the video as (what might prove to be) a genuinely significant pop cultural event, and the first time we've been allowed to see actual seething rage (made cleverly [and paradoxically?] universally human through the use of animation) at the current American administration and its policies. Fuck Bush.

4 Comments:

Blogger jermaine noble said...

i need to ween myself off the parenthetical qualifiers.

10:35 PM  
Blogger Kaiser Gestalt said...

(The parenthesis trap.)

8:33 AM  
Blogger jermaine noble said...

you can download it from here: http://homepage.mac.com/njenson/movies/mosh.html (it's about 13 megs)

6:10 PM  
Blogger jermaine noble said...

(turns out that that's just a recording of the stream, so the quality and pacing still sucks, but it's better than nothing)

6:12 PM  

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