In which a group of graying eternal amateurs discuss their passions, interests and obsessions, among them: movies, art, politics, evolutionary biology, taxes, writing, computers, these kids these days, and lousy educations.

E-Mail Donald
Demographer, recovering sociologist, and arts buff

E-Mail Fenster
College administrator and arts buff

E-Mail Francis
Architectural historian and arts buff

E-Mail Friedrich
Entrepreneur and arts buff
E-Mail Michael
Media flunky and arts buff

We assume it's OK to quote emailers by name.

Try Advanced Search

  1. Seattle Squeeze: New Urban Living
  2. Checking In
  3. Ben Aronson's Representational Abstractions
  4. Rock is ... Forever?
  5. We Need the Arts: A Sob Story
  6. Form Following (Commercial) Function
  7. Two Humorous Items from the Financial Crisis
  8. Ken Auster of the Kute Kaptions
  9. What Might Representational Painters Paint?
  10. In The Times ...

Sasha Castel
AC Douglas
Out of Lascaux
The Ambler
Modern Art Notes
Cranky Professor
Mike Snider on Poetry
Silliman on Poetry
Felix Salmon
Polly Frost
Polly and Ray's Forum
Stumbling Tongue
Brian's Culture Blog
Banana Oil
Scourge of Modernism
Visible Darkness
Thomas Hobbs
Blog Lodge
Leibman Theory
Goliard Dream
Third Level Digression
Here Inside
My Stupid Dog
W.J. Duquette

Politics, Education, and Economics Blogs
Andrew Sullivan
The Corner at National Review
Steve Sailer
Joanne Jacobs
Natalie Solent
A Libertarian Parent in the Countryside
Rational Parenting
Colby Cosh
View from the Right
Pejman Pundit
God of the Machine
One Good Turn
Liberty Log
Daily Pundit
Catallaxy Files
Greatest Jeneration
Glenn Frazier
Jane Galt
Jim Miller
Limbic Nutrition
Innocents Abroad
Chicago Boyz
James Lileks
Cybrarian at Large
Hello Bloggy!
Setting the World to Rights
Travelling Shoes

Redwood Dragon
The Invisible Hand
Daze Reader
Lynn Sislo
The Fat Guy
Jon Walz


Our Last 50 Referrers

« Interbred! | Main | "Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle" »

November 09, 2006

Perso-Indic Rap

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

Thanks to Agnostic, who linked to this hiphop video by a couple of Muslims. (Agnostic's observations about the video are here.) Watching it, the main thing that occurs to me is that young people all over the world now seem to have grown up on the same flashy, lowest-common-denominator cultural diet: MTV, Victoria's Secret catalogues, hiphop, Simpson-Bruckheimer movies, and Maxim magazine. Am I missing any other key cultural markers? And is anyone else around here feeling suddenly old? In the comments on Agnostic's posting, GNXP associate Jakkeli links to this example of Finnish rap.

Finnish rap, lordy. I wonder what Tyler Cowen, who has written a book mostly in praise of the cultural effects of globalization, would have to say about these developments ...



posted by Michael at November 9, 2006


Musically, that video sounds exactly like every song you'd find in an average Bollywood production, nothing really new stylistically. Ditto for the dance steps. The production values in the video were above average, and I'm sure the director has seen _The Matrix_, _Kill Bill_, and some of the classic Japanese animation films that they in turn borrowed a lot of /their/ style from (say, _Ghost in the Shell_).

Posted by: Glen Raphael on November 9, 2006 4:27 AM

Japanimation! That's a big part of the worldwide-kid cultural diet, tks. Funny how these elements (hiphop, Britney, Maxim, anime, etc) seem to work for a large number of kids in absolutely every culture, isn't it? I wonder if there's any way of semi-explaining how and why.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on November 9, 2006 11:06 AM

I think I have to object to calling it "lowest-common denominator". When you direct a gun battle with precise, dramatic, perfectly-framed shots, elegantly-dressed protagonists, and every movement - even each bullet firing - choreographed as tightly as a ballet...that's high art!

Shakespeare and opera were entertainment for the masses in their day; so is this.

Why anime works: when you are making a hand-animated film, you can perfectly control every inch of visual on every frame such that everything adds to the mood of the story you are trying to tell, in a way that you couldn't in most other media. Japanese anime directors were the first to really take advantage of that fact.

Posted by: Glen Raphael on November 9, 2006 12:55 PM

That video looks (to my eyes) to have involved a whole lot of money and effort expended on behalf of promoting a pedestrian, uninsteresting song.

Posted by: Adam on November 9, 2006 4:43 PM

a whole lot of money and effort expended on behalf of promoting a pedestrian, uninsteresting song.

That's the very definition of "music video", is it not? Though there are a few cases cases where pure creativity and effort have been known to substitute for some of the money...

Posted by: Glen Raphael on November 16, 2006 4:12 AM

Post a comment

Email Address:



Remember your info?