Monday, January 20, 2014

Some White Irish Dudes - Pride (In the Name of Love) by U2

There was a brave man who fought against injustice. He lead a movement that changed the world. He had a way with words. My favorite quote from him is, "You can't help it if a bird flies over your head, but you don't need to let him make a nest in your hair." That man was Martin Luther.

Some time later a man was named after him. Today we celebrate that man.

I don't really have too much to say about Dr. King. I'm sure other people will say things better. Also, despite all of his wonderful qualities I don't think he had anything to say about music videos. I never heard him say anything that funny, either. Jesse Jackson definitely has points on him there.

Music videos, though, have something to say about Dr. King. Specifically, U2 in their video for Pride (In the Name of Love). In case you have forgotten, you should always whisper the part of the song title in parentheses. Doesn't that make it intensely creepy? Try saying the name of this song to someone on the train and see what kind of reaction you get.

U2, as is well established, is terrible. I don't mean that their music is bad, because a lot of their songs are quite good. They are terrible because they act so important. They pretend like they are fighting for all sorts of causes but, in fact, they are just musicians. Playing music does not help anyone. All it might do is help someone emotionally. If I've learned one thing from feminism (note: I haven't) it's that emotions are totally unimportant and the only things that matter are logic and general manliness.

Pride (In the Name of Love) is actually about Dr. King. "Early morning, April 4, shots ring out in the Memphis Sky. 'Free at last.' They took your life. They could not take your pride." Ugh. Doesn't hearing those lyrics make you lose any positive feelings you might have had for the song? Also, the lyrics seem to contain some factual errors. Who are the "they" U2 refers to? Wasn't Dr. King murdered by a single man? Or are we all guilty of the conditions that lead to his death? In that case, shouldn't it be "we" instead of "they"? These are the questions that plague me.

Anyways, imagine you are in a band that doesn't really know much about Martin Luther King but you wrote a song about him anyway. What would your video look like?

Apparently this:

Do you notice something missing from this video? Yes, black people. I guess you could call it a bold choice to make a video for a song about Dr. King and only use white actors, but bold doesn't always equal good.

The video is entirely in black and white and opens with a bleak landscape.

Then the band plays in a weirdly empty auditorium.

The band is really casual about it for some reason.

See the singer with his hands in his pockets? Did he not want to come into work that day? Also, the bass player is sitting down with his feet up. U2 is really phoning it in here.

After a little bit the band decides to do a tiny bit of work.

I think the singer is doing a bird impression here.

The singer inexplicably starts shaking like he's in a big tent revival.

Is this supposed to indicate something about Dr. King's preaching style? I think it is more likely that he got bit by a snake for religious reasons.

Suddenly two white kids appear in the auditorium.

Eventually the auditorium is 1/3 filled with white people.

It's a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day miracle!

This video is pretty boring. I don't understand what it has to do with the subject of the song. I feel like we are supposed to think that U2 is a very serious and important band. Well, I don't.

So there.


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