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Music Thread: This Is America (NSFW)

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What do you think?

I love the video and the song
2
29%
I love the video, hate the song
1
14%
I don't know
0
No votes
I hate the video, love the song
0
No votes
I hate the video and the song
4
57%
Kittens are cute
0
No votes
 
Total votes : 7

Re: Music Thread: This Is America (NSFW)

Postby Neoteny on Tue May 15, 2018 6:05 am

thegreekdog wrote:
TA1LGUNN3R wrote:
greekdog wrote:I'm not saying Donald Glover is not a musical genius. I like the song; it's good. I've listened to it a number of times. I like Rage Against the Machine. I've listened to that band my whole life. I like NWA. I would venture to say all of those groups and people are musical geniuses.


Oh come on. "Genius" is one of those overused words. None of these acts are musical geniuses. They may be good or talented, but they are each a far cry from geniuses.


I mean... okay. I think Tom Morello probably qualifies as a musical genius; he went to Harvard and his guitar playing was cutting edge. I also think NWA qualifies as well given that they popularized gansta rap. It's okay if you don't like them. You don't have to like musical geniuses. I don't like the Beatles and I can acknowledge their musical prowess. Also, not the point of my post. The point of my post is on the social commentary that Donald Glover is selling, not whether he is or isn't a good musician.


This is a correct take though. De la Rocha could have fronted any other band and been fine. Not great necessarily, but fine. Morello is what made Rage groundbreaking. But anyone who sees musical genius only in people like Mozart isn't worth arguing with. Confusing genius with being a child prodigy does no justice to either (though mozart was both). If one has to go all the way back to Mozart to find an example of musical genius, one clearly don't know what the f*ck one is talking about. And I don't think Glover is a musical genius. He's pretty good though.
Last edited by Neoteny on Tue May 15, 2018 7:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Music Thread: This Is America (NSFW)

Postby Dukasaur on Tue May 15, 2018 6:18 am

thegreekdog wrote:
Dukasaur wrote:
thegreekdog wrote:
Neoteny wrote:Oh my god I had like a five paragraph essay using NWA as a comparison point for crystalizing cultural perspectives (it wasn't novel for them either, just a novel medium) and calling thegreekdog an artistic cabbage and that people who get upset that a music video is complaining about racism are racists but the website ate it so you just get this cliff's notes version.


To be fair, I am absolutely an artistic cabbage. I like my art devoid of cultural, political, or racial commentary. Let me put it this way, one of my favorite bands of all time is Rage Against the Machine and my politics are about exactly opposite of Zack de la Rocha.

Also, I'm not upset about the video. I'm upset that people think the video is something wonderfully novel and will have some great impact on the cultural and political views of a wide swath of Americans. I mean, people are calling Donald Glover a genius. That's just dumb, regardless of whether you agree with his politics and views on race relations in the US.

Also also, I mean NWA had this exact same song and political commentary 30 years ago.


I don't remember who it was who said, "Great art isn't about supplying the answers. Great art is about asking the questions."

Being blatantly partisan and selling some particular solution is not what art is for. Artists who do that are cringe-worthy. Making people stop and think about an issue and letting them form their own conclusions is what high art is. Or no conclusions at all, if at least they spend some time pondering.

In that, I think this video is successful. Judging by the commentary, a lot of people have taken some time to stop and ponder, and that's all that an artist is expected to do. I don't know if he's selling gun control or any other specific position, and I wouldn't care if he was. Making you take some time out of your busy day to ponder is the measure of his success.


Ponder what? In this thread, we're pondering why people think the video is cutting edge or effective social commentary. We're not pondering the social commentary itself.


That's a strawman you've erected. I don't feel that anyone except you is maintaining that this is a debate about whether or not this is cutting edge social commentary. I'm satisfied that it's good art if it makes me stop and think, and it did make me stop and think, which means it has done its job and is good art. Most of the other posters I see here are saying more or less the same thing in different words. Nobody here has claimed that this video is going to change the world. If it isn't just fluff, if it generates any kind of cerebral response, it has succeeded.
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Re: Music Thread: This Is America (NSFW)

Postby mrswdk on Tue May 15, 2018 6:31 am

I also think that this is not good art, or social commentary, or anything. Like tgd said, was it it supposed to be making me think about - guns are bad? Something unclear about black people? Much wow. Maybe his next video will have some soldiers changing the oil in their cars and the FNM will explode with people praising him for taking American imperialism to task.

An actually interesting video would be something like MIA's video for Born Free. Sure, the point she's making isn't particularly new, but she at least makes it in quite a tangible and engaging way. In This Is America you're just left guessing what meaning, if any, the video has.

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Re: Music Thread: This Is America (NSFW)

Postby Dukasaur on Tue May 15, 2018 7:23 am

mrswdk wrote:I also think that this is not good art, or social commentary, or anything. Like tgd said, was it it supposed to be making me think about - guns are bad? Something unclear about black people? Much wow. Maybe his next video will have some soldiers changing the oil in their cars and the FNM will explode with people praising him for taking American imperialism to task.

An actually interesting video would be something like MIA's video for Born Free. Sure, the point she's making isn't particularly new, but she at least makes it in quite a tangible and engaging way. In This Is America you're just left guessing what meaning, if any, the video has.

That's precisely my point. Art is not supposed to hit you over the head with pre-fab positions (answers). It's supposed to ask questions, and leave you to ponder them on your own. What was Van Gogh trying to say with Sorrowing Old Man??? It's not about what he thought about growing old and dying, it's about what you think about growing old and dying when you look at it. The painting's job is to put you in the right frame of mind to pause in your daily rat race chores and take some time to think.

I don't know if he wants you to think guns are bad. The wikipedia entry seems to suggest that the wrapping of the guns in cloths is a criticism of the excessive deference that Americans give to guns. I agree that's one possible interpretation, but I'm not convinced it's the only one. I'm still thinking about other interpretations, which means it's doing what it's supposed to and keeping my mind on this topic.
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Re: Music Thread: This Is America (NSFW)

Postby thegreekdog on Tue May 15, 2018 7:37 am

Dukasaur wrote:That's a strawman you've erected. I don't feel that anyone except you is maintaining that this is a debate about whether or not this is cutting edge social commentary. I'm satisfied that it's good art if it makes me stop and think, and it did make me stop and think, which means it has done its job and is good art. Most of the other posters I see here are saying more or less the same thing in different words. Nobody here has claimed that this video is going to change the world. If it isn't just fluff, if it generates any kind of cerebral response, it has succeeded.


I don't think you've read very much if you think I've erected a strawman. All I read is how it's cutting edge social commentary. Shit, I didn't even know about it until I read how it's cutting edge social commentary (which, frankly, I'm happy I stumbled upon it because I've been listening to it a lot).

https://www.rollingstone.com/donald-glo ... al-w519895

What did it make you stop and think about? What cerebral response did it give you?

As the CC resident musical cabbage, the song is catchy and I enjoyed it. I received no other cerebral response from it other than that. Same as NWA. Same as RATM. If there was a conservative band that I actually knew existed and/or listened to, it would be the same as them. If you're taking your social commentary cues from Donald Glover or some pro-Trump conservative country band, you're either an ignorant teenager or a Hollywood hero worshipper and I would recommend reading or watching the news and reading some books.
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Re: Music Thread: This Is America (NSFW)

Postby Neoteny on Tue May 15, 2018 7:44 am

mrswdk wrote:I also think that this is not good art, or social commentary, or anything. Like tgd said, was it it supposed to be making me think about - guns are bad? Something unclear about black people? Much wow. Maybe his next video will have some soldiers changing the oil in their cars and the FNM will explode with people praising him for taking American imperialism to task.

An actually interesting video would be something like MIA's video for Born Free. Sure, the point she's making isn't particularly new, but she at least makes it in quite a tangible and engaging way. In This Is America you're just left guessing what meaning, if any, the video has.



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The ability of people to not get this music video seems almost willful at this point.
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Re: Music Thread: This Is America (NSFW)

Postby thegreekdog on Tue May 15, 2018 7:45 am

Here's a Washington Post video breaking down the video in case you guys all needed it.



I was looking for the Washington Post break down of Bulls on Parade but couldn't find it. Sorry.
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Re: Music Thread: This Is America (NSFW)

Postby Neoteny on Tue May 15, 2018 7:49 am

thegreekdog wrote:
Dukasaur wrote:That's a strawman you've erected. I don't feel that anyone except you is maintaining that this is a debate about whether or not this is cutting edge social commentary. I'm satisfied that it's good art if it makes me stop and think, and it did make me stop and think, which means it has done its job and is good art. Most of the other posters I see here are saying more or less the same thing in different words. Nobody here has claimed that this video is going to change the world. If it isn't just fluff, if it generates any kind of cerebral response, it has succeeded.


I don't think you've read very much if you think I've erected a strawman. All I read is how it's cutting edge social commentary. Shit, I didn't even know about it until I read how it's cutting edge social commentary (which, frankly, I'm happy I stumbled upon it because I've been listening to it a lot).

https://www.rollingstone.com/donald-glo ... al-w519895

What did it make you stop and think about? What cerebral response did it give you?

As the CC resident musical cabbage, the song is catchy and I enjoyed it. I received no other cerebral response from it other than that. Same as NWA. Same as RATM. If there was a conservative band that I actually knew existed and/or listened to, it would be the same as them. If you're taking your social commentary cues from Donald Glover or some pro-Trump conservative country band, you're either an ignorant teenager or a Hollywood hero worshipper and I would recommend reading or watching the news and reading some books.


Also, social commentary /= effecting social change. What exactly are you even arguing against here?
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Re: Music Thread: This Is America (NSFW)

Postby mrswdk on Tue May 15, 2018 7:54 am

Neoteny wrote:
mrswdk wrote:I also think that this is not good art, or social commentary, or anything. Like tgd said, was it it supposed to be making me think about - guns are bad? Something unclear about black people? Much wow. Maybe his next video will have some soldiers changing the oil in their cars and the FNM will explode with people praising him for taking American imperialism to task.

An actually interesting video would be something like MIA's video for Born Free. Sure, the point she's making isn't particularly new, but she at least makes it in quite a tangible and engaging way. In This Is America you're just left guessing what meaning, if any, the video has.



Image

The ability of people to not get this music video seems almost willful at this point.


I'll admit, I struggle to understand the murky world of American race politics at the best of times.
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Re: Music Thread: This Is America (NSFW)

Postby Dukasaur on Tue May 15, 2018 8:15 am

thegreekdog wrote:
What did it make you stop and think about? What cerebral response did it give you?

One thing I've already touched on in another post: that I'm not convinced the conventional explanation of the wrapping of the guns as criticism of the reverence paid to guns is the only explanation. I think it could also mean something like "I'm done with all of that. Bury it. Let's put it behind us."

That's fairly trivial.

Here's something more significant. The scene where he guns down the church choir is very likely a reference to the victims of the 2015 Charleston shooting. It occurred to me that although I had read lots of articles about the killer and what motivated him, I've never read any articles about the victims. So, I googled it, had a look at the names and faces. I spent a few minutes learning some things about their lives. It's not going to make any difference to them that are dead, but it makes a difference to me that I was inspired to give a few minutes of my time to their memory.
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Re: Music Thread: This Is America (NSFW)

Postby thegreekdog on Tue May 15, 2018 8:20 am

Neoteny wrote:
thegreekdog wrote:
Dukasaur wrote:That's a strawman you've erected. I don't feel that anyone except you is maintaining that this is a debate about whether or not this is cutting edge social commentary. I'm satisfied that it's good art if it makes me stop and think, and it did make me stop and think, which means it has done its job and is good art. Most of the other posters I see here are saying more or less the same thing in different words. Nobody here has claimed that this video is going to change the world. If it isn't just fluff, if it generates any kind of cerebral response, it has succeeded.


I don't think you've read very much if you think I've erected a strawman. All I read is how it's cutting edge social commentary. Shit, I didn't even know about it until I read how it's cutting edge social commentary (which, frankly, I'm happy I stumbled upon it because I've been listening to it a lot).

https://www.rollingstone.com/donald-glo ... al-w519895

What did it make you stop and think about? What cerebral response did it give you?

As the CC resident musical cabbage, the song is catchy and I enjoyed it. I received no other cerebral response from it other than that. Same as NWA. Same as RATM. If there was a conservative band that I actually knew existed and/or listened to, it would be the same as them. If you're taking your social commentary cues from Donald Glover or some pro-Trump conservative country band, you're either an ignorant teenager or a Hollywood hero worshipper and I would recommend reading or watching the news and reading some books.


Also, social commentary /= effecting social change. What exactly are you even arguing against here?


I'm arguing against your face.
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Re: Music Thread: This Is America (NSFW)

Postby thegreekdog on Tue May 15, 2018 8:21 am

Dukasaur wrote:
thegreekdog wrote:
What did it make you stop and think about? What cerebral response did it give you?

One thing I've already touched on in another post: that I'm not convinced the conventional explanation of the wrapping of the guns as criticism of the reverence paid to guns is the only explanation. I think it could also mean something like "I'm done with all of that. Bury it. Let's put it behind us."

That's fairly trivial.

Here's something more significant. The scene where he guns down the church choir is very likely a reference to the victims of the 2015 Charleston shooting. It occurred to me that although I had read lots of articles about the killer and what motivated him, I've never read any articles about the victims. So, I googled it, had a look at the names and faces. I spent a few minutes learning some things about their lives. It's not going to make any difference to them that are dead, but it makes a difference to me that I was inspired to give a few minutes of my time to their memory.


That's nice.
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Re: Music Thread: This Is America (NSFW)

Postby Neoteny on Tue May 15, 2018 8:25 am

thegreekdog wrote:I'm arguing against your face.


Finally. A reasonable discussion.
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Re: Music Thread: This Is America (NSFW)

Postby thegreekdog on Tue May 15, 2018 8:27 am

Neoteny wrote:
thegreekdog wrote:I'm arguing against your face.


Finally. A reasonable discussion.


Yeah, I'm giving up. None of you are being stupid enough for me and I like the song.
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Re: Music Thread: This Is America (NSFW)

Postby Neoteny on Tue May 15, 2018 8:28 am

It's a good song and he makes funny faces in the video.
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Re: Music Thread: This Is America (NSFW)

Postby TA1LGUNN3R on Tue May 15, 2018 1:51 pm

Neoteny wrote:
thegreekdog wrote:
TA1LGUNN3R wrote:
greekdog wrote:I'm not saying Donald Glover is not a musical genius. I like the song; it's good. I've listened to it a number of times. I like Rage Against the Machine. I've listened to that band my whole life. I like NWA. I would venture to say all of those groups and people are musical geniuses.


Oh come on. "Genius" is one of those overused words. None of these acts are musical geniuses. They may be good or talented, but they are each a far cry from geniuses.


I mean... okay. I think Tom Morello probably qualifies as a musical genius; he went to Harvard and his guitar playing was cutting edge. I also think NWA qualifies as well given that they popularized gansta rap. It's okay if you don't like them. You don't have to like musical geniuses. I don't like the Beatles and I can acknowledge their musical prowess. Also, not the point of my post. The point of my post is on the social commentary that Donald Glover is selling, not whether he is or isn't a good musician.


This is a correct take though. De la Rocha could have fronted any other band and been fine. Not great necessarily, but fine. Morello is what made Rage groundbreaking. But anyone who sees musical genius only in people like Mozart isn't worth arguing with. Confusing genius with being a child prodigy does no justice to either (though mozart was both). If one has to go all the way back to Mozart to find an example of musical genius, one clearly don't know what the f*ck one is talking about. And I don't think Glover is a musical genius. He's pretty good though.


I used mozart because he's probably the most familiar to people as musical genius. There are plenty of more modern examples. Morello still isn't one of them.
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Re: Music Thread: This Is America (NSFW)

Postby Neoteny on Tue May 15, 2018 2:40 pm

Word?
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Re: Music Thread: This Is America (NSFW)

Postby TA1LGUNN3R on Tue May 15, 2018 3:15 pm

You know it.
mrswdk wrote:When your balls look like a couple of dates in a gym sock you probably come to figure that pussy's pussy.
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Re: Music Thread: This Is America (NSFW)

Postby thegreekdog on Tue May 15, 2018 3:42 pm

TG - who are your modern musical geniuses?

Note - Morello was #40 on Rolling Stone's top 100 guitar players.
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Re: Music Thread: This Is America (NSFW)

Postby Neoteny on Tue May 15, 2018 4:07 pm

Kanye.
Napoleon Ier wrote:You people need to grow up to be honest.
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Re: Music Thread: This Is America (NSFW)

Postby Symmetry on Fri May 18, 2018 12:41 am

This has been one of the most interesting discussions of music on CC.


Dukasaur wrote:One thing I've already touched on in another post: that I'm not convinced the conventional explanation of the wrapping of the guns as criticism of the reverence paid to guns is the only explanation. I think it could also mean something like "I'm done with all of that. Bury it. Let's put it behind us."

That's fairly trivial.

Here's something more significant. The scene where he guns down the church choir is very likely a reference to the victims of the 2015 Charleston shooting. It occurred to me that although I had read lots of articles about the killer and what motivated him, I've never read any articles about the victims. So, I googled it, had a look at the names and faces. I spent a few minutes learning some things about their lives. It's not going to make any difference to them that are dead, but it makes a difference to me that I was inspired to give a few minutes of my time to their memory.


I don't think he was referring to that in particular, but the fact that it rasied the question for you is a sign of how well-done the video and the music is. It raised a lot of different debates for different people.
the world is in greater peril from those who tolerate or encourage evil than from those who actually commit it- Albert Einstein
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Re: Music Thread: This Is America (NSFW)

Postby betiko on Fri May 18, 2018 9:56 am

mrswdk wrote:It reminds me of a visit I once went on to an art school, where we were invited to analyze a painting of two people sat by a window and come up with all kinds of statements like 'the man is younger, and has a cat on his lap, which appears to be making him more uncomfortable than his friend, but he leaves it there anyway, which is a commentary on the materialism of younger generations'. Could the artist have just painted the guy with a cat on his lap? No, if you think that you are obviously not deep enough to comprehend art.

Childish Gambino is holding a gun, and is black, and keeps saying 'America' - OMGZ it's the video society needs right now! So deep!


It's not about what the artist means.. it's about what you see and the conversation it leads to. I think the whole point to apreciate art is to over analyze it. Yes, there are meanings, but often the artists just open a door to your own imagination. What you are describing here... is probably just what the person telling you was feeling, finding excuses to his thoughts through the painting. You were not learning about the painting, but about the person commenting. And if that person didn't come up with that himself, it's because he's the shallow one.
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Re: Music Thread: This Is America (NSFW)

Postby mrswdk on Fri May 18, 2018 10:04 am

betiko wrote:
mrswdk wrote:It reminds me of a visit I once went on to an art school, where we were invited to analyze a painting of two people sat by a window and come up with all kinds of statements like 'the man is younger, and has a cat on his lap, which appears to be making him more uncomfortable than his friend, but he leaves it there anyway, which is a commentary on the materialism of younger generations'. Could the artist have just painted the guy with a cat on his lap? No, if you think that you are obviously not deep enough to comprehend art.

Childish Gambino is holding a gun, and is black, and keeps saying 'America' - OMGZ it's the video society needs right now! So deep!


It's not about what the artist means.. it's about what you see and the conversation it leads to. I think the whole point to apreciate art is to over analyze it. Yes, there are meanings, but often the artists just open a door to your own imagination. What you are describing here... is probably just what the person telling you was feeling, finding excuses to his thoughts through the painting. You were not learning about the painting, but about the person commenting. And if that person didn't come up with that himself, it's because he's the shallow one.


So if all that matters is what you are able to infer from the art, regardless of whether or not the artist meant it, then is there even any such thing as good or bad art? If I can infer endless meaning from a piece of tissue on the floor then that presumably is good art. Is the only thing that determines whether it is art or not whether the creator intended it to be art?

Perhaps a suicide bombing is art. A suicide bombing is a display intended to impart meaning on an audience.
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Re: Music Thread: This Is America (NSFW)

Postby Dukasaur on Fri May 18, 2018 11:46 am

mrswdk wrote:
betiko wrote:
mrswdk wrote:It reminds me of a visit I once went on to an art school, where we were invited to analyze a painting of two people sat by a window and come up with all kinds of statements like 'the man is younger, and has a cat on his lap, which appears to be making him more uncomfortable than his friend, but he leaves it there anyway, which is a commentary on the materialism of younger generations'. Could the artist have just painted the guy with a cat on his lap? No, if you think that you are obviously not deep enough to comprehend art.

Childish Gambino is holding a gun, and is black, and keeps saying 'America' - OMGZ it's the video society needs right now! So deep!


It's not about what the artist means.. it's about what you see and the conversation it leads to. I think the whole point to apreciate art is to over analyze it. Yes, there are meanings, but often the artists just open a door to your own imagination. What you are describing here... is probably just what the person telling you was feeling, finding excuses to his thoughts through the painting. You were not learning about the painting, but about the person commenting. And if that person didn't come up with that himself, it's because he's the shallow one.


So if all that matters is what you are able to infer from the art, regardless of whether or not the artist meant it, then is there even any such thing as good or bad art? If I can infer endless meaning from a piece of tissue on the floor then that presumably is good art. Is the only thing that determines whether it is art or not whether the creator intended it to be art?


You can ponder a tissue on the floor and have many deep thoughts about life (especially with the aid of psychedelics) but how likely is it that you will? The chances are overwhelming that you will just pass it by without comment and quite possibly without even awareness of its existence. If you're looking for a way to quantify the quality of art, it's the probability that you will stop and think about the issues, over and above whatever probability inheres in your natural curiosity.
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Re: Music Thread: This Is America (NSFW)

Postby mrswdk on Fri May 18, 2018 11:49 am

Does a political debate on TV count then?
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