e-mail me at billdeg@umich.edu


Born Free

This video is surely going to ignite loads of controversy. Which is a good and bad thing. Good, because the piece offers provocative and raw commentary on our collective attitudes toward immigration. Bad because "controversy" becomes the story and can obscure the ideas that inform the piece.

I didn't imbed the video here because of the graphic violence. Don't watch if you don't wish to see some disturbing images of what appears to be a government raid on a home full of red-headed young men.

Oh yeah, the piece is the music video for M.I.A.'s new single "Born Free," which quotes Suicide's punk classic "Ghost Rider." The song itself boasts a lot of M.I.A.'s signature flourishes: a nod to punk rock (past "quotations" in her work include The Clash, Pixies, and Modern Lovers), a minimalist techno beat, and lyrics that suggest radical politics.

The video begins circulating just this morning, days after Arizona's fascistic immigration bill passes. If you can stomach the violence, watch the video then decide what you are going to do to respond to Arizona's assault on civil liberties.

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