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« Go Ohgami Go Nuts in NYC, 1984 | Main | Club Unplugged: Razing Giorgio's Red Door »

February 24, 2017

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NoOriginalArt

The song that's been running through my head since the election is Bowie's "I'm Afraid of Americans" (Earthlings, 1997), if only because we're all now living with Trump's tiny hand on the nuclear football. In watching the video again however, with its Taxi Driver noir-New York and Trent Reznor as its Travis Bickle stand-in, I wonder if the Bowie character is afraid of American violence or its diverse population and cultural weirdness, or all of the three. The way the video cuts from the black guy in dreads finger-shooting at him to the brown kids playing shoot-em-up in the street to the Carnival-like parade at the close seem to indicate the latter. The lyrics however seem to talk about how familiar and yet so alien/alienating American culture is. When Bowie sings, "God is an American," I can't help thinking what a nightmare it is that the Orange Crush now has godlike power over our existence and everyone else's.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7APmRkatEU

Riffchorusriff

That Mr. Roboto (secret secret) video is worse than I remember!

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