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Nothing You Can Sing That Can't Be Sung...
December 18, 2012 3:15 PM   Subscribe

SLYT: The New York Times released a video today of an incident from September 10th: Preacher Terry Jones was in Times Square, staging a one-man anti-Muslim demonstration, and a Beatles fan who was passing by chose to weigh in.
posted by EmpressCallipygos (69 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite

 
Don't ever change, New York.

(well, except for the Yankees. Because fuck the Yankees.)
posted by mightygodking at 3:20 PM on December 18, 2012 [13 favorites]


That was awesome.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 3:21 PM on December 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well played, NYC.
posted by figurant at 3:22 PM on December 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


I was once walking along the Briggate in Leeds, where a street preacher was spouting gayhate. A busker who was stood nearby came right up to to preacher, strummed on his guitar, and began singing something like:

"Oh, standing on Briggate,
there's a crazy preacher guy,
he's here to sell us hate,
but folks don't want to buy."

On and on he went in the same way, until the preacher at last gave up and moved on. It was awesome and everybody really loved seeing the preacher get called out.
posted by Jehan at 3:25 PM on December 18, 2012 [11 favorites]


I♥NY
posted by dhartung at 3:27 PM on December 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


OK, I really want this to be real, and I can hate on Terry Jones as well as the next guy, but there is this nagging feeling that it wasn't as spontaneous and un-staged as we are being led to believe.... convince me otherwise.....
posted by HuronBob at 3:30 PM on December 18, 2012 [8 favorites]


Yeah, I was just about to ask what part of this wasn't staged.
posted by plastic_animals at 3:32 PM on December 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


For those of you who don't remember or may not have heard of him previously, Terry Jones is pastor of Dove World Outreach Center, a small church in Florida, and author of the book Islam Is of the Devil.

Jones first came to national attention in 2010 when he announced plans to burn copies of the Qur'an. (One of his plans went wrong when a skateboarder interfered.) He has also hanged Obama in effigy.

Most odiously, Jones helped promote the antiIslamic Innocence of Muslims film that has sparked international protests and is linked to the violence in Benghazi.

Is this spontaneous? Does it matter? In our country, where we believe the cure for bad speech is better speech, what better way to protest this man than to raise up voices in opposition to his, and to respond to his hate with words of love?
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 3:32 PM on December 18, 2012 [15 favorites]


We would need to express a new order of classification for how little I care if this was staged.

Terry Jones can fuck right off.
posted by The Whelk at 3:34 PM on December 18, 2012 [29 favorites]


Who cares if it was staged? I'd be OK if people followed that hateful son of a bitch everywhere he went and drowned him out with Beatles music every time he opened his stupid, cruel mouth to spew his shitty shitty words. In closing, fuck Terry Jones and fuck everything he stands for.
posted by Sternmeyer at 3:35 PM on December 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


According to Jones' own website, he did indeed appear in Times Square on September 10th, and going by the picture on the site that is him in the video. So if he was a cooperative participant in something staged, he's playing some really weird three-dimensional chess or his actions are the mother of all fakeouts.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:35 PM on December 18, 2012


Yeah, I was just about to ask what part of this wasn't staged.

Really? I was about to ask why there weren't a thousand people there, drowning him out completely.
posted by benito.strauss at 3:35 PM on December 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I will note that the guy had to look up the lyrics on his smartphone, and didn't come prepared with lyrics sheets, and they just repeated the chorus. I suspect, were it staged, everybody would have erupted into a fully choreographed flash mob.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 3:36 PM on December 18, 2012 [12 favorites]


That ignorant pigfucker doesn't care as long as he gets his Warhol shares.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:37 PM on December 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Let me add, just so I won't be misunderstood, I have NO problem with this if the counter protestors were there with intent to drown him out with Beatles songs, that's all well and good with me.
posted by HuronBob at 3:39 PM on December 18, 2012


How are the random by-standers so well recorded? Are directional microphones that good nowadays?
posted by John Shaft at 3:40 PM on December 18, 2012


Tears came to my eyes. I guess these days I'm soft
And I'm with Bunny Ultramod. The Beatles guy is unplanned and charming enough to get people to go with him. But obviously the NYTimes photographer went down to look for something outrageous.
posted by mumimor at 3:41 PM on December 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


John: at the start of the video, I note a whole bunch of cameras surrounding Jones; I wonder if there weren't a handful of cameramen or radio guys on hand to record footage in case their publications/programming decided to do a piece on Jones that day. And when they heard people start singing...

In other news, it looks like Jones has another action planned on January 19th if anyone wants to coordinate a counterprotest.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:43 PM on December 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Here's the story behind this film, looks like the event, although it was being professionally filmed, was spontaneous...
posted by HuronBob at 3:43 PM on December 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


I was hoping it would be a Terry Jones fan weighing in with a polearm...
posted by Seiten Taisei at 3:43 PM on December 18, 2012


I'm happy to have Terry Jones' hate speech drowned out so in that sense I don't care if it was staged or not. What appear to be multiple cameras, good audio, and professional editing tells me this wasn't just a random guy walking by who decided to start singing. I could well be wrong and I'm not going to put up a fight about this. Good for him for countering the hate speech.
posted by plastic_animals at 3:43 PM on December 18, 2012


And reading HuronBob's link it does appear that I am wrong.
posted by plastic_animals at 3:44 PM on December 18, 2012


What exactly happened "almost ten years ago," now? I guess I shouldn't be shocked that the Terry Jones dude doesn't know much about how math works.
posted by koeselitz at 3:45 PM on December 18, 2012


it was filmed on 9/10/11, almost 10 years after 9/11/01.

nyc and the walrus ftw.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 3:47 PM on December 18, 2012


Heck, yeah. That was great.
posted by brundlefly at 3:48 PM on December 18, 2012


Ah – sorry, I figured this couldn't be more than a year old. Thanks, fingers_of_fire.
posted by koeselitz at 3:48 PM on December 18, 2012


I suspect, were it staged, everybody would have erupted into a fully choreographed flash mob.

DO WANT.
posted by DarlingBri at 3:53 PM on December 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Here's the original version.

Broadcast on June 25, 1967, the first live global television link, it was seen by 400 million people.

She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah.
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:58 PM on December 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


I suspect, were it staged, everybody would have erupted into a fully choreographed flash mob.

...singing John Lennon's Imagine.
posted by hangashore at 4:00 PM on December 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Whenever I read about THIS Terry Jones, I always get worried that Monty Python's Terry Jones has snapped. And then I breathe a sigh of relief, because thankfully other Terry Jones has some sense in him.
posted by pxe2000 at 4:00 PM on December 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


I've always dreamed of starting a Barbershop Quartet of Liberal Justice for exactly these kinds of scenarios.
posted by Doleful Creature at 4:01 PM on December 18, 2012 [14 favorites]


Every year I try to remember September 10, 2001. That was the day before we thought about hating Muslims.

Am I too much of a Conservative to want to go back to that time?
posted by twoleftfeet at 4:06 PM on December 18, 2012


I always get worried that Monty Python's Terry Jones has snapped.

He snapped a long time ago. But in a good way.
posted by twoleftfeet at 4:09 PM on December 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


I totally fuckin' needed this. Thank you stranger for bringing the light that some of us need right now and to remember that there is love and not all hate in the world :)
posted by symbioid at 4:10 PM on December 18, 2012


If anyone ever deserved to get slapped with a fish, it's this Terry Jones.
posted by Atom Eyes at 4:11 PM on December 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


We're I a New Yorker, I would totally join the BQLJ.
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:11 PM on December 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


All you need is love indeed!
posted by ramix at 4:14 PM on December 18, 2012


I can't watch this video at work, so let's just see if I understand the gist of it: some tumor was spouting hate in NY and got hisself bit by a moose?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:15 PM on December 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


I kinda wonder why so many people came out with video cameras to record him. I mean, he's not even worth listening to. If everyone just turned their backs and walked away, he'd be just another nutter shouting on a streetcorner.

Spontaneous (or not) Beatles sing-along, I can totally get behind.
posted by BungaDunga at 4:25 PM on December 18, 2012


This really made up for something really, really bad I heard about on the news just now.
Thanks for reminding me that people can be good, New York.
posted by Mezentian at 4:26 PM on December 18, 2012


I kinda wonder why so many people came out with video cameras to record him.

You are misunderstanding cause and effect. It's Times Square. It is filled with tourists using video cameras, largely to film other tourists with video cameras.
posted by DarlingBri at 4:34 PM on December 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


BungaDunga: "I kinda wonder why so many people came out with video cameras to record him."

Probably because there was a professional video crew following him around? That turns him into a much more high profile nutter shouting on a streetcorner.
posted by brundlefly at 4:35 PM on December 18, 2012


...when suddenly, Guy Fieri jumps out and hoses him down with Donkey Sauce!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:38 PM on December 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


Ticket to NYC from Florida to preach hate in Times Square on 9/10. $90 dollars.
Calling someone an "ignorant pigfucker" on the internet for preaching hate. Priceless.

RE: whether staged. I watched it a second time in the interest of honesty in video...

1) you never really see the guy who sings in the same shot as Mr. Jones. It seems entirely possible to dub two tracks and film the singer over the shoulder of someone wearing a gray shirt (the closest I saw to mutual presence) - and you got all you need to doctor up a nice video like this (except love).

2) watch closely starting at the 2:53 mark to see some talented tourist walk backwards down the bleachers and a very brave cab speed in reverse through Times Square!

sooo, me thinks the fidelity to the truth seems potentially 'less than fit to print.' But heck, it does feel good to think there are more lovers than haters out there.

I'll go so far as to say that, I suspect if someone really did have the inspiration to do this in real-time, there would have been many many more people joining in and singing along than shown. Lots of cuts and odd angles suggest it at least could be an afterthought craftwork.

With all those video camera it would be great if anyone found alternate angles and sources from social media outlets since this NYT gem seems suspiciously more like art than news.
posted by astrobiophysican at 4:45 PM on December 18, 2012


cab speed in reverse through Times Square

So, pretty much drives like every other cab in NY?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:49 PM on December 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Many of the videographers were wearing the same shirt as Terry Jones. I'm guessing the were part of his hate group.
posted by Mick at 4:50 PM on December 18, 2012


Riding around in a flame orange with black vinyl roof and black pinstripes 1972 Buick Skylark in the mid-1970's when some guy tries to light a j in the back seat and his last match burns out and he says, "aww you PIG fuckah!" Now that's priceless.

I thought this was pretty cool. Lots of people down there in New Yawk.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 4:52 PM on December 18, 2012


Astrobiophysician, I urge you to read Huronbob's link to the NYTimes' accompanying essay (which I foolishly did not seek - Mods, is there any way to add that link to the main post?).

But it explains a) why this seems "like art than news" (it was filmed by a crew who'd been making a documentary about Islamophobia in the US) and b) why the Times posted something that "wasn't news" (it was in their op-ed section).

The filmmakers' documentary is up for an Oscar nomination for short-form documentary this year.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:52 PM on December 18, 2012


So I did a quick check and indeed it does indeed seem to be as reported (you can hear the guy singing at the 7ish mark in the background) here. Nice. And you can thank me for listening through seven minutes of his noise for you to verify that.
posted by astrobiophysican at 4:53 PM on December 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


mumimor: "Tears came to my eyes. I guess these days I'm soft
And I'm with Bunny Ultramod. The Beatles guy is unplanned and charming enough to get people to go with him. But obviously the NYTimes photographer went down to look for something outrageous.
"

Seconding the spontaneity of it, as I suspect the original singer would not only have had lyrics on tap, but also be in tune.

It did, however, get a big old smile out of me and I would like to thank the poster and all involved. I needed that smile.
posted by Samizdata at 4:55 PM on December 18, 2012


Staged? Selectively edited? Whatever... who cares! I hope this intiates thousands of copy-catters drowning out voices like Jones' (e.g. WBC) by drowning out their message by singing songs about peace & love.
posted by Lukenlogs at 5:05 PM on December 18, 2012


As as fiercely backward preacher, I have to say that Jesus was only suggesting that bit about "love your neighbor" and "turn the other cheek". Because at the time, Islam wasn't even something he could hate, so the Son of God didn't see that one coming.

That's the great thing about Christianity. The details of the religion are totally arbitrary. When you become a Christian, they give you a form with a list of the Ten Commandments, and you can check off the ones that appeal to you.
posted by twoleftfeet at 5:20 PM on December 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


I, too, blanched a little when I saw "Terry Jones" and "anti-Muslim" in the post. But then I realized that it wasn't my Terry Jones, who continues to be his own awesomely comic, historical self.
posted by jb at 5:22 PM on December 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I might happen to be in Times Square (which, if you know me, is not something you will hear me say just any ol' day) on January 19, so if any MeFites wanted to join me in a few rounds of "Imagine" or "Jude" or "Kumba-effin'-yah," that would be kinda fun.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 5:29 PM on December 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


I worship the Canaanite deities of the Phoenicians. Every year we gather at Times Square to watch the Baal drop.
posted by twoleftfeet at 5:33 PM on December 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


I know it's illegal, but I so wish to see a video like this where people like Jones or the Westboro people are sprayed with deer piss.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:33 PM on December 18, 2012


Who cares if it was staged?

I do. And I'm glad that it wasn't. But it's entirely cool for folks to question the veracity of the moment, and even more so that one of them, HuronBob, actually did some digging and came up with the answer.

Because if it was staged, it wouldn't be the same. Reality's like that. Like, there's the Beatles and there's the Monkees. Neither is completely worthless but one is fab and one is pre-fab.

I prefer fab.
posted by philip-random at 5:39 PM on December 18, 2012


You'd think if it was actually staged then a wee harder edged song than that one would have been employed in order to expose liberal excesses or something.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:00 PM on December 18, 2012


This is pretty awesome.
Aslo BTW John Shaft shotgun microphones have a pretty narrow pickup.
posted by MrBobaFett at 6:03 PM on December 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I know it's illegal, but I so wish to see a video like this where people like Jones or the Westboro people are sprayed with deer piss.

Why deer piss - is hobo piss too good for him?
posted by item at 6:12 PM on December 18, 2012


I like to think the answer is "deer piss will attract bears".
posted by Mezentian at 6:21 PM on December 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


If you piss on these people they just become martyrs and all of their descendants will celebrate Pissover.
posted by twoleftfeet at 6:28 PM on December 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Why do they even think they can come to my city and leave unscathed?
posted by zaelic at 6:47 PM on December 18, 2012


Whoa whoa whoa you guys we need to hear him out. A guy that fancily dressed must know what he's talking about.
posted by graventy at 7:52 PM on December 18, 2012


For a moment I thought Paul Senior from Orange County Choppers had taken a radical new direction. After further consideration, I'm all in favour of songs of peace drowning out the voices of hate.
posted by arcticseal at 10:05 PM on December 18, 2012


That was beautiful.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 1:51 AM on December 19, 2012


I just read some of the comments in the NYT account of this, and one of the commenters talks about a group of high school students they knew who stood down a Westboro demonstration by singing Katy Perry's "I Kissed A Girl".

I still think I prefer The Beatles for the better "people can join in" factor, but there's something kind of genius about that.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:17 AM on December 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Dear Paul and Ringo. If you are reading this, will you kindly turn "All You Need Is Love" over to public domain so it can be sung wherever and whenever the need arises? It will be like the end of the Yellow Submarine where the Blue Meanies are driven away by a song.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 7:38 AM on December 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


It will be like the end of the Yellow Submarine where the Blue Meanies are driven away by a song.

If memory serves, I believe "All You Need Is Love" was the song in question there too.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:40 AM on December 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


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