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Kermit Needs Work
October 4, 2010 8:53 AM   Subscribe

Homeless Man Under Pressure (SLYT)
posted by Cool Papa Bell (46 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
Glamfrog.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:57 AM on October 4, 2010


F'ing brilliant.
posted by jquinby at 8:59 AM on October 4, 2010


This made me very, very angry and very, very sad.

Just watch this mans face.

What the hell is going on out there? How long can this go on?

When you cut us, do we not bleed?
posted by Aetius Romulous at 9:02 AM on October 4, 2010


Work it.
posted by fungible at 9:04 AM on October 4, 2010


I'd give him money.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 9:05 AM on October 4, 2010


Gosh, I hope he was just working the "pressure" angle, not the main thrust of the song and is not thinking of checking out.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:16 AM on October 4, 2010


That was a actually surprising well directed.
posted by PenDevil at 9:22 AM on October 4, 2010


Homeless Man Creep
posted by swift at 9:23 AM on October 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


Not to be completely cynical, but I predict a copyright takedown soon. I recall there was some sort of rights issue with that song, where it appeared on Queen's Greatest Hits when the album first came out, but then it disappeared in later releases of it.

(In other words, there's a link at the bottom of the video that talks about helping, so you might want to help sooner rather than later if you were so inclined.)
posted by crunchland at 9:23 AM on October 4, 2010


A takedown notice could make this a cause célèbre, prompting an outpouring of support for the guy.
posted by Scoo at 9:40 AM on October 4, 2010


If I lived in that city, this guy would become appointment viewing. I'd give him SO much money.
posted by moviehawk at 9:44 AM on October 4, 2010


I predict a copyright takedown soon

Not to mention the Disney sends out about Kermit...
posted by R. Mutt at 9:53 AM on October 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


*letter
posted by R. Mutt at 9:53 AM on October 4, 2010


I recall there was some sort of rights issue with that song, where it appeared on Queen's Greatest Hits when the album first came out, but then it disappeared in later releases of it.

Not so. It has always been on the original US Greatest Hits. It wasn't on the UK version because that one had several more tracks (for example, "Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy") than the US counterpart and it was a matter of space. When Hollywood released their version of Greatest Hits years later, "Under Pressure" was removed because they had included it on Classic Queen instead.
posted by Oriole Adams at 10:02 AM on October 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


Ok, sorry if I'm being cynical. But is this a viral video for http://homelessness.change.org/nonprofits?
posted by Crash at 10:06 AM on October 4, 2010


Eh, if it made Vanilla Ice a bundle of cash then at the very least it should be allowed to help this guy eat for a week.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:06 AM on October 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Great vid, thanks.

I'll throw Super Awesome Homeless Dude into the mix.
posted by dobbs at 10:15 AM on October 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


I was on the fence till he had Mercury-Kermit throw an arm around his neck. That was pretty good.

I hope it stays up. From what I've heard, Freddy seemed like the kind of person who would appreciate someone trying to survive by bringing joy to people in strange ways.
posted by quin at 10:19 AM on October 4, 2010


Freddie! I knew that didn't look write as I was typing it.
posted by quin at 10:20 AM on October 4, 2010


write right! wow, I'm dying here...
posted by quin at 10:21 AM on October 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


I was raised to believe it's not the least bit proper to laugh at those less fortunate than yourself. But damn that was hilarious.

Not him; not his situation. But in the artful way he brings the muppets to life to bolster his request for help. The choice of song is a touch of brilliance. The signboard asking for help supporting two kids while he sits with a muppet on each knee doubly so. I whistled back and forth at the speed of light between "That's so sad" and "That's really, really, funny". And maybe that was his point -- given the caption says this is "meant to entertain". I was.

And as someone else already said here, I'd abandon the contents of a significant portion of my wallet into his donations box if I caught that on a local street.
posted by Mike D at 10:22 AM on October 4, 2010


Crash: "Ok, sorry if I'm being cynical. But is this a viral video for http://homelessness.change.org/nonprofits?"

Change.org is a networking/donations platform for nonprofits. That page is just a listing of all the member orgs that work with homelessness. I'd say the person who posted this video was just looking for an org-agnostic way of asking people to donate.

But I assume that what you're really asking whether the person in the video is actually a homeless dude. I wonder that too. The video description seems to imply that he's not?

In case you need more reminders of how serious a problem homelessness is in America, try Invisible People.
posted by roll truck roll at 10:28 AM on October 4, 2010


Wow. This is good, and strangely moving.
posted by stenseng at 10:31 AM on October 4, 2010


"But I assume that what you're really asking whether the person in the video is actually a homeless dude. I wonder that too. The video description seems to imply that he's not?"

I call, "So what?" In fact, watching his face as he manipulates the muppets during some of the more intense singing, I'd guess him to be a professional musician. But (a) it got the attention of everyone here; (b) it's got people talking about homelessness; (c) it's got many of us agreeing it's important to talk about, and maybe the combined force of a whole bunch of people agreeing that doing is even better than talking, (d) it might even help make this coming winter a little less onerous for the homeless in several of the cities from which we hail.

No bad in my mind.
posted by Mike D at 10:44 AM on October 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


I agree, Mike D. I should have been clearer. I'm saying that the way that I read the video description, it's making that explicit. Not trying to be a "hoax" or something.
posted by roll truck roll at 10:52 AM on October 4, 2010


Really homeless or not (and who cares), I simply marveled at his ability to keep the duet sorted out.

If it were me, you'd see me muttering, "Freddie, left, Bowie, right. Freddie, left, Bowie right..."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:18 AM on October 4, 2010


It's a revealing glimpse into the economy that Jeff Dunham, who had his own show on Comedy Central less than a year ago, could be reduced to this so quickly.
posted by dgaicun at 12:31 PM on October 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


Now that was performance art. He should apply for an NEA grant.
posted by Bonzai at 2:48 PM on October 4, 2010


Really homeless or not (and who cares)

Either he is homeless and you're paying for entertainment and/or charity, or he's not homeless and you're just paying for entertainment. Doesn't really change anything. People pay for a lot dumber things in this world; this was fairly not-really-that-bad.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:20 PM on October 4, 2010


I don't mean to discredit the crusade for fixing the homeless problem, but I think it does matter if he's homeless or not, at least to me. It bothers me when I find out a really cool video is just marketing for a sports drink (no one likes to be deceived), but this bothers me possibly even more.

To me, part of the message is that the homeless are exactly like us, minus the home. We can see the emotion in his eyes, we can attempt to relate to what he must be struggling with, and we can see his obvious talent. "There but for the grace of god, go I" sort of thing. If it turns out that someone wanted to bring this message, but didn't want to be bothered to find an actual homeless person to "star" in their video, it cheapens it for me. It doesn't cheapen the message, and I'm glad he's bringing attention to the issue, but the video is less sincere and less gripping to me personally if he's just an actor.
posted by Crash at 5:57 PM on October 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


I just watched that and was almost unable to move I was so, just, MOVED.

Then I read that it was a performer trying to get visibility for an organization helping the homeless, that he was not homeless himself.

And it TOTALLY changed my feelings on a fucking dime and now I'm super confused and really trying to figure out what it says about me.

I'm totally PRO advocacy for the homeless, but finding out this was someone *posing* as homeless for this video just shook me.

Fuck.
posted by tristeza at 7:32 PM on October 4, 2010


One of my Facebook friends posted a link to what appears to be the actor's website.
posted by adamk at 7:40 PM on October 4, 2010


Still a fucking awesome video to one of the best songs ever (IMO).
posted by tristeza at 7:43 PM on October 4, 2010


I think we're reading this thing wrong.

An actor, working on his own accord decided to make an amusing video spotlighting homelessness. (The lyrics of the song work well with the message) and the internet has misinterpreted it. So he links to an actual aid organization to do a little bit of good with the traffic.

There's nothing to suggest that change.org is responsible for this video or that anyone was setting out to raise money with it.
posted by keratacon at 8:01 PM on October 4, 2010


Oh get a grip people. It's still amazing, and worthwhile. And if it helps you feel better - well, most actors are unemployed like 99% of the time.

I certainly hope they don't take it down for copyright reasons. For one thing, this video stuck with me all day, got me to actually buy the song and listen to it 100 times in a row. I mean, I knew it was awesome, but I forgot how awesome it was.
posted by fungible at 8:04 PM on October 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


But (a) it got the attention of everyone here; (b) it's got people talking about homelessness; (c) it's got many of us agreeing it's important to talk about, and maybe the combined force of a whole bunch of people agreeing that doing is even better than talking, (d) it might even help make this coming winter a little less onerous for the homeless in several of the cities from which we hail.

No bad in my mind.


Respectfully, as someone who just wasn't that impressed with this video, can you connect the dots for me? I mean, I understand that viewing a cool video of a homeless guy makes people think "Hey, homeless people do cool stuff. Maybe I should donate time or money to organizations that serve the homeless."

But once you find out that the person in the video isn't actually homeless, doesn't that change the desire to help the homeless? How does watching a cool video of an actor pretending to be homeless make people more inclined to donate to organizations that serve the homeless? To me it just makes me think "Jeez, who else is lying about being homeless?"
posted by 23skidoo at 8:31 PM on October 4, 2010


Just because he "has a roof over his head" doesn't mean he's not homeless.
posted by Pants! at 9:11 PM on October 4, 2010


If the guy had people doubting his homelessness and he was actually homeless, I think he'd just come out and say "I live on the streets".
posted by 23skidoo at 9:54 PM on October 4, 2010


But once you find out that the person in the video isn't actually homeless, doesn't that change the desire to help the homeless?
You'd think so, but people can find pretty much any reason not to help the homeless.
That homeless guy killed by the train? Probably drunk.
(Not talking about a specific incident. Google 'homeless man train' you get a phone book full of cases.)

I don't really care what someone does to raise awareness. I'd humble myself, do whatever it takes to avoid shit like this.
Whether it's efficacious, I don't know.

But it's got a certain poignancy to it's undercurrent of despair. Whether the guy is an actor or not.
This piece is true whether it's subject matter is staged or natural or whatever.

now I'm super confused and really trying to figure out what it says about me

I understand that. But sometimes you can table the matter and cut them a check and decide where you stand with your self-respect after wards. Probably a better way to do it..
Ahmana get out my wallet. Winters on it's way and people can't be left out in the cold.

Hell, my kids would love the Kermit puppets doing that.
...have to keep them away from the dogs though.

I'm trying to figure out what it says about me that I've got a job and I'm pretty much running on autopilot after not dying gloriously for some cause. And walking in to a position when there's so many decent people going hand to mouth.

I volunteer some times. You can tell the change in season from the talk. It's like everyone gets quiet and introspective at the first hint of winter. Saw some people on lower wacker today walking in full winter coats.
We're going to get some heat back later in the week, and people will get chatty. But that north wind comes down like a finger pointing at you. And suddenly you're Akaky Akakievich Bashmachkin with your threadbare overcoat and there's nothing to say.
Scary for a lot of people out there on the corner of bedlam and squalor.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:44 AM on October 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


But once you find out that the person in the video isn't actually homeless, doesn't that change the desire to help the homeless?

You'd think so, but people can find pretty much any reason not to help the homeless.

That's what I'm saying. I'm saying that when people who found some poignancy/meaning/heartbreak in Sky Soleil's face find out that he's not homeless, BOOM. That's gonna be their reason to not help the homeless.
posted by 23skidoo at 5:55 AM on October 5, 2010


But once you find out that the person in the video isn't actually homeless, doesn't that change the desire to help the homeless?

Presumably, you want to help the homeless because they are homeless, not because they are entertaining.
posted by Dr Dracator at 6:01 AM on October 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Presumably, you want to help the homeless because they are homeless, not because they are entertaining.

Again, that is EXACTLY my point. People watch a video of a guy they think is homeless, and the video makes them think "Hey, I want to help the homeless because they are homeless." When they find out he isn't homeless, they're going to think "Hey, that homeless guy isn't really homeless. He doesn't need my help."
posted by 23skidoo at 6:10 AM on October 5, 2010


I think for a lot of people there was definitely a "wow this guy isn't like the beggars I'm encountering day in and day out, he's a starving genius!" element to watching this, and I could see how finding out it's not "real" could make someone ice up.
posted by floam at 10:15 AM on October 5, 2010


New York Magazine: Homeless Kermit Puppeteer Not Actually Homeless

Quotes from the performer, who's name is Sky Soleil.
posted by cavalier at 9:04 AM on October 6, 2010


Well, that's a relief. I was actually going to reach in my dashboard console and give that homeless guy at the intersection a dollar, but knowing that this is a fake absolves me of any privilege-related guilt.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:07 AM on October 6, 2010


Change.org interview
posted by roll truck roll at 1:18 PM on October 12, 2010


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