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No Glove No Love
October 7, 2010 10:01 PM   Subscribe

The thinking, and this is communicated very directly to the young men, is that if you don't participate, you're gay. You're effeminate. You're not a real man. You never mature from being a boy to being a man.
Confused as to what the hell is going on in Die Antwoord's latest (very NSFW) music video "Evil Boy" (lyrics)? Well, it's a protest against Xhosa ritual male circumcision (Photos of the ceremony. More photos.) Xeni Jardin addresses why the video may be "misinterpreted as homophobic".
posted by griphus (54 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
That was... problematic.
posted by eugenen at 10:11 PM on October 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


you know i was thinking the other day how funny it would be if the whole world blew up
posted by Avenger at 10:16 PM on October 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


How does she breastfeed with eyes for nipples?
posted by Burhanistan at 10:19 PM on October 7, 2010


Don't ever do this again....
posted by HuronBob at 10:23 PM on October 7, 2010


I was guiltily feeling it. Now I'm RIGHTEOUSLY feeling it. Yay!

Still problematic, yes, but responding to the demonic penis choppers with "What does it matter if I'm gay or not?" just seems a bit out of reach at the moment. I'm just glad he wasn't hallucinating aggressive men cruising for sex. The "Stay away from my penis" and "I'm not going into the bush with you" lines did make me wonder.
posted by Roachbeard at 10:23 PM on October 7, 2010


I really feel like there is some amazing mashup potential here.
posted by mindsound at 10:23 PM on October 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think the explanation makes sense, it puts Die Antwoord very much in line with the previous work of Watkin Tudor Jones (who is Ninja in Die Antwoord). I have to say though that just because it's a protest against that Xhosa ritual, doesn't mean it can't have a touch of homophobia in Evil Boy's lines.

Regardless of the commotion and all, "spirits in the room tickle you like a sneaky prawn" might be one of my favourite lines of lyrics ever.
posted by bjrn at 10:35 PM on October 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Here's my comment from the boingboing thread, which is still how I feel about the whole thing:

As a gay man, I did bristle at this at first glance. But knowing the backstory and watching it again, I have absolutely no problem with it. Amazing music and visuals, and knowing the story really adds a powerful emotional hook I probably wouldn't gotten otherwise.

s/'t gotten/'t have gotten/

I've watched this video again and again, and I still can't get enough.
posted by treepour at 10:39 PM on October 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Come back from that island Max, come back to your soup, still hot.
posted by boo_radley at 10:46 PM on October 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


What I meant about WTJ is that he is no stranger to protest.

If you have a chance to listen to his previous work under his own name, Max Normal, Max Normal.TV and The Constructus Corporation I can warmly recommend all of them.
posted by bjrn at 10:47 PM on October 7, 2010


Also, haha never change mother jones:
Mother Jones: Hey, wat pomp! Did I say that right?

posted by boo_radley at 10:50 PM on October 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sure, now you tell me.
posted by vapidave at 10:53 PM on October 7, 2010


Thanks for posting; I have been educated and thoroughly entertained. This is, truly, next level shit!
posted by flotson at 10:55 PM on October 7, 2010


Wow. Just wow.
posted by bardic at 10:55 PM on October 7, 2010


Wait, I retract the homophobic bit in my first comment. Had looked through most links, but not the one with the interview in it. Egg on my face.
posted by bjrn at 10:56 PM on October 7, 2010


kept me interested for the full five minutes. were all those wood carvings supposed to be penises?
posted by philip-random at 11:25 PM on October 7, 2010


I love them so much.
posted by empath at 11:34 PM on October 7, 2010


Evidence that we live in the most awesome of all possible futures.
posted by Nomiconic at 11:40 PM on October 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


South African dance/rap stars getting famous in the states with tracks that protest ritual circumcision and lyrics in English, Afrikaans (and very slang Afrikaans at that) and Xhosa?

Some days I can hear Bill Gibson laughing from wherever he is all the way here in LA.
posted by chimaera at 11:41 PM on October 7, 2010 [8 favorites]


Back when they were called "MaxNormalTV," they were kind enough to post an evil psychic claymation summarizing their creative process.
posted by kid ichorous at 11:43 PM on October 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


In Uganda this practice is called imbalu, same ideas, same shame. Pretty gruesome stuff. (prob. NSFW)
posted by auralcoral at 12:11 AM on October 8, 2010


Things fall apart?
posted by hubs at 12:20 AM on October 8, 2010


Thank god for Die Antwoord. Awesome video. I still can't stop watching the one that broke them - for those who haven't seen it. Whatever man.... fuck
posted by Hartham's Hugging Robots at 12:41 AM on October 8, 2010


I saw it the other day. Pretty awesome video. That said anti-circumcision people annoy me. In a country like SA with a high AIDS rate its probably a good idea.
posted by delmoi at 1:21 AM on October 8, 2010


@delmoi: circumcision "a good idea against AIDS"? don't even go there.
posted by knz at 1:27 AM on October 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Delmoi: it's anti Xhosa ritual circumcision, not circumcision as a whole:

Health workers tell of the serious problems it causes including 'rotting penises, septicaemia and inadvertent castrations'. Other boys die of dehydration or hypothermia and, far from preventing the spread of HIV, circumcision can increase it as the same knife is used on a large group of boys. In the last year, 80 boys have died, including two suicides.
posted by Hartster at 1:28 AM on October 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


How gruesome; so much better to have a doctor cut it off at age one week when the boy can't "feel the pain."
posted by caddis at 3:59 AM on October 8, 2010


ugh, ritual (grown) male circumcision? Please make it stop, it belongs in the past like female genital mutilation. Made the mistake of going straight to the photos of the ceremony and now I need to go look at unicorns and rainbows for a bit before tackling the unanimously voted awesome video.
posted by dabitch at 4:27 AM on October 8, 2010


Oh thank goodness, the video is great, that hairy monster dancing is all kinds of awesome. I was expecting something a lot creepier.
posted by dabitch at 4:32 AM on October 8, 2010


That ezakwantu.com rocks.
posted by nickyskye at 4:44 AM on October 8, 2010


What's that you kids are playing? It's got a good beat!

*goes into embarrassing dad dance*
posted by Decani at 5:13 AM on October 8, 2010 [5 favorites]


How does she breastfeed with eyes for nipples?

She cries milk, and the babies lap up her sweet, milky tears.

shudder
posted by explosion at 5:14 AM on October 8, 2010


Now that is a video worth interrupting Taylor Swift over.
posted by Mister_A at 5:33 AM on October 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


ive said it before and ill say it again, i like the crazy shtick and all, but that girl is actually a pretty good rapper
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:37 AM on October 8, 2010


Coming soon: Die Antwoord feat. Lady Gaga in: our music video will make you say what.
posted by fuq at 5:40 AM on October 8, 2010 [4 favorites]


Xhosa culture is un-fokking-believeably homophobic. They like, do not dig gays—with the volume up!

I love that Ninja talks like a gary oldman character too.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:42 AM on October 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


Die Antwoord feat. Lady Gaga

aka Hipster Ragnarok
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:43 AM on October 8, 2010 [7 favorites]


In my world music is music, words are words, pictures are pictures, video is video, and putting gay men in prison or hanging them by the neck until dead is homophobic. Last on the list is worth getting riled up about, getting riled up about the former (especially while ignoring the later) less so. All of these thing are happening on the African continent. Please, haters keep hating but put it where it counts.

Plus ten next level wicked zef style awesome.
posted by eccnineten at 6:00 AM on October 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Fucking crazy, hilarious and fun. I want to be robbed by Yo-Landi!
posted by Scoo at 6:04 AM on October 8, 2010


Wowsers, MaxNormalTV is the SHIT, thanks for the link Kid!
posted by Scoo at 6:17 AM on October 8, 2010


How does she breastfeed with eyes for nipples? ... shudder

Take it away, Dr. Polidori!
"L[ord] B[yron] re-peated some verses of Coleridge's "Christabel," of the
witch's breast; when silence ensued, and Shelley, suddenly shrieking and putting his hands to his head, ran out of the room with a candle. Threw water in his face, and after gave him ether. He was looking at Mrs. S[helley], and suddenly thought of a woman he had heard of who had eyes instead of nipples, which, taking hold of his mind, horrified him."(From The diary of Dr. John William Polidori, William Michael Rossetti, ed.)
posted by octobersurprise at 6:24 AM on October 8, 2010 [3 favorites]


He was looking at Mrs. S[helley], and suddenly thought of a woman he had heard of who had eyes instead of nipples, which, taking hold of his mind, horrified him."(From The diary of Dr. John William Polidori, William Michael Rossetti, ed.)

As depicted in a key scene from Ken Russell's Gothic. (NSFW)
posted by philip-random at 9:43 AM on October 8, 2010


I saw that the other day at boingboing. All I could think was, WTF? I guess one could easily figure out it was about penises, because the viewer gets visually pummeled with large dicks. It seemed to lose something, though, since it had to be explained to me that it was about ritual circumcision. And had to be further explained that it was not homophobic. So while it was certainly an eye opener, the message was pretty lost on me. So it's something of a protest song. High minded of them. I wonder, do Xhosa actually pay attention to a couple outlandish white freaks telling them that their cultural practices are awful?
posted by 2N2222 at 10:19 AM on October 8, 2010


2N2222: The guest rapper Wanga, is Xhosa, so they might not listen to the outlandish white freaks but some people might listen to him.

Also the song is just fantastic.
posted by haveanicesummer at 11:36 AM on October 8, 2010


If you notice during Wanga's part, the men he's addressing are dressed in traditional Xhosa ritual wear. He outright mocks their tradition, their conceptions of manhood, etc. It's not about them noticing it; refusing to go through the ritual makes him an ouctast/pariah and not-a-man (which is why he refers to himself as Evil Boy) anyway. It's about getting everyone else to notice them.
posted by griphus at 11:44 AM on October 8, 2010


@delmoi: circumcision "a good idea against AIDS"? don't even go there.
Why not?
posted by delmoi at 11:44 AM on October 8, 2010


Circumcision of any kind (male or female) is an antique tribal barbarity. A single link to a google search isn't convincing in any event, and there seem to be conflicts between published medical studies on the issue. One might do well to investigate the Japanese and Chinese takes on this, as the western medical professionals are evidently not able put aside their profit motive and their political slant.
posted by Sukiari at 2:25 PM on October 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


After watching their other videos, I'm still having trouble believing this is serious, and not some Vice mag parody.
posted by klangklangston at 3:11 PM on October 8, 2010


They're kind of a cross between eminem, ali g and andy kaufman, really.
posted by empath at 3:21 PM on October 8, 2010


Damn. I can't figure out how to spell the onomatopoeia that expresses the pleasant surprised noise I made when I found out (just now on Metafilter) that this is a political/protest song.

The way it was introduced to me, yesterday, through a couple blogs and a bunch of people on twitter, was just "look at the visually odd/cool new shit from Diplo and Die Antwoord, and when it came to the part where Wanga announces that he isn't gay, I bristled a bit.

I like when something is sold to me on purely on aesthetic merits, only to have something [good?] [real?] [of substance?] at its heart, especially in contrast to all the songs that people have pushed as "you like this message, so you WILL like this song". I'm not surprised that the message wasn't put out first and foremost because song about ritual genital mutilation practiced in some parts of Africa doesn't scream itunes best seller!, but I'm a bit surprised that I hadn't seen ANY context, since those Wanga lines can give an impression that he's saying "I'm not gay [because I am a virile man]" and "I don't want to go to the bush with you [to have sex]".

Still... I like the visual way more than the musical components, even though I'm a sucker for Diplo and this song was an earworm for me all through yesterday. Thanks for the posts about Watkin Tudor Jones' past projects. From the first couple tracks of MaxNormalTV, I think that'll be a little bit more in my bag than Die Antwoord.
posted by elr at 3:39 PM on October 8, 2010


@klangklangston I think it might be a parody, but I don't think it's a put-on, more of Flight of the Conchords than Ali G.

Seeing the clips of Zef/Watkin wearing a suit and making puppets in the MaxNormalTV video posted above definitely gave me the impression that this might even be a serious artist playing with personaes.
posted by elr at 3:46 PM on October 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


What an awesome Metafilter post, thank you. And congratulations to MeFi for not turnign this into a circumcision flamewar (but there's still time!). That more photos link is an amazing series of slides. I'm grudgingly liking Die Antwoord, if nothing else just because it's different. Goofy shtick, but hey, whatever.
posted by Nelson at 5:35 PM on October 8, 2010


I like it how he's rocking the prawn arm. South African pop culture has to stick together if it wants to represent, knowhut'msayin.

Also I'm somewhat amused that hipsters are an international phenomenon. When the Enter the Ninja video came out I really thought Die Antwoord were a white trash act, and I was relieved to discover they were just arty dorks.
posted by dgaicun at 11:57 PM on October 8, 2010


"Ninja is, how can I say, like Superman is to Clark Kent. The only difference is, I don't take off this fuckin' Superman suit." -Ninja (nsfw)
posted by haveanicesummer at 12:07 AM on October 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


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