Run and tell that
August 15, 2010 12:23 PM   Subscribe

WAFF-TV reported the story of how Antoine Dodson saved his sister Kelly from a rapist intruder in her bed. Antoine's passionate sound-bite becomes an internet sensation as the "Bed Intruder" meme. Things go to the next level when the Gregory Brothers auto-tune it and turn it into a surprisingly good hit song.

Of course once a meme takes song form, you start to get YouTube cover versions.
posted by w0mbat (63 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
I'm sorry that this guy became a meme, because I can tell he's what they call a very real person, and I feel oddly protective of him. He doesn't deserve mockery.

That said, I think he might really like that song.
posted by Countess Elena at 12:33 PM on August 15, 2010 [2 favorites]

Maybe I'm being to sensitive, I love schmoyoho, but I don't love this cause of the whole "rape" thing. I know, I know, but this is just off for me. Sorry.
posted by nola at 12:33 PM on August 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

They got a pilot on Comedy Central.
posted by BurN_ at 12:34 PM on August 15, 2010

How long before they autotune the sounds of actual rape?

Doing this to Katie Couric is one thing.
Doing this to someone's suffering is another.
posted by munchingzombie at 12:35 PM on August 15, 2010

Pfft. This is so two weeks ago.
posted by koeselitz at 12:35 PM on August 15, 2010 [6 favorites]

HA HA HA HA! Poor people!
posted by Ian A.T. at 12:35 PM on August 15, 2010

You know what, I hadn't read the NPR story when I posted that comment. It appears Antoine's grabbing the Internet fame by the horns, so I'm glad he's got his confidence in that.
posted by Countess Elena at 12:36 PM on August 15, 2010

munchingzombie: “Doing this to someone's suffering is another.”

What happened wasn't awesome. Antoine Dodson's reaction was. Not in a "look at this silly yokel" way – I really believe that, there are plenty of silly yokels to look at if people want that kind of thing – but in a mildly silly, but still awesome way. He's standing up and calling the would-be rapist out – "you are so dumb, we, gon' find you!" And I think that that is awesome.

And I don't mind that it became a meme. I would like to buy Antoine Dodson a beer, and I have a feeling a lot of people feel the same way I do. And I feel like it's a little weird if you don't watch that clip and find yourself cheering him and his community on.
posted by koeselitz at 12:39 PM on August 15, 2010 [11 favorites]

That marching band cover is double-rainbow-amazing.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 12:40 PM on August 15, 2010 [4 favorites]

A&T's version is awesome. They used to have their bowling league at the same lane and the same night as my college's bowling league, and while my school's league never rolled over about 170, they were throwing like 250's weekly by multiple bowlers. I always felt kind of embarrassed to be collectively doing something badly next to people doing it quite well. But I was usually pretty drunk so it didn't bother me too much.
posted by ND¢ at 12:40 PM on August 15, 2010

North Alabama represent!
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:41 PM on August 15, 2010 [4 favorites]

Yeah, it's been hard for me to get worked up about this when Antoine is so clearly into it himself.

Also, did they ever catch the rapist?

Also also: run and tell that run and tell that run and tell that homeboy home-home-homeboy
posted by danb at 12:41 PM on August 15, 2010

I'm with koeselitz. I love that all of these strangers were inspired by Antoine's goddamn sass and attitude and made this epic fucking anthem of him calling out this moronic would-be rapist. WE GONNA FIND YOU.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 12:42 PM on August 15, 2010 [4 favorites]

Holy shit those guys are still funny.. The last autotune the news literally had me LOLing.
posted by empath at 12:46 PM on August 15, 2010

From what I understand, they split the itunes profits with the person they're auto-tuning, so that's money in that family's wallet.
posted by empath at 12:48 PM on August 15, 2010 [3 favorites]

Even though it's not entirely to my taste, I thought this cover was very talented.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 12:51 PM on August 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

The Comedy Central link that BurN_ posted has this link to a Wired article in which the Gregory Brothers mention that their sharing itunes profits 50/50 with Antoine. So at least he gets something from the whole situation. Also, I frequently see the Gregory Brothers jogging in Williamsburg.
posted by Drab_Parts at 12:54 PM on August 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

I can't find the reference online right now, but apparently the AutoTune guys asked permission and offered to share profits on this one with Dodson. Which, okay, that's fine. But in the same piece, which I really really wish I could find, someone also made the point that making a big joke out of people living in the projects, people of color, and women being assaulted is incredibly problematic.

So for that, I will say - this will never be funny to me because I know that for most people, it's LOLIGNORANTDUDE. But at least he seems to be getting paid, and it's his/their right to make money off this if they can and if they want to.
posted by Medieval Maven at 12:54 PM on August 15, 2010 [2 favorites]

I wouldn't assume everyone is mocking him, just because they're enjoying the meme. I think it's a mixture of sympathizing with his passion and marveling at such an open expression of it. And his sister is a goddamn pistol; I love that she felt willing to get on camera, too, and say what she thought of that pusillanimous idiot.
posted by palliser at 12:54 PM on August 15, 2010 [2 favorites]

He did something heroic, and he's got real charisma and presence. And I disagree with what the NPR story said about it being wrong to laugh at this, because Dodson himself wasn't laughing. He's upset, sure, and he's obviously still full of anger and endorphins, but that bit about "Hide your husbands 'cause they're raping everybody out here!" is almost certainly intentional humor.

I am now an official, unironic Antoine Dodson fan.

It's also worth noting that he seems to genuinely like what ATTN did with the clip, because he links to it gushingly on his blog.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 12:55 PM on August 15, 2010 [7 favorites]

AND thank you lack of preview, Drab_pants has the link I couldn't dredge up. Thanks. I was searching for the AutoTune guys, not Gregory Brothers.
posted by Medieval Maven at 12:55 PM on August 15, 2010

Come on, the guy is selling t-shirts on zazzle. I think he's down with the attention. He's a smart, funny guy, and that's all there is to it.
posted by empath at 1:03 PM on August 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

I think this is pretty obviously intended to be a LOOKATTHISAWESOMEGUY video, not a LOLIGNORANTDUDE video. This is no more "making a big joke out of people living in the projects, people of color, and women being assaulted" than the Slap Chop Rap is "making a big joke out of cookery, cuisine, and eating your fruits and vegetables".
posted by vorfeed at 1:07 PM on August 15, 2010

It doesn't matter if you're sending out "look at this awesome dude" if most people receive/interpret it as "look at this ignorant dude." And I don't know, maybe my internet sample features a lot of stupid people, but my perception is that most people are laughing AT this guy, not with him.
posted by Medieval Maven at 1:11 PM on August 15, 2010

Your perception or your projection?
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 1:14 PM on August 15, 2010 [5 favorites]

I didn't laugh at Dodson, though I did enjoy his way with words and genuine expression. I did also enjoy the creativity that sprawled from it. I like the internet age. I am sure there's people out there reacting in all kinds of ways to all of this, but I am happy if Dodson and family are.
posted by okokok at 1:26 PM on August 15, 2010

The whistles go WOOOOOOOOO!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 1:26 PM on August 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

Yeah, this guy is great, and I'd like to see his fame outlive the 10 minutes this meme has left. Give him a television show on Current TV or something.

I don't see this as OMGGHETTOPEEPLE! (see Bubb Rubb). If someone broke into my home and climbed into bed with my sister, it would take us about 2 seconds to throw ourselves into the pit of fear and victimhood. I doubt very much my family would agree to be interviewed on TV. Maybe this guy is deluded or being insensitive, but his sister quite obviously shares his FUCK YOU RAPIST! attitude.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 1:27 PM on August 15, 2010

That marching band cover is double-rainbow-amazing

Uh, link?
posted by delmoi at 1:28 PM on August 15, 2010

Uh, in the OP.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 1:29 PM on August 15, 2010

Antoine Dodson is the new Double Rainbow Guy is the new pick-your-meme-of-the-week-auto-tuned-for-mildly-humorous-results.
posted by pedmands at 1:29 PM on August 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

posted by emilyd22222 at 1:31 PM on August 15, 2010

Tut-tutting about how people may perceive Mr. Dodson strikes me as a particularly insidious manifestation of classist paternalism.

He's an angry, brave, and devastatingly funny guy.

To a lot of folks, I'll bet he sounds odd. Well, an Alabama accent DOES automatically shave about 20 points off of one's perceived IQ (voice of experience drawling, here).

So yeah, some folks are gonna laugh at him. Fuck them. They're missing the point.

I am confident that Mr. Dodson can handle anything the Internet can throw at him, because he's already handled worse than that.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 1:38 PM on August 15, 2010 [26 favorites]

So... uh... did they catch the rapist?

I feel the point may have got lost somewhere between becoming an internet celebrity and selling merchandise on your blog. The point being, someone tried to rape his sister.
posted by afx237vi at 1:44 PM on August 15, 2010 [5 favorites]

Antoine was awesome all by himself, and even more so after the musical treatment. I don't see how you could interpret any of this as laughing at him or his situation at all.

He was expressing a genuine and sincere feeling, and his authenticity is undeniable & enjoyable at the same time.

Anyone laughing at him is missing the point entirely, as well as showing themselves to be shallow and ignorant.

None of the people involved in the productions are making fun of anyone's suffering; that's a patently absurd misreading of what's going on here.

Recognizing Mr. Dodson's inherent awesomeness and emphasizing it means everybody (except the rapist) wins, and that's damn cool.
posted by Aquaman at 1:51 PM on August 15, 2010

As an addition to my above comment, this dude is fucking awesome.
posted by munchingzombie at 1:57 PM on August 15, 2010

palmcorder_yajna already linked to it, but Antoine Dodson has a blog. Moreover, he basically started it when the first YouTube videos hit. The TV station also interviewed him a few days after their initial report asking him about being internet famous. In general, he seems to be taking it about as well as you'd hope: half bemused, half enthused. The other videos he's posted make him seem like a pretty cool guy in general, and not really LOLIGNORANTDUDE on the one hand, nor "innocent victim in the projects" on the other.

I'm basically just glad that he seems to have made something good out of his sister being attacked in their own home. This could've been yet another home invasion story that we skim over on the way to the sports scores.
posted by chrominance at 2:03 PM on August 15, 2010

As I understand it, Antoine Dodson is getting some of the proceeds from every copy of this song purchased from itunes.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 2:10 PM on August 15, 2010

So... uh... did they catch the rapist?

Attempted rapist.

Not that rape is a good thing.
posted by Sebmojo at 2:32 PM on August 15, 2010

The best cover of this song:
posted by nonreflectiveobject at 3:01 PM on August 15, 2010

nonreflectiveobject, not only does your link go back to this page, but the link you were trying to make is in the original post. :-)
posted by danb at 3:04 PM on August 15, 2010

whoops, double internet fail. i'll get my coat.
posted by nonreflectiveobject at 3:06 PM on August 15, 2010 [4 favorites]

I find this phenomenon/meme to be abhorrent and infuriating. I'm all for Dodson's expression of anger and frustration, but nothing I've read about this story talks about the woman at the heart of it, nor about women in general, or about serious responses to rape and violence against women. My understanding is that the police didn't take the attempted rape seriously and have put little to no effort in finding the perp (which is how Dodson appeared on TV generating the video clip and audio being used to create pop music).

It's sexist and misogynistic when it's men who financially benefit from a woman's suffering, and it's disgusting beyond belief that people are mindlessly singing along or toe tapping to the beat of anguished cries of anger from the family member of the woman who was attacked.

Don't even get me started on the cultural and classist appropriation!

I think the is the first time in my life I've loathed NPR. Their reporting on this wasn't that great, nor had any circumspect nature to it what so ever.
posted by kuppajava at 3:37 PM on August 15, 2010 [5 favorites]

Isn't this video actually the intellectual property of the TV station? There's all this talk about splitting the proceeds; on the other hand I can't imagine the TV station actually licensed out the clip for remixing.
posted by crapmatic at 4:01 PM on August 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

In this interview, Dodson notes that the meme has helped spread the word about the spate of rapes that have been happening in the housing project where his family lives. In specific, he says that a woman who lives in the same project recently told him that, one night shortly after the meme blew up, she noticed a man standing near her window staring in. Thanks to the meme, she knew to treat the guy as a potential home invader/rapist, so she had her boyfriend loom menacingly in the window to scare him away. Dodson's said elsewhere that the goal of his rant to the TV cameras was to warn his neighbors-- and it looks like the internet's helped him do that.

In the same interview, he says that when he and family went to the local housing authority the morning after the invasion, the clerk they spoke to didn't offer any solutions and instead made fun of what had happened. The popularity of the meme has given Dodson and his family a platform from which to speak out about that. Most of us here on the blue are too far from the place where this happened to see what the official response on the local level is going to be-- but I'd be very surprised if it's nil. The Dodson family is now well-positioned to be an extraordinarily squeaky wheel, and it seems likely that a ration of grease will be flowing their way.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 4:06 PM on August 15, 2010 [21 favorites]

I bet this guy thinks it's totally funny. You people can be such sticks-in-the-beans sometimes.
posted by hermitosis at 4:06 PM on August 15, 2010 [2 favorites]

While I'm generally one of the first people to get up and point fingers at rape culture, I don't think this is what's going on here. Look at the footage of his sister. This is a woman who didn't hide, wasn't ashamed, wasn't going to let anyone make her ashamed. She has her family's, and her community's, support, which I'd like to say is more than you'd probably get in the adjacent hipster neighborhood if this happened. The entire family is out there, there are people around, they are not solemn or hushed, they are standing up and refusing to let the crime make them into victims.

This is the exact opposite of rape culture.

I'd like to see the links where the police aren't taking the crime seriously; if so, I think that's terrible, but I also think that would have happened without the popularity of the meme. I also think that the news footage going viral for whatever reason is fantastic because it warned the rest of the community of the presence of a rapist in their area. There's no way someone didn't hear about it. That may have deterred the rapist and may have made women and their families take different safety precautions, even if it was a simple as putting a glass on the windowsill before they went to bed at night.

We don't know that Dodson isn't sharing the proceeds of the ATTN with his family. It's a huge sweeping generalization that he's doing that.
posted by micawber at 4:08 PM on August 15, 2010 [8 favorites]

He is so incredibly comfortable with the camera. It loves him. He is incredibly earnest. I hope good things happen to him.
posted by Xoebe at 4:32 PM on August 15, 2010

I thought this cover was very talented

I echo Monsieur Caution - the composition of the original and the charm of the marching band notwithstanding, that cover is the breakout hit of this meme
posted by Thomas Tallis is my Homeboy at 4:33 PM on August 15, 2010

antoine doesn't seem ignorant at all. He seems smart and relateable, and not like a stereotype but like a unique character. I think what people are actually laughing at him for his flamboyance.
posted by anniecat at 4:38 PM on August 15, 2010

I really do hope that Antoine Dodson will be about to massage his 15 minutes of internet fame into something lasting. Seeing people like Monica Lewinsky and Kato Kaelinz get weird, marginal entertainment/promotion gig after weird, marginal entertainment/promotion gig is sort of wearying. But I think that seeing this guy get those sorts of jobs would be nothing short of life-affirming. What's reality TV for, if not to employ folks like Antoine?

Hell, I'll pitch a show: Let's get Antoine together with the Pants on the Ground guy. Give them an Airstream and a film crew, and let them take a Road Scholar-type journey across America. Bonus points if they fight crime and injustice along the way.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 7:07 PM on August 15, 2010 [2 favorites]

I'm from Huntsville originally. Seeing the tv news you grew up watching become part of a big meme is weeeeird.
posted by dig_duggler at 7:08 PM on August 15, 2010 [2 favorites]

Butch: You okay?
Marsellus: Naw man. I'm pretty fuckin' far from okay.
Butch: What now?
Marsellus: What now? Let me tell you what now. I'ma call a coupla hard, pipe-hittin' niggers, who'll go to work on the homes here with a pair of pliers and a blow torch. You hear me talkin', hillbilly boy? I ain't through with you by a damn sight. I'ma get medieval on your ass.
posted by indubitable at 8:55 PM on August 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

I am so offended!!!! I am going to complain to my Internet moderators right away, because I am such a sensitive, deep, post-racial person!!! Black people and rape victims are being exploited, and it's my job to post comments on the Internet showing how much I care!!!
posted by fungible at 9:13 PM on August 15, 2010

"Hide your husbands too." Antoine is a hero in our house.
posted by stargell at 9:33 PM on August 15, 2010

Dodson seems like a cool guy, and I was able to enjoy listening to the footage of him speaking on the news. As for the song, though, it was catchy, but I couldn't listen to it all the way through. The very subject matter just creeps me out.
posted by suburbanbeatnik at 9:49 PM on August 15, 2010

This and the Double Rainbow All the Way song have been playing on repeat on my computer for hours now.
posted by pecknpah at 10:08 PM on August 15, 2010

So - looks like AD is managing to capitalize a little on the misfortune -
here's the TV Station (WAFF) doing a follow-up on his memetic fame:

here's a little Fan Q&A - he's trying to get out of the projects and so using this as a springboard it seems:

and here's the HuffPost report:

and here's Antoine's YouTube page.

My take on this is that this is a guy who in the heat of the moment said some stuff that Them Thar Intarwebs decided to make fun of. Instead of eating it and getting all embarrassed, what does he do, but use this to try and make things better for him and his family. So I'm pro AD right now.

1) Maybe we need to be a little more conscious of what we are trying to achieve with our internet ramblings and
2) Maybe we should look at Antoine and see at least a couple of societal lessons:

a) use of the media and the "point and laugh" tendencies of reality TV America need to be examined a lot more carefully
b) The new media has been be turned into an opportunity by this guy, then perhaps we need to look at the blurring of the lines between exploiter and exploited.

Oh - if you want to help him and his family out of the projects:

*plink plink fizz*
posted by Metheglen at 9:29 AM on August 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

The kick-ass marching band version I linked to in the original post is still available here.
posted by w0mbat at 12:44 PM on August 16, 2010

I'm very behind, but I LOVE THIS.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:36 AM on September 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

Isn't this video actually the intellectual property of the TV station? There's all this talk about splitting the proceeds; on the other hand I can't imagine the TV station actually licensed out the clip for remixing.

I don't know how that works, but one interesting thing I just noticed is that the iTunes version of the song omits the line from the WAFF newscaster.

This is what the original Auto-Tune the News video has for the first "verse":
Antoine Dodson:
We got your t-shirt, you done left fingerprints and all
You are so dumb, you are really dumb, for real

Elizabeth Gentle (the newscaster):
The man got away leaving behind evidence

Kelly Dodson:
I was attacked by some idiot in the projects
And this is what the iTunes song has:
Antoine Dodson:
We got your t-shirt, you done left fingerprints and all
You are so dumb, you are really dumb, for real
You are really, really, really, really so dumb

Kelly Dodson:
I was attacked by some idiot in the projects
Needless to say, the revised version sounds kind of -- well -- dumb. But I'd guess they were trying to dodge licensing issues by only using lines from the Dodsons.
posted by danb at 9:26 PM on September 12, 2010

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