Monday, December 12, 2011

Music Video Monday: Robbie Williams

This week's music video selection is in honour of the failed campaign ad by Rick Perry. The ad's title is "Strong" and features Governor Perry proclaiming himself a Christian before lamenting what's wrong with our country. Though the ad didn't specifically slander homosexuals (apparently, many people took it as such), he tried to connect the openly gay servicemen and women with the prayer in school issue, which doesn't work.

Several people on my Facebook friends list linked this video and expressed their outrage. Some even called for the media to ban Rick Perry or to silence him. Why? Just because she showed his true colours? The man's entitled to his opinion. What I don't like was how people automatically assumed his ad was "anti-gay", when in fact, all he said was that he believed there was something wrong with our country when gay people were allowed to serve openly while children in school had to hide their Christianity and couldn't pray in class. The conflating of the two issues is likely to confound his followers (if he has any). Its a ridiculous comparison. One deals with adult issues, in which adults will behave as they will and are entitled to have consenting sexual relations with whomever they choose. The other deals with children who are supposed to be learning subjects in school that will help them in life, not harassing one another for not belonging to the same religion as them. And besides, if you really want to pray in school, there were many minutes available. A silent prayer can be given at any time and no one will notice. You can say one in the middle of a boring sermon. The problem comes when they enforce conformity on people and if one child doesn't "fit in" because he was raised in a minority religion, then it only serves to make that child even more ostrasized.

I think the most interesting aspect of Perry's campaign ad is how he tries to channel Ronald Reagan, from the hair (colour and style), the wrinkles on his face, and the "cowboy look." Its blatantly obvious that Perry is trying to physical resemble Reagan, as if this were enough to get a few people to vote his way. I think its safe to say that Reagan might have been a moron, but at least he wasn't a complete imbecile like Dubya and Perry.

Not long after Perry's ad made the news, people were already pointing out the similarities between the jackets worn by Heath Ledger (as Ennis) in the gay cowboy film, Brokeback Mountain, and Rick Perry in his "Strong" ad. Was this a subtle signal to someone who knows the truth about Rick Perry (there are supposedly rumours that he had an affair with another man and his wife supposedly caught them in bed together).

The controversy is hilarious, because once again, the Republicans do something that they think will resonate with voters but in reality becomes an Internet sensation. I don't think Republicans understand yet the power of YouTube, blogging, and Facebook. Politicians can no longer speak one thing to one audience and the opposite to another audience. Chances are, recordings are made and then the inconsistencies get aired. We are living in a more open age, which is a bad thing for those nefarious individuals who prefer to hide in the shadows.

The title of Perry's ad made me automatically think of Robbie Williams' brilliant song "Strong." I love the line: "You think I'm strong, you're wrong..." So, there really was no other alternative than this awesome song, in honour of Rick Perry, the gaffe riot who is becoming less and less likely to win the Republican nomination.

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