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Daniela Capistrano
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I didn't read it as Badu comparing herself to Kennedy (seeing herself on the same plane). For me, it was about context. The theme was about assassination - physical, emotional, character, etc. We risk being "assassinated" when we stand out from the crowd, stand our ground on issues - break away from societal norms and behave "differently." I think that the Kennedy association was just to make it more relatable - he's an easily identifiable icon as is the history around what happened to him. Badu is standing up for freedom of expression, which we like to think we all execute on a daily basis but we don't. We are constantly compromising our voice, our identity, in some fashion to keep a job, a lover, a friend, etc. In the video, Badu says "fuck it" and just strips everything away - all pretense, all flash, to just be skin. And for one glorious moment, she is just One. ... Then of course, she is shot. She dies. Which I don't think is meant to be read as a cautionary tale. She's not saying "don't be yourself" she is saying "look what WE do to people when they free themselves. Look what we've become." I think her message is particularly valid right now, when people are so quick to pass on misinformation without bothering to process anything on their own, we're like RTing anything that is vaguely interesting with only a shallow understanding of the topic. All this information doesn't make us smarter. It makes us more scattered, less patient and less willing to do any of our own research. Badu is calling people out to "look at what we've become." I don't think she's asking us to consider her video groundbreaking, but there was definitely an element of risk involved in her making this video. She physically made herself vulnerable, risked scathing reviews, attacks, etc. In our TMZ'd world that may seem like nothing but imagine if people were attacking and judging you. She may be a famous singer but she's also just a woman who is still learning more about the world around her and sharing her ideas. All this to say, I liked the video and I'm glad she made it. Frankly, I thought your reference to the whole "rip up the picture of the Pope on Saturday Night Live" was unwarranted and not relatable. That may have been shocking and risky on some levels but had Sinead been a black woman I doubt she would still have a career right now.
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Apr 2, 2010