After stumbling clumsily into one of the multitude of deep ravines of limitless wisdom and timely commentary that pits the Hashmark Online, I glanced at something that made me do a double take, the shock causing me to have hysterical fits of disdain that almost made me headbutt this brilliantly slow public computer.
For that which made me angered was none other than a comment, made rashly and off the cuff I feel, by a certain Editor. Duncan, you git: arabic pop videos are sensational.
Firstly, I would just like to know how many pop videos said Editor has seen. One? Maybe two? And possibly both on Tarrant on TV, which is hardly a fair assessment. I might be over-reacting, because everyone knows that the Haskmark’s je ne sais quoi was making brash statements on little foundation, (meowww!). Usually you don’t notice it, except when you actually have some knowledge on the subject of ridicule (please emphasise actually and knowledge). And this is one of those times – you hit a nerve, and that nerve, incidentally, is making me headbutt this brilliantly slow public computer.
Enough verbose bullshit. If you want to assess modern Arabic pop videos for yourself (which I think is the best way), search for the following on YouTube: Nancy Agram, Elissa, Amr Diab.
In contrast, go onto TMF or The Hits (yes, they are the cheapskate freeview channels), and just revel in the profound SHIT to be found there. I don’t think shit is an emotive word for it at all; all you have to do is sit down and concentrate on a video. The values that are subconsciously permeating today’s culture are so disgusting it makes you want to move to a nice deserted island, with a palm tree or two and lots and lots of sand. And that sand must be perfect for sticking your head into for a very, very long time.
So I ask you, are old values in modern songs so revolting? This is where Arabic music is different, holding on to the old love themes with a mixture of old Arabic sounds like the Tabla (bongo) and incorporating it with a new Western sound to make it more appealing to the youth of today.
I agree that in some of the earlier pop videos there was a certain naivety in which they were made and, indeed, both of the female singers mentioned above (Nancy Agram, Elissa), have had plastic surgery. However, the Arabic pop video scene has matured; there are less ‘interesting’ choices of cutting (my personal favourite was the montage of tessellating hexagons all showing the same image, revolving around each other), which now leaves you to appreciate the music. To dismiss Arabic music off hand because of an outdated stereotype of Arabic pop videos is turning your back on a wealth of catchy songs and beautiful lyrics.
And finally, Mr Editor: once you start appreciating scarves flapping lightly in the breeze, you’ll want nothing else.
By Medvyed the Pissed-off