Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Me Night Nurse Never Want to Plant De Corn

So Andy Samberg of Saturday Night Live recently made a music video parodying young white college boys who appropriate Rastafari culture. It's absolutely hilarious, but even more, if you go to this blog to see it you can read the lyrics, and even more importantly, read the comments from the readers who helped the blogger figure out what exactly Andy Samberg was making fun of.

I'm taking a Caribbean poetry class this Fall and for our unit on dub poetry I've done a bit of research on Rastafari. What is most interesting to me is the grammar, using "I" as a plural pronoun. Check out this wikipedia page.

What I think is so amazing about this video is the number of allusions in it that only a person very familiar with Rastafari and reggae culture would get. However, it makes people want to figure them out (look at all the different comments on the guy's blog), thus it becomes a kind of educational tool. So even though it is making fun of innocent/ignorant white folks, it is simultaneously educating them/us. It makes us question the validity of appropriating other cultures' customs without true knowledge of them, but, instead of demonizing the people who do this, it just makes them just look ignorant and therefore laughable. This is really powerful. When you realize that this video is primarily intended to make people laugh, it makes you think about what tools are really effective for social change. Satire works.

Besides, there's no way I would have even know that the word "bumbleclot" is an insult in Rastafari culture that means dirty menstrual cloth if it weren't for this video. (Thanks to my brother's blog to telling me about this video.)

7 comments:

diabolicomix said...

I just happened upon this video today and thought it was absolutely hysterical. Fire pon Babylon!

Lotus said...

i love this, because i've been wondering what bombaclot meant for several years now and was too lazy to go to the internet. my question though is whether or not bloodclot generally serves as another synonym for bombaclot or something entirely different?

Chris said...

Hey, thanks for your comment on my blog. It's pretty cool how people kind of converged on it to clarify the lyrics. You should've seen my initial attempt--instead of "bomboclat," I had "bobe-a-clock"! That was quickly corrected, though with an insane amount of variations.

Sounds like a cool class you're taking. Thanks for the comment. Also, way to list Freddie Hubbard in your music.

Victor said...

I loved the video and was very impressed the first time I saw it. Clearly the lonely island boys listen to a ton of Roots Reggae and Ska. To clarify on what Lotus asked, bombaclot is not referring to clotting blood but is Iyaric for "bum cloth" (bomba=bum clot=cloth) which as pointed out is a menstrual rag. It is pretty much the most offensive thing you can say in Iyaric.

Anonymous said...

Nice fill someone in on and this mail helped me alot in my college assignement. Thanks you on your information.

Anonymous said...

Extra Credit: I do believe Andy says it incorrectly "boba-clot" like as if he had mixed it up with "Boba Fett" from Star Wars lolol

Anonymous said...

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