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Friday, October 8, 2004

This Is Gonna Blow Up Real Good
Prince's album sales slip. Cue the famous-actress-as-Arabic-suicide-bomber video. To wit:

Featuring Keisha Castle-Hughes from the movie ``Whale Rider,'' the four-minute clip opens in a stylized urban schoolyard, rendered in pen-and-ink and stylized gray watercolors drawn by artist Greg Ruth. A group of teen girls reacts with horror to the whining roar of jet engines that fades into the opening notes of the song. When it becomes clear who's responsible for what we presume is a Sept. 11-style terrorist attack, classmates of Castle-Hughes' character torment her for her ethnicity, and she flees for home, only to find her parents covering over the Arabic script on the sign outside the family store. Someone has scrawled ``terrorist scum'' on one of the store's windows...

... Intercut with straightforward scenes of the singer and his band playing on a blasted, war-torn landscape, the video shows Castle-Hughes donning traditional dress and head scarf and videotaping what appears to be a statement of martyrdom. In the next scene, she's back in Western garb and arriving at the airport. Perhaps for emphasis, the camera lingers on the U.S. passport she shows to airport officials.

Then she's standing in the terminal with a detonator in her hand. She closes her eyes and presses down on the red button with both hands. The perspective shifts outdoors as flames rip through the glass-paneled front wall.

It's only for a moment, though, and then the scene reverses itself to the moment just before Castle-Hughes hits the button.


Click the link for bonus director's commentary. View video here or here. There's a lesson here kids. More about marketing than about prejudice. But an important lesson all the same.

Now, will anyone actually air this? Hmm. Probably not. Especially when there's a new Lindsay Lohan video to flog. (She just wants everyone to leave her alone, kay?)

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