Published Dec 21, 2010There's almost too much going on in Montreal singer d'Eon's new video for "Kill A Man With A Joystick In Your Hand." Shots of glossy shooting game Halo mix with grainy footage of legit army men manning joysticks for some live action war games. Meanwhile, a mélange of footage, from women seductively dancing in front of their laptops to clips of blindfolded hostages being pushed around, play out every half minute or so.
It's a little confusing, to say the least, so instead of attempting to decipher what exactly is going on here, here is an explanation of the clip, as well as some surrounding controversy, courtesy of video director Todd Ledford.
His unedited statement:
Altered Zones was supposed to run this video last week but had a last-minute change of heart because she/he/they decided it either:
1) lacked entertainment value
2) trivialized violence
3) was too political yet too ambiguous
4) exploited middle-eastern women who had filmed themselves dancing
5) was "tasteless bad art" relying on "shock value"
6) all of the above
anyways we'll just sidestep those Censored Zones -- here it is for you to decide for yourselves.
But here's some background info about the video just in case your thoughts are more informed by actual thought than the jerk of one's knee:
The subject of this song is REMOTE WARFARE. It also explores the connection between violent videogames and modern forms of warfare. As D'eon said to me after viewing a draft of this video:
"i think you struck a good balance between social commentary and also not being too politically aligned. i also like the shot of the map of india being relabeled pakistan... hahaha... but yeah i think you captured what i was trying to get at with the song -- like comparison between war and videogames, and the fact that the generation that grew up on violent videogames are now soldiers etc etc."
It's important to note that neither this song or video have a direct political slant. They both serve more as observations of the current situation and we are neither trying to criticize or glorify the actions of either side. This is a meditation on modern reality, and no effort is being made to distinguish "wrong" from "right". Let's just think instead about "what is". Modern technology-based violence is contrasted with more direct forms of violence and both are contrasted with the biggest wars being fought globally right now every minute of every day -- video games.