Inspired by a recent article on Chris Knowles’ Secret History of Rock N Roll blog that attempts to expose the Plutonian energies drifting through contemporary pop music, Zac Odin took the responsibility of drawing the debate closer to practical reality.
It’s interesting to look at the various influences that affect popular culture, and it’s often surprising to find that some of these influences have different origins than we might expect. Unfortunately Knowles presumptions about secret histories seems to relate more to starting an investigation from an inaccurate world view than revealing any hidden knowledge.
Are Die Antewoord emissaries of some darkling force adrift in the universe? Are they the inevitable mediators of repressed racial disparities, mass mediated occulture overload, emergent culture and the realities of poverty in the 3rd world?
I think Zac makes a pretty strong case racial disparities, clownish mediators and the realities of 3rd world povery, the Plutonian thing….I dunno about Plutonian energies, unless that’s the term you’re going to use to describe the fact that quite often, Humanity is a nasty beast of a creature.
For more on the liminal aspects of clowns check out:
Gilber V. Wilke’s analysis: There’s a Reason Clowns are Creepy
and Zac Odin’s follow up: Some More Thoughts on the Nature of Clowns
– D. Metcalfe
Enter the Mediators:
“The only real things in life is the unexpected things. Everything else is just an illusion.” – Ninja
Die Antwoord are Clowns. Fools in the deepest sense. That is why they have spread like fire across the internet. Clowns are liminal figures, trapped on the borderline between yin and yang, darkness and light, bringing dark into light and light into dark. Clowns represent the confusing Other in terms we can accept but they do not change the nature of the Other and they do not allow us to forget the Other.
Die Antwoord, regardless of their actual histories, dwell in our western perception on the borderline between the third world and what we like to imagine is the first world. South Africa, white apartheid subsumed by the heart of Africa where the realities of the West are remixed into strange new forms. Yes, we are still bound by colonial fears, no matter how you mask it, how ironic or arch your hipsterness is. Die Antwoord (and, to a lesser and less aware degree, jugallos) dance on the edge of these fears. They are white, Yo-Landi Vi$$er whiter that white – winter crystals forming on her eyelashes – harbingers of a rapidly mutating global culture. As such, they are acceptable to all of us
in our offices, ipad-carrying, bike riding, sustainability craving middle class westerners.
Because that’s how they exploded – blossoming out of a post on Pitchfork media. And we all know who reads Pitchfork. Accepted and spread by middle class western internet users – accepted as a joke, an artifact, the real thing, a fascinating obscurity; it doesn’t matter how. It is who. You think they’re funny? Well they are joking in a way but why do you think they’re funny? Does your hipster smirk mask something else? It’s a prank but a prank like the K Foundation. Real as fuck. Cutting to the heart of your reality, they are liminal figures from the townships at the edge of the Western world. From the edge of the western soul – from where the west is transformed by the heart of darkness.
So they are playing a game with pieces of culture. You want white trash from a
shantytown? You don’t get fuckin white trash. You get something else. What you
expected is not what is there. And yet at the same time its exactly what it purports to be; not a game but it’s the biggest game ever. Ninja’s real but he only just came into existence. Everyone’s talking about them being a joke, fakes, that Watkin Tudor Jones & Yo-Landi Vi$$er are artists with all these other personas behind them, other games like the Constructus Corporation and Max Normal. Some of you need them to be fakes but does it matter?
No it doesn’t. At all. The effect is real, the reason they are all up in the
interwebs is real. The end result is real.
Was Elvis real? Not as real as the world he mediated between ‘ours’ for. Yet he was real. Same thing. Same fears, same blatant male sexuality but revised for our times – watch Evil Boy. Its Priapus in the Bush of Ghosts. Its aggressive sexuality from both sexes – Yo-Landi’s breasts are watching you. Which means that the moral majority will be the next to take notice. Next comes the fear, outright fear of the clowns. Middle class fear unmasked.
– Zac Odin