Mommy Dearest, Hillary Clinton (Music Video – ABBA)

March 16th, 2010 by Jeremy Rafal Leave a reply »

This video takes us back to the Democratic primaries of 2008, reminding us of the plethora of political statements on YouTube available at that time (thanks John).  It is a typical remix, I think, using clips from political speeches, movie scenes, and a soundtrack that goes along with it.  In this case, the author obviously paints a negative view of Hillary Clinton, equating her to the crazy character Joan Crawford from the movie Mommie Dearest.  The author also uses ABBA’s Mamma Mia as the soundtrack.

The author has given a lot of thought to the different “cultural references” that goes into this remix.  Mommie Dearest is an early 80s film that is relatively well-known, famous for the crazy self-absorbed mother who abuses her child.  Mamma Mia is also well-known in American culture.  In this video, the opening lyrics “I’ve been cheated by you since I don’t know when” is blatant statement against Hillary, although the original did not have this intention.    All of these are mixed with several clips of Hillary’s interviews, speeches, and appearances (note also the repetition of certain excerpts for emphasis)…a perfect example of “something new that didn’t exist before” from “mixing symbolic things together” (p. 75).

Remixing, I think, takes the expression ‘taking things out of context’ and exploits it to create something new, in this case, to make a political statement.  In other words, the original intended meaning of the sources has been explicitly taken out to say something new … and this is where I agree with Lessig, namely, this kind of expression should not be a legal issue and should be encouraged…


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