Monday, November 16, 2009

I Want A Goat

This video is spoofing the song "I'm On A Boat", for charity by making it "I Want A Goat". Personally I feel like this song really doesn't fit and it makes almost light-heart of this serious issue. I did not feel like was effective at all. See what you think.

9 comments:

ejannar said...

I actually really liked how different this charity "advertisement" was than the typical sad, sappy video they show of people in poverty... This made me want to watch the whole way through and made the people who need help appear like so much fun and worthy of something so simple as a goat.

Excaliborn7 said...

i completely agree. it's cool to see something transcend the cliche of the heartstrings tragedy of 3rd world poverty/suffering. not that it isn't a serious issue. of course it is. but approaching it with this sort of unexpected package has a different effect, and might be even more effective now than the images we have grown used to, which we are more numb to, and which hold our attention less and less. this is also a good example of the freedom people exercise in the quest to be a part of the cultural melange that can take place in today's new media field...to re-iterate, young people from poor places do not always need to be shown in a suffering state, they can also mouth the words, " i need a motherf**king goat" with a smile, and when properly delivered be just as effective in tapping our empathies inside an entertaining piece like this.

Hannah said...

I feel like this is a more legitimate topic of what we were talking about today in class about Tessa's video and the addition of a voice-over narration to create tension. My roommate and I tried to watch this whole movie all the way through, and we turned it off because it made us feel weird and horrible human beings. The essence of this video is a parody of a song that is already a parody of American pop music today, combined with a serious issue of starving people all over the world. As I understand great art creates a tension between what you are seeing and what you are perceiving, this video created too much tension to the point of an audience canceling it out. Maybe I'm a bleeding heart and tension is something that you get used to over time, but I think that if there is too much of a disjoint on screen that it doesn't matter age/maturity.
I didn't find this entertaining at all. The video did it's job on informing it's audience of the happening around the world, but put so bluntly I found it vulgar.

ejannar said...

I don't think this video is necessarily trying to cause tension. It appears to be made by a person who spent a lot of time with these people and who obviously cares enough about them to start a campaign to get people to donate goats to them. It explains there situation in a way that is a bit lighthearted, yes, but I don't think that makes the message of poverty any less emotional and legitimate. I guess what I really appreciated about this video was the energy and power and character that it gave to these impoverished people and how it made me feel connected to them in a way that is very different than the typical "look at how poor and sad these people are" advertisement that seems to place them in some way below us and sort of guilt trip us into helping save them from their lower state.
Hannah, I understand why the initial "motherfucking"s might have gotten to you at the beginning (I initially was a little thrown off too), but if you haven't, I would suggest watching all the way through to the end where the real message comes out. Also, listen carefully to the lyrics. I have a feeling that this was meant to be a project created with and almost for these people, so maybe thinking in that way would help. Maybe not. Just my thoughts...

Tessa said...

I think I would have to agree with Hannah. I wish that this video could connect me with the people it portrayed, but in fact, I felt even more disconnected. I don't think that a video campaigning for aid to third world countries needs to, or should, guilt trip the viewer, but this particular song didn't seem like a good choice to me. It seemed awkward and as though it didn't fit at all. I think a more light-hearted approach could be very effective done another way. This video, however, just irritated me to the point of not watching it.

Zoey said...

I have to agree with Hannah as well. Although I too hate the advertisements that are sappy. I think there are advertisements that are sad, but not sappy, and the message they convey is still effective. I think it is appropriate in this situation to make it sad (because it is), and make the audience feel like they need to do something to help (because they should). Although this advertisement video is unique, and puts a different spin on the typical charity advertisement I find it hard to watch. It doesn't fit, and I don't find it right to contrast a goofy song with starving people.

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Matt B said...

First let us agree that this video is an advertisement. And as an advertisement it is highly subjective to the viewers around it. But like any commercial that vies for your money and attention it has a certain demographic that it is trying to reach. Looking outside of your personal values on morality it is important to see the grand scheme of the video. Since the posting of the video/site 128 goats have been bought for these villages. While some may find this offensive, others(the ones who comment on the website itself) enjoy the video enough to donate which (IMO) merits it to be a success.

In comparison to the CCF(the Christian Children's Fund) pretty much the only widely advertised donation site for impoverished children (the one with the Santa Claus man) this video only plays on a different point of view. According to Debbie (the creator of the I Want A Goat program)she states that "This video attempts to show that these are real people, with senses of humor, talent and real potential to improve their lives with the proper support"(from website). This different take not only looks at poverty through a different lens, one of humor, but attempts to attract a different demographic by doing so.

Lastly, (IMO) I find that being socially conditioned to videos like that from the CCF only intention is to make you feel guilty. They do not show a different side to these children and only show them and their country to be one of derelict houses, disease, and hopelessness.

Julie said...

So. I had my own thoughts about this, and didn't think much of one or two offended people. However, I am surprised that so many of you share that sentiment.
This video did make me react, and not purely because it was entertaining but actually, because it paired that entertainment with something deeper.
In my opinion, the other advertisements are de-humanizing. They show us people in pathetic, crippled, irregular postures, with wrinkled faces that make it impossible to distinguish actual facial features. They show us people that are so poor they don't resemble what we think of as human. On the other hand, this video is re-humanizing. I feel like some of you are "put off" by the HUMAN qualities these people actually have. They are poor, they still like to dance, they still like to sing. Perhaps (OMFG) they have heard "I'm on a boat", perhaps they do swear.
These people are just like you and just like me. They probably had a ton of fun making this video, now they're super stars and maybe the whole point of this production will be realized and they'll get what they wanted from the beginning: a goat.
I don't mean to add to the offense, but frankly, I think you need to look deeper, and listen harder. Maybe you're letting your own feelings of guilt (for being rich, drinking starbucks, laughing at I'm on a boat) cloud your interpretation of this ad.

PhilCo. said...

I really like that people are recognizing the "re-humanizing" element to this video. It gets rid of the kind of ethnic paternalism that the sad charity videos supply.
On another note, I really like how this video invites the viewer in. There's no guilt trip, just some hearty self critique sweetened by comedy. Good stuff. BTW, Powerful post Julie.