knockin' on the doors of your Hummer


I know that M.I.A.'s Kala is old news, but I really almost believe that this song completely represents the idiosyncratic sites of the Gulf Road...

One one hand, we have the Stupid Cars of Kuwait (see the facebook group of the same name) youth sub-culture, filled with Hummers, Ferraris and fancy motorbikers adorning fancy motorgear.  Note, I write adorning, not wearing, as most of the time the bikers who have helmets strap them to the sides of their vehicles, not on their heads...These boys are killing time by cruising up and down the roads, and you can check my inaugural blog entry to get an extensive analysis on this phenomenon.  I've coined the term MadMaxers for these people, and the term comes from the cult hit, Australian post-Apocalyptic movie Mad Max: Road Warrior (duh) starring Mel Gibson in one of his first movies and in his pre-inappropriate-comment days. 

However, in the movie, the "roadrunners" (to use M.I.A.'s term) in the film took to making the rules up as they would go on the most lawless land of all (the road).  The highway was the ultimate anarchy, and driving on it did not mean any rebellion because in a post-apocalyptic world, there is no order to really destroy.  On the Gulf Road, these boys really do not realize how much they are being cattled into having no other option but the road to rebel...ironically, in doing so, they are just perpetuating the consumeristic, censored and contained environment that seems to dominate many young peoples' lives here.  They feel compulsed to soup up their cars-the ultimate capitalist obsession with "improvement consumerism".  They flirt with girls in such a bombastic and exaggerated approach that it would make normal conversation an implausable follow-up, cutting themselves off, rather than improving communication between the genders in my opinion.  They cruise up and down like drones along a street that is often supervised and guarded by various police checkpoints...they are just kids on a jungle gym with the powers to be watching from the benches like mothers waiting to intervene should one child go too far in their playtime.  There is nothing more to this: idle men, passing time, "livin' the dream" a parking space RedBull party at a time.

On the other hand, there is the brute workforce that often relies on taxis, the public bus system, bicycles and walking in a city whose roads were designed to be, literally, the playground of those in possession of luxury cars.  I have seen with my own eyes, the MadMaxers harassing and making fun of many of these South Asian workers walking on the sidewalks or waiting for public transportation as a form of one of the many entertainment options while cruising (the others being dancing from the waist-up in the cars, bluetoothing, and confusing MarioKart with reality by crossing lanes hapharzardly and performing stunts).  My coworker told me once that he saw a group of what looked to be high schoolers roll down their window and approach a worker in a blue jumpsuit cleaning the streets at the side of the road.  They extended their hand and offered the man a 10 dinar bill.  Of course, the man grateful and surprised came running to get the money as quickly as possible.  As soon as he was close, they rolled up their windows and sped off, leaving the man bewildered and-according to my coworker-on the verge of tears.  In the Law and Order section of the newspapers you hear all the time of young female migrant workers getting raped by men who kidnap them as they are waiting for their transportation in the road.

So why the song you might ask?  Well here the lyrics and the video that includes the song.  You can judge for yourself, but I think it really captures this divide I see, as if were written for this place.  I also included some clips I found of the Madmaxer variety.  I suggest listening to the song, putting the other songs on mute silent and letting the tune be your soundtrack.

Roadrunner, roadrunner
Going 100 mph
Roadrunner, roadrunner
Going 100 mph
With your radio on
With your radio on
Roadrunner, roadrunner
Going 100 mph
With your radio on

Somalia Angola Ghana Ghana Ghana Ghana
India Sri Lanka Burma Bamboo Banga
It's a Bamboo Banga, I said Bamboo Banga

This a Bamboo Banga, I said Bamboo Banga
And we hitting our rackets like a tennis player
And the drummer do this shit like he makarena

This a jungle banger, I said cold jammer (3x)
I'm bored of banana want gwanabana
I gon warm my buns this summer summer
Coz I'm sitting down chillin on gun powder
Strike match light fire, who's that girl called Maya
M.I.A. coming back with power power
I said M.I.A. is coming back with power power
I said M.I.A. is coming back with power power!!

I'm knocking on the doors of ya hummer hummer (4x)
Yeah we hungry like the wolves huntin dinner dinner
And we moving with the packs like hyena yena
Barbarella looks like she my dead ringer
When I'm dogging on the bonner of ya red Honda
I'm a road runner a world runner
I'm a road runner a world runner

I'm a big timer it's a Bamboo Banga
I' m a big timer it's a Bamboo Banga

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