Jad Choueiri's "Funky Arabs" Video Will Blow Your Mind (Not in the Terrorist Way!)

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Woah, where do I even begin? I had seen this video about a month ago, but one of my Facebook friends put it up on their wall and reminded me of it like bad garlic morning breathe reminds you of the three for two taco special you scarfed down the night before.

Fortunately for me, I am not Arab, as watching this video would have stolen my soul, floored my dignity, robbed my shadow and probably wilted my houseplants in the process. But let me merely attempt to peel the many onion layers of Freudian id, ego and superego mega-battles going on in this clip. I'll give J.C. credit where he deserves: he managed to pack a record-breaking amount of images and lyrics to react to in this under 5 minute video. The task at hand is almost...daunting. The main problem is that (as blogger Cory Doctorow recently wrote in regards to Michael Jackson), "I can understand the choices that my cat makes more deeply than I could understand the ones" J.C. made in this concept video.

Unfortunately for J.C., in this first English-language track release from his new album, he utterly fails in convincing the rest of the world that Arabs are "glamorous", "modern", and, oh of course yes, "funky". Although I would like to think that the video is taking in a style of self-aware parady or some deep depthy irony, the message of the lyrics seem to say that he wants the world to take Arabs seriously enough to be just as trendy for a Buddha Bar Lounge franchise and Puma shoes as the rest of the world.

More importantly, and understandably, his main motive is to disprove the images transmitted on the news of Arabs as violent, anti-modern and more nightmarish for him as anti-hip people. With this inferiority complex under his belt and under his spray-on tan, and after much to many youtube viewings of Aqua, Enrique Iglesias, Madonna, Sisco, and, naturally, Shakira videos for reference of "whats cool" he awkwardly assembles a posse, token cameo rapper, red carpet and beach/car/bar landscape mashups.

The video succeeds in declaring Arabs' universal human right to living the max potential of pimped out rides, Swarowski studded bikini tops and bathroom botox self-injections. I can´t tell who should be insulted more-the braindead 24 hour party people Arabs who are depicted in this video or the ¨westerners¨whose lifestyle they are inaccurately imitating.

What this video tells us is that just as much as Americans and Europeans have misconstrued interpretations of Arabs (terrorists, desert people, traditional), these ¨western¨ embracing Arabs have completely misread Western notions of personal freedoms-interpreting them in a simplistic yet bizarre gyrating dance of the braindead to consist of nothing more than empty nightlife ¨scandal¨ streaming across the waves spandex, gloss and silicone gone wrong. The ¨politics¨to be read lie somewhere in between standing up and declaring ¨why can´t Arab beautiful people live free to club too!¨, ¨don´t hate an Arab cause he´s beautiful¨ and ¨beautiful Arab people are too beautiful to be terrorists!¨

3 Responses on "Jad Choueiri's "Funky Arabs" Video Will Blow Your Mind (Not in the Terrorist Way!)"

  1. Anonymous says:

    I actually thought the video was funny:

    Who'd would've thought to get rid of typical Arab stereotypes - being freedom-hating backward misogynists - by replacing it with another, portraying Arabs as fake, shallow and STILL misogynist.

    Victoria says:

    Yes, exactly Shafiq ;)

    The starting sentence says it all, really.