Black Friday / Blue Velvet
With all the talk about revolution and defacing our nation/religion and the proper way to protest, and freedom of speech, let’s get down the real matter at hand. We are living without YouTube and it is a serious impediment to not only our quality of life but also a dip in the productivity of culture bloggers, enthusiasts and addicts. I want my hit.
Understandably our daily YouTube feed keeps us up-to-date on the goings on of the world, making sure our brains are appropriately attuned to all that is pop, allowing our conversations to be current, relevant and with the right dose of meta. Needles to say, I’ve been feeling under-evolved, an old fogey, a disconnected illiterate. I have not even seen Lana Del Rey’s “Blue Velvet” yet. Wait, don’t scoff, this is a huge cultural moment! Lana Del Rey, the epitome of manufactured nostalgia, and current sex goddess with questionable musical skill (note: crappy live performances and music plagiarism scandal that I cant link to here for obvious reasons) is covering the song made famous by the great absurdist of Americana David Lynch, in his movie “Blue Velvet”, which delves in to the perverted under layer of Suburbia, where drugs, sycophantic father figures and a voyeuristic young man lust after the great Isabella Rosellini.
The film becoming all the more emblematic since its young male lead, Kyle Maclachlan plays the impotent Upper East Side husband in Sex and the City (married to the most Pakistani girl of the four leading ladies). Now Lana Del Rey, poster child in angora for H&M, uniform for all those white, young, hip and too poor for the high street, meets Blue Velvet – the emblem of a disturbed American identity. It’s all too delicious, and Rehman Malik is depriving me of pure joy. Don’t ask me to turn to Vimeo, I cannot pour over the endless commentary of the masses there – Vimeo is for the elite, respectable, media professionals/semi professionals, YouTube is the masses. YouTube is the common denominator, YouTube IS culture.
The point, I suppose is that banning YouTube is like banning the Internet. The film-that-must-not-be-named is still floating around in the inter-webs outside of YouTube, if they are going to start banning and blockading, try disconnecting us from the Internet in its entirety? Try sawing off Pakistan from the continent of Asia, full of infidels and the like and let us float off to sea where we can be pure and clean in peace.
YouTube is democratic news, democratic culture and democratic communication. We are citizens of the Internet, not of any geographical cut-out of soil. Banning YouTube is an act of war upon my world, a infringement upon my connection with my global family, and an attack on my freedom to practice my culture.
But seriously, we use YouTube to access lectures, to do research, maybe even to communicate with various groups and communities, besides just entertainment (from which some of us draw our livelihood from). As a civilised, progressive society, with a culture more free, or so we hope than China and Iran – we must strongly oppose the idea of Internet blockages and bans. The idea is akin to shutting of power as punishment and reward … oh wait we already do that too, don’t we?
Back to Lana Del Rey. Imagine a Pakistani version of the songstress singing Blue Velvet for us, with lecherous, self flagellating moulvis lurking in the background, well behaved, prim and proper; you and me attached to gas masks that send us into the swirls of a languid paralysis. And while Miss Rey herself crowd surfs through hoards of angry young men, with no where to place their frustration, eating each other alive, she croons sweetly of the sanctity of our nation and the religion we wear like Blue Velvet, making us irrevocably shinier and brighter no matter how much darkness we swim in.
The author is a film maker, science fiction enthusiast and a certified yoga instructor at Omni, Islamabad.
The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.