All reviews by Iraqi Konfused Kid
I Know I’m Not Alone:
A Musician’s Search for the Human Cost of War
So here’s Michael Franti, this huge, lanky kid with an acoustic guitar and breadlocks, and he goes inside a war-ravaged country to try and pry open “all the answers.” Not surprisingly, he manages to completely miss the real pulse of Iraq, presenting his Iraqi subjects with the same patronizing concern you’d expect any kind-souled Westerner to feel towards any war-torn, lower-being Third World humans. It’s almost shocking how out-of-touch Franti is with what’s going on around him. He decides that making up a song with an Arabic word would be a good ice breaker, so he welcomes himself into each house he visits by jumping up and down in the center of the room singing “habibi” repeatedly while the family members sit back and smile politely at the dancing Western idiot. I’m not sure if this is exactly what he was searching for, but if the human cost of war is being locked in a round of humor-the-foreigner-until-he-goes-away by some messiah-tripping Bob-Marley-wannabee maybe it’s more horrific than we thought.
Monsters and Madness
Even back under Saddam, when we weren’t allowed to have email, you could still find pretty much any Western movie you could ask for (porn excluded) for pennies on the dollar. I once took a cousin who was visiting from the States to a video market and he went nuts seeing what all was available. I don’t recall seeing any of the four 50s horror/sci-fi flicks collected here, perhaps because they are four of the most forgettable films committed to celluloid. They’re not even terrible enough to be funny—just average, average, average.
Don’t Look Back
(1965 Tour Deluxe Edition)
New Video Group
Basically no one in Iraq has ever heard of Bob Dylan. A lot of folks are into some Western stuff like Iron Maiden and Linkin Park, but Dylan never made it over here. The only way I found out about him was by being into Metallica and Nirvana, then using the internet to skip back and see what led to their styles of music. It was nice to see him at his prime —his whole carefree, pensive persona exudes nothing but charm. I have a hard time believing folks are still really into these tunes though—it’s all so old- and antique sounding.
Beavis and Butt-head:
The Mike Judge Collection
You’d think that idiocy would be universally appealing, but somehow American “adult cartoon” fare like this and
doesn’t translate well into the Arab world. Maybe it has something to do with all the Beavises and Homers running around our backyards with guns. Anyways, this collection was a treat, although spanning a ridiculous ten discs (including the 1996 movie) it’s way too much stupid for a single or even a triple sitting. Also, for some reason most of the important couch-video-reviews are sadly gone.