Thursday, May 27, 2010


Eurovision and the World Cup! So much excitement. I have watched a few of the Eurovision entries, and none so far deserve special comment, but I suggest you all pick a few countries and do your research. For those a little hazy on the details of this Olympics of song and dance, check it out.

Even more legitimately exciting is the World Cup. So except for the actual soccer, about which I'm not so interested, I love everything about World Cup 2010. South Africa! Short shorts on nice legs! And I'm not going to say most of all, but perhaps as one among many equal beloved things, Waka Waka.

Shakira performs this song, based on a Cameroonian, popular in the 80's, which itself refers to Cameroonian sharpshooters in WW2. There is very little I can say to do justice to this song, so take a look:

Basically a lot of my college education should have prepared me to be able to explain at least parts of this video. I have learned a bit about film, about non western music and dance, about Africa and African responses to colonialism, about African literature and film. Without some help though, this film leaves me pretty lost. Is the Cameroonian military an important/ loved/ hating institution, or are they singing about something else? The band is wearing makeup that reminds me of blackface, what's going on? The New York Times, as always, help me out by telling me that the pillows stuffed into the band's clothes are meant to show how fat and lazy they have gotten by riding trains a lot - is that all that is going on?

Also, and quite tangentially, the only World Cup game I have every been to was Cameroon v. Brazil in 1994. I was, however, in Paris when France won the World Cup in 1998, and in the weeklong drunken loud celebration, a drunk mine attempted to pick my pocket, but failed because all I had in my purse was sunscreen.