Friday, October 07, 2005

Satire's Satire

The appallingly named T'cha Dunlevy reports in today's National Post that Montreal indie music scenesters Nick Diamonds and Adam Gollner are the geniuses behind a recent spoof of Bob Geldof's "Do They Know It's Christmas?" called "Do They Know It's Halloween?"

An interesting concept that the gluttinous cynic in me was immediately drawn to ... except that I am still at a complete loss as to why exactly they're spoofing the jolly old hymn. I mean, Diamonds gives a vague impression that it has something to do with Bob Geldof's being an arrogant man, and that the money made from Live Aid (not Live 8--that's not mentioned, which makes me wonder if this has something to do with sour grapes over not being able to perform thereat) was mishandled. Which alone, as reasons for the "Do They Know It's Halloween?" enterprise, would've been fine--though one does wonder a bit at the total absence of a sense of timing here and, indeed, at the rather naive notion that by sending the proceeds from their song directly to UNICEF they will somehow have avoided the possibility of those proceeds being mishandled--but Diamonds and Gollner inexplicably allow their reasoning to take a turn for the decadently absurd with this little bit of banter:

Though they whipped off the lyrics in an afternoon, and the whole thing is undertaken with an air of tomfoolery, Gollner and Diamonds had some serious issues they wanted to address: "Fear," they said, in unison. "There is a climate of fear -- we're supposed to be scared, always," Gollner explained. "Terrorism, American foreign policy, [it affected] the lyrics. It's subtle, but it was there in our thought process when we wrote it." "There's a reference to razor blades in apples [in the song]," Diamonds said. "It's a common fear growing up -- be careful with your candy... That kind of thing plants the seed of fear, and it becomes this thing everyone assumes is happening. It's what George Bush, or the people in charge these days, are getting by on."

... Um ... Is this meant to be part of the spoof? They're also satirizing the inane, clearly drug-addled ramblings of reality (and, apparently, education) deprived rock stars? Because if they are--and full credit to them for their Swiftian brilliance--it's just way too clever to be anything but well over most people's heads. I mean: you wrote the song in one afternoon, but you managed with your artist's sensivities to tackle issues of terrorism and American foreign policy into the bargain?! Or: the seeds of fear are implanted in us like the mythical (or, actually, not quite so mythical, but I take your meaning) razor blades in the apples of our trick-or-treating youth?!

Priceless, lads. And the song's awful to boot.