Umberto Eco wrote a great essay about the film, Casablanca, in which he suggested that the movie was great because it shamelessly exploited cliches from all cinematic genres and let that run wild “on the pitch”, as it were. We have now arrived at that moment in global youth culture. What makes this so much better than Psy and his Gangam Style is that Die Antwoord are South African rather than South Asian. The whole aesthetic is enraged with a) historical racial strife, old and modern, domestic and foreign and b) a gleeful punk drive to shock and discomfort. Global youth culture at its best and most appalling is childish, lascivious, foul-mouthed and absolutely self-parodying in copping gangsta cliches, including excessive shopping, petulance and even a bit of Area 9 dystopia for good measure. This is Concept Art as it was meant to be. And for a visit to South Africa, I’ll take this over Coetzee and Gordiner any day, baby.
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