[Marxism] RE: Ali G

Steven Matthews steve at panix.com
Thu Jul 22 17:09:46 MDT 2004


Einde O'Callaghan (einde at gmx.de) said:
> 
> But this isn't what he's doing at all - he's satirising a type of WHITE 
> individual to be found in British suburbs - young men who would like to 
> be black and who try to dress and talk like stereotype rappers because 
> they think it's cool, much cooler than being a nerd or a dweeb (or 
> whatever the current term is) from the suburbs.


I think the show is funny, but what makes the Ali G segments especially 
funny is that he's interviewing some of the heaviest heavy-weights of the 
U.S. political system. For me though, his character Bruno is the funniest, 
because I've worked for the past ten years in a field with close contact 
with the fashion/runway crowd. He is so over the top that I laugh my 
ass/arse off watching him.

Getting back to Ali G though, to know the type of person in Sacha Cohen's 
sites, it might be a good idea to rent the video "Whiteboyz", about a 
group of white kids in Iowa (one in particular) who aspire to be gangsta' 
rappers.

Touching on some of the discussion about white (non-black) people 
imitatiting hip hop styles, I remember an article from the Village Voice 
(I think it was the Voice) from years ago about Hip Hop Nation, a group 
based in a housing project in the Bronx (all names escape me), and the key 
point was that hip hop culture was meant to be universal. It was to be 
shared by everyone who adhered to its tenets (peace, understanding, 
respect... a lot of the terms Ali G uses regularly). It's commodification 
may have been its undoing, but based on this article, it was never meant 
to be something isolated to one housing development in New York. Or 
Brixton. Or anywhere.


Steven Matthews




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