America’s Army Clip

I agree – it was certainly a lively class discussion today, although I was most interested in the discussion about the YouTube clip. I was intrigued by it, to say the least. The more I think about it, the more annoyed I am with the person for doing what he did. I found it a little bit disgusting and even offensive.

First of all, I agree with what Calvin said in class about how it could be offensive to the families of fallen soldiers. Their names are being associated with a cause that they might not agree with or support. I know that there was mention of a debate over who ‘owns’ the right to memorialize, but I think using other’s names in such a controversial piece as this one is just not appropriate and in bad taste. I feel like he is taking advantage of something tragic and tailoring it to his own agenda.

Second, it was clear that he was trying to show that the people playing the game were insensitive jerks by displaying the interaction between himself and the players on the chat screen, which he eventually got kicked off of. I felt he was taking advantage of the people playing the game by not telling them his purpose, which was not immediately obvious. I guess I felt like he did not even give the players a chance to respond to his actions – perhaps if the other players heard his message they might rethink whether or not they should play the game. Instead, they were purposefully portrayed in a negative light with no chance to defend themselves whatsoever.

Third, I was even more annoyed when I found out that he did performances of portions of this project in Britain… How in the world is the accomplishing anything? Isn’t the point to protest the game and to keep young Americans from playing – to make the players of the game realize that there are real-life consequences? What is the point of going to another country to protest a game that is meant for American citizens? Is he really trying to accomplish something, or does he just like stirring up trouble?

This guy reminds me of those people that stand outside the JC spouting off their stupid controversial opinions (or word vomit, as I like to call it).  They are just trying to start conflicts and then feed on the attention.  I feel like this was a lame piece of protest performance art because there are about 2 million better ways to get his point across without being such a jerk and where more people would be able to hear and consider his message.

I don’t understand why artists strive to do projects like this – they purposefully do something controversial and one step over the line of bad taste, and then when they are criticized act all attacked and innocent. If you read over the comments on the YouTube page, the artist’s responses to some of the posters are straight degrading. He talks to them like they are inexperienced 3 year olds.

Ugh. I’d be happy if we didn’t talk about this game anymore.