Your Guess Is As Good As Mine December 11, 2008 24 comments 24 comments… add one James F. Epperson December 11, 2008, 3:21 pm That is so offensive as to be beyond belief 🙁 Reply Kevin Levin December 11, 2008, 3:26 pm Very good, but please tell me what is so offensive. The watermelon head seems like an obvious racial reference, but besides the song, what else should I be thinking about? Thanks Reply James F. Epperson December 12, 2008, 3:45 am The combination of the choice of song, the obvious racial features on the faces, and the watermelon imagery. (I like the ability to “thread” the comments; very nice.) Reply Kevin Levin December 12, 2008, 3:53 am I also love the ability to thread comments, although it does force the reader to be a bit more observant as there is no longer a strict listing of comments by time. As for the video I agree with your observation, but other than the watermelon head I don’t see anything overtly racist. Is there a racial symbolism that I am missing in re: to the other fruits? Reply James F. Epperson December 12, 2008, 4:10 am To me, the overtly racist thing is the choice of obvious racial chacteristics for the faces, although the attire is suggestive of several black singing groups. Reply Kevin Levin December 12, 2008, 4:15 am James, — You may be right in your characterization of this video. I certainly did not mean to offend anyone. As always my interest is in exploring examples of memory and popular culture. Thanks. James F. Epperson December 12, 2008, 6:09 am Heavens! In no sense was I suggesting *you* be blamed for this. Kevin Levin December 12, 2008, 6:38 am Don’t worry James. I was just clarifying for all readers of the post. 🙂 Mannie December 11, 2008, 6:48 pm Southern-fried Sergeant Pepper meets Peter Maxx! I’m trippin’ dude, talk me down! Mannie Reply John Cummings December 12, 2008, 1:56 pm Mannie, you are too cool! Trippin’ man. Reply Phil LeDuc December 11, 2008, 9:12 pm A Bob Dylan-sounding strawberry? Reply Kevin Levin December 12, 2008, 2:17 am I thought that was Bob Dylan. Reply Charles Lovejoy December 12, 2008, 6:30 pm It is Bob Dylan, it is from the movie “Masked and Anonymous”. Here is the link to Bob Dylan doing the song with no watermelons. Just him and his band. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vM65VcDxOg Reply Kevin Levin December 13, 2008, 2:11 am Charles, — Thanks for the link. I have not idea what the foxes are meant to represent. Reply John Cummings December 12, 2008, 1:38 pm Kevin: Serious things to consider… Seriously! Now anytime we see a watermelon we must see it as a racial slur? That same thought process will make the pineapple a racist slur since they come from Hawaii and of course that’s where the President-elect was born! We need to ban all fruits along with any vestige of southern culture. And if that is Bob Dylan singing then we need to alert the Anti-Defamation League before all hell breaks loose. But wait! Don’t I see white skinned necks on these fruits? And white skin around their lips? Is this a new approach to the Minstrel Show? But those suits don’t look like anything from the R&B groups I know. They look like something from the Grand Ole Opry!!! Oh yes, southerners!!! What on earth will we do??? Kevin, can we really look so deep into everything and find hidden meaning? Perhaps this was just a stupid video designed to make people chuckle (if that)? And may I ask this? Did Dan Emmett steal “Dixie” from a black man? And oh yes, Abraham Lincoln always liked that song so since he was a Republican and Republicans are now considered racists…. Reply Kevin Levin December 12, 2008, 1:43 pm Thanks for the comment John. I don’t think you have to get all uptight about this. No one is suggesting that you must adopt any particular interpretation of this video, and I think I’ve made it clear that I haven’t drawn any definitive conclusions about, which is one of the reasons I posted it. Reply John Cummings December 12, 2008, 1:47 pm I wasn’t being uptight, just contemplative. Seriously! See you Sunday! Reply Kevin Levin December 12, 2008, 1:55 pm See you Sunday. Reply James F. Epperson December 12, 2008, 4:44 pm I think (personal opinion) that the *combination* of the song and the ethnic features on the figures makes the watermelon imagery problematic. JFE Reply Charles Lovejoy December 12, 2008, 6:40 pm I just re watched the video, are the Foxes at the end supposed to be Brer Fox type characters? My question is who would take the time to make a video like this? Reply John Cummings December 13, 2008, 12:09 am Hey folks, I think the fruits are non race specific. They are called “Confederate Fruits” afterall, and I wouldn’t think that you are suggesting they are part of the “Myth of Black Confederates”? Check out the other material they cover after the above video ends and you will find they do “I’m A Good Ole Rebel”. Personal opinion, I wonder why no one has mentioned the sexist “foxes” in the last half of the video. Did most of you stop watching after the first few lines? Reply Kevin Levin December 13, 2008, 2:14 am To be honest, I didn’t notice the foxes until I took the time to watch the video in full. I have no clue what they are supposed to represent. At this point, however, it seems that all interpretations are worthy of consideration. Reply John Cummings December 13, 2008, 7:13 am The foxes are portraying female “foxes” as in, “gee, that girl is a fox”. They are playing to the camera and drawing attention to their breasts, white fur covered as they are. That is why I wondered why everyone saw racism but not sexism? Not wanting to be difficult or bruise someones’s feelings, but it would be wise to view things in their entirety before critiquing. It is a difficult piece to watch I grant you, but if its going to be presented as some kind of neo-con construction it has to be examined in full. Personally I think it is just a stupid piece of junk and I question how it may or may not merit inclusion in this otherwise stimulating forum. Thank you for your time. Reply Kevin Levin December 13, 2008, 7:26 am Once again, thanks for the input. That said, I’m not sure what you mean by “neo-con” so I will leave that one alone. As for your final comment re: it’s appropriateness…well…that’s the nature of blogging and for you as the reader to decide. Reply Leave a Comment Cancel Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.