For this Saturday’s Mishmash, we searched the entire world (on YouTube) for provocative or slightly offensive videos. Don’t worry, there’s nothing here your kids can’t watch.
The three videos below created quite a storm of controversy in their home countries, and we hope they provide you with conversation fodder for your weekend gatherings. Click here to send us suggestions for stories for future Saturday discussions.
EU Xenophobia: Honestly, what were they thinking?
The European Union will definitely think twice before making their next promotional video. On the surface, this one looks like a trailer for a B-film knock-off of Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill—but of course international governing bodies are held to different standards than shock-shlock filmmakers. But the EU had to learn the hard way . . .
It probably wasn’t a great idea to have the world’s emerging economies personified by caricatured street thugs attacking a white woman alone in an a train station. Who would have thought?
The video was aimed at 16 to 24-year olds. After the words “racism,” “stereotypes,” and “imperialism” went viral on social media websites, the EU pulled the clip from YouTube.
Apparently, the clip cost 127,000 euros to make.
In Japan, a mystery gets cloudier
This week marked the anniversary of the tragic Japanese tsunami, and subsequent nuclear scare. And since last summer many Japanese have been wondering: Who is the person in this video?
The apparent worker at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant seemed to be leveling an accusation, but at who? In an unedited version of the video, the anonymous accuser points for 15 minutes.
A new art exhibit in Tokyo features the video and raises questions over whether the artist, Kota Takeuchi, is actually the pointer.
Takeuchi was one of many Japanese who volunteered in the nuclear cleanup efforts. But the artist continuously makes evasive comments when asked if he was the masked worker.
This piece from the Japan Times reads a bit like a noir thriller. It’s an interesting look at the power of an anonymous event to inspire awe in a culture reeling from tragedy.
Russian punk rock feminists charged with “hooliganism”
When Pussy Riot busted into Moscow’s largest church last month, the feminist punk band danced on the pulpit until they were arrested. Now Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina – who have been on hunger strike since their arrest on March 3 – could face a seven-year jail sentence on charges of hooliganism.
The guerilla concert was an indictment of the Kremlins cozy relationship with the Russian Orthodox Church. And it’s not their first performance. In Red Square they performed “Putin Pissed Himself.”
The harsh sentence has got Russians split in two. While some Orthodox Church members are hailing the arrest, Pussy Riot sympathizers have held rallies in Moscow, Paris, Berlin and Prague.
This story from Radio Free Europe will give you both sides of the story.