A reader emailed me this video of Fall Out Boy’s song “I’m Like a Lawyer With the Way I’m Always Trying to Get You Off (Me & You)” that was filmed in Northern Uganda and was intended to address the horrific and debilitating civil war that’s been robbing the country of its citizens lives and well-being for nearly 20 years.
In this time more than 30,000 children have been abducted from their homes and forced to be soldiers and sex slaves. Nearly 25,000 have become what is referred to as “night commuters”, leaving their homes at night to escape the possibility of being taken from their families and sleeping in bus stations, behind local stores and even on the streets. These kids make up 80% of Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) soldiers.
In addition to this, the HIV infection rate rages due almost directly to the tensions between the LRA and the Ugandan government. The region’s healthcare system has all but collapsed due to the civil war, flight of healthcare workers and general neglect. Without the means to spread prevention awareness, the region has doubled Uganda’s national HIV average.
Now, I wouldn’t imagine anyone expects Fall Out Boy to be the voices or faces of a pressing political issue. I wouldn’t imagine that one single person would expect these dopes to contribute much to the international arena of discourse and debate. All of these people are correct.
Before I even started watching the video I was thinking, ‘I hope they gave these people some food and clean water.” Shooting a bleeping music video in Uganda is generally disgusting. Flaunting your privileged existence where spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on ENTERTAINMENT when these people are fighting for their rights and their lives should humiliate Americans.
I wanted to make sure these guys didn’t donate a trillion dollars before I ripped them, but I found no such thing. Instead I found an interview where Pete Wentz, the bassist and songwriter, states:
Originally when we came here, we had a plan. [The video] was going to be shot documentary-style. We were gonna shoot it as Fall Out Boy coming here and interacting,” bassist Pete Wentz said on the video’s set. “But we decided that this treatment seemed a lot more dangerous and compelling. I mean, have you ever seen a love story between Ugandan people — especially with a rock band — on ‘TRL’? [source]
Ouch. The song has nothing to do with anything, let alone the Ugandan civil war. And you can reference the lyrics to verify that. I doubt I need to break this down. These guys think it’s okay to write a TREATMENT about a very real and very grave situation to be “dangerous and compelling” for the TRL audience?
I wonder how the director felt about instructing the Ugandans. I can only imagine. “Okay, now…pretend your village is being ravaged and attacked. Perfect. These guys are professionals!”
At least they put some rinky dink copy at the end to tie it all together. Oh, and they let the kids jump around at the end before they packed everything up and hopped in their plane. And left them there.