I realize I’m a week or two late with this one, but I feel like I need to weigh in my comments on the most recent BU Lipdub because what I’ve read on the matter is both slightly stupid and upsetting.
If you have no idea what I’m talking about: BU made Internet waves last year when we produced a Jackson Five lip dub that was epic in scale, spanning students from all walks of live (allegedly…) receiving hundreds of thousands of views online. (See it here: BU Lip Dub 2009). This year, a COM Event Management & Planning and Media Relations class, produced yet another lip dub, though it featured more hip music (Dropkick Murphys, Lady Gaga, Ke$ha) and offered an open casting call via Facebook invitation.
After its publication, it was criticized by our Student Union President, James Sappenfield, in a Freep editorial for being “too booze heavy” and not being a good representation of the school. BU Culture Shock (a collaborative culture blog hosted by the Howard Thurman Center) editor Neal Moawed shot back saying that neither he nor Sappenfield had the authority to criticize the Lip Dub because they didn’t take the time out to participate in it.
Okay… let me just road map this a bit: first I’m going to talk about the “booze heavy” allegations then I’ll move on to Culture Shock’s take on the situation.
According to our Stu-U Pres, the video was a “booze-infested, unfocused romp.” I beg to differ, good sir. On the contraire, I think the video was very focused – as far as a Lip Dub goes, I think the 2010 one was damn good. The Ke$ha and Lady Gaga parts were spot on with costumes and the energy was definitely there, not to mention it was a hell of a lot more culturally relevant than a Jackson Five song.
As far as a representation of BU, well… a bunch of boozy sorostitutes, flamboyant men, athletes, and wannabe frat bros binge drinking like it’s their job – I think that’s fairly accurate. A friend of mine commented, “I think the only thing they missed was the disproportionate amount of Asians to the rest of the student body, but otherwise it was dead on.” Considering the partying-oriented content itself, I was much more shocked that the administration didn’t put the kibosh on the video, considering that they are not the most liberal in their attitudes toward drinking.
Now… BU Culture Shock. Putting my personal opinions about the literary quality of Mr. Moawed’s writing and his blatant phrase-jacking from the Colbert Report aside, this idea he puts forth borders on ridiculous.
Sappy and I have no authority to comment on the quality of the lip-dub because we didn’t take the time out of our lives and put the effort into it to make it better.
Are you kidding me? By that same logic, a movie critic cannot critique a movie. A diner cannot comment that his food sucks. A concertgoer cannot express discontent for the band’s performance. It’s called having an opinion. Now, let’s step back for a second and think. Even if he or Sappenfield had gone to the lip dub filming, they would likely have had no authority to influence directorial content, as it was a class project.
I think this video is an opportunity. It’s an opportunity to sit back and revel at the hilarity of it all, or perhaps an opportunity to do something. For example, if people think that it’s a poor image for BU, perhaps they should say something to the administration, like “stop supporting fraternities/sororities/student organizations that bring nothing to the table.” Until our student union and student body does that, I think it’s rather delusional to think that this video is an “incorrect image” of Boston University.