Monday, August 3, 2009

Context Is Not Forever

I laughed along with everybody else when this video of a Minnesota wedding party's choreographed walk down the aisle became a viral hit a couple of weeks ago. Its the sort of thing that would strike me as corny and cliched if it wasn't so well-done, so heartfelt and so full of joy. Even the slow-motion breakdown was awesome. Unfortunately, when I first watched it, I didn't realize that the song to which they chose to dance was "Forever," by Chris Brown, an r&b singer best known for . . . being a notorious domestic abuser who beat the shit out of Rhianna and threatened to kill her, then offering a ghost-written, pre-recorded public apology that was one of the more offensive things I have seen in years.

The video's popularity led to a resurgence in the song's popularity, which means that internet video of one of the more joyous wedding celebrations I have ever seen directly helped to line the pockets of one of a (common-law) wife-beater. Jill and Kevin's used the song before Chris Brown was arrested for beating Rhianna to a bloody pulp, so they could not have known that they were using a song that will forever be linked in the minds of its listeners to domestic violence, but that doesn't make the irony and less cruel.

Then, a couple of days ago I decided to watch the video again (call me a softie) and I found that Jill and Kevin, aware of the new context in which their wedding video will be viewed, have set up a foundation to the Sheila Wellstone Institute, domestic violence charity in their native St. Paul, Minnesota. Isn't that a cool thing for them to do? I don't know who Jill and Kevin are, or if those are even their real names, but they are an impressive young couple.

1 comment:

Steve said...

I would have loved to see them incorporate Borat's "beat the gypsy" dance move into their choreography.