Tuesday, August 29, 2006

O'Reilly, Jesus, & Everclear's "Hater"

The rock band Everclear has a new song whose video has created some controversy. The song is called "Hater."frontman Art Alexakis in a head to head interview with Bill O'Reilly can be seen in this video.

This clip from the O'Reilly Factor where band frontman Art Alexakis responds to O'Reilly's criticism of the video which hit the internet about a month ago.



O'Reilly says this video is controvrsial because:
1. The video is unclear and fails to spell out it's message
2. The video depicts Jesus (or a heathen version of Jesus) doing immoral things
3. Dedicating this video to Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson does not make sense and is judgemental

Alexakis supports this video because:
1. It's artful in it uses icnons
2. It's a "break-up song" and the video was written to show hate in a unique way
3. It makes a saliant point to criticizes people who claim to be men of God but are unproductive, unjust, unholy, and hypocritical.

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17 comments:

RWA said...

Interesting that Alexakis does not address O'Reilly's claim that the video "depicts Jesus (or a heathen version of Jesus) doing immoral things."

Sadie Lou said...

1. It's artful in it uses icnons

So if I were to make a video using an "icon" of someone's mother or father doing immoral things, this would be considered "art" or slander?

2. It's a "break-up song" and the video was written to show hate in a unique way

What's a "break-up" song? Like a relationship break-up?

3. It makes a saliant point to criticizes people who claim to be men of God but are unproductive, unjust, unholy, and hypocritical.

Who is in a position to judge whether or not people are unholy or not? Does the frontman for Everclear have a belief in Jesus Christ? If he does not, why would he hold other men to a standard that he doesn't hold himself to--that smacks more of being hypocritical than the men he's pointing the finger at.
If he does believe in Christ, he wouldn't make a video showing Christ doing immoral things. Period.

Mike Scott said...

"If he does believe in Christ, he wouldn't make a video showing Christ doing immoral things"

I don't know about that. Kevin Smith is very religious and he made Dogma. There is a difference between believing in The Lord and respecting all the iterations of His/Her/Its church.

I'd have to agree that there are better ways of serving God than giving cash to insanely rich tele-evangelists.

As for the use of iconography, it is effective because it deals with ideas and abstracts. Everclear aren't damaging anyone, they are just engaging with the idea of the church. In his day, Sweet Baby Lord Jesus did some badass shit (anyone up for ransacking a temple?). Questioning your faith is what keeps it alive and purposeful.

All I really came on to say though is: Everclear? I thought they'd broken up. Why God why must they reform to release the same song they've already written and released twenty times before! Save us!!!

Sadie Lou said...

I don't know about that. Kevin Smith is very religious and he made Dogma.

So because Kevin Smith made Dogma your point is valid?
There's a difference between being 'religious' and putting your faith in Jesus Christ.

Mob said...

The video looked kind of stupid, frankly, but I'd agree with Mike Scott in that I was puzzled that Everclear are even still around, and they do keep making the same damned record over and over again.

And I don't know about unholy, but Pat Robertson has made some pretty 'out there' statements in the recent past that I feel he has every right to be judged upon, since we're obviously judging the band for what they're saying and doing.

I don't think Alexakis point would necessarily be one of holding others to a standard he himself doesn't believe in, but maybe that it's one the people in question have set and aren't abiding by?

But really, Everclear? They're still together?

Wow.

Art said...

I haven't seen the video but I will weigh in on Alexakis' side in this for two reasons:

1. His first name is 'Art'.

2. He's in opposition to Bill O'Reilly.

Both are things that I greatly admire in a person.

Seriously though, ditto to MS and mob: Everclear?

Augustus. said...

I'm going to have to agreed with the other above in the "Everclear, WHAH?!?" comments. lol. I get the imagery from it and respect the creators vision for the video. The video is clearly pointed at "Certain people" not going to say who exactly but we can all point those people out. People who hate hate hate abortions but love love love the war. The people who pray to the lord for the death of all middle easterners. This video is clearly for those people.

Anomie-Atlanta said...

I'm sure this is the most discussion Everclear has gotten since 1996. :)

elasticwaistbandlady said...

Everclear is shooting themselves in the foot. I mean, they already alienated their main fan base of Volvo driving soccer moms! Let's face it, nobody in their target demographic of hard core or punk listens to them anymore. The next step in Shameless Publicity Whoring 101, after using shock tactics to piss off the religious faithful, is to start posing and prancing around naked.

Alexakis naked? *shudders and cold chills of revulsion*

Sadie Lou said...

And I don't know about unholy, but Pat Robertson has made some pretty 'out there' statements in the recent past that I feel he has every right to be judged upon, since we're obviously judging the band for what they're saying and doing.

Now that's a comment I can get behind. Well stated.

Adam Doupe said...

Where the hell has Everclear been all this time? One of my favorite bands of all time.

P.S. Does anyone have the youtube link to this video so I can see the whole thing?

Also, does O'Reilly even care about this? By giving him air time he's promoting the band and the video to a whole new level.

Anonymous said...

adam, u can watch the vid here:

http://www.ifilm.com/ifilmdetail/2746525

Darrell said...

Everclear hasn't made a decent album since "Sparkle and Fade." So, for starters, there's that.

Secondly, this whole cliched concept, mocking televangalists, etc, is tired and dumb. Televangalists are such easy targets. We're STILL mocking them in 2006? Shooting fish in a barrel, if you ask me.

Thirdly, Bill O'Riley is an idiot. I can't believe I sat through that whole video of a washed-up, creatively dormant rock-star arguing with the Morton Downey, Jr of the modern day. Wow. I actually feel dumber for having listened to those two idiots argue over nothing.

Having said all that, I still enjoy Strange Culture! Keep up the good work on Blood Diamond, Last King of Scotland, Survivor, etc!

Paula said...

I am so glad I don't get whatever network it is that Bill what's-his-face "interviews" people on. That wasn't an interview! He didn't care to hear what Art had to say! Art couldn't address ANY question that narrow-minded boob asked him because he was shut down the minute he said anything!

Oh, sheesh! I'm not used to that kind of bullying from an interviewer. It must not happen on the airwaves up here in Canada.

And whether I agree with the video or not, I agree with what Art tried to say, which is that art needs no explanation. One of the purposes of art is to make you think, to make you ask questions--not to necessarily agree with the artist's statement, but to come up with your own opinion. This need to have everything laid out and easily understood...it's like a baby eating pablum. I want meat. I want to have to digest what I interact with.

Kimberly Ann said...

This interview is very entertaining. Leave it to Bill O'Riley to say something stupid... comparing his show to art...

Can't say that I'm a fan of the video. I do enjoy Everclear's music and their sound hasn't changed since I was in high school...

Geosomin said...

"And whether I agree with the video or not, I agree with what Art tried to say, which is that art needs no explanation. One of the purposes of art is to make you think, to make you ask questions--not to necessarily agree with the artist's statement, but to come up with your own opinion. This need to have everything laid out and easily understood...it's like a baby eating pablum. I want meat. I want to have to digest what I interact with."

I couldn't have said it better.
I'd rather have a prompted intelligent discussion that makes me think. AS for Everclear? Well their music is unoriginal but I have to give them credit for trying something...although I wish it would be trying for more original music...

magnus said...

The purpose of the video was probably not artistically motivated. I'd say the purpose of the video was jump-start Everclear's career and get people talking about them again. Seems to have worked.
In North America, it is extraordinarily easy to bait Christians and use the churches outrage to promote yourself. Falwell apparently stated that he thanked God for gay protestors, they gave him all the promotion he needs. (see the Wikipedia page on him) He may have stated that he'd have to have create them otherwise. Well ditto for the other side of the spectrum. This is Evangelical/Fundie bait, most of whom are to stupid not to take it hook, line and sinker.

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