Video Review: Living Colour “Cult of Personality”

A ten-year-old girl watches a political speech given by the President of the United States of America. Grosteque masks of well-known leaders are seen. For a split second, Living Colour peform in black-and-white on stage.

In color, Corey bangs his head and then in cornflower blue as he sings on stage.

In archived footage, men practice carrying their rifles. People walk to work in the city.

Back in color, Corey wanders around the stage. Benito Mussolini gives a speech gives a speech, John F. Kennedy waves to the crowd. Corey claps his hands over his head as the screen becomes grainy. Soldiers march and young women cling to the barricade. A police officer carries a unconcious young woman to a doctor in the archived footage.

The band walks around a circle on stage. Joseph Stalin stands on top of a balcony in archived footage. With his jacket down to his elbows, Corey continues to wander. Martin Luther King, Jr. talks in archived footage. Corey pushes his hair back. He finds the camera and points to his chest. He crawls on the floor and bangs his head again.

In archived footage, two boys make the sign of the cross. The ten-year-old girl turns off the television.

Rating: 2/5

Former President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt once said: “To announce that there be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and service, but morally treasonable to the American public.”  According to the Pew Research Center, 71% of Americans opposed the Iraq War. CNN reported that 45% of Americans didn’t like the Affordable Care Act. On January 21, 2017 at least 5 million women marched all over the United States, protesting President Donald Trump’s policies, according to the Women’s March website.

Leaders are flawed individuals. John F. Kennedy is considered one of the United States greatest Presidents. However, he had numerous affairs, notably with Marilyn Monroe. Up until 2017, Martin Luther King, Jr’s dalliances were kept secret. The BBC reported he was also a  communist. Some leaders, though, like Joseph Stalin killed his enemies or sent them to forced labor camps. Benito Mussolini began the Fascist Party in 1919. However, some people avoid politics altogether and worship celebrities.

All leaders, whether they be politicans or celebrities, are touted as negative influences. The cynical point of view dismisses Kennedy’s success of averting nuclear in 1962 with the Cuban Missile Crisis and downplays King’s work for the civil rights movements. It also presents Stalin and Mussolini as their equals, despite being dictators.

Dictators, though, are the true narcissists that people are drawn to in times against backlash of change. The citizens need to believe in the person wholeheartedly, ignoring the destruction and wars that follow in their path. They prey on the most vulnerable. Kennedy and King do not deserve to be lumped in the same category. While they are both admired figures in history, neither has escaped scatching stories written about them, punching holes into their idealized lives.

Director: Drew Carolan Year: 1988

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Pam Avoledo Administrator
Pam Avoledo spends her time binge-watching classic teen dramas and stands firm in her pro-Leyton stance. She also received her journalism degree in 2006 from Oakland University and has been published in the White Wall Review.

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