Thursday, 26 April 2012

Zameer - Tatti

Zameer, whose debut single was selected as the theme song for the 2010, Paralympics , has released a video to accompany his single Tatti. For those who do not understand Punjabi, the title of the song translates as “poo”.

The video starts off in a barn where a girl wearing only a bikini, duputta and Wellington boots makes eyes at a man. She flounces off outside into the cold where a bhangra group are dancing. She then sits on a tractor and feeds Zameer various food items, before Zameer pronounces that he needs to relieve himself. The video switches between shots of the girl, Zameer, the tractor and the dance group before Zameer and his musicians head back inside the barn where the video ends.

The blurb accompanying the video states that the video is satirical and that it “aims to bring to light various human elements in a comedic format.“ It goes on to say that it does not “intend to poke jest or offend and cultural, linguist or religious groups”. It ends by stating “We sincerely hope you will laugh at what is meant to be a simple, light hearted, gastrointestinal comedy”.  If the video producers felt the need to put this up with the video, I’m sure they have already had people being offended by it.

Whilst I like the idea of satirising and parodying the typical bhangra video, I thought most people stopped finding jokes about excrement funny aged five. I don’t find poo jokes offensive, but I think they are puerile. Perhaps this is satire aimed at those suffering from arrested development. In my opinion stating the need to relieve oneself is not satire or funny even if the makers of the video say it is.

It’s not just the toilet humour that I don’t find funny, I also take issue with the casual misogyny and unlike the poo joke I do find this offensive. The only woman in the video is objectified and stereotyped beyond belief. It’s two and a half minutes of telling the woman to get back in the kitchen and stay there. It is not satirical, ironic or funny. I’m sure some women would put laxatives in the food if they were treated like that, ensuring that the man who ordered them about really did need to spend some time on the loo.

The only good thing about the video were the subtitles. If they hadn’t been there I would have questioned my Punjabi skills as I really never thought someone would write a song about human waste. The track is not something that you would want to dance to. It is a short simple song and it gets boring and predictable after a few listens.

Overall this is an awful video. Despite what the makers of it say this is not comedy and it is not clever enough to be satire. If you find this funny, you are either five years old or have the developmental age of a five year old and need to grow up.


Anonymous said...

I thought the video was really funny. It's a stab at desi guys who only go for women because of their looks and their ability to cook.

We expect our women to be hot and fit like western women (hence the bikini) yet modest and traditional (hence the chuni/dupatta).

Men like that, according to this video, are (literally) full of... poop. The singer is portrayed as way more of a bimbo than the girl.

As an accomplished desi female physician, I'm surprised that you missed how obvious that was. It's pretty apparent that this superficial blog post was written by a man.

Anonymous said...

The definition of "satire" is:

"The use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice, folly, etc."

Isn't the entire video full of sarcasm and ridicule? As far as I see, sarcasm is being used to ridicule the very idea of misogyny and the artist seems to be ridiculing the steady decline of the music industry by singing about the absurd topic of "poo".

Dee Kay said...

Some desi guys are more complicated and want a woman for her cleaning skills as well as her cooking skills and good looks!

Obviously there can be many interpretations and theories of the video, and this blog post was mine.

Just because the girl had a dupatta to cover her bikini to represent desi guys' ideal woman, it does not mean she was spared objectification. Just read some of the youtube comments commenting on her looks. If Zameer had really wanted her role to be ironic, he should have dressed her in a business suit. The fact that she does nothing in the video, does not react to the poo joke or cooking orders and just hangs around proves she is just there for her looks. Treating a woman as an object is never funny.

The video may be full of satire, but as it is based on poo and women which I fail to find funny, then this "satire" is lost on me.

2 and a bit minutes is a bit short to ridicule the decline of the music industry, especially when most men's minds are probably focused on the woman.

As an accomplished singer who sings in 4 different languages, I am just surprised that Zameer felt he had to resort to poo jokes and misogyny to get his points across. By effectivly telling a woman her place is in the kitchen he risks alienating his female fan base and I'm sure Zameer would not want to do that.