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Die Anti-Antwoord

2010-02-24 12:19
 More than a mere B-grade horror flick, the BWP (1999) was a full-on media event, going viral on the intertubes, becoming a household name in households that talk about horror movies a lot, and generally incorporating itself into our cultural landscape long before the filmmakers saw a cent of their undoubtedly obscene profits.

Being the horror nerd I am, I was one of the first in line to see what all the palaver was about. The cinema was full, mostly of people much younger than me, and all the girls screamed their heads off.

The movie was pretty good actually – a bit slow in parts, but enough genuine frights to make up for boring bits, and that final shot alone was worth the price of the ticket. If that didn't scare you shitless, you have no soul, and I hate you.

Then, inevitably, came the backlash, the final stage of the syndrome.

One of my colleagues, a film lecturer, wrote that if one of his first year students had handed in such a project as the Blair Witch, he would have failed them. Suddenly everyone was saying the BWP – a film that had terrified millions, was overhyped, amateurish, and not even scary.

What had happened was this: the media frenzy surrounding the film was so overbearing that once the initial rush was over, everyone was too burnt out to care. It was one of those rare moments when the public consciously realised they had been advertised to – and that the advertising worked. They had been duped into thinking that a fairly interesting indie horror was bigger than Jesus – and this pissed them off. Hence the backlash. Even those who thoroughly enjoyed the film pretended they had never been sucked into its magnetic hype machine in the first place.

Now, without changing the subject at all, let's turn to Die Antwoord, or, in English, The Antwoord. Here's a band I thought I'd better write about now, before everyone realises they're crap and starts hating them as much as they deserve.

Literally the vainest posers on the SA music scene – Die Antwoord must have more photographs of themselves than Lindsay ‘Hohan – the band have taken the intertubes by storm. But then again, so has Britney's crack.

Now, I admit, I'm not exactly Die Antwoord's target audience. I loathe most rap, and as for the "zef" part... well, just because I'm a socialist doesn't mean I have to like poor people. Especially white ones. Come on, four decades of apartheid and that's the best they could do?**

But of course, Die Antwoord aren't poor at all – they're just exploiting poverty for their own nefarious ends. I'd bet their stupid haircuts alone cost more than my iPod, and maybe this is just my perception, but real poor people have a lot more dignity.

They're fronted by a man who's had so many names that anyone who puts a bullet in his head could be charged with genocide. Every time Waddy changes his name he just creates another pretentious asshole.

Anyhow, he's now calling himself Ninja, which I think is his suburban white-boy way of challenging us all to a fight. His bandmates have equally ridiculous names: DJ Hi-Tek sounds like he sells takkies in his spare time, and Yo-Landi Vi$$er. Someone should really tell her that those dollar signs are about as cool as her lobotomy-survivor haircut.

Wait, I'm forgetting something... ah yes, the music. It sucks. Cringe-worthy fake accents, lyrics that somehow manage to be simultaneously pretentious, conceited and vacuous, and for the beats, just press "demo" on the Casiotone your Daddy bought you for Christmas. What we have here is a bone-fide novelty band, a la Green Jellÿ

But go ahead and enjoy the hype while it lasts. Because we all know that The Man With Too Many Names has a history of breaking up bands as often as porn stars shave their pubes, meaning Die Antwoord are unlikely to overstay their welcome.

**This is called "satire". It's in the "dictionary".

Follow Chris McEvoy on twitter as @chrismcevoy_

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