Blog Post 9: Because Our First Amendment Right Exists… A Perfect Circle’s Take on the Bush Presidency.

The use of animation in music videos is an affordable way for musical artists to show off their “artsy” side. Animated music videos also can bring certain controversial topics and symbolize them clearly without the live action element added. One of those videos is by the rock band, A Perfect Circle. A Perfect Circle’s claim to fame is their staunch liberal and anti-war stance in their music. One song that particularly sticks out is “Counting Bodies Like Sheep to the Rhythm of the War Drums”; a song based on Bush’s war in Iraq and Afghanistan for what the band believes is for oil. Exercising their first amendment rights, A Perfect Circle uses familiar imagery and lyrics to persuade the audience that Bush’s “War on Terror” is not a just war.

(Author’s Note: I attempted to find a version of the video to embed into my post but embedding was disabled by request on most of the places the video was on. Sorry.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aizz0o9fPWU

The story of the song and the video is told by many different symbols that represent A Perfect Circle’s view of America when this song was released in 2004. On the heels of the attack on September 11th, 2001 and the “War on Terror” led by President George W. Bush, “Counting Bodies Like Sheep to the Rhythm of the War Drums” explains how it left A Perfect Circle’s band members feeling about the country; a feeling I believe is shared by many Americans. So I will break down the symbols I found most important to this video’s intention.

The Peace Sign: The very first image in the video is a sixties peace sign used during the anti-war protests of the Vietnam War. As the video moves along to the beat of marching feet, the peace sign crumbles underneath the booming sound. This sets the mood for the whole video, peace is gone and war prevails.

Oil Rig: The oil rig is used throughout the video as a symbol for America’s hunger for oil. It runs continuously as blood spurts up and runs down the screen. The rig has stopped pumping oil but not is pumping up blood, making this symbol one of “Blood for Oil”, a popular liberal sentiment when Bush invaded Iraq.

Televisions: The next image is one then many chomping televisions sets. These anthropomorphic television sets represent the media eating up American minds by morphing the facts and making Americans Pro-War when A Perfect Circle believes that no American should be for this war of “blood for oil” and violence. Even more televisions are added as a caricature of Bush places them in front of un-suspecting Americans and they watch faithfully as War wages in the background. These televisions soon turn the Americans into sheep who are sometimes depicted on fire.

Sheep: Sheep are known for following their master willingly and the word is sometimes used to describe people who just do whatever their superior wants them to do. In this video all of the Americans are turned into these Sheep by a cartoon Bush and he leads them off of a cliff in his venture for oil through war.

Caricatured Bush: This cartoon version of Bush is seen throughout the video giving the Americans television sets and turning them into sheep. He is the ice cream man, George Washington, a maid who jumps out from inside the couch, and the leader of the country. Bush drives a Roman Carriage and a power boat through blood and sheep pieces; he is the antagonist of the video. To A Perfect Circle, Bush wants to hypnotize and put “to sleep” the Americans so he can reach his goal which is not the goal of the American people.

This video uses these symbols, ones that are very familiar to us, to paint a picture of Bush’s “War on Terror” as being against the American people’s wishes. Whether A Perfect Circle speaks for the American people or not, the symbolism is quite powerful in this video and gives its audience a sliver of doubt to look upon.

I commented on Ian Crawford’s blog and Bonnie Hansen’s blog.

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Published in: on March 27, 2010 at 3:06 PM  Comments (1)  

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