Hard-hitting video spoof highlights Obama buyer regret

politics | Aug 11, 2012 | By Martin Barillas

A pair of young film-makers, Justin Monticello and Ryan Newbrough have produced a short film on YouTube pays tribute to the hit song by Australian singer/musician Wouter de Backer (a.k.a. Gotye) while satirizing President Barack Obama. Gotye's song of abandonment and lost love is the musical canvas that Monticello, The music is taken from the Gotye hit, which was performed by the New Zealander musician, Kimba. Newbrough and collaborators used tthe short o express their disillusionment with the "change" that Obama has apparently not brought to the United States since his election in 2008.

The short film, entitled "Obama that I used to know," features Monticello as a living canvas that is covered gradually by body paint. Vocals are provided by singers Matthew Bohrer and Gabi Conti, the latter of which is also seen in the video. The words of the parody express the misgivings many Americans have about Obama and his administration, whether they supported Obama or not during the last presidential election. Monticello is seen lip-synching the words, "Now and then I think of that election day, November When you won I felt so happy I could die Chugged a fifth, paraded in the street And I thanked God that Palin wasn't Veep It felt like change and it's a hope I still remember."

Alluding to the current levels of unemployment, especially for young people, the song continues, "You can get addicted to a certain kind of message
Like this is change we can believe in, yes we can.  But college ended, had to pay my rent. At least you're the first gay president.  But the change I got was that I moved in with my mother. Because you won and then you cut me off." Alluding to Obama's killing of terrorist Osama bin Laden, Monticello intones, "Just send in a Predator Drone
'Cause now you're not Obama that I used to know."

Singer Gabi Conti then appears with Monticello against a backdrop in which the pair are painted to blend in with a the well-known Obama campaign poster. With a fair alto-soprano voice, Conti has lines that are worthy of being heard on the Stephen Colbert show. Conti speaks almost poignantly with the disillusion of a jilted lover. She points out the irony of a Obama's orders to kill Americans and foreigners designated as terrorists, given that he received the Nobel Prize for Peace. "Sometimes I think that Peace Prize winners shouldn't have a kill list. But you dumped Bin Laden in the sea so maybe it's all good. Said you'd rouse my economy. Your big package didn't stimulate me."

On August 11, the parody had more than 531.000 hits, which is far short of the 298 million that the original Gotye video has garnered so far. Nonetheless, if the video persuades at least the viewers of the parody that Obama's change has been negligible, it might still tip the election away from him if they are so disillusioned that they do not bother to vote in November.  Like Conti said, "In 2012 I need Obama that I used to know." That Obama has now left the building.



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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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