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    Friday, May 28, 2010

    MTV - "True" Life (Extended)

    Going through the full episode of the show, you can't help but notice a none-steady vibe that the directors are giving out.. Of course, coming from them, they like to think of themselves as Journalists.. There should be some sort of quality coming along such a title, something that i didn't notice in this video..

    Yesterday, i expressed my initial thoughts about the show, and today, am going through the different parts of the full episode, trying to see how well does their message fly through to the end.. 

    Spolier Alert : Didn't really like it much..

    [Full episode can be viewed on the Mtv website, right here.. Tried to share it, but it kept redirecting the video to the 13 minute promo]


    Just a small fact correction.. Back in the 80's, the fashion of colored Abayas were introduced to the public.. The colors were not as trendy as Fatima's, or the composition of such, but the idea was there before.. So, being a witness of an 80's abaya revolution, i don't think this revolution is anymore more than a Fashion Comeback..

    However, she did manage to bring out some valid points about Saudi Arabia.. The situation for women has become so complicated and overlooked, that it might take civil disobedience to send out a message.. I'm referring to the bicycle ride, not the abayas.. I don't see her Abayas designs as revolutionary, more than complementary..

    I mean, for me, i already stated my thoughts on the Abaya.. Any action taking change a step forward would be to promote modest fashion choices, and letting go of the robe.. I mean, it's hot enough out there, and women are more involved socially than they were 10 years ago, so times might need some trimming around the edges.. We can witness Muslim women around the world, and follow their lead in breaking out from the social norm, while keeping in check with the religious..

    Breeze of the Dying

    Rock and Heavy Metal is becoming an underground musical phenomena in Saudi Arabia, to the extent of having at least 5 bands in every major city.. Despite my own musical preference (really not my taste in music, but nonetheless) they're actually gathering quite a following.. Socially and online.. However, i think very few of their fans actually KNOW what these guys are growling about.. I attended a couple, out of curiosity, and it wasn't a good experience.. Especially that some chose these events as their "get my freaky self out there" and you'd see all sorts of weird social stunts.. The attempt of the video to show the meaning of their lyrics did a good job, actually..

    I saw it with a friend, and he was like "Really?" and i was like "Yeah", and he was like "wow, really?" and i was like "Yeah dude"  -Mtv

    I do agree with the video on one point though, we do lack an understanding to what the youth are choosing as hobbies, disregarding what we don't get, and neglecting it's right to have a reason to be there.. Most of us are not clear where religion stands on this point, let alone traditions and culture (which apparently approve any musical concert that is dedicated to the king and the royal family)..

    This issue was served on golden platter, because it does come from a part of society that no one is addressing.. And when addressed, Satan has to be in the sentence somewhere..

    One of the hilarious parts, the part with the Zen of Screaming DVD and that woman with the growling techniques.. That just floored me..


    Amongst all those interviewed, this man seemed the most balanced and most focused on his objectives.. I actually liked his segment, since his choice of words did not leave any room for editing.. He was direct, straight to the point, and his cause can't be any stronger..

    We need a society, that stands for the society.. Men standing out for the rights of women, and women standing out for the rights of their city, and the city standing out for the rights of it's people.. It's simple, in theory, yet practice seems to be troublesome.. And I, for one, can say that it's worth the trouble.. 

    For the most part, the show should've focused more on his segment, because he's part of the many ways to the cure of our social diseases.. We need to address our problems head on, clearly knowing our objective, and knowing exactly what to do and where to do it, to get the change to be permanent.. Not some sort fling..

    Speaking of flings..


    Just as soon as the video makes a good build up, and grabs your attention in listening to what it has to offer, they flopped the scales and introduced this segment..

    By far, this is one of the reasons why i spoke negatively about the show.. It was very evident of their choice of people that they want to rub them in the general public's face, despite having a good cause, or a bad cause..

    Starting off with the guy complaining about his love life.. And then the camera rolls around the car to give a little piece of who he is (collectively), the Marijuana dog tag, and an Obama slogan stroke me as "Media Spawn", Comparing his life to The Titanic, and has George Micheal as an ideal look to look like..

    We have allot of his type in Saudi Arabia, seeking change with no solid grounds on what change is, and how it should be.. Change for the sake of change, despite it's religious or social factors.. Blame it on social education, government, or his own understanding, but most of our youth are as lost as this guy.. Which is our responsibility to fix, before a channel like Mtv exploits it to this disgusting level..

    I can't deny, he does have some few valid points about his questioning to the public understanding of religion.. But some other points are actually an unintended expression of his own confusion about religion..

    At one part of the video, the editing was lousy and showed the content being taken out of context.. "The youth are oppressed" and then cut to the segment "we need to respect our religion" and then ending the segment with "The compromises that need to be done in the modern time"..

    What compromises? Dating? Doesn't that undermine what religion has to say about your "Quest to find love"?

    The funny thing, it clicked with me that there was allot of staging and fake dramatizations in this segment of the show.. Especially the part with Aziz sitting in the trunk of his car, logging online, while there is no 3G modem connected and no WiFi signal (having personally been in that same parking lot and tried to find a wifi connection to kill time, and didn't find any, which was the reason why i delayed my full review.. I actually wanted to make sure :D)..

    The phone calls were fake, and the worries he expressed were staged.. It suddenly switched from True Life, to The Bachelor (which is what Mtv does best, staging "real life" drama).. All to fit the dramatic image the video aims to deliver, and this guy was the proper mime to do so..

    [ Open letter to Mtv ]

    Maybe somewhere around the line of trying to understand Islam, the team behind the video failed to do any kind of homework.. And the intent behind the video keeps on changing from one segment to another, which is causing more confusion than solutions.. Especially that it's targeting youth from both far ends of the world..

    What was the intent of stuffing in the Mosque footage in the beginning of each segment, and in the end of each segment? Really, what am i supposed to get? Saudi is an Islamic country? Islam in Saudi Arabia? Saudi is like this BECAUSE it's an islamic country?

    If you made a simple survey, trying to ask those people if they think Religion is behind their problems, or is it the country, you'd be surprised.. But i know you won't ask, because your agenda seems so clear to show that both Islam and Saudi Arabia are the problem.. But seriously, if you ever consider making a survey, it's for free on SurveyMoneky.. Really, i kid you not..

    Maybe i failed to link with the overall context of things, but it was rude and showed the little you know about Islam.. Any professional grade journalist would actually think TWICE before adding background music to Prayer azan (rock music, nonetheless), incase you didn't see any islamic coverage on any news channel.. Seriously, show the respect a "journalist" would show.. Claiming that this sensational over-priced YouTube production as journalism, is like depending on The Kingdom movie to know any solid facts about Saudi Culture.. And this is the thing, it's a social past-time activity show, with no political grounds to stand on, and suddenly True Life became Saudi Watch or Eye on Islam..

    The video was unprofessional, Shallow, and does nothing but deliver raw images as is (a picture slid show would suffice).. For the video, it doesn't matter if there's any contextual inconsistency, doesn't matter if the next segment undermines the segment before, doesn't matter if the issues all together are not clear about their scope.. Maybe if they separated each one in his own part and episode, we wouldn't have to deal with an Hour being wasted like this..

    It's the lame production, and little work that was done, trying to sum generations of problems in a buffered one hour video, thinking they'd do the youth help by allowing some form of televised justice.. Yet, looking at the comments on videos, apparently the Saudi youth are not the targets, their the show's main attraction for an international audience..

    [Open Letter to Saudis]  (ok, maybe an Open Paragraph :D)

    But i couldn't care less about that, more than me caring how WE reflect on what we see on this video.. However, i can't fully blame Mtv for having us served like that, because we served ourselves like that on a golden platter..

    What will we do about this regard? Or we going down the path of disregard?


    [update: True Life gathers enough hate online, causing the hype that was eventual..] - Last paragraph in the article didn't go well with me.. a Clear indication to what we need to work on in terms of how we address our problems.. and believe me, public lashing is not going to help.. Where's intellectual maturity when you need it, rather than burning the wicked witch by popular demand of the angry village mob..


    1. a paragraph to saudis xD
      wonderfully put, Lou!

    2. Cool
      maybe we should ask Al-Majd channel to do True Life..
      They understand Saudis better than anyone

    3. @LPArabia
      So we either stick to one extreme, or another extreme.. This "middle ground" only exists in fairytales, right?

      Thanks =D

    4. i couldn't disagree with you lou, i really hope we can reach out and make a change, because we are the tomorrow..well said!

      and be9ara7a FUCK breeze of the dying =/

    5. I agree, Anonymous.. We do hold the key to change.. Here's to hoping to be part of the cure, and not the diseases..

      Speaking of diseases, tone down the language buddy.. i don't like them too but not to THAT extent :D

      Aziz pissed me off the most.. We don't need a Saudi version of The Valley X'D

    6. lol my apologies Lou, but they really pissed me off, and well if your going to talk about Aziz it would be a waste of time my friend..

      oh and cheers to that :)

    7. First time visitor to your blog. I really enjoy your analysis of the episode.
      I am very happy for everyone part in the episode, yes, I might disagree with some points, but overall, it is great to represent some aspects of Saudi youth life.

    8. I agree.. The display of what Ahmed was doing, and how he was fighting for his causes from the inside out was really inspiring..

      Glad you liked it, and hope to see you around the blog more often :D