Nov 3, 2011
Stand Up - a lesson in political expression
Mana has released a brilliant piece of electioneering. Stand Up is a fusion of reggae, rap and hip hop from Genocide and Rah. The song is an outstanding example of political expression. The message is immediately apparent – stand up and join the political process – and the subtext is easily understood too – join/vote Mana for change. Given the genre (reggae/hip hop) the song is clearly aimed at a younger demographic. One of Mana’s focuses is the youth vote. So far the movement has relied on the fact young people are naturally drawn to Hone’s “rebel” persona and anti-establishment rhetoric and policy, but until now the movement hadn’t really taken many active steps to encourage young people to participate in politics (I should clarify that when I refer to young I don’t mean all young people - mainly Maori and Pasifika and, but to a lesser extent, poor Pakeha). The lyrics are reminiscent of the protest songs of the 80’s. The song speaks of the 1% “taking our land” (aimed at Maori voters), the “streets” (aimed at urban youth), but I particularly enjoyed the line “the left and right paradigm obey the corporations”. The song creates a clear dichotomy – it’s us against them. The 99% vs the 1%. Now I don’t think this song is going to take off, I do think it will play a part in encouraging more young people to vote Mana though, but it’s not going to generate a mass movement.
(Sorry I'm having trouble embedding the video so you can follow this link instead).
UPDATE: Josh points out in the comments section that there is no authorisation statement - this could spell trouble.