26 April 2012

Third World Saves First World For Only $480 a Day

This satire is brilliant and its teeth are quite sharp.

"On this spot," as Trevor Noah, crouched down, rubs the ground with his hand, "there was a Jacuzzi hot tub." Noah lifts his hand and rubs his fingers together, "Now, there is no Jacuzzi hot tub." He opens his palm and quickly blows off the dirt. With his other hand, Noah cleans his seemingly dirty hand while he looks into the camera and the viewer to emphasize the gravity of his statement.

He knows the common tactics of charity communications all too well in this video. Its success is putting into context the American recession with the majority of the world. Some will complain that it is too simple and he is making light of what is a very serious situation for some Americans. No doubt that is true, but why then are we OK with the same form of narrative about the poor in the global south? Isn't there much more going on than what is captured in a single 5 minute or less video?

Noah succeeds in providing perspective in both a local and global way. Give it a watch for yourself and share what you think.

Bonus: Africa is a Country recently reviewed Noah's stand up performance on NBC’s “Late Night with Jay Leno.”

HT TMS Ruge for the video