Music Video of the Day: Paradise In Distress by Golden Earring (1999, dir. ???)


I had to do this video eventually. It might as well be on Election Day or Inauguration Day. I decided to go with Election Day. There’s never a time this video wouldn’t be controversial to spotlight anyways.

I’m hardly a history expert, so numerous people in the stock footage are unfamiliar to me. However, I do recognize some, and thanks to a YouTube comment, I have been able to look up a fair amount of the ones I didn’t know, such as Mobutu Sese Seko, Ferdinand Marcos, Jean-Bédel Bokassa, and Megawati Sukarnoputri. You could play this back-to-back with Cult Of Personality by Living Colour because all the people featured in the stock footage had or have a cult of personality around them, whether you agreed with them or not.

There’s something that’s easy to miss in the video if you aren’t familiar with their 80s videos. They did one called The Devil Made Me Do It that might as well be sung from the perspective of a guy in a film noir that was drawn into criminal actions by a spider woman, and would like to be let off the hook as a result. The parts with the band are largely done with lead singer Barry Hay looking upwards as if he is singing to God in order to pardon him for the crimes he has committed. You’ll notice that near the end of this video, the camera goes up so that Hay is looking upwards like he did in The Devil Made Me Do It. Seeing as this video starts off with confession, I imagine that was done on purpose.

I don’t know who the director of the video is, but there is someone in the YouTube comments section that seems to say that they were the one who did it:

OMG. I so forgot I did this one as CD-extra for them in 1999. Just found it back on an old back up! KREWL!!!

Whoever did it, I think they did a good job. It’s one of my favorite political videos along with America by Kurtis Blow and Cult Of Personality by Living Colour, both of which make use of stock footage.

Enjoy!

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