‘Mystified’: Morning Joe’s bizarre music video leaves viewers speechless

Commentary

It was in Flagstaff, Arizona, at the beginning of my first semester that I encountered MTV. Sitting in the student union at Northern Arizona University in 1982, I was mesmerized by this new entertainment medium.

That the marriage of music and video has had a profound (and often negative) effect on our culture is not new.

Decades later, it was with reluctance that I viewed former congressman and current MSNBC cable news host Joe Scarborough’s foray into the genre with Mystified, from his newly-released eponymous EP.

It’s a catchy, eighties-influenced tune, I’ll admit, but the video itself is difficult to watch, for two reasons: First, it’s the imagery- impossibly-rapid with hundreds, or perhaps thousands of scenes depicting mayhem. Included are nuclear bombs, guns, political personalities, explosions and a general dystopia, each a split-second long.

See it here:

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Second, the theme: Yes, it’s anti-Trump and a vulgar protest (and yes, our country has a rich history of protest songs), but overall, it really contributes nothing good to the public discourse.

In fact, by marrying the song to the imagery he has chosen, Scarborough is actively accelerating the worst apects of today’s culture, including anger, angst and apathy.

As Jonah Goldberg writes, “people are starting to follow politics like it’s entertainment.” And this isn’t good, he continues, because “the hitch is that once you start watching politics like it’s entertainment, you constantly crave novelty, freshness, new laughs and drama.”

None of that, in my book, is healthy for the Republic. The business of the country must be discussed soberly, rationally, and wisely.

After the shooting of Congressman Scalise and others on June 14, there was the usual talk about de-escalating and moderating our discourse. Scarborough is a savvy guy and (at least nominally) Republican.

At 54, he knows what buttons to push to get viewers and listeners to react. But he’s also intelligent enough – and one would hope wise enough – to know that this kind of entertainment can’t help heal the country.

Which is why I’m mystified.

[Jason Miko is currently a senior public relations executive in Tucson, Arizona, who has worked in various capacities in many of the countries of Southeastern Europe since 1992. He lived and worked in Macedonia from 1996 to 2003 as well more recently, working in humanitarian development and assistance, economic development, among other areas.]

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