When Donald Glover released his mercurial music video “This Is America” earlier this year, I had the luck of catching its upload in the first few minutes.
Like millions after me, I danced along with Donald for the first thirty seconds, then dropped my jaw in astonishment when he stretched behind his back, pulled out a gun, and shot the man sitting in front of him in cold blood. Once the beat dropped and the background dissolved into chaos, it was clear the video was destined to be an instant internet phenomenon - and, sure enough, the next few hours…
At first, you hear the embers crackling beneath the black screen. Then, two men appear; and a fire, of course, sputtering loudly, orange glaze gleaming against the night.
The man sitting in frame left calmly hits a cigarette. You know him already. From Even Stevens to Transformers, rousing green screen speeches to drunken tirades against Las Vegas police — why, that’s Shia LaBeouf, and he’s a celebrity. Sure doesn’t look like one at this moment, though, as he absentmindedly scratches his armpit and asks his screen-mate a question.
“You ever been, uh, camping with strangers?”
“Nuh-uh,” responds the bespectacled man…
I waited to take a stab at writing this because I’m naturally soft-spoken, and that’s taught me that in a room full of chaos, the louder voices will drown everything out. But, everyone eventually needs to breathe; and when there’s silence again, when panic turns to pondering — that’s when to jump in.
Of course, I don’t want to talk aimlessly. I wouldn’t speak unless I thought I had something to say. Here’s why I do, in bullet points because that’s easiest.
i have an idea