ISIS Karaoke: dropping songs, not bombs, across the Twittersphere!

Published September 9th, 2015 - 05:13 GMT

Rate Article:

 
PRINT Send Mail
comment (0)

Here’s a pitch perfect way to parody terror that empowers people too. The idea behind a new Twitter feed called ISIS Karaoke couldn’t be simpler. Grab an image of a terrorist (or any advocate of hate) gripping a microphone, pair it with a Western pop song lyric, and create comedy haiku that instantly satirizes an otherwise somber situation. Then send the silly couplets flying ‘round on social media. Watch each resulting giggle deflate demonic dreadfulness.

ISIS Karaoke’s first tweet took flight on August 16. One day later the site had gained nearly 1,000 followers.Today - just 48 tweets later - the site has nearly 43,000 fans. Continue reading below »

View as list
Daesh chief Abu Bakr al Baghdadi starred from day one, crooning a Material Girl hit and - befitting the tune -  wearing a watch thought to be a Rolex.  CNN later reported the timepiece was a $560 'Islamic watch' from Saudi-based watchmaker Al-Fajr, programmable to alert correct prayer times.  Wonder why he didn't go with her 'Four Minutes'?
Reduce

Image 1 of 9:  1 / 9Daesh chief Abu Bakr al Baghdadi starred from day one, crooning a Material Girl hit and - befitting the tune - wearing a watch thought to be a Rolex. CNN later reported the timepiece was a $560 "Islamic watch" from Saudi-based watchmaker Al-Fajr, programmable to alert correct prayer times. Wonder why he didn't go with her "Four Minutes"?

Enlarge
Most of the images are taken from Daesh propaganda. Some of the tweets get a tad meta, with lyrics actually underscoring key elements of the scene, as with this singer with a prosthetic hook.  When he's done with his performance, let's give him a hand.
Reduce

Image 2 of 9:  2 / 9Most of the images are taken from Daesh propaganda. Some of the tweets get a tad meta, with lyrics actually underscoring key elements of the scene, as with this singer with a prosthetic hook. When he's done with his performance, let's give him a hand.

Enlarge
Microphones are seen everywhere in ISIS propaganda as footsoldiers lecture on their version of faith to captivated (or is that captive?) audiences in towns and villages across Iraq and Syria. The endless supply of 'open mike' images ensure ISIS Karaoke will have plenty of fresh material.
Reduce

Image 3 of 9:  3 / 9Microphones are seen everywhere in ISIS propaganda as footsoldiers lecture on their version of faith to captivated (or is that captive?) audiences in towns and villages across Iraq and Syria. The endless supply of "open mike" images ensure ISIS Karaoke will have plenty of fresh material.

Enlarge
Daesh's hatred of music is well-documented ;their interrogations often include questions about musical preferences, which can indicate whether a person is Shia or Sunni. Even telephone ringtones have been used as evidence of apostate belief. Al-Qaeda also bans music of all kinds, but it appears choreographed dance is still halal.
Reduce

Image 4 of 9:  4 / 9Daesh's hatred of music is well-documented ;their interrogations often include questions about musical preferences, which can indicate whether a person is Shia or Sunni. Even telephone ringtones have been used as evidence of apostate belief. Al-Qaeda also bans music of all kinds, but it appears choreographed dance is still halal.

Enlarge
This preacher in Raqqa, the Daesh's center of operation in Syria, apparently prays at the altar of Queen Bey. Safe bet that if she (and co-singer Shakira) were asked about this, they'd paraphrase 'Beautiful Liar' and tell him, 'We don't like to be played!'
Reduce

Image 5 of 9:  5 / 9This preacher in Raqqa, the Daesh's center of operation in Syria, apparently prays at the altar of Queen Bey. Safe bet that if she (and co-singer Shakira) were asked about this, they'd paraphrase 'Beautiful Liar' and tell him, "We don't like to be played!"

Enlarge
Satire is a stage that invites epic fails. Brutality is hard to joke about. Daesh isn’t intuitively comic, and audiences may not be receptive to seeing humor in inhumanity. So, revisit the words of master comedian Mel Brooks, that by using the medium of comedy, we can try to rob these killers of their power and myths.
Reduce

Image 6 of 9:  6 / 9Satire is a stage that invites epic fails. Brutality is hard to joke about. Daesh isn’t intuitively comic, and audiences may not be receptive to seeing humor in inhumanity. So, revisit the words of master comedian Mel Brooks, that by using the medium of comedy, we can try to rob these killers of their power and myths.

Enlarge
Egyptian Bassem Youssef, a devout Muslim, never criticised Islam – but he did poke fun of those Islamists he felt were tainting Islam’s image. “I’m not touching religion,” he said in an interview with The Guardian,  “I’m actually attacking people who are using religion and give [it] a bad name.”
Reduce

Image 7 of 9:  7 / 9Egyptian Bassem Youssef, a devout Muslim, never criticised Islam – but he did poke fun of those Islamists he felt were tainting Islam’s image. “I’m not touching religion,” he said in an interview with The Guardian, “I’m actually attacking people who are using religion and give [it] a bad name.”

Enlarge
The late Peter Cook, a major influence on Western comedy, summed up the power of satire when he explained how he modelled his UK comedy club, The Establishment, on the Weimar cabarets of Berlin, which he believed undermined the rise of Adolf Hitler. Satire isn’t a way to change injustice, it’s a way to make living with it more bearable.
Reduce

Image 8 of 9:  8 / 9The late Peter Cook, a major influence on Western comedy, summed up the power of satire when he explained how he modelled his UK comedy club, The Establishment, on the Weimar cabarets of Berlin, which he believed undermined the rise of Adolf Hitler. Satire isn’t a way to change injustice, it’s a way to make living with it more bearable.

Enlarge
A comedy series called 'Selfie' on Saudi TV openly mocked Daesh, pulling in plaudits and death threats for its star, Nasser al Qasabi. Someone tweeted, “You will regret everything you said. The Jihadists will not be calm until your head is chopped off.” No wonder ISIS Karaoke's founder uses a pseudonym.  Let's hope he keeps calm, and tweets on.
Reduce

Image 9 of 9:  9 / 9A comedy series called "Selfie" on Saudi TV openly mocked Daesh, pulling in plaudits and death threats for its star, Nasser al Qasabi. Someone tweeted, “You will regret everything you said. The Jihadists will not be calm until your head is chopped off.” No wonder ISIS Karaoke's founder uses a pseudonym. Let's hope he keeps calm, and tweets on.

Enlarge

1

Daesh chief Abu Bakr al Baghdadi starred from day one, crooning a Material Girl hit and - befitting the tune -  wearing a watch thought to be a Rolex.  CNN later reported the timepiece was a $560 'Islamic watch' from Saudi-based watchmaker Al-Fajr, programmable to alert correct prayer times.  Wonder why he didn't go with her 'Four Minutes'?

Image 1 of 9Daesh chief Abu Bakr al Baghdadi starred from day one, crooning a Material Girl hit and - befitting the tune - wearing a watch thought to be a Rolex. CNN later reported the timepiece was a $560 "Islamic watch" from Saudi-based watchmaker Al-Fajr, programmable to alert correct prayer times. Wonder why he didn't go with her "Four Minutes"?

2

Most of the images are taken from Daesh propaganda. Some of the tweets get a tad meta, with lyrics actually underscoring key elements of the scene, as with this singer with a prosthetic hook.  When he's done with his performance, let's give him a hand.

Image 2 of 9Most of the images are taken from Daesh propaganda. Some of the tweets get a tad meta, with lyrics actually underscoring key elements of the scene, as with this singer with a prosthetic hook. When he's done with his performance, let's give him a hand.

3

Microphones are seen everywhere in ISIS propaganda as footsoldiers lecture on their version of faith to captivated (or is that captive?) audiences in towns and villages across Iraq and Syria. The endless supply of 'open mike' images ensure ISIS Karaoke will have plenty of fresh material.

Image 3 of 9Microphones are seen everywhere in ISIS propaganda as footsoldiers lecture on their version of faith to captivated (or is that captive?) audiences in towns and villages across Iraq and Syria. The endless supply of "open mike" images ensure ISIS Karaoke will have plenty of fresh material.

4

Daesh's hatred of music is well-documented ;their interrogations often include questions about musical preferences, which can indicate whether a person is Shia or Sunni. Even telephone ringtones have been used as evidence of apostate belief. Al-Qaeda also bans music of all kinds, but it appears choreographed dance is still halal.

Image 4 of 9Daesh's hatred of music is well-documented ;their interrogations often include questions about musical preferences, which can indicate whether a person is Shia or Sunni. Even telephone ringtones have been used as evidence of apostate belief. Al-Qaeda also bans music of all kinds, but it appears choreographed dance is still halal.

5

This preacher in Raqqa, the Daesh's center of operation in Syria, apparently prays at the altar of Queen Bey. Safe bet that if she (and co-singer Shakira) were asked about this, they'd paraphrase 'Beautiful Liar' and tell him, 'We don't like to be played!'

Image 5 of 9This preacher in Raqqa, the Daesh's center of operation in Syria, apparently prays at the altar of Queen Bey. Safe bet that if she (and co-singer Shakira) were asked about this, they'd paraphrase 'Beautiful Liar' and tell him, "We don't like to be played!"

6

Satire is a stage that invites epic fails. Brutality is hard to joke about. Daesh isn’t intuitively comic, and audiences may not be receptive to seeing humor in inhumanity. So, revisit the words of master comedian Mel Brooks, that by using the medium of comedy, we can try to rob these killers of their power and myths.

Image 6 of 9Satire is a stage that invites epic fails. Brutality is hard to joke about. Daesh isn’t intuitively comic, and audiences may not be receptive to seeing humor in inhumanity. So, revisit the words of master comedian Mel Brooks, that by using the medium of comedy, we can try to rob these killers of their power and myths.

7

Egyptian Bassem Youssef, a devout Muslim, never criticised Islam – but he did poke fun of those Islamists he felt were tainting Islam’s image. “I’m not touching religion,” he said in an interview with The Guardian,  “I’m actually attacking people who are using religion and give [it] a bad name.”

Image 7 of 9Egyptian Bassem Youssef, a devout Muslim, never criticised Islam – but he did poke fun of those Islamists he felt were tainting Islam’s image. “I’m not touching religion,” he said in an interview with The Guardian, “I’m actually attacking people who are using religion and give [it] a bad name.”

8

The late Peter Cook, a major influence on Western comedy, summed up the power of satire when he explained how he modelled his UK comedy club, The Establishment, on the Weimar cabarets of Berlin, which he believed undermined the rise of Adolf Hitler. Satire isn’t a way to change injustice, it’s a way to make living with it more bearable.

Image 8 of 9The late Peter Cook, a major influence on Western comedy, summed up the power of satire when he explained how he modelled his UK comedy club, The Establishment, on the Weimar cabarets of Berlin, which he believed undermined the rise of Adolf Hitler. Satire isn’t a way to change injustice, it’s a way to make living with it more bearable.

9

A comedy series called 'Selfie' on Saudi TV openly mocked Daesh, pulling in plaudits and death threats for its star, Nasser al Qasabi. Someone tweeted, “You will regret everything you said. The Jihadists will not be calm until your head is chopped off.” No wonder ISIS Karaoke's founder uses a pseudonym.  Let's hope he keeps calm, and tweets on.

Image 9 of 9A comedy series called "Selfie" on Saudi TV openly mocked Daesh, pulling in plaudits and death threats for its star, Nasser al Qasabi. Someone tweeted, “You will regret everything you said. The Jihadists will not be calm until your head is chopped off.” No wonder ISIS Karaoke's founder uses a pseudonym. Let's hope he keeps calm, and tweets on.

Reduce

BuzzFeed's Hussein Kesvani contacted the site's founder (known only as "Jimmy") who told him, "Mel Brooks once said something about laughing at the barbaric (in his case, the Nazis) and I guess that's all I'm doing really." 

What Brooks actually said, in a 2006 interview with Spiegel, was, "By using the medium of comedy, we can try to rob Hitler of his posthumous power and myths." He conceded that aspects of terror are off limits for laughs, but the inversion of power is always alluring.  Flipping the script can be freeing.

Media mythologizes Daesh, presenting them as they wish to be seen, unstoppable warriors on a messianic mission. This is core to their recruiting. But what if we refute that storyline and cast them instead as fallible buffoons? Turning menacing madmen into wannabe warblers is a social way to erode their power. Take a look at the world’s biggest karaoke bar.  Laughter is the best medicine.

 

Advertisement

Add a new comment

 avatar