Angry Birds and Big Pigs

Tama Leaver alerted me to the fascinating viral video, Three Big Pigs, an Angry Birds/Disney mashup video that satirizes the political situation in the Middle East. The video was produced by Russian mashup satirist Egor Zhgun. Ethan Zuckerman offers one of the most thorough discussions of the video and Zhgun’s prior work, much of which satirizes Russian politics, and points out the video’s status as part of a globalized media culture: “There’s something very 2011 about a Russian video using a soundtrack from American cartoons and characters from a Finnish mobile phone game (based on an English fairytale) to satirize North African politics.”

I’ll admit that until I read Tama’s blog post, I knew very little about the Angry Birds game (which probably kills my current hipness quotient), but even with little background in the game, at least some of the humor translates, and as Zuckerman also notes, Angry Birds has become a part of the lexicon when it comes to political satire, as this video commenting on the Israel-Palestine negotiations suggests. Finally, Zuckerman raises some interesting questions about whether the video will be threatened with a takedown notice, given that it uses the soundtrack to an old Disney short. Videos like these make me want to revive my somewhat-dormant research on online political satire.

4 Comments »

  1. Wayne Said,

    April 1, 2011 @ 9:39 am

    You should do that like to read your take

  2. Chuck Said,

    April 1, 2011 @ 9:42 am

    I have a conference paper proposed for later this year, so if it’s accepted, I may have to. I could probably assemble a short book relatively quickly, given that I already have a couple of articles out that address it.

  3. Gregory Sadler Said,

    April 1, 2011 @ 10:17 am

    As an Angry Birds player and a longtime follower of middle-eastern politics, I love it — especially the democracy/theocracy bit — of course, they could also have incorporated some other birds too — red for the communists, yellow. . . white .. . But altogether a great vid

  4. Chuck Said,

    April 1, 2011 @ 10:45 am

    I read the use of blue birds as a commentary on Twitter euphoria, which seems more crucial given some of the silly triumphalism associated with social media, but you have a good point.

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