Badu

So, TBAers, what are we to think of the new Erykah Badu Window Seat video? (In case you haven't heard, careful where you watch if the kids are around or you're at work. She does strip bare in the video.)

Badu has been fined $500 and charged with disorderly conduct for her video, shot in Dallas on March 13th. The video was shot in Dealey Plaza, which, if you're like me and have sometimes inexplicable intellectual obsession with moments of history or are just really great with history, is where former President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

But the video, and response to it, raises interesting discussions. Some people were upset that Badu stripped with small children around. Some people were upset that she selected Dealey Plaza as the location for her video, which ends in Badu's assassination with a single gun shot. Some people say it's artistic and wonderful and that we shouldn't be afraid of a woman taking all her clothes off, as it's for art rather than objectification or subjugation.

If Badu's message was about pushing boundaries (something I like and like to do) and about not conforming, being an individual to combat Groupthink, does getting naked help us think about these ideas, or, as Jezebel notes, does her booty get in the way of us thinking about her artistic message? Most reactions to the video fall under comments about nudity, comments about the JFK connection, and comments about whether or not this video "goes too far" and hardly ever mention that individuality and thinking for yourself are good things. So what do we do with this video? And, does an artist always have to explain their art if it's controversial?

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