Thursday, March 18, 2010

Kill Akon? Really?

With all this negativity about Akon coming down on Facebook, I sometimes wonder what some of us are on about. Let’s reminisce to the day Shah Rukh and his sequined entourage came down. It was purely a show for fans and a good crowd puller to jaded war-tired people, the masses. But a grenade was thrown, over 3 people died, and we instantly forgot how mental the whole situation was. Not to mention, the stars fled back home, made more movies and money, furthered their industry, became more popular world-wide and bought their own cricket teams.

To me, Akon equals good publicity to Sri Lanka and a step up as a brand. Places like Singapore go to town when international artists come down, so this gives us the same opportunity. I heard that 10,000 Maldivians are planning to come over for the concert, which maybe heresay but its good heresay.

About the Buddha statue in his video. Well, there’s enough and more examples where statues are used as ornaments in the West and pictures are used on bikinis. It’s a poor choice and an exhibition of ignorance but then again, what can you expect? During one of my earlier rant-y posts on Buddha Bars, Pseudo gave me some golden advice about substituting the anger for understanding. and something on the lines of what is important to a true Buddhist... I can’t really remember the rest. Sorry P!

Anyway back to Akon; the highly publicized grinding with the 15 year old’ issue, was wrong, but the FB site seems to have a holier than thou attitude whereas at any given Sri Lankan club on a Saturday night are tons of little kids grinding away at each other too.

The point of this post is not to say bollocks to the people slamming the concert on FB. I’m personally not a big fan of Akon either. I find his voice whiny, songs repetitive and lyrics plain dumb. One exception maybe ‘Sexy B****’, but that’s because it’s pumped up with David Guetta’s collaboration. BUT my point is, its music, and everyone is entitled to their likes.

Perhaps we need to close our eyes and sacrifice our *cough* “values” for the sake of development as a country, as a brand. Look at the red light district Vs Theravada Buddhism in Thailand, and the proposed casinos in Singapore. Not that an international star equals development in Sri Lanka, but isn’t it a start? I’m still mulling that over.

Perhaps we need to be a little less angry, give it a chance and see what positives we can get out of it rather than killing him and embarrassing ourselves all together. To the rest of you, I’ll see you on the 24th.


  1. Sri Lankans just look for some reason to be an oppose just about everything. It's sad but that is the mindset of the majority.
    Good post, Dee :)

  2. First off... Hurray! First Post!

    Second, people are a little myopic so they just piggyback on the hatewave, cos its the in-thing to do. Really we need this kind of stuff to be a success.

    Good post!

  3. Congratulations on getting on Matawaada and the first post Dee! :D

    I just hate Akon man, but yeah, everyone's entitled to their likes... I wouldn't want anyone throwing bombs at a concert of an artist I like, and people should just learn to extrapolate that to other people's POVs, yeah? :)

  4. Great post Dee... the whole "lolwhut??" factor shoots sky high when ppl say "he insulted buddhism, keeel him!!" when that's totally going against the tenents of the dhamma...

    I sometimes think that Sri Lankans share a lot of genes with lemmings...

  5. All this Kill Akon and Kill Sharook and kill everything else campaigns display the naked ignorance of so call majority of people who call themselves Buddhists - and I use the word Majority with confident in here.

  6. What Sri Lankans forget is that we are in the middle of the East and the West and there are loads of artistes and singers who happen to fly-past very often. We could easily capitalise on the location, like they say, its location, location and location!

    If we manage to revive the entertainment scene, we could be hosting many more to come – provided that we build great venues with all the necessary facilities. That’s how Dubai managed to be a hub of entertainment in record time; we too can easily do that.

  7. Congrats Dee! Good Post.

    Well...i think in a way this cultural police is somewhat encouraged by petty political means as well...i agree with kolu in this. Most of the time its the ignorance and the silence of the majority which leads to very ugly incidents. If you take the SRK case, i dont think many of the Sri lankans accept what happened there...

  8. What about freedom of expression.. What about the rights of people "who hate akon" on Facebook?

    They're excecising their right of peaceful opposition. There's really nothing wrong with that. Instead of bashing them here, where most of them dont see it, why dont u create a group in FB supporting Akon and his slander of Buddhism

  9. Congratz Dee :) nice post.

    Personally speaking, I think that stuff in the video is very much out of line. (If those dancers were giving a lap dance in front of a crucifix with Christ or a caricature of the Prophet, there'd probably be a far more drastic global opposition I'd say) I dont buy the argument that just because it brings money to the country we should bring this sort of people, keep quiet and let it slide. And this doesnt apply to all western entertainment. Bryan Adams, Inner Circle, Air Supply, UB40 etc. concerts happened very successfully and there was nothing like this there.

    While i think it more than justified to strongly voice distaste, it goes without saying that it must stop short of violence. Its just not Buddhist to be advocating that kind of hate.

  10. Nice topic on the table Dee..

    Well, The whole Akon concert is a great kick off to Sri Lankan image in the entertainment industry, but to build our so called brand this is not necessarily the only way. Nat geo adventure has graded Sri Lanka as the second best place to visit in 2010... so we have alternatives..

    About Akon's behaviour, its acceptable for many dirty minder so I'l leave it at that.
    kids grinding in clubs (like Akon does in that video), that's something unseen in many clubs I've been to in SL like...

    The point is we all need entertainment but loosing the gravity of our culture, values n risking it all for our future generation is something that we should look at..

  11. @Acromantula

    how does "KILL AKON" equate to "peaceful opposition"?

  12. I don't remember anyone making a fuss about "Funky Buddah". That is by far the worst example that i can give.
    But if we do something crazy such as grenade Akon we're going to be labelled as extremists and our tourists from the US will drop.


  13. @rosetintedview random side note - we actually don't get much US tourists due to other substitutes available for them, and the distance. It's more EU, East European and Russians according to my dad, who's in tourism.

  14. hmm I cant trackback so.

  15. I hope Akon will get hurt from not allowing him to visit Lanka. Will he loose money coz of it? Or will he start learning Buddhism? or stop making songs and videos? Akon is just a person who makes money by entertaining people.

    Is our culture safe now? or did we show the true Buddhism to the world?

    What you going to do for the person who owns the pool? I dont think that anyone will have a swim fully dressed in that pool. hehehe.

    If anyone hate this type of videos or people please stop watching these kind of stuff. Too bad you have watched it and promoting it.

    Good post Dee and you made the point. Hope everyone enjoyed it

  16. that was a really good post *thumbs up*

    the weird part is no one is questioning Akon's behavior at concerts. :S

    PS- this is a really good blog, keep it up :)

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