Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Sing for Change Obama

UPDATE: It's back. The YouTube video is up and running. However, the page talking about it on Barack Obama's website is still gone -- ERROR: invalid page requested.

BUT-- Seth has recreated the original page from the cached version.


Question: Does "Sing for Change" still exist, even if the video on YouTube and the webpage on Barack Obama's campaign site are no longer available?

Answer: Yes.

The voices of the children making a joyful sound for their beloved leader, Barack Obama, still echo and the Sing for Change site remains.

Sing for Change chronicles a recent Sunday afternoon, when 22 children, ages 5-12, gathered to sing original songs in the belief that their singing would lift up our communities for the coming election. Light, hope, courage and love shine through these non-voting children who believe that their very best contribution to the Obama campaign is to sing.

Children, decked out in matching t-shirts, gather on a Sunday afternoon to sing original compositions, praising Barack Obama. It happens all the time. Ain't that America?

Not really. It's Hollywood. Very Hollywood.

Sing for Change was a confluence of hard work, good will, and shared vision. Inspired by ideas raised at a grassroots Obama fundraiser, a music teacher, Kathy Sawada, and the children composed and rehearsed the songs in less than two weeks. Several musicians heard of the effort and volunteered to accompany the children. Parents and older siblings designed and provided the T-Shirts and the banner. There’s a first for everything, but rarely do so many firsts come together at once: for the children and their parents, this is their first performance, first video, first banner, and first involvement with grassroots work on a presidential campaign.

As Sunday approached, a neighbor volunteered a home. Production wizards got wind of the project and offered their help in recording it. The likes of Jeff Zucker, Holly Schiffer, Peter Rosenfeld, Darin Moran, Jean Martin, Andy Blumenthal, and Nick Phoenix rearranged schedules to participate. Holly Schiffer was able to get three High Definition cameras (Panasonic HVX250’s), and an AVID editing facility. When Jeff Zucker went to pick up the camera package, Ted Schilowitz happened to be there and offered a RED camera set up on a SteadiCam.

What we accomplished in a few hours on a Sunday afternoon embodies the nature of the Obama campaign: its grassroots inspiration, its inclusiveness, its community building. People pitched in quickly for a cause that resonated with them. There were not many conditions: “Think this is a good idea? Want to help? Great. Sunday at 12:00.” At the heart of the project were 22 children and their music. The willingness of all involved to come together for them was a testament to our hope, unity, courage, joy and belief in the future represented by these children.

Oh, come on.

Twenty-two 5- through 12-year-old kids don't spontaneously come together to be a testament to "hope, unity, courage, joy and belief in the future."

This is downright creepy.

Apparently, their overzealous parents and the Obama campaign realized too late that this "grassroots" project had a very weird vibe.

They're not like the rest of us. They have an insulated existence. It's not surprising their crazed allegiance to Obama would manifest itself like this.

People have commented on the resemblance of Sing for Change to Hitler Youth.

As part of a propaganda campaign, children are trotted out to sing to their leaders -- Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Castro, Saddam Hussein, Kim Jong-Il.

The children of Sing for Change didn't just happen to get together in the neighborhood and put together their songs.

There was no "I've got an idea -- let's put on a show" moment. These kids didn't initiate this. This was orchestrated by their parents and other adults.

I'm not comfortable with little children singing songs of praise to a presidential candidate, how that candidate will make them happy and the world happy.

Some (most) are too young to understand what they're doing. They certainly personally didn't make an informed choice about whether to support Obama or John McCain. They didn't arrive at their own conclusions. They've been brainwashed.

It seems abusive to me.

The paragraph and lyrics below are from Obama’s official campaign website. The video was produced by NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker, Holly Schiffer, Peter Rosenfeld, Darin Moran, Jean Martin, Andy Blumenthal, and Nick Phoenix...
Music and lyrics by Lily Campbell (age 9)

We’re gonna spread happiness
We’re gonna spread freedom
Obama’s gonna change it
Obama’s gonna lead ‘em

We’re gonna change it
And rearrange it
We’re gonna change the world.

Music and lyrics by Kathy Sawada

Now’s the moment, lift each voice to sing
Sing with all your heart!
For our children, for our families,
Nations all joined as one.
Sing for joy and sing abundant peace,
Courage, justice, hope!
Sing together, hold each precious hand,
Lifting each other up;
Sing for vision, sing for unity,
Lifting our hearts to Sing!

Music and lyrics by Kathy Sawada

Yes we can
Lift each other up
In peace, in love, in hope
Change! Change!

Another low moment for Obama, another misstep by the Obama campaign.


Anonymous said...

This reminds me of the scene in "The Last Emperor" (1987 Best Picture) when the Culture Revolution Parade interrupts Pu Yi's morning bike ride. All the uniformed school children are chanting in unison, using synchronized hand and arm motions VERY similar to those used the "Sing for Change" video.

Seth said...

Here is a link to a picture of that Obama webpage that had the video. It proves that Obama officially supported it.

Seth said...

Even Better, I was able to recreate the original webpage from the obama website from the Google Cache and I have put it back on the internet. Here is a direct link.

Mary said...

Thanks, Seth. Great job.

I don't know why the video disappeared for a while.

Maybe some of the parents freaked when they realized that millions would be watching their kids sing to Obama.

Taking it down was probably just a knee-jerk reaction when people responded so negatively to it.

Anonymous said...

Extremely creepy; but realize Obama's camapign is very open, practically anyone can be an active member, post to the website etc. this does not in any way mean that Obama supports this. He's probably embarassed as hell

Mary said...

I'd be surprised if he's embarrassed.

After the Obama-palooza at Invesco Field, I can't imagine Obama being embarrassed by the "Obama Youth" singing his praises.

Anonymous said...

The Sing for Change website appears to have been taken down. It's up to blogs like yours and mine to make sure this stuff stays on the internet, so people know how creepy this is!

Mary said...

It's up. It's down. It's up. It's down again.

Flip flopping. So what else is new?

Anonymous said...

Dies macht mich die Tage lang von meiner Jugend so stolz & nostalgisch... im SS.

Mary said...

I don't speak German, but I get the point.