Gotta love how Newsnight attempt to patronise Odd Future and their supporters. The fact that a pop-up shop, something pioneered by fashion and art brands, is smirked at implying that the group can’t sell records is unusual. It comes across as a childish tactic, reinforcing my view that this interview is essentially an old person attempting to subject a group of young people to subtle ridicule because of a failure to understand them. In fact, the presenter fails to comprehend this generation’s music industry entirely, suggesting he is out of touch with today’s world and therefore shouldn’t comment.
With a pompous attitude of, ‘our revolution was so much more significant than yours’, the interviewer plays down the aspects of Odd Future’s success that are in fact revolutionary. Such as, they are a group of teenagers who have toured the world just years after releasing their projects for free. That’s a lot more game-changing than Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols calling a presenter, “A fucking rotter” back in 1976.
The ‘tax-evasion’ claims come out of left field, but it’s interesting that the presenter says, “Not paying taxes is for rich British people” (he might as well have said ‘white’). He’s a little too concerned that a group of young black guys are potentially evading the system, you can almost hear him thinking, ‘But I thought tax-evasion was only for the rich white people!’. A technique strangely reminiscent of gangsters jailed for tax evasion, because they can’t be charged with any other criminal activity.
Overall, this is horribly embarrassing. But it’s quite funny to see both sides attempt to goad each other as Tyler plays up to the character he knows the interviewer is expecting. I feel like Newsnight planned this feature in order to gain controversial clips that the BBC will shove down our throats for decades, but they failed massively. Instead they come across like immature teenagers attempting to appear aloof to their peers while quietly competing against them.
Ultimately it is Alexis Petridis who hits the nail on the head when he says, “Before that it was about… pitting generations against each other.” Though speaking in a different context, he sums up what Newsnight are attempting with the feature. Ironic that it proves the laziness of the producers, who have failed to see the intrigue of a group like Odd Future and instead paint them as wannabe rebels, unable to gain a following through their music. Those aware of them, will know this is untrue.
It’s essentially just one more negative portrayal of youth to add to the BBC’s collection. But hey, being negative is much easier than being positive, right?
Sidenote: Are the BBC using the same cameras from my childhood? This shit looks like archive footage from the 90s.