OK we all know the famous Barak O’Bama video that all the stars made and put on YouTube back when the campaign was really interesting (gosh – it seems like a year ago already!).
Well, I came across something really good. I rarely delve into the front-end of political campaigns, preferring to go after foundational stuff and basic principles rather than criticize sound bites and grimaces on some tired stumper’s face.
However, if it is really funny, I am sorely tempted; and if it showed how HUMAN (silly) politicos are, I can no longer resist.
This one is a RIOT.
The other day my two-year-old came walking into the room chanting “YES-WE-CAN!” with an enthusiasm and coherence that startled us (mostly the coherence thing). Our jaws dropped and we both stared at each other. Was he an Obama fan? Had he been watching political speeches? Incredible! This was too much; we had to get to the source.
Upon interrogation (difficult with a 2-year-old) he pointed to his little DVD player. He started it up and we heard a crowd chanting “Yes we can!” On HIS DVD player! Peering more closely, it was a crowd of 2-10 year-old’s in an audience at a Bob the Builder live stage show.
Here’s a good video of a Brit talent show where a bunch of people (looks like a school group) does their own rendition – has the stage group chanting “Can we fix it?” and the crowd shouting back “Yes We Can!” (I’ll tell you, even in this group, especially in this group – I see hope for the human race. If I were a presidential candidate, I would consider stealing this momentum as well!)
This was too much! I had gotten him the DVD but never listened to it. Could it be, after all the plagiarism ‘non-scandals‘ of the past 6 months, that Obama had ripped off a kids’ show for his famous phrase? I couldn’t believe it. What even pales beyond that is that the press mostly missed it!
It seems the part of the video where Obama says “three words that will ring from coast to coast and from sea to shining sea – ‘Yes We Can'” are a little presumptuous. Those words were ALREADY ringing from coast to coast – thousands upon thousands of kids 2-10, responding to Bob the Builders chant: “Can We Fix it? YES WE CAN! Can we build it? YES! WE CAN!
Searching my memory, I recalled the thing about O’bama admitting some borrowing from other people, but never heard of him borrowing from Bob.
Think about it: If Obama could preface another use of a catchy phrase with I’m stealing this line from my buddy Deval Patrick, why on earth could he not have also said “I’m borrowing this infectious chant from my buddy Bob the Builder – Yes we can fix it!” or something like that?
And since the media was in such a frenzy after the so called plagiarists (they attacked all three front-runners) why did they largely miss this one? Not to mention all the celebrities who helped make the Obama YouTube video which freely used the phrase – the very same celebrities who are so picky when anyone ‘borrows’ any of their words from their shows or songs – how could they so blithely ride on poor Bob’s powerful words with not one iota of credit given?
It just shows what the world has come to. Why not fix the basics? The KIDS HAVE IT RIGHT! Give them credit! (Honestly, I have HOPE that kids could fix Washington! – sorta like the kid who cried out “That emperor has no clothes on!” Did not the ancients say – “a little child shall lead them.”)
Well, it seems I was not the first person to catch the unheralded plagiarism. Some really creative souls even did some YouTube work. Here is a brief overview:
Someone did a remix here that put the Bob the Builder footage into the superstars clip and ended up the whole thing with what looks like a 4-year-old who says “Yes We Can America! Obama 2008” This one is already spinning the possible scandal towards a pro-Obama twist! Hire that guy for campaign PR!
Here’s another one more satirical and more artistic! You have to go all the way to the subtitles with this one!
This one is a real hoot! It starts with the Bob The Builder theme and has Obama driving a backhoe over the political roadbloacks (people) in Washington to FIX IT! Actually my favorite.
You know, the more I think about this, the more I ask: Why steal it? Why not just attach it? Obama is still searching for the perfect VP – running mate. It seems clear – the real momentum is with Bob the Builder!
What a dream ticket!