Reggie Watts: Disinformation
-posted by Patrick Alan Coleman
I have a feeling that somewhere in Reggie Watts’ brain, the BBC got all up in the face of MTV. Paranoid AM Radio came in to break up the fracas but was soon enmeshed in the conflict and before long, PBS and BET got involved in the melee. I can only imagine that the ensuing, epic battle of cultural influences, raging across his corpus collosum is what gave rise to the madness of Mr. Watts’ program, Disinformation. It’s either that or drugs. Probably both.
If you have been in earshot of any conversation involving spiritual counter-culture, you’ve likely heard of the doomed year: 2012. This is the end of the Mayan calendar and to some, the end of time. The end of time has been a constant subject for fringe societies. The idea has become mainstream as evangelical Christians pour Revelations across the television airwaves. The end is nigh? Who knows, but if it is, says Mr. Watts, we might as well make the best of it. “All of this will be destroyed, and that’s awesome.”
I agree with that statement. I mean, isn’t there a certain comfort in giving in to Armageddon? It takes some of the pressure off. For instance, should the massive caldera that is Yellowstone National Park suddenly erupt, all our daily worries would be reduced to nothing. So, how important can they be, after all?
Honestly, is there any better job for a self-described “anthropological humorist” than exploring the human reaction to the end of time? I don’t think so. Mr. Watts has certainly put in his work and research. Over the course of Disinformation the audience is plunged into the mélange of a human society, perched on the cusp of timelessness. That society, it turns out, is a kind of babbling mass of absurdity. Robotic, chaotic and broken down, the population of Mr. Watts’ world is doing what it can to use everything up before the clock strikes midnight on January 1, 2011. Accompanied by an agile company of dancers, video projections and Mr. Watt’s incomparable, voice generated, beat box rhythms, they are also having one hell of a good time. It’s a regular post-modern orgy, but imbued with the immediacy of eminent catastrophe. Wait a second, that’s what’s happening outside my window on a daily basis. Hmmm…
This is not to say that all is hopelessness and resignation. Mr. Watts balances the program with some cutting commentary re. consumption. One rousing hip-hop/soul groove includes the chorus, “the more that you use, the less that you are.”
Mr. Watts’ chaotic and dynamic program is quite funny. And even though it seemes to lag towards the end, there are so many layers to dissect in the dialogue and images, that there is little chance of being bored.
If 2012 is the end of time, then I would like to spend it in the company of Mr. Watts. If Disinformation is any hint as to the New Years party he’d throw, sign me up.