BoingBoing is promoting the new video for the song “Go Outside” from the music group Cults. The video features members of the band intercut and inserted into historical footage of the members of Jim Jones’ People’s Temple. The song itself is not bad, but I can’t help thinking of the tragic fate of all these people as the video makes it seem like they are dancing along. I feel like this video is at the least insensitive and at worst offensive to the memory of the poor people deluded by Jones’ twisted vision. The director, in his statement, claims: “…I am moved to say when we completed the video we were able to preview it for some of the survivors of the Jonestown Massacre, who expressed their appreciation of our focus on the lives of the People’s Temple members as opposed to exploiting the graphic images of the final tragedy. ”

Somehow, I don’t buy it. Perhaps they were trying to humanize the victims, but I think they missed the mark by so much that the final product is disquieting and difficult to watch. The “final tragedy” of the people in the videos is inextricably present in my mind as I’m watching this.

Now, the fact that the band itself is called Cults and regularly samples recordings of cult leaders is also bothersome, and potentially a warning sign as to where their sensitivities lie.

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