We did a photo session for a magazine the other day, and I told the interviewer that on this song, by the time you get to the chorus, she owns it — she's turned it into a Santigold song. Perfect.
There are six of these videos that have been completed for this project. Most, like this one, use news and archival footage to, well, show that every word of the song is true! Most of the lyrics on this one are lifted gently from interviews and quotations — the "please don't" chorus especially. At some point as first lady, Imelda began to feel that she could help Philippine interests by charming world leaders into seeing things her way. "Handbag diplomacy" she called it — as she liked to imply that to solve a problem, she could bypass President Marcos and just grab a handbag and hop on a plane with some of her assistants. It sometimes worked! There was, for example, an Islamic-backed insurgency rising in the south of the Philippine archipelago, and she thought that a leader in that part of the world, Qaddafi in this case, might help pull the plug on that support if he saw things her way. Apparently he did — the funding stopped and the insurrection lost momentum, and she later described him as a pushover, a mama's boy.
(thumbnail: portrait of David Byrne by Clayton James Cubitt)
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