The last thing you may be looking for from your pop culture intake is a big old message about global trafficking — or as MTV's EXIT (End Exploitation and Trafficking) project puts it, modern-day slavery. However, I think it is precisely this blending together of real-world message with pop culture that Radiohead is attempting to do in a new video for their song "All I Need." They succeed beautifully by showing us two young boys in different parts of the world going about their everyday lives and how different their respective experiences are.
Of working with MTV and the importance of this issue, frontman Thom Yorke told the Hollywood Reporter:
All power to MTV for taking this on because its obviously going to be difficult for them in terms of the advertisers. With the ("All I Need") video, their lawyers had to beg to make sure there wasn't a single white trainer with a logo on it because the implication would be a little too close. But the implication is still there.
For those who don't know, a "trainer" is an athletic shoe, like one made by, say, Nike.
Nothing like a poignant video tackling a somewhat taboo topic in the West to suck all the snark right out of the blogosophere. Stereogum called the video "deeply inspiring" and said that the final shot is "one of the more emotionally charged moments in a music video that we can remember." I couldn't agree more and think everyone should pause today and take a look.
You can watch the video for yourself and check out Radiohead's recent brilliant performance on the Conan O'Brien show if you read more.