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I'm Bringing Blackface Back: Top Ten Things About the iamamiwhoami 'Mystery'

We were hoping this particular piece of shameless hype would go away sooner, but it seems MTV is insisting with the "iamamiwhoami" nonsense, so we thought we would give you a handy Top Ten list of what this "viral mystery" is all about.

TOP TEN THINGS ABOUT IAMAMIWHOAMI

10. A little over a month ago, on January 30th, a Youtube channel was set up under the name "iamamiwhoami." This might be parsed in English as "I am, am I, who am I," not to be confused with either YHWH's "I Am that I Am" (Exodus 3:14) or the fabulous gay anthem "I Am What I Am," from the musical La Cage aux Folles.

9. Other possible readings of the name: "I, a mami. Who am I?," "I am ami, who ami?," "I'm in Miami, Bitch," "Maim me, mommy, before I have to keep thinking about this idiocy," etc.

8. The channel initially broadcast one video, called (of course) "Prelude 699130082.451322-5.4.21.3.1.20.9.15.14.1.12," which could be a kind of numerical code or not.

7. More videos were added, including one on February 10 called (of course) "13.1.14.4.18.1.7.15.18.1.1110." The music sounds like something the Aphex Twin would have done in 1973 when he was a toddler. There's a girl sort of chanting. Oh, she's in blackface. Wait, blackface is OK now? She kind of looks like Gaga, but in the current climate of Total Gagaization of All Culture, this is less than surprising.

7. The iamamiwhoami videos now total 6. They feature various animals, numbers, creepy forests and they hint at a secret meaning. Those crazy "Lady Gaga is a Masonic Puppet" people will probably be eating this up for months.

6. As the videos started unrolling, MTV.com began aiding and abetting the hype with a series of posts trying to get people to play the guessing game. Who's behind them? What do they mean? Do you care? Don't you? Please comment either way!

5. Here are some guesses provided by the collective hivemind of the interwebz: The Knife, Trent Reznor, Lady Gaga, MGMT, Aphex Twin, Goldfrapp, Christina Aguilera, Slim Whitman, Whit Stillman, Bjork's ex-husband, the ghost of Michael Jackson, the KLF, the dissembodied head of Tammy Wynette, Jobriath, and The Crazy World of Arthur Brown.

4. The videos look well-produced, so money (ie, major label or an artsy foundation) is involved. And MTV, particularly their reporter James Montgomery, is way into the "mystery."

3. Which brings us to a total David Fincher moment: MTV's James Montgomery gets a mysterious package from iamamiwhoami full of cryptic clues!

2. Actually, whoever is the unpaid new-media intern for a major label or incubator who came up with this silly Blair-Witch-style hype deserves to be made a temp.

1. Oddly enough, the collective wisdom is leaning towards Christina Aguilera now (Chris is denying the whole thing). But apparently a while back she did say that she was going for a softer, more modern sound for upcoming album Bionic, and fans think these videos kind of fit that change, plus her long-standing boner for all things Gaga. We'll have to see.


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