Thursday, November 10, 2011

Can Music Soothe The Savage Extremist?

The Islamabad based Beygairat Brigade (A Brigade Without Honor) was covered in article in the November 7, 2011 NY Times. (see:,%20a%20You%20Tube%20Hit&st=cse) talks about a satirical song that seems to be able to do the impossible: openly criticize bedrock institutions such as the military and religious leaders.

The acceptance of the song, “Aalu Anday” and its popularity on YouTube (see: says much about deep feelings in Pakistan. The Times notes that the song is not only popular on YouTube, but is the topic of conversation on Social media as well as the news media. (Photo source: YouTube - same URL)

What does this mean to PSYOPers (I can’t bring myself to say MISOers)? A couple of things. First of all, affected citizens are much more able to harness their culture, language and arts to express their inner most feelings. Satire by well meaning and credible entertainers can often have a more profound effect that the costliest of campaigns.

It is also important to take note of the synergy between the Internet via Social Media and YouTube and leverage that presence puts on the traditional media to take notice. Of course the digital media is a much more important conduit to the younger (teens, 20’s and 30s) demographic, however, traditional media influences other audiences such as political and perhaps even religious leaders.

While I don’t suspect we’ll see many extremists put down their AK47s and reach for their iPad, it’s nice to a have a positive example in a tumultuous country in challenging times for a change.

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