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Justice - Stress
Anna dons her fireproof suit and oven gloves to handle the YouTube hot-potato (chaude pomme de terre?) deemed too torrid for TV

This week we are all covered in shimmering glee, because there's not often a pop video that makes the news around these parts. This week, there is. It's made the news in the same way that they always do: by offending the offendable and alarming the alarmists, leaving the creators to sit back and watch the plaudits and YouTube hits rise, as people rush to find out what could possibly be so upsetting.

We are, of course, made of sterner stuff, and so we take it upon ourselves to guide you through. Are you sitting comfortably, ready to be offended? Excellent!

Justice - Stress (Pickard of the pops)

A group of extremely tough-looking young men walk through a dirty, half-abandoned housing estate. All wear matching jackets bearing the Justice logo - a stylised cross - that actually looks like the Inspiral Carpets cow, but flattened and gone over to the dark side. This is not offensive. Slightly odd, yes. Offensive, no. I can categorically state that they have not done anything offensive yet.

There must be something they have done in the past, however, as they don't seem to be liked by the estate's inhabitants.

Justice - Stress (Pickard of the pops)

That one, for example, who shouts and spits and does that thing there with his finger. Some people will find that offensive. I predict we have just lost our first 5% most timid readers and video watchers.

"Someone raising their middle digit?! This is the GUARDIAN!"

Well, if you didn't like that; turn away now. Here's some senseless graffiti.

Justice - Stress (Pickard of the pops)

The nasty youngsters tour the streets, doing vile things. A woman is assaulted in an underground station. Keys are scratched down the sides of cars. People are pushed, things smashed, cameras grabbed, and other antisocial behaviour is behaved. You spend all five minutes of this gorgeously filmed pseudo-documentary wondering if there's going to be a point or a resolution in a minute. There isn't. It is gorgeously shot, though, no denying it. Very La Haine.

Justice - Stress (Pickard of the pops)

This will appall the same people who choose to believe that it is the availability of violent video games that is causing the degradation of society. It's not comic book violence, it's not action-film karate violence. It's just the nasty grubby violence that people who live in cities and in small towns filled with bored youths live in fear of; mainly because the media tells them they should.

Justice - Stress (Pickard of the pops)

They mainly seem to have a problem with Parisian buskers. Look at those bongos go! Not that I'm advocating violence against certain people, of course. That would be dreadful. I'm not saying it's OK to target dreadful buskers. I could NEVER get away with saying that here.

But, you know - bongos? Go on my son.

Justice - Stress (Pickard of the pops)

Their trail of terror continues. The unseen documentary film-maker trails them - pleased, you would imagine, with the footage. And occasionally he gets shots of the grumpy young hoodlums close up, without their hoods.

Justice - Stress (Pickard of the pops)

And that, my friends, is the problem the French government have had with it.

These destructive dummies, disaffected in the suburbs of Paris, happen to be of North African or Middle Eastern descent. This, say the French TV powers, is racism, and thus they've banned it. It could be argued that the disaffected nature of the French underclass is more the focus here, but regardless; the video got banned, put online, more people watched it in 24 hours online than would have in the next six months on television. Everyone's a winner, apart from the owner of that crappy Renault just got its wing-mirror ripped off ... and this granny.

Justice - Stress (Pickard of the pops)

The horrid little buggers have started start smacking on grannies. At this point we lose another 45% of offendables - the same, most likely, that protested against Grand Theft Auto IV last week on the basis that if our impressionable youth start seeing game characters carjacking and pop video stars punching old ladies, it will only be a matter of minutes before they do it in real life.

Back at the ranch, the hoodlums return home, only to find a small herd of policemen waiting for them.

Justice - Stress (Pickard of the pops)

You can tell they're police because they wear caps and coats that say 'POLICE', even though they're in France, which is useful. You might hope that at some point, some curly-haired man in an impressive car might come and provide justice for the residents of Paris. He doesn't. There is no justice, only stress. They beat the pigs and jump in a car. For a moment we see one of the documentary film-making team.

Justice - Stress (Pickard of the pops)

There we have it, being big and clever with the fingers. All the kids will be doing this next week. Just ask the Daily Mail.

Really though? Are there actually people out there that mindlessly copy what they see on television, the internet and computer games? And if those are the kind of idiot offspring we're raising as a society, isn't that more of a concern?

They park the car. Trash it, smash it, and then take a Molotov cocktail to it.

Justice - Stress (Pickard of the pops)
 

Which, while catching light, also catches the arm of the documentary sound man. So that's why we saw him earlier. It was foreshadowing for this bit.



Justice - Stress (Pickard of the pops)

The tension has built as much as it can build, slow, creeping, horrible; an unstoppable ball of hate rolling through urban Paris. There's nothing left to destroy in this wasteland. There's nothing more to film them destroying.

Justice - Stress (Pickard of the pops)

Well, apart from the film makers. After setting fire to the boom guy, the gang slowly advance on the camera. They spit on the lens, smack the cameraman on the head with a bottle, then kick him to the floor. That's it. The end.

Is it interesting? Yes.
Is it different? Yes.
Is it well made? Yes.
Do we like? That's another question.

Stress(ed)? Yes. Yes I am, thank you for asking. I am an enormous puddle of stress. I am also vexed. What's to enjoy? It's a unrelenting river of urban teenage - I'm sorry, there is no other word for it - cuntiness. Was I meant to enjoy it?

Watch it here



Have you seen a good video recently that you think should be featured in this column? If so, write to me at anna.pickard@guardian.co.uk stating what it is, and why...




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