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Top Goon: 2nd Season arrived

This is an original press release by Syrian artist group Masasit Mati

A prisoner lies blindfolded and bleeding on the floor of a cell. From below the stage the thin head of the finger puppet dictator rises up, laughing as he electrocutes and stabs his subject. “You’re a monster just like me,” taunts Beeshu, the Top Goon of Syria’s most daring political satire, removing the victim’s blindfold. “Now take your revenge … Release the monster.” Overcome with grief and anger, the prisoner attacks and strangles the Syrian president, before he remembers himself. “I told you, you’re a monster, just like me,” laughs Assad.

“This is what we fear,” says Jameel, director of Top Goon – Diaries of a Little Dictator, “that Syrians have been pushed so far that their methods become the same as the regime’s. This dialogue exposes the regime’s attempt to strip the protesters’ of their moral values and provoke violent feelings of revenge and hatred and the need for reconciliation and coexistence.”

After a hugely successful first season, which launched in late November 2011 and quickly gained a mass following inside and outside Syria, including over 200,000 views on YouTube, broadcasts on major satellite channels and write-ups in many of the world’s leading English-language media, Top Goon is back for a second season.

While season two still uses humour and satire to question and challenge the unprecedented upheaval ongoing in Syrian society, many of the 15 new six-minute episodes, published Sundays and Thursdays on YouTube and Facebook, are darker than before, a direct response to the civil war now threatening to tear Syria apart.

“It is the inner struggle and difficult choices Syrians face today in their country that we wanted to explore more in the second season,” said Jameel. “We want to touch the people, their dreams, their feelings, the contradictions they live with. But we use satire and parody as a tool to criticize all sides, since we believe that turning any person or idea into a god ultimately leads to totalitarian thinking.”

Centre stage in the early episodes is once again Beeshu, the erratic puppet dictator. In the first episode Run Away, released just a day after the stunning assassination of four top security officials triggered speculation that Assad might have fled Damascus, Beeshu is seen packing his bags as the sounds of gunfire and explosions grow ever closer to his palace.

One of his top goons, a security chief, walks in on him and confronts him: “Do you think we’ll let you leave?” The episode ends badly for both characters.

In the second episode, the dictator is seen giving a speech thanking the international community for its help in putting down the “terrorists” of Baba Amr, on whose bodies, piled up below him, Beeshu stands. As the season progresses, however, Beeshu will fade into the background, a ghost who is overcome by the fate of history.

His story slowly gives way to the new challenges facing the Syrian people such as forgiveness, citizenship, women’s rights and justice. The new season seeks to expose the motives and quarrels within the uprising itself, discussing the basic foundations needed to create a future country for all Syrians. 

“There must be no red lines if we want to build a democratic and pluralistic Syrian society in the future,” says Jameel.

Top Goon - Diaries of a Little Dictator was created by a collective of ten young Syrian artists known as Masasit Mati, named after the straw used to drink Mati, a popular herbal tea in Syria which is enjoyed by members of all communities, including Syria’s security forces.

To watch Top Goon online go to: Youtube.com/MasasitMati and Facebook.com/MasasitMati

To contact Masasit Mati for questions or arrange a Skype interview please email: info.topgoon@gmail.com

To learn more about Masasit Mati and Top Goon, please also visit the website: www.masasitmati.org

Masasit Mati would also like to thank Adopt a Revolution Germany, the Dutch organizations Hivos and Prince Claus Fund and the Danish Centre for Culture and Development for the support given towards the second season of Top Goon - Diaries of a Little Dictator.

The first season of Top Goon can be viewed in the exhibition Culture in Defiance, till 23 November at the Prince Claus Fund Gallery, Herengracht 603, Amsterdam

Top Goon: 2nd Season arrived

"we use satire and parody as a tool to criticize all sides"

Jameel, the masked director of Top Goon

Top Goon: 2nd Season arrived

This is an original press release by Syrian artist group Masasit Mati A prisoner lies blindfolded and bleeding on the floor of a cell. From below the stage the thin head of the finger puppet dictator rises up, laughing as he electrocutes and stabs his subject. “You’re a monster just like me,” taunts Beeshu, the Top Goon of Syria’s most daring political satire, removing the...

 
 
 
 

Top Goon: 2nd Season arrived

This is an original press release by Syrian artist group Masasit Mati A prisoner lies blindfolded and bleeding on the floor of a cell. From below the stage the thin head of the finger puppet dictator rises up, laughing as he electrocutes and stabs his subject. “You’re a monster just like me,” taunts Beeshu, the Top Goon of Syria’s most daring political satire, removing the...