There’s something about General Idea that always felt ahead of its time. Videos like “Shut the Fuck Up” (1984) foreshadows the mashup culture of today but with a decidedly anti-establishment feel, even though they were obviously designed for the capitalist art market.

The video simultaneously embraces and bitch slaps the media and its ability to manipulate and dictate our lives and culture. It is cynical and harsh but strangely soothing and as relevant as ever.

As the video explains, “If you complain, they have you type casted … it’s a waste of time telling the media shut the fuck up.”

YouTube video

YouTube video

Avatar photo

Hrag Vartanian

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic. You can follow him at @hragv.