Dan Olsen, the creator of the YouTube Channel Folding Ideas, has recently put out a video on Doug Walker's review of Pink Floyd's The Wall. I don't follow the Nostalgia Critic anymore so I had no idea he had even reviewed The Wall, but after watching Dan Olsen's review of... Doug Walker's review, I decided to watch the original video as well. And it's uh, pretty bad folks.
Dan Olsen's video is a 40 minute essay on how badly Doug misses the entire point of The Wall and how Doug's review of the movie just highlights his own incompetence as an aspiring filmmaker and human being. This might sound harsh, and honestly people ARE allowed to dislike or even hate The Wall. However, Doug's review of the movie goes on to show that he wasn't able to understand the movie on any fundamental level, and he didn't even bother to do any research on why the movie was made.
So, to talk about The Wall we need to talk about why it was made. Bassist and vocalist Roger Waters wrote The Wall during Pink Floyd's 1977 In The Flesh tour. The touring left Waters increasingly frustrated with how the audience engaged with the band at concerts, and ended in an incident where Rogers spat on a fan. This became the inspiration for the album. Waters spoke to a psychiatrist about the isolation and despair he was feeling, and expressed a desire to build a wall between him and his audience. The album follows a character named Pink, who was based both on Rogers himself and former band leader Syd Barrett (who left the band due to severe mental health issues.) Like Rogers, Pink lost his father due to World War II. Some themes of the album are the effect that the war had on Britain's people, the abusive and industry-oriented education system, and the rise of fascism.
These themes seem to completely go over Doug Walker's head. He turns "Another Brick In The Wall Part II" (which, for those unfamiliar with Pink Floyd, is the "we don't need no education" song) into "We Need More Victimization." ABITW Part II is specifically about the post World War II education system in Britain, and how Rogers grew up being verbally and physically abused by his school teachers. Doug's version of the song includes lyrics such as "L-O-L so school sucks, grow a damn pair of balls." He then goes on to criticize the American education system while simultaneously blasting Pink Floyd for "pandering to angry teenagers" who don't respect their teachers. And, in a stunning display of ignorance, even includes a phrase about how "school exists to help you get a job." I guess the anti-industrial message of the song went completely over his head.
Moving onto the next song, "Goodbye Blue Skies" which he labels "So Long, Weird Song." This is a really weird one. In the original movie, this segment is fully animated by legendary animator Gerald Scarfe and it's mostly an abstract and surreal representation of World War II. In Doug's version, he sings "Oh Roger Waters did you ever wonder why these images of slaughter made it in a film that also sings about how high school bites." What this stupid STUPID line fails to recognize is that The Wall is about many types of trauma. It's about growing up without a father in a post World War II society and it's ALSO about how traumatizing the education system is, and about Pink's wife cheating on him AND about drug abuse AND about overbearing mothers. There is not one incident that builds The Wall. The Wall is made up of many "bricks" (hah! Get it?! GET IT?!). There are many sorts of trauma, both big and small, that lead to Pink and Rogers Waters building this metaphorical wall around them. This song also has Doug accusing Roger Waters of obsessing over his own problems. He calls this the "Oscar-bait song" which is funny considering this song wasn't even ELIGIBLE for an Oscar because the album was written and released before the movie even came out.
There's also a skit where one of characters says "so you go from World War II, one of the worst things to ever happen, to bitching about your girlfriend cheating?" As if like, people are only allowed to talk about one bad thing in their life. Like, Roger Waters, sir, I'm sorry but your quota on talking about your traumas is UP. No more talking about bad stuff! Just focus on one thing and that's IT. He then goes on to call Waters a douche because of this. Okay...
Next up we got "Comfortably Numb" turned into "Comfortably Dumb." Alright, you know what Doug Walker? It's on sight. The song was written by Waters after he was injected with tranquilizers so he could continue to perform a show in 1977. In the movie, Pink's manager finds him drugged up and unresponsive and instead of caring about getting him to a hospital, just has people wake him up enough to perform live. It's a haunting and incredibly sad song. Doug's version is just about how "boring" the song is and how he feels dumb because he doesn't get Pink Floyd or whatever. Yeah Doug, we can tell.
He then pauses this abomination of a video to plug his ALBUM and calls it a "love letter to Pink Floyd." If that's a love letter to Pink Floyd, this post is a love letter to Doug Walker (hint: it's not!)
So, now we move onto "In The Flesh" now turned into "In the Floyd" ? Why? Okay, so in the OG movie at this point Pink is hallucinating himself in a fascist rally. He's rounding up gay people and Jewish people and all sorts of minorities and having them line up against the wall to kill. This can be a representation of how the radicalization of the British youth and growing fascism in Britain had turned these young men into the very thing their fathers died in the war fighting against. This is a very clear statement against Nazism and fascism. My arch-nemesis, Doug Walker, instead does this:
Thus turning the Nazi allegory into a "nameless foe." He then makes a claim that the song is about Thatcher's Administration which... it isn't? It's about Nazis, Doug. How do you know get this, Doug? He also turns the song into how people want to be oppressed and outraged all the time because of social media and Twitter. Yep.
Anyways, at this point there's about 15 more minutes of this long review but I... don't feel like doing more. I think I have written enough and made my point. He ends his review by saying that he likes The Wall just fine despite finding it a little pretentious. How is blasting a movie for forty minutes straight and calling the creators pandering self-absorbed losers "liking it just fine?" Doug Walker is a mediocre and untalented little man who wants to be a film maker but never evolved past his "what if BATMAN met LOONEY TUNES? GENIUS!" schtick. He's unfunny and unworthy of the fame he has. His The Wall video garnered a lot of justified backlash and created an entire subgenre of video essays just dissing his take on the wall.
This was originally going to just be a post summarizing Folding Ideas' video and his points against Nostalgia Critic but I had a lot of thoughts myself so. Sorry lol. Pink Floyd is a band that means a lot to me and I don't think people need to like Pink Floyd but the level of disrespect shown in Nostalgia Critic's video, the dismissing of real, lasting trauma because "Roger Waters is a rock star and isn't allowed to complain about his problems" really irked me a lot.