Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Hiding Under My Sofa

At present, if I make the mistake of turning the television on, I'm greeted with this:

Which, granted, is a major step up in that it doesn't seem to feature any of those people (y'know, the ones who I keep insisting are trying to kill me, and you all keep rolling your eyes about.) However. It does make me want to hide under the sofa and chew on the television cables.

Unlike my mother, who once famously proclaimed "I understand hip hop" (which left the rest of us wondering if anyone understood her) I don't. I just don't get it. I have tried, believe me. I have tried very hard, to the point of standing near the Black Eyed Peas when they played the Sydney Big Day Out in 2005. And yes, I understand that they probably aren't really hip hop 9there's always a purist) , but I also once had a very bizarre experience of watching Kanye West support U2 whilst drinking beer with a frenchperson who knew every lyric of Kanye's but in french. I like Kanye, though. He seems like a laugh, in that he clearly embodies hiphoprnb but knows its a bit of a joke. Anyway. Sidetracked. Again. I don't get what I am being told is "modern r'n'b/hiphop".

Mostly because it looks very very aggressive, seems to involve gratuitous abuse of the English language, uses exactly the same bass beat for every single song, spawned the popularity of those stupid stupid grillz (who needs diamonds on their teeth? are you a Terry Pratchett troll?) and just. The dancing is terrifying. If Ciara isn't slapping at all her flesh whilst prancing around in shoes that were made in order to paralyse, then the Pussy Cat Dolls are doing some sort of obscene gyration thing that involves knee pads and me wishing that i hadn't decided to be interested in music video culture. And if its not a female, then its Eminem telling me that he thinks he's Hannibal Lecter and that its 3am when it's clearly not. Or that guy who wears Top Hats and is always on a boat. Or Beyonce, who has clearly taken a trip on the Ego Train and never wants to get off. And so on, and so forth.

I just don't understand how people can be attracted to what appears to be a very shallow lifestyle. Like, don't you want to talk to the girl before she's knocked up and you're off shooting things? Or would that throw out your day? I don't know. Perhaps my life would have been different if 50 Cent had got to me long before BRMC did (although, perhaps not. BRMC have legendary rescuing capabilities and I highly recommend them for any musical interventions you may be planning). The other thing is that it all seems so faceless - and perhaps you could argue that all my beloved indie bands would look that way to a hiphop fan - but the song material is either a bass-ed up version of "its a hard knock life" or an x-rated version of "Pour some sugar on me" (if that song could be x-rated?).

I could just turn it off I suppose. I'm sure there's some Top Gear episode on (its always on) that I haven't seen that I could watch instead. I could even make a start on my reading for next year. But the thing is that I love music videos, and I love pulling them apart. I wrote 3000 words about the clip for "I'm Not Ok (I Promise)" by My Chemical Romance and then spent the next two weeks wondering why every time I saw Gerard Way I wanted to ask him to do my homework. Patrick Wolf's offering for "Vulture" had me jumping about wondering if perhaps, we were seeing the acceptance of pornification of MEN instead of women in a leather-istic way, and if so, could Patrick possibly rope in William Beckett (I'm sorry. Objectification. I'm no better than Hugh Hefner, really). The National's 'anti -video' for "Mistaken for Strangers" has my heart swelling every time as much because of the 'anti video' as the song. I've loved every single video Lily Allen's done, and I could possibly write a treatise akin to Lord Of The Rings on how I think it's very unfair that there aren't more music videos by female artists that I like in which they don't have to gyrate/wear something skimpy in order to get attention. So you get it. I like music videos. Possibly a little too much. (My excuse is that I don't have the attention span for film, which is a lie)
The first music video I ever remember seeing was Blur's Song #2, in which the band kick up such a storm that the room they're in goes nuts and they get flung against the wall. Great storyline, obviously, and very reflective of the song. (pfft.) And ever since then, I've thought that music videos should be viewed and analysed the way we view film and television. There's probably a whole bunch of accredited people who study this and use big words about what this means as a society, but I've always been interested in gut reactions as opposed to academia (which is why I keep ballsing up my academic life. probably).

And then Ciara started entreating me to "shake that thing like a donkey" and I lost my train of thought, because I became enraged at the silliness of EVERYTHING. What, pray tell, am I supposed to be shaking? And can you provide evidence of how a donkey shakes, because I like to get things right. And if you are not referring to an actual donkey, I expect a detailed analysis of your metaphor, including why you chose to use it, on my desk double spaced by 4pm tomorrow.

Clearly though, the silliest thing is that I am letting myself get weirded out by people who think wearing PVC on a hot day is a good thing.


lizzle said...

If I were working on a construction site with all those huge trucks, I'd want a little more protecting me than a cutout black lycra bodysuit that shows half my bum cheeks.

But that's just me, right?

zane said...

it’s simple and sweet… … Modern Sofa are simply amazing.