Monday, 19 November 2007

We're Guilty

It's 10 am on a Sunday morning and I'm furiously pumping my legs against the weighted pedals of the bike at the gym. I've just switched on MTV's dance music channel and am listening to my Ipod simultaneously (I like to have completely different music connecting to videos--sometimes they actually make sense that way). Suddenly, this video comes on and I find myself wavering between disgust and wanting to suppress out loud laughter at its outrageousness.

The video of De Souza's "Guilty," a monsteriffic hunk of stinky disco house cheese, plays out like a soft core porno, featuring barely-dressed women playing inmates who are "frisked," handcuffed, and "searched" by other women dressed as "cops," who seem to have half of their "uniforms" missing. As if the comedically terrible action weren't enough, the directors added a lesbian "shower" scene and a male "cop" dressed in hot shorts spanking an "inmate" with a thick, purple, uh, "billy club."

I'm no prude when it comes to videos. Sexuality and sensuality has its place, but this was ridiculous. I sincerely hope that this video was some kind of tongue-in-cheek thing. If anyone knows anything about the production of this video, please share.

Of course, immediately following the "Guilty" nightmare, was Armand Van Helden's "MyMyMy," which is, in my opinion, a really nice house tune, especially the Joy Kiticknti electro house remix. However, in the first shot is a bikini-clad ass. On a beach somewhere a creepy, white, flab-bellied dweeb is suddenly surrounded by a bunch of bikini clad models who fondle, grope and lick him throughout the entire video. Isn't this a bit of a tired theme?

More and more all I see on dance music videos are thin, fake-breasted women groping on each other, or surrounding one man, or even themselves all alone. The commodity of female sexuality in the music industry, neverminding the fact that it degrades women, has taken all of the fun and creativity out of the music video.

It's not sappy nostalgia that brings me back to the early days of music video, it's the entertainment. Look at A-Ha's "Take on Me," for example. The animated motorcyle chase scene, the fantasy of going into a comic book, the action, the heroism, the romance, it was all like a mini feature film, and it was noteworthy. We used to be able to discuss music videos intelligently like we would discuss feature films. Now, it all looks the same: Chick on Chick, Guy on Chick, Ten Chicks on One Guy, Chick on Self, brilliant, genious! I suppose that it keeps people watching videos these days, but, honestly, do these videos reflect a world that doesn't appreciate anything unless it involves T and A? We no longer have attention spans for anything with a plot?

The excessive amounts of these sexually explicit videos insult the intelligence and sophistication of most human beings. They subliminally transmit the message that, A) We're only interested in sexuality, that which translates only to a thin, leggy, long-haired female with enormous breasts and a curvaceous rear end, and involves homeoerotic activity and masturbation, but only among females, never males, and B) That we're unable to understand or process anything more complex than watching human beings interact on a sexual level. Everything else is too much.
Videos like this one featuring the Beastie Boys, hold a slim margin compared to the "sexy" ones.
I'm feeling a bit disillusioned, a bit deflated by the state of affairs in the music industry at the moment. I sense desperation and lack of direction at the moment. I can only hope that we'll hit a new wave and renaissance of the music video industry. In the meantime, besides the ones I've listed, enjoy my following favorite music videos:
"Get Yourself High" by The Chemical Brothers

"All is Full of Love" by Bjork (directed by Chris Cunningham)

"It's Oh So Quiet" by Bjork (directed by Spike Jonze)

"Weapon of Choice" by Fatboy Slim

"Where it's At" by Beck

"New" by No Doubt


"Like A Prayer" by Madonna

I'll leave you with those for now. For those of you who are sick of watching the inane, enjoy!

1 comment:

Jean said...

This is Shelley from the States. "Hi" Solange! I am with you girlfriend. Of course some of the songs that I like to dance to do not have the best lyrics. "My Hump"! The video and lyrics are pretty nasty but I have to admit I do like to dance to it. I'm sorry.
It would be nice if we could get back to the good lyrics and decent videos. I don't think it will happen in my life time but of course in my home town St. Charles they are trying to ban bad language in bars. HA! that will be the day. Sorry I am rambling!
Stay Cool,
Shelley Belly