Saturday, September 03, 2005

Don't You Hate It When This Happens?

Some things are just so stupid that they border on sheer brilliance. The Prifoner of Zembla has drawn my attention to what may well be (despite fierce competition) the worst music video of all time. Yes, I know that that's an excessive claim, but I think a fair viewing of it will bear me out. The music itself -- standard Saturday-night "Oh baby" soul -- is unexceptional. But the lyrics and the visuals have set themselves the task of expounding a tale, and oh! what a strange tale it is. It partakes equally of the comedy of errors, the entirely arbitrary, the grand conspiracy, and the blandest passions of humanity in unlikely circulstances. It is in five parts, each of about three minutes, so it requires a bit of patience to get through, and has enough "Oh! For godsake!" moments to tempt one to abandon the entire hopeless mess. But persevere. What you think is happening in Part One is not at all what is happening by Part Two, and ditto re Parts Three, Four, and Five. Just when you think the plot cannot be any more preposterous, a twist in the action reveals that there's still plenty of room for preposterousness, as the worm turns and turns until it resembles a corkscrew. There are many places at which you find yourself thinking, These people cannot be serious. But the wide-eyed solemnity of the proceedings tells you that, yes, they are entirely serious. Be sure to pay attention to the puzzling details: Where did the gun come from, and why? Who would scratch his head with a loaded pistol when beyond his intellectual depth? How many men suffer from coital leg-cramp? Don't people usually count threateningly to three, not four (which happens, coincidentally, to rhyme with door)? And what about the interior decorations, expecially the velvet portrait? Zembla advises me that the feeling of utter disbelief one is left with at the end is not entirely accidental; the artist is already working on Parts Six through Ten, although what else could possibly happen to make the story even more ridiculous is not apparent; there's a sort of idiot-savant genius at work here.

The video can be viewed here (Edit: ... then click on "Videos". The videos you are looking for have the title of a gay allegory, "Trapped in the Closet". 'Nuff said! Excelsior! - PrifoZemb). Best taken with alcohol.

Meanwhile, for those in need of greater uplift, David has advised me of the existence of the Vivian Stanshall sound archive, which takes stock of the many hundreds of hours of Rawlinson recordings left behind by the late Ginger Geezer. This may be more than even his most gibberingly fanatical followers can bear, at least if they wish to remain anchored in the real world, but it is good to know that scholars are sacrificing their sanity for the rest of us.

And, last, for followers of bad but sincere art in the service of minor literature, I link to these. On the left, as fine a visual expression of the nature of writing as I've seen; you know you're cooking with gas when the red dots appear. On the right, a perfect replication of one of those awkward romantic complications I met with so frequently in college; hard to believe I'd wear that awful orange tie, but I was young.