On WTFness

Seriously, there’s a smoking clown that appears for all of two scenes and, perhaps, two seconds.  What does he do?  Smoke against a sky full of white clouds in the first scene, and throw the cigarette to the ground in the second.

What is this?

The first time I saw the video for Scissor Sisters’ “Invisible Light” my first thought was that someone had been instructed to create the most confusing video ever.  Of course, after repeated viewings – and being hypnotized by the moving spirographs in the background – I have decided that this video is a species of genius.  I love it.

As Tracy Jo said, she doesn’t necessarily like the music as much as the video, but the video works perfectly with the video, so really how can you separate the two?

Let me ask you a question: How is a baby turtle on a woman’s ass sexy?  I don’t know, but that’s what this video is asking you.  IT IS ASKING YOU!

What amazes me about this video is the production value.  Clearly a lot of money was put into this movie, and some of that money was invested into making the video look cheap.  Not cheap, exactly, but seventiesish.  This movie is nothing if not a paean to English horror movies of the seventies.  And there’s a story here.  At least you can create one if you watch the video enough times.

And, writing-wise, this is exactly what I want to do.  Not the animal violence, the strange sex acts, or the Christ-imagery specifically, but the strangeness of the images and the connections drawn between them.  Because you probably need to see the video again, here’s another embedding so you don’t have to scroll back up.

If I had world enough and time I’d write stories, nay, entire novels by throwing together some random elements.  The plot would come forth in trying to figure out how everything works together.  In fact, there’s an entire novel I’m planning (well, planning to write) that simply involves me including every character depicted on Tom Gauld’s print Characters for an Epic Tale.

The story I finished yesterday (Please hold your applause until the end of the blog post.) involved a lost kid discovering a strange man in room underground.  I had no real plan for this man except that he would be the antagonist of the story, as much as any of my stories have one.  In order for the story to continue, I had to make his presence matter, which means either writing him into the story that already exists, or revising, through context, what I’ve already written so that he fits.  So, through a story the kid reads on an ancient wall, the man is revealed as a sort of primordial evil (though originally simply lonely) and though I hadn’t intended the story to end this way, there’s now no way that it could not have ended this way – at least to tell the story I ended up wanting to tell.

It’s all a bit circular, I agree, but that’s the way my writing mind works.  Actually, the way my mind works in general.  I don’t necessarily know what I know until I say it (i.e., write it down on the fabric of sound).

Knowing what I know about Scissor Sisters (which, admittedly, is just what I’ve gleaned from watching all the videos on their site) there videos are no strangers to sex.  This video seems a wealth of sexual metaphors and fears given a tangible storyline.  My favorite bit of innuendo: the woman reading Horses and Ponies.  Um… just don’t ask me to explain the clown.

And because you should at least be watching this video three times, here it is again.

ps. look for one of my favorite moments, when the woman’s face is painted silver: first smoke erupts from her mouth as though she is a robot overheating/self-destructing, but then a cigarette rises into the scene, providing the genesis for the smoke.  this video is filled with that sort of humor.

pps. did you know that in those olden days we all share, one theory of vision was that the eyes emitted rays that reflected the world back to us, i.e. “invisible light shoots from your eyes”

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2 Responses to On WTFness

  1. Jason Myers says:

    Thanks, Andrew, I didn’t exactly budget time for watching videos this morning. I love, on Any Which Way You Can: Some guy has a Ghostbusters proton pack, from which he shoots a rain of sashimi at a woman. The woman draws a katana, and slices that sushi.

  2. Andrew says:

    I am here for all your time-wasting needs.

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