Month: February 2016

Sleeping with the Enema: Lady Gaga – “Bad Romance”

Lady Gaga Bad Romance

Our innocence is immediately shattered two seconds into the video, when we are presented with all of these oddly-clad people gathered in formation at one end of a white room. For those who know movie history, think Stanley Kubrick’s “Eyes Wide Shut” crossed with any movie that Ken Russell ever directed. (For those who don’t know their movie trivia, think “recreational drugs”.) No one looks very happy, and we seem to have a lot of uncomfortable bondage gear going on, but this doesn’t stop them from posing artfully for the latest defiant cover of Vanity Fair.

We zoom in on Gaga, who has naturally been placed in the center of this tableau of people who have probably been banned at least once on Facebook. She’s not looking at us, because she doesn’t have to, instead staring off to the side whilst sporting cryptic glasses that completely block her vision. (This is what rich people do, buy things that serve no purpose, just because they can and we can’t.) The camera closes in on one of her hands, with her fingers sporting a weird chicken-wire nail polish that you aren’t going to find at Walgreen’s. She pushes a button on what looks like a wireless modem at NASA, and then all hell breaks loose.

We are suddenly in a room full of these odd pod things (tanning beds? incubators for the Gaga army that is about to take over the world?) scattered about, while brief images of alcohol bottles flash on the screen. It’s too dark in this room for my comfort level, and there seems to be a Gestapo-esque searchlight seeking out uprisings that must be quelched. Then a helpful title appears explaining that this is the “Bath Haus of Gaga”. Really? I never even want to go there and I’ve only seen ten seconds of it. Please take me off your mailing list. Thanks.

But before I can add the “Haus” to my spam filter, the pods suddenly open and some surprising things crawl out. They appear to be somewhat humanoid, in that remote way that Tea Party members also appear to be humanoid, even though their life choices clearly indicate that they are not. These crawlers are sheathed in white latex, including their faces, and the tops of their heads have white spiky things, as if Bart Simpson has been dipped in a marshmallow vat. The crawlers, despite being unable to see due to the unexplained plastic coating, immediately hop up and start doing a line dance, with Lady once again assuming the focal point in the center of this shin-dig. (Well, I’m assuming it’s her, because we sure as hell don’t spend any time on the other pod people.)

Then we zip over to another random room, where someone has helpfully placed a bathtub, within which Lady is exhibiting an Annie Lennox-on-acid hairdo and proving that she is very limber by basically throwing her leg over her head. But before we can ask what return-on-investment she might be seeking by doing such, we cut to another room in this apparently cavernous Haus. We now have Lady dressed in black and singing to herself in a mirror, wearing a black spiky hat that sort of matches the headgear of the dancing pod people. Does this mean she’s a bad pod person? Or is she late for a funeral, a tragic death that occurred when one of the tanning pods became disconnected during intergalactic travel?

I guess it doesn’t matter, because now we have a montage cutting between the three scenarios: the line-dancing white pod people, the Lady wallowing around in the bathtub, and the Lady that just wants to look at herself in the mirror (and possibly tend to the needs of her lady garden, based on what her barely off-camera hand is doing). This montage goes on for a while, longer than the political careers of Republican candidates who don’t immediately agree to sell their souls.

Side Note: That quick shot where Bathtub Lady is looking off to the side and then rolls her head forward and does the thing with her eyes? It’s freaky but fun, which basically sums up Lady Gaga’s entire career arc, and it’s my favorite bit in this video crammed full of images designed to impress you with the fact that Lady Gaga’s life is obviously way more exciting than your own.

Just as we kick into the chorus (I guess it’s the chorus; it’s hard to tell with Lady Gaga songs) two rude women break into the Hygiene Annex and try to drag Bathing Lady out of the ginormous bathtub. (She just wants to be clean, people, let her scrub the dirtiness away if she wants to do so. We’ve all been there, don’t judge.) Gaga puts up a fight, but eventually the bitter duo wrest Gaga away from the soothing waters of her own self-involvement. To show their displeasure with her uncooperative attitude, the Gulag Girls rip Lady’s blouse off in a Cinemax-worthy moment of pointless plot.

(Yes, Bathtub Gaga was bathing whilst clothed. Just accept and go on, as there’s really no point in questioning reality once the dancing white pod-people slithered out of the Easy Bake ovens and we didn’t change the channel.) To show her displeasure with the matrons’ rudeness and the rending of her garment, Lady then thrusts her breasts at the interlopers in a moment of mammary insurrection, making this an official catfight. The matrons then up the ante by forcing Bathtub Lady to drink some mysterious clear liquid that she probably would have imbibed on her own if there hadn’t been all this bullying behavior.

Next up, we have another version of Lady Gaga, this one surprisingly free of avant-garde outfits and confusing accessories. This Gaga seems to be channeling Belinda Carlisle during that phase when she broke free from the Go-Gos and the drug-ingesting, wandering about on a windswept beach and looking for love in all the wrong sandy places. She’s acting all emo and emotionally-fragile. Is this Vulnerable Gaga? Does such a thing exist?

While Belinda Gaga braves windburn and possible grit in her cracks, we get yet another version of Lady Gaga, or maybe this is one we’ve already seen. (It’s getting very confusing; I’m still mystified by Grieving Gaga at the Self-Pleasure Mirror.) This Gaga is sporting some baggy outerwear covered in graffiti, indicating that unsupervised inner-city juveniles may have broken into the Bath Haus at some point, tagging things with malicious intent. (This is not an indictment of all inner-city youth, as stereotypes are bad, but it is an indictment of lazy parents who allow their children to obtain paint-propellants and then look the other way when those children sneak out at night.)

Whatever the case, some rude go-go booted women rip off Gaga’s social-outcry garment in a manner that suggests the booted women did not go to the proper schools. Once the raincoat is sent asunder, we see that this version of Gaga is sporting skimpy beaded thingies that really don’t do much to obscure her baseline anatomy. (I’ve seen better coverage issued by people selling auto insurance out of the back of a taco stand.) The rude, manners-deficient booted women snatch up Lady and her indiscreet snatch and haul her into a room filled with men who appear to have had plastic surgery that somehow involved metal plates being used instead of, well, plastic.

For no apparent reason whatsoever, Barely-Beaded Gaga and her unrequited cohorts suddenly start line-dancing for the Metal Men. (They were in a catfight two seconds ago, but a whiff of testosterone in the room causes all of them to have an interest in synchronized choreography?) While this mess is going on, we get shots of another Gaga, or maybe an extra, don’t know, who is nude and looking really undernourished. I think she’s trying to get clean, since she appears to be having an emotional moment in a public shower stall at either a health club or a high-school gym (we’ve all been there, right?), but I don’t really see any water. Whatever she’s doing, she’s very skinny, and she might possibly have a tail that people generally shouldn’t have.

Beaded Gaga and the Gaga-Ettes continue to line dance for the Metal Men, eventually ending up on their knees crawling toward said men while Gaga sings “I want your love.” That’s great for the self-esteem, crawling up to a standoffish group of males, begging for their affection. Do these women realize they can actually vote these days? Or is Gaga making a political statement about the possible future if we don’t stop letting rich, white, amoral men run our country? (Despite the obvious ease with which Gaga shares her physical wares with the world, she’s got far more depth and comprehension than 99% of the automatons who tune into Fox News on a daily basis, paralytic drool running down their chins.)

Oh wait, it turns out that these men are actually bidding to “win” Lady Gaga, as we can now see by the voting results on convenient laptops off to one side. (At first, I thought Lady Gaga was just obnoxiously showing her sky-rocketing profits. I had to rewind.) One of the guys apparently wins, but first the women have to do another line dance. Not sure why. Maybe it’s protocol, a bit of contractual procedure included in the “Bath Haus” brochure for folks who purchase the Platinum Package.

It’s a long line dance. While this is going on, we get jump scenes of Lady Gaga in lots of other outfits. (The wardrobe expenses on this video must have been enormous.) We have Gaga in black bra and panties, standing still in a frozen spray of ice cubes while the camera circles around her. (A perceptive take on the sterility of certain men?) There’s Gaga in some type of metal gear where I think she’s explaining the solar system. (Sorry, Pluto, you don’t matter anymore. Here’s the business card for a really good galaxy therapist.)

And then we have Gaga in this golden outfit that is totally out there, with a hairdo that looks like she has a loaf of bread shoved up in that mess and making her look like Gary Oldman in Francis Ford Coppola’s version of “Dracula”. My guess is that most of the fashion budget went right there, although it’s entirely possible that Gaga already owned this ensemble, something she picked up at a flea market in another dimension where couture is vaguely reptilian and purposeless.

Eventually we get to the soul-challenging part of our story where Gaga has to go… sleep? trade outfits?… with the guy who bought her. And we start jump-cutting all over the place. We revisit almost all of the Gagas in their various incarnations, and there’s a new batch of line dancers, this time dressed in skimpy red Ace bandages but just as flexible as the other teams. (Gaga is right there in the midst of the Crimson Brigade, natch, completely unafraid to frolic about energetically despite the merest wisp of material barely concealing her nocturnal portal.)

As Purchased Gaga approaches the bed where the winner/misogynist is waiting, she apparently uses her mystical powers to set the bed on fire. Wouldn’t you? (I hope Metal Guy bought the maintenance plan for this product, because I don‘t think the regular warranty is going to cover destruction of high-end bedding. It would be a shame if low-level employees at this establishment are fired because the hotel owners now have to fund a messy civil lawsuit.) The jump-cutting to all the Gagas intensifies, but mostly focuses on the red line dancers where Ace Bandage Gaga has picked up yet another hairdo somewhere along the way.

Final scene has one of the Gagas (I have no idea at this point) lounging in the scorched bed. Her purchaser is now just smoking bones, but Gaga seems to be fine, other than the disturbing impression that her breasts appear to be short-circuiting. (Don’t you hate it when that happens?) The camera slowly pans backwards while a snippet of classical music plays, yet another tribute to film-making, and another reminder that Lady Gaga is all about The Art.

Lesson learned? Take a bath at home. You’ll be glad you did. There’s no need to bathe in a public setting, because it will just lead to singing, dancing, clone replication, and death by fire.

 

Click here to watch this video on YouTube.

Originally published on 12/03/09, revised and updated with extra flair for this post.)

 

Children of the Porn: Pitbull – “I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)”

Pitbull I Know You Want Me

Fair Warning: This is a Pitbull video, after all, so it’s fundamentally understood that we are going to be presented with a series of hot women tripping over themselves in their burning yearning to make love to Pitbull. That’s just how it works with him. Somewhere along the line, probably about the same time that his parents failed to properly rear their child, Pitbull reached the misogynistic conclusion that every hoo-hoo on the planet was automatically within his Eminent Domain.

But in the interest of fairness, we shouldn’t automatically assume that the buxom beauties parading around in this video are unworthy of our empathy and compassion. After all, they have managed to appear in a music video, albeit without proper clothing, and this is an admirable accomplishment that admittedly surpasses the achievements of their high school friends who were satisfied with becoming a cheerleader and then becoming pregnant during the Homecoming game, symbolic of America as that may be.

So let’s shove Mr. Bull aside for a moment, as many actual singers would like to do, and let’s try to focus on the backstories of the cavalcade of misguided women who are ill-advisedly flashing their wares in the hopes that Mr. Bull will remember their names in the morning. Perhaps we can find the inner beauty and personal motivation for each of these lovely ladies? It is our moral duty to seek such, and therefore we must hack our way through the Libido Jungle in the hopes of salvaging at least one soul.

First we have a woman in a green and gold cheerleader outfit-thingy with yellow high heels. She’s apparently proud of Brasil and she wants to dance about her patriotism. This tribute includes running her fingers through her long hair and making seductive faces. She also has the ability to clone herself at random, a surprising development that might end up with her on a terrorist watch list at some point, but for now we’ll assume that this is just symbolic of her fertility.

Insert Pitbull showing that he can count, looking all gangsta. If you’ve ever seen a picture of Pitbull, then you’ve already seen the one look he is able to muster for the camera, and there’s really no need to go into any detail.

The cheerleader is back and she’s making out with the Brazilian flag. (She loves her country!) In America, there are certain things one should not do with the national flag. Apparently the guidelines are a bit looser in Brazil. As for the cheerleader angle, it seems that both countries send their blossoming sports enthusiasts to the same school, where they are taught that everything can be sexualized in some way, and if you have a belly button you might as well show it to everyone even if they didn’t ask to see it.

Then we have another woman in what appears to be a black-leather airline pilot uniform. Her dance seems to indicate that when she grows up, she would like to help people fly around the world to see their loved ones. She is able to count as well, flicking her digits to the rhythm of the song, but she seems a bit surly about it, so she might not be as nice as her interpretive dance initially indicated. You probably don’t want this particular flight attendant caring for your needs in transit, especially if you are sitting in Economy. She’s never going to bring you that vodka and tonic you ordered an hour ago.

There are brief glimpses of a woman in some black spandex clingy outfit. We don’t really see enough of her to fully understand her aspirations in life, but she can wiggle her hips and pout her lips. I’m thinking there are a few careers where she can utilize those talents without any fear of retribution, so I’m sure she’ll be fine with the career decisions she makes during her brief sober moments.

We also get a few shots of a woman in what I believe is called a “baby doll” dress. It probably has a fancier name. She doesn’t seem really invested in being in this video, since she’s not smiling or anything. She’s possibly been assigned the “hard to get” role in the script (as if such a thing existed, I realize I’m being overly generous), but she just looks bored, like she’s tired of men objectifying her as she twirls around in a flimsy negligee and licks her lips.

Oh, look, they just did a tribute to the “Brady Bunch” with the hot women stacked in boxes like the opening of the TV show. That’s cute. This probably represents the online menu that Pitbull uses each night as he selects a playmate, a menu that he wouldn’t have the password for if he hadn’t been in the right place at the right time and he mystifyingly exploded on social media, like the Kardashians or The Tea Party.

Then we have more shots of Pitbull acting all street, counting with fingers that have been places you don’t want to know about, messing with a video camera, and allowing the hot women to touch him in suggestive ways while he stands there and looks disinterested. Because nothing says “attractive” like a man who thinks the mere ownership of a penis gives him godlike status and a platinum upgrade on American Airlines.

Now we have a montage of so many women, I can’t even begin to profile them. They are mostly posing seductively in various states of undress, making sure we understand that they have ample breasts. Duly noted. But for the record, how many Silicone Trees had to die for you to be so anatomically perky?

Then there’s a woman in what I believe is a tinfoil two-piece bathing suit. She seems to be proud of several things. She can move her hips while disappearing off the top of the video, she has a tattoo leading into her butt crack, and she is able to face different directions and still maintain her balance. Other than that, she seems to have no purpose whatsoever. If you squint your eyes just right, she looks exactly like Sarah Palin.

And now we have some biker chicks who really love their big machines. Twelve years of publicly-funded education, and all they got out of it was that when the director hollers “Action!” they should immediately begin to undulate whilst straddling a fume-belching contraption that is destroying the atmosphere. (Did somebody say Ted Cruz?)

Next up, we have several scenes that are beautifully done, helping us understand that Pitbull greatly enjoys three-way sexual encounters. (With women, of course. There’s not another man in this entire video, just tons of busty women that could probably raise the Titanic with all the hydraulics they’ve got going on.)

Warning: Right about two and a half minutes in, a giant breast pokes in from the right side of the screen. It’s somewhat alarming and unexpected, so I thought I’d warn you. I wasn’t emotionally prepared for this development, and it’s my duty as a citizen to point out the emergency exits on this impending train wreck before we reach the moment when cleavage takes its toll.

Luckily, if you’ve survived this far, there are only a few soul-dimming moments left in the video. We have more counting, more confirmations that three-ways (only with females!) are greatly desired by bilingual rappers who shave their heads, and a jarring array of certain women who will do anything to get their two seconds of fame. (That one girl in the inexplicable scene where she is really slicked-up like a lubrication test at a motor-oil laboratory went terribly awry? I hope she understands that she needs to stay away from open flames.)

And the song finally fades away with more dancing, more women realizing their short-sighted dreams, more limited counting (Does anyone in this video realize that there are numbers higher than four?) , and tons of buoyant anatomy saluting the manliness of Pitbull.

But really, folks, if you were just looking for an instructional video to teach your children the joys of counting, stick with “Sesame Street”. Your little urchins will be better off, there’s a lesser chance that they will eventually have a starring role in a police line-up, and a better chance that decent people on airplanes will get served their vodka by a flight attendant who actually cares.

Now, if I can just get that annoying “blah blah blah blah-blah PING” noise out of my head…

 

Click here to watch this video on YouTube.

Originally published on 12/02/19, revised and updated with extra flair for this post.