Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Hey, hey, yeah, yeah! I wish to be Unnaturally Cruel to Other People

Originally meant to be posted... May last year

Something that has been brewing away for ages, among several other unpleasant things, is a certain viral music clip composed and conceived by a twisted and Canadian brain, currently in the possession of Avril Lavigne. The thought has been resurrected by tales on radio's quality production Get This, starring Tony Martin and Ed Kavalee.

Anyway, like all of commercial radio, they were taking the piss out of The Logies, ignoring the fact that absolutely nobody sane takes the Logies seriously, and that they really just take the piss out of themselves. BUT a terrible revelation came out - at the Logies Avril Lavigne was a special guest (after doing sooo much for the benefit Australian television) and performed her latest single Girlfriend. As guest Jane Kennedy said "The crowd looked like they were watching a documentary on the Kokoda Track". That's usually the expression on my face when the clip comes on multi-award winning station Channel V when I'm at the gym.

So I present

Jared Reviews Music Videos Episode Two

For those of you who don't have the memory of an elephant, Episode One was written back in the misty dawn of time before the fall of the Roman Empire. A modern translation of which can be found here.

ANYWAY, this clip is humourous for a few reasons. The first is purely to do with context: those of you who listen to the crap that pop stars say, will remember Avril powerfully and impressively proclaiming that she would move away from the cliched, manufactured punk-rock-girl image that resulted in noisy, meaningless songs like Sk8ter Boi. She then, of course, brought out Keep Holding On, which is a real musical drudge of emo cliches and celebration of that annoying teen mindset that sees keeping a relationship going through a lack of mobile signal a real struggle on par with Stuat Diver's trip to Thredbo. And then, this pile of crap comes out, which not only manages to surpass Keep Holding On in terms of sheer awfulness, but also makes Avril look like a complete fool... wait, is that really a challenge?

Soooo, anyway, here we all are, waiting with baited breath for Avril's latest piece of thought-provoked and introverted lyrics, far detached from her, like, totally immature popgirl days... and what do we get? Opening lyrics: "Hey, hey, yeah, yeah, I DON'T LIKE YOUR GIRLFRIEND! No, No, Yeah, Yeah I think you need a new one!"

Hmmm. This espouses a lot of shite to whoever's unfortunate enough to soak up this song: the misconception that getting a boyfriend is simply a competition to yell loud and open up your legs quickly, that there is nothing wrong with setting out to vindictively have sex with a man who's partnered with a woman you don't like, the idea that anyone would even care about this.

The next words are "Hey, baby I love you, you're so delicious"... what could the couplet be? "My love for you verges on capiricious"? "Times like this my feelings are insidious"? "I swear you're even cooler than a hover-bus"? "But yet you're with a girl who looks indigenous"? "No matter what the jury says I'm not 'solicitous'"? No! "Can't get you off my mind, you're so addictive."

Yes, Avril, that maestra of song-writing prowess (apparently) was completely unable to think of a work to actually rhymes with 'delicious'. Not even this bloke would make that rhyming couplet:

(Okay, there's meant to be a picture of Michael Caine from Educating Rita there. No idea if it's going to come up... actually it seems to have, but I'm hedging my bets. This website has screwed me over all too many times in the past...)

I'm not going to analyse the rest of the lyrics, for the simple reason that I'm not sure if there are any. Focusing on the clip. Avril isn't satisfied simply to dazzle us with her song writing skills and complete lack of popgirlishness, she also plays DUAL ROLES. Well, triple, if you include the daunting task of playing herself as a decidedly slutty singer on a stage. This is necessary for the carefully constructed narrative of the clip: there is a guy who, I'm guessing, is 'hot'. But currently he is being escorted by a girl who has RED HAIR and WEARS GLASSES and a PLAID SKIRT! OMFG NOT FCUKING AY-WAY, GAAAHLFRIEND! And, lo! His saviour arrives, a girl with BLACK HAIR, EYESHADOW, and a STRIPY SOCKS! If only she can humiliate the Nerdy Girl in unnecessarily cruel ways in public and convince the hot guy to penetrate her as she has never been before.

The problems with this should be obvious: Avril Lavinge is pretty good looking. And the simple act of her putting on a terribly cheap red wig and a pair of glasses does not somehow magically transform her into the antagonist of this piece that the audience is meant to resent so much. Furthermore, Avril is no actress, unless we are to assume that the art has not evolved since the days of The Three Stooges. There is more gurning here than a drinking competition between Sylvester McCoy and David Tennant - Avril's favourite action to evoke the ostracised pain of the 'nerdy' character is to let her mouth fall open to it's maximum threshold, widen her eyes unnaturally, and turn her head 45 degrees to her left. I'm guessing she got some bad direction and assumed that she was playing one of those carnival clown heads.

The clip goes on in a vain attempt to provoke some interest, using incredibly colourful locales such as carnivals, a miniature golf course, and the most brightly-lit women's bathroom that I've ever seen. Erm... not that I've seen many womens' bathrooms... moving on.

Goth-Avril essentially stalks Dork-Avril to a disturbing degree, showing up everywhere that she takes her boyfriend and humiliating her in ritualistic ways presumably borrowed from The Wicker Man (The original, I mean. No bees in this film-clip) She destroys Dork-Avril dodgem car, pashes her guy when she takes a break from girlfriend-stuff to eat, and then bodily hurls her out of one of those mall photo booths with method that would make Roy Symonds proud so she can be treated to a set of photos of her Goth twin sister making out until her tonsils bleed.

After all of this, the final setpiece duel is in the Happy Somethingorother Mini-Golf Course where, in a dazzling break of established form in the narrative, Goth-Avril is there purely by coincidence! Fortunately one of her friends is around to point out that Dork-Avril is also there with her boyfriend - occassionally any stalker can slip up, which is why we, er, I mean THEY all need a backup unit. Upon seeing her mortal enemy, Goth-Avril whacks her ball with the force of a driver (something that's essentially impossible to do with a mini-putter), predictably whacking Dork-Avril in the head and sending her plummeting into a handy ice-cold body of water. Once again presumably-hot dude does not seem so much as fazed that a psychotically persistent stalker is on his trail, nor that she may well have commited homicide.

Instead Avril absconds with the guy, though now in the form of Normal-Avril (ie, no wig) and whisks him off to the brightly coloured bathroom where she has been dancing intermittenly throughout the clip, apparently telling all other patrons of the facilities to 'fuck off' as they scurry off stage-right after a simple hand-motion from her, and leads her new conquest into a cubicle. As in, the kind with a toilet inside.

Well, Avril thinks it's okay. Does that make it acceptable? I mean, personally I thought sex on a toilet was kind of... shall we say, tacky? Apparently it's good enough to be glorified in a pop clip. Food for thought.

So, anyway, after that faintly disturbing episode the clip rounds off in the usual scatterbrained editing that these things typically dissolve into, but with one last entry into the rather one-sided and extremely morally questionable duel between Goth-Avril and Dork-Avril. Dork-Avril emerges from the water, showing signs of a serious concussion, and then sees that Goth-Avril has indeed stolen her beau with her unethical campaign, and now decides to do a hate-fuuelled Gollum impression by running forward with nails and teeth bared and trying to tackle her.

You can, of course, predict that Goth-Avril sidesteps effortlessly. What you probably cannot, and would not DARE to predict, is that at that exact moment a morbidly obese man emerges from a port-a-potty in the distance, and Dork-Avril rolls down the hill into the briefly open door, causing, naturally, the mobile latrine to roll wildly down the hill and, let's not dress this up, cover Dork-Avril in feces.

I seriously have to ask, what sick mind dreamt up the moral code used throughout this filmclip? Since when has the crime of being "Like, so whatever!" (seriously how Dork-Avril is described in the lyrics) merited non-consensual human-waste submersion as a form of Copral Punishment? (Ha! See what I did there? A pun!) If it is Avril herself... you scare me.

All in all, a mightily offensive film clip that poses more questions than answers. Just one of them: was this based on Caerdroia?

(Ha! See what I did there? I ended it on an obscure Doctor Who reference! Rather than anything about the clip! Ha, I am so left-field and wacky!)

Expect another film-clip review sometime next year.