Friday, December 29, 2006

Part One: The Man-ifesto

Let's get some things clear kittens.

1) I don't work for MTV. Or MTV2. Or MTV Ocho. I have much more overall in me to hate them than to glorify them. MTV does not stand for quality music videos and maybe it never did. Regardless, they are the grand poobah of the genre and ignoring them or castigating them for pioneering successfully what others could not is pretty fucking stupid. MTV invented the modern music video. Accept it, and move on.

2) I'm not exactly a film scholar; in fact most film theory makes me retch. I mix up Oliver Stone and Martin Scorcese all the time. And you know what? I don't care. But that doesn't mean, I don't know my way around a mise en scene and auteur theory (which incidentally I personally subscribe to--in short that every film is about the creator) so don't try to snow me up with your "well your criticism is marred by Bazin's conjecture about..." rah rah elitist bullshit. Most film theorists need to shut up, and even more need to shut up because they don't recognize music videos for what they are--experimental short film.

3) Shut up.

That is above and beyond the sole foundation for this blog to be based: music videos are short films. Therefore films. Therefore art. Hard art too, because it has to be multi-disciplinary [look at all the dancing is in videos], work off another artist's previous work, and probably above all, let's face it, appeal to a mass commercial audience. You try doing that with your hands tied behind your hand by studios, divas, and screaming spittling rat teenagers on TRL. Don't make me trot out the names, the Spike Jonzes, the Haussmans, the McGs. B

"But McG directed Charlies Angels...Charlie's Angels was shit."

Of COURSE it was shit, but it was popular! And a big fucking break (and likely payday) from a snot-nosed white boy who goes by one name. So to the directors out there, this is why it pays to make these, it pays to do this beyond any petty, oh-what's-the-word noble reason like to make art. Music videos are commerce, fine; they occasionally become art. Because music videos can push It, they are an uncontrolled factory of culture, that comes from virtually nowhere! It is music of course, but it is also dance, it is fashion, it is politics, it is film.

The modern musical isn't dead, people. It moved.*

Music videos push it because oftentimes, at a certain point, the artist has nothing better to do than blow $250,000 on a 3 minute clip of them shaking their ass. And that, my friends, is the most glorious petri dish for social commentary I could ever possibly ask for.

4) And it even concerns, maybe even primarily concerns sex. Music is music is music, you feel it in your loins but the Media American gaze? Is a gaze. And it is male. And it wants sex, pulsating, throbbing, in your face sex. VH1 of all places used to have a show that for a half-hour just delighted the shit out of your nethers, because it placed together all the trashy lingerie, rippling abs, and cars fancier than your house in a series of bite sized pallets. It was delicious, and thereby, I do not dedicate this blog to MTV, the whiny poser who sold out his game to the highest bidder, but to VH1, the dowdier sister to the network, the one that probably read romance novels tucked between algebra books.

Okay, that's the manifesto! I will follow this up with a constantly updating FAQ about my goals and how to help me out, but these are the principles by which I'll conduct this project: in an honest, populist, salacious, intellectual manner.

Got that? Maybe replay it again, slower...
Video Dame

*Boy oh boy, when I get to Outkast, then will I go right the hell off.

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