Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Clean Cut Hospital - Afternoons & Coffeespoons by Crash Test Dummies

I believe it was Voltaire who said, "Referring to a poet or playwright doesn't make you insightful." But he didn't really speak English very well so he might not have known what he was saying. Also, it was the bard who said, "I hope to become the modern-day Robert Frost." But that's neither here nor there.

Crash Test Dummies hope to appear deep by referring to, but not in any way interpreting, the works of T. S. Eliot in this music video:

I really like this song. It seems like history has not looked fondly on Crash Test Dummies because the best quality version of this on YouTube looks like someone transferred a VHS tape of the video to their desktop computer running Windows 3.1 and then uploaded it. Regardless, I remember them fondly. This video, though, does them no favors.

Even the people making the video are baffled:

Here's a pro tip: If you need to label something that is happening on the screen because otherwise people won't understand what the hell is going on, you maybe should re-shoot that scene. Here's the scene in question:

The doctors hold up a plastic bag that apparently holds something. We have no idea what, oh wait! It is a catheter!

Then, they put the catheter inside the lead singer's penis. Putting things in a man's penis is hilarious because it's like he's a woman.

That is some fascinating video making. Exciting visual.

The video is a little too on the nose, too. I wrote before about the danger of being too literal in a music video. This song is about a man who is growing old and there are many changes. He wants to make sure that he is healthy by getting every part of his body checked out by doctors. Ultimately, he sees that his life is ending bit by bit and that death is unavoidable. And T. S. Eliot.

So how does the music video portray this? It shows a man going to the hospital...

...while death hangs around waiting for him to be dead so he can death him to death.

The video really adds a whole new element to the song, there.

This doesn't mean that I don't think the video does anything right, though. First of all, it shows off the singer's totally groovy fashion sense:

A t-shirt and a vest? I don't know if this was cool in the early '90s or what, but I absolutely love it. It is impractical and would seem extremely stupid if worn by someone less confident. I think that is the definition of cool.

Also, the video does a great job of showing off the members of the band.

You have the flashy harmonica player?!?

The blonde keyboard player who is also a woman:

The laughably clean-cut long haired bass player:

This is great! Each person has his own little personality that you can remember. The bald drummer doesn't get as many good shots as the other members, but I was able to establish that his personality consists of baldness.

Also, I don't have any clear memories of the early '90s, but were other bands like this? Or is it just because they are Canadian and so exist in a whole 'nother universe? This band is so squeaky clean looking! I imagine that all the members went to music school where they became very proficient with their instruments but never learned about sex appeal. Especially the bass player. He makes me wonder if there is a whiter bread than Wonder Bread.

I guess it doesn't matter. If people want to rebel, punk rock was coming back around that time anyway. I'll just keep grooving to the non-threatening good times.


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