Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Cold for Preacher - Hot for Teacher by Van Halen

Yesterday I promised synchronized dancing. Today, I deliver.

And here is the synchronized dancing:

This video has some of the worst synchronized dancing possible. The moves are really simple and poorly executed. I'm amazed that any of the band members can play their instruments because it seems they are incapable of moving parts of their bodies in time.

This video isn't all synchronized dancing though. "Music videos do not live by dancing alone," as Sun Tzu said.

The video starts in black and white, possibly representing the past. We see a boy named Waldo whose lot in life is humiliation and anxiety.

He does not fit in with the kids at school. They like to have fun and throw shit on the bus. That's fun, right?

And David Lee Roth is the bus driver! Awesome celebrity cameo! I understand that he is also a part-time musician like Bruce Willis or the Bacon Brothers.

This all happens before the song starts. I don't like having an introductory video section. The pacing is all weird and the acting is terrible. Just play the song! If I wanted to watch a movie featuring musicians I'd just watch Purple Rain because it is impossible to make a better music movie than that.

Once Waldo arrives at school you get a closer look at his classmates. You have the baby punk with enormous glasses:

And the baby "a little bit poodle, a little bit rock and roll":

In addition, each of the band members has his kid-pleganger. You have the singer what's-his-face:

The drummer who's-its:

The bass player, rock legend, and golden-throated background vocalist Michael Anthony:

And the guitar player, Ted or something, who is trying desperately to be cool:

Then, much like the Kool-Aid man, the teacher busts through the wall and everything becomes awesome.

She seems to be a combination stripper and beauty pageant contestant. She comes through the curtain, reveals that fact that she is barely wearing any clothes, and everyone goes apeshit. The video also goes from black and white to color. The kid-plegangers go wild, acting in a manner that seems wildly inappropriate for children their age. When I was that age I would not have been willing to stand up in those circumstances.

Then, inexplicably, the video goes back to black and white. Once the Kool-Aid man comes through the wall, the hole in that wall does not heal. My understanding is that those kids drink Kool-Aid and have fun until they collapse from sugar-induced central nervous system problems or get diabetes. At no point do things get boring again. Yet that is what happens here.

You get the wrong person singing, which is both confusing and obnoxious.

As well as the correct person singing after leering at a woman's butt. Everyone loves a well-executed leer. Ok, now it's time for synchronized dancing.

And then the teacher starts stripping in the lunch room. Note that her sign (ribbon? scarf? placard?) says "Phys Ed" because she is educating the children about her physical body! Get it?

This second verse is really strange. The singer looks really depressed and sings with no expression.

The teacher's dancing and frivolity only reminds him of his own mortality. Some day he will die and then the fun will all be over. He becomes desperate and grabs the teacher, hoping to feel something, anything.

For obvious reasons, this leads to additional synchronized dancing.

Do you see how uncoordinated their movements are? It is amazing. Maybe all the dance sequences were shot in a single take? Maybe it's all performance art about the futility of ever syncing with another human being. No form of communication is perfect, so what we are trying to convey and what other humans understand is always different. This is the message I understand from these terrible dancers, but who knows what message they are truly trying to convey.

Then, the guitar player walks down a table while playing tunelessly as fast as he possibly can.

This leads to the band and its kid-plegangers being imprisoned by a sexy guard.

For reasons that are entirely unclear, exposure to members of Van Halen causes Waldo physical harm. Here is what he looks like at this point in the video.

Van Halen is considered a metal band, but their music is not heavy and the band members are not threatening. I feel like they spend half their time getting perms and the other half playing pop music. If you listen to a song that is actually heavy, such as "Outshined" by Soundgarden I think you will clearly hear the difference. "Outshined" has pounding drums, passionate vocals, and thick, meaty, Texas-chili-style guitar work. "Hot for Teacher" has synchronized dancing:

These guys are supposed to be threatening?

The video ends, after an epic 5 minutes, with an update on where all the characters are.

The drummer apparently went to medical school. And he is a gynecologist. HAHAHAHAHA. HA. Do people think that being a gynecologist is sexy? I imagine that treating women's genitals medically is pretty different from having sex.

Bass great Michael Anthony went into the world of sports. This is a huge loss for music. We can only hope that he brings as much light and joy to Japanese wrestling as he did to music.

The guitar player is euphemistically mentally ill. Is that funny? Apparently.

I don't get it.

The singer is a game show host. Good for him. It's great to see a hometown kid make good.

Well, that's about it. Except: Synchronized dancing.

Join me tomorrow when I show you what a real 1980's video should be.


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