Like most people I am a white, middle class male ages 18 to 49. Sometimes, for fun, we like to observe a minority group and laugh at their zany antics. Whether it's Persians, Kurds, or Iranians, we love to make fun of those different from the majority. Besides race, though, class is always a source of humor. Poor people are hilarious!
Check it out, "Our House" by Madness:
Madness perform this song entirely in poor face. They wear traditional British working class clothing:
This jolly fellow just loves being working class! He wears an ill-fitting hat and plays bass in front of some extraordinarily ugly wallpaper.
The singer even wears finger-less gloves, just like a hobo would to maximize the amount of heat absorbed from a drum fire.
The whole band also crams themselves into a tiny room, just like the abundant brood of a working class couple who never learned about birth control.
The video opens with some zany working class antics in the form of "man-on-the-street" interviews. He asks a series of people, "Have you see our house?"
They look bewildered as they think, "I don't recall owning a house with this person. I must have been drunk or it happened more than 3 months ago before I got severe amnesia."
Finally he finds someone who lies and tells him that he has seen our house.
Our funny bones primed for further chuckles, the song begins.
This video commits what I consider an unforgivable sin. They have people pretending to play string instruments who don't know what they're doing.
Now, I'm no expert on playing string instruments, although I do hold an advanced degree on the subject. Look at their wrists! Look at their uncoordinated movements! I feel like they could have taken the time to at least look at a picture of a professional violinist.
This is Itzhak Perlman. You may remember him from that Steven Spielberg movie about the holocaust. (Everyone thought that movie was so great, but I didn't think it was that funny.) See how he looks comfortable and is holding the violin primarily with his neck? That's how it's done.
Anyway, we get to see other members of this poor family. Here is the mother:
She has become entirely sexless from the drudgery of day-to-day working class life with a large family. This person could be either a man or a woman at this point.
We also see the brother:
He tries to clean himself up to hopefully land a woman from a better social class. He is destined to fail, though, and will end up dropping out of school when his girlfriend from next door gets pregnant because he never learned about birth control.
We also have the father:
The lyrics of the song tell us that this is his Sunday best. That's hilarious! Those are the nicest clothes he owns? That's what I would wear to clean out a pig sty!
These poor people then engage in antics.
The mother, exhausted from cooking for and cleaning up after her enormous family falls asleep while trying to iron a shirt and hopefully fool an outsider into thinking its wearer is middle class.
The father, who has presumably been waiting for the mother to prepare his clothing (like a mother would for a tiny baby) is upset and terrifies the mother.
The whole family engages in traditional working class dances.
During the guitar solo they do something that is a lot of fun. What would a child dreaming of getting out of this low class family do? Pretend that he was someone else, someone famous.
That's some sweet air guitar. Or racket guitar.
Here he pretends to be a Beatle, complete with collarless jacket and ridiculous hair.
I have no idea what this dress signifies.
Besides this cool guitar solo stuff I do like the guy with the fake nose:
There's a little to like. But overall we are just supposed to think the poor are funny. Which they are. Sometimes, though, you wish bands would try a little harder.
Join me tomorrow when we see someone else playing air guitar whilst, and at the same time, robbing a bank.