Wednesday, October 30, 2013

What's Your Name? Who's Your Daddy? Is He Rich? - I'm On Fire by Bruce Springsteen

In film, narrative brevity is vital. Take a look at The Outlaw Josey Wales. No, seriously. Watch it. All the way through. Go rent it from the video store if you have to. (Note to younger readers: A video store was a place that had a bunch of videos [a video was like a Blue Ray, but you had to rewind it because it was made out of tape] that you could pay money to borrow.)

I'm not going to be flexible on this. You have to watch the whole thing. The rest of this blog post will make no sense if you don't watch it right now all the way through.

Did you watch it? I don't believe you. You have to pass this test to continue reading.

1. What is the titular character's last name?
 a. Whales
 b. Dolphins
 c. Wales

The correct answer was e. The Oulaw Josey Wales. If you got it correct that means that you watched the whole movie all the way through and you may continue.

Okay. Remember in, like, the first 30 seconds of the movie where Josey is plowing the field, he looks up at his family lovingly, and then those bleeding Kansans show up and kill his wife and kids? There doesn't need to be several scenes of Josey's wife smiling at him while washing clothes or Josey chasing his son around the crops to establish that he loves his family. Just show him, show his family, and kill his family. That is narrative brevity.

Here's a video that failed to understand the past and even failed to repeat it. I'm On Fire by Bruce Springsteen:

The whole video is only 3 minutes and 30 seconds and the music doesn't start until after 1 minute and 10 seconds. During that time the following is established.

1. There is a automobile repair shoppe.

2. Someone in a fancy car is a regular customer.

3. Working class hero Bruce Springsteen works in that automobile repair shoppe.

His job is sex mechanic.

4. The regular customer is not just fancy car rich, she is diamond jewelry rich.

Some of her diamond jewelry is a wedding ring.

5. She gives the keys to her house to the sex mechanic.

Having established all of that, the music begins. During the rest of the music video almost nothing at all happens. Why couldn't they just establish all of those vital facts during the first part of the song and compress the longing looks into the last half of the song? Do we really need so many shots of working class hero Bruce Springsteen consumed with lust?

Here he is, in bed, desperate to have sex. It's like his sex is on fire.

Who (or what) does he want to have sex with? Let's take a look:

We believe that he wants to sleep with the car. Then the singing starts, "Hey little girl is your daddy home? Did he go away and leave you all alone?" Okay, so he is planning on finding a small girl whose father is away and have sex with her. That is terrifying. Did he realize that this song would be released to the public? Do the police realize that he is still at large?

As a sex offender, working class menace Bruce Springsteen must alert everyone in the neighborhood about his presence. He jumps in the car to do so.

He drives up to a fancy house.

And suggestively reaches for the doorbell.

Suddenly, he realizes that he was just thinking about sexually assaulting a small girl, and has not done so (yet?). Having committed no crime, he is not in fact a sex offender. It would be very strange to ring people's doorbells and inform them that you are not a sex offender.

Fun suggestion: Try adding the sentence "[Name] was not a Nazi," to the Wikipedia page of many well-known actors from the '40's. Then, see if anyone wonders if actors not explicitly listed as non-Nazis were Nazis. That kind of wackiness was almost started here, but for sex offenders. "Hi, I'm PTD. I'm not a sex offender."

Having narrowly avoided making himself a social pariah, working class citizen Bruce Springsteen leaves the keys to that car in this person's mailbox.

There is no indication that house belongs the car owner. I have to assume that he just picked a home at random. I wonder what they'll think when they see a strange car in the driveway and a set of keys in the mailbox. It would never, not in 136 years, occur to me to try the keys in the car.

That's just me, though.


No comments:

Post a Comment