Monday, December 2, 2013

Rap Music My Droogs! - The Universal by Blur

I like to give artists the benefit of the doubt. This means that I assume that if something happens in a music video it is for a reason. I'm sure bands will frequently just put a bunch of crap in a video that they think is cool or funny or whatever. I try to ignore that, though, as an aspiring New Critic (note: if you are ever saying "New Criticism" out loud you have to specify the capital n and c immediately afterwards for maximum-pedantic-asshole effect) and do my best to find meaning in everything. Sometimes it is hard, though.

The Universal by Blur:

This video is filled with implied significance. There are golf ball shaped speakers.

Blur is sitting in a bar that is an homage to the bar in Clockwork Orange. The singer even has one fake eyelash.

See how the wall behind them looks like the outside of the speaker? That must mean something. Maybe the band is inside the speaker? Maybe the speaker lulls you into a magical world of Clockwork Orange bars?

The band certainly does not seem excited about being the entertainment.

The bass player is leaning against the wall and the guitar player isn't even standing up.

The singer seems happy, but not animated.

Suddenly he springs into action.

What does all of this mean? Was the band transported into the speaker or are they a part of it? The speaker stands there: monolithic and mysterious. The band seems to be monolithic and mysterious, too. They are powerful, but slow to move. They are also in all white just like the bar. I think that they are part of the speaker and must provide those sucked in.

Who are these people they must entertain? There is a group of be-suited and -bowtied men around a single woman.

There is a man with a priest.

There are two people having this hilarious exchange:

There's a man kissing two red women.

There's two old people who might be identical twins wearing red goggles.

This is what the world looks like to them.

Here we get a shot of people outside the speaker, including one of the red-begoggled twins.

This supports our theory that people are pulled mentally into the speaker, but the space inside the speaker is more theoretical than consisting of tiny people. This is good.

Things start to get  weird as the priest and the other guy get drunk. The priest whispers something to the other guy.

The other guy is shocked while the priest laughs.

The singer reveals that, as a British celebrity, he can have bad teeth.

And then the priest kisses the other guy on the mouth.

So... since the video doesn't really make sense I assume that the interaction between the priest and the other guy is the key to the whole thing. What does it mean?

Honestly, I don't think it means anything. Everything seems like it means something, but ultimately it doesn't. There's the hint of something bigger but no substance. Ultimately, it's just a collection of, "Wouldn't it be cool if..."

Oh well. At least we get a priest kissing a man on the mouth.


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