Okay . . . just now, I was glued to the boobtube (Sabrina re-run) and this video came on. And the voice of John Lennon came out.
Accompanied by guitar and drums.
I blinked. Double-blinked.
The video was by Jet (I think I have that right.) It starts with the little woodland critters from “Bambi” and “Cinderella” watching this band perform in a clearing.
The lead singer is the one who sounds *and looks* like a young John Lennon. Like Lennon on the cover of early Beatles albums. *boggle*
And this is a ballad. Like the ones from “Sgt. Pepper” and thereabouts. Except it uses the chord progression of “Everything I Own” by Bread. Hmm.
The video goes through the expected media-manipulation schtick where a dark force represented by a devil-face enters the woods and all the woodland critters go wicked or get swooped down upon by owls, etc. Then near the end of the song, there are intensely bright flashes intended to put the brain into “panic” mode, a technique used by many not-too-original film types.*
The drummer is dressed like Ringo Starr did for a while, with a police or Nazi hat and leather gloves. That part is very Sgt. Pepper.
Okay. So . . . this cannot be “just a coincidence.” This kid was picked out of the crowd or rose to the MTV arena partly *because* he was Lennonesque. They’re trying to evoke the Beatles-meme or the Beatle archetype in those who have that “racial memory” or cultural meme in their heritage. I still haven’t really figured out what would possess someone to do such a cheeeesy video, but then if it’s popular and it works on the demographic it’s aimed at, it’s what they meant to do, I suppose.
When the ballad began, and the chords and rhythm made me think of Beatles ballads, I thought, “Hey, I might seek out this record.” By the end of the song, though, I’d pretty much been turned off. That’s ’cause I’m ancient and wizened and cynical and jaded. (I’d prefer to be opaled and diamonded, but that’s another issue.)
I really can’t tolerate those strobe-light superbright flashes, either. Remember how I said I had a visual infirmity . . . well, that is what triggers problems and exaggerates it for a couple of HOURS afterward. So that’s probably the final camelstraw. (You know, the one that made the camel rear up on its hind legs and say, “NO more damn straw-carrying! I’m going through the eye of that needle. And if it’s as small as it looks, I’m going to throw a hissy!”**)
Well, anyway. That was an interesting experience. Wonder whether he’ll shoot to the top? He wasn’t a bad singer. (Of course, Lennon didn’t have “the Paul McCartney voice,” and so it isn’t the prettiest, but that’s not in fashion.) Maybe we’ll have to wait and see, eh?
Footnotes: (wiggling toes)
* Yes, those flashes activate a part of the brain that’s rather primitive. It says, “WHAT THE F*** WAS THAT?” and snaps to hyper-attention. That’s ’cause used to (as Uncle Eursell would phrase it), a flash like that came only out of a gun barrel, and before that, lightning. Bad, dangerous things that meant trouble. So there’s a part of the brain that reptiles and above have which is programmed to hup-to when it sees those flashes.
YES, those marketing b*st*rds are well aware of this. Yes, they are doing it deliberately. No, I don’t think that’s cricket. But chirp-chirp, who cares what *I* think?
**Q. Frustrated novice at sewing: Why is the eye of the needle so small?
A. Irritating Mensa wag (SC): To piss off the camel.
If you don’t get it, you haven’t been to Sunday school. That’s OK. It’s just a Biblical scholar joke. Seminary joke. Never mind.