Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Covered in Shame and Confusion

There's something I've been sort of wanting to say for about two weeks, but out of "professional jealousy" (or, as it is less commonly known, "regular jealousy"), I've been avoiding talking about it, which is also funny because I have no claim on this real-life Ricky Schroeder's profession. But has anyone seen the new Spike Jonze-directed video for Ludacris's Get Back? It features Ludacris with these cartoonishly massive arms, like Hulk arms, doing the kinds of things that you would expect someone with cartoonishly massive arms to do. All in all, it's actually a far cry from Jonze's best videos. The first "act" takes place in a bathroom and it's far too long, and after awhile the video seems to lose its steam and drag on forever as the conceit of the cartoonishly massive arms becomes accepted and thereby uninteresting, which is too bad considering it is one of Ludacris's better songs. Nevertheless, there are two moments of pure absolute genius in this video. When I first saw it, I missed the very beginning with the little title credits in the corner, but even so I knew it was Jonze, and not because of the arms, which any Roman Coppolla could think of, but because of two very specific details. The first occurs when Ludacris is walking down the street through throngs of club goers, surrounded by his fat backup dancers who wear these fat pink Chanel dresses and throw people out of Ludacris's way, because they're super strong from all that extra fat on their bodies. But the moment of absolute genius comes when Ludacris stops to yell "Get Back!" at a pair of boots. They don't even show the girl wearing the boots, they just show Ludacris yelling at the boots and then a close-up of the boots. The second amazing detail is when Ludacris is rapping in front of a gas station, where all the fat back-up dancers have parked their four-wheelers in a line. It is a relatively typical "rapper rapping in front of a semi-dynamically arranged, but otherwise static background" sequence, with the big arms waving, except that if you look closely, one of his cartoonishly massive hands is holding a Slurpee. I can't wait for Adaptation 2: Curse of the Black Pearl.

So, McCullen and I have come up with three possible themes for our New Year's Eve party, and can I just mention how happy I got yesterday when I remembered that 2004 is the Worst Year Ever and it's almost over? 2005 is going to be a little bit better! Anyhow, the themes are as follows:

You Know How My Face Gets
What Happens in Cabo, Stays in Cabo
How Dare Them

The theme that was roundly rejected was McCullen's "J'accuse!" theme, in which everyone sat around in black and white and no one was allowed to speak unless it was to shout "J'accuse!" across the room. The reason, of course, that this theme was rejected is that I want people other than just fags to come to our party.

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