Right now someone is wondering about the validity of music videos.
Music videos and graphic design, when used in conjunction with one another, will be my demise. I quote poet Jack McCarthy from his ‘Careful What you ask for’
Oh, I don’t cry any more,
I don’t sob, I don’t make noise,
I just have hairtrigger tearducts, and always
at all the wrong things: supermarket openings;
the mayor cutting the ribbon on the bridge.
In movies I despise the easy manipulation
that never even bothers to engage my feelings,
it just comes straight for my eyes,
but there’s not a damn thing I can do about it,
and I hate myself for it.
If you replace supermarket openings with long-distance telephone commercials (“I’m in Normandy, Grandpa. I just called to say….Thanks.”) Jack McCarthy would have me pegged. Music videos are the worst. The juxtapositions….. The implications….. It’s just too much for me. “God is taking Moms and Dogs because he has to” superimposed over a golden retriever? Honestly. Never allude to the death of an animal or parent around me. Just don’t.
Right now someone is wondering if this is going anywhere. Someone else insists that it is.
So graphic design is art, of course, but the objective of projects like movie credits and music videos is to make some money. So it is commercial art, then. But music videos… that’s promotion masked behind an air of artistic expression. And I wonder if it is ever anything deeper than promotion? When has a music video ever changed the world, or helped anyone? Well, there was Band-Aid. And there are plenty of angst-y videos that throw up the Kids Help Phone number when they’re told that their video may cause mass youth suicide. But really, music videos are just… empty. And Van Halen can say that right now there are ten thousand injustices but they aren’t going to do shit about it. And you’re going to watch and it’s going to make you cry and you aren’t going to do shit about it either. Maybe you’ll download the video. Maybe you’ll buy the album. Maybe you’ll be happy when they win the MTV award. But people are still going to work too hard for minimum wage, dogs are going to die, blacks and whites aren’t going to eat together very often, and Ed is still going to play piano.
Right now someone is wondering if they still want their MTV.