To spark discussion. Not to ruin your Saturday.
What do you think? I can’t argue with “Rock Me Tonite” — Billy Squier looks like Jennifer Beales’ dorky brother attempting to flashdance. His performance is astonishing: the stomping, the flailing arms, the perm…. the video apparently ruined his career. But it’s also absolutely compelling. It has a horrifying, Oh my GOD quality to it, the quality that causes you to laugh uncontrollably even as you feel intense pity for the singer. And by you, I mean me.
Warning: Do not watch if you value the neurons in your brain.
On the other hand, “If Nobody Believed in You” made me scrub out my ears with steel wool. Nothing else could get rid of the singer’s awful nasal drone. What happened in the recording studio? Did the engineer turn up the twang past Eleven, all the way to Super-Hick? And the lyrics — the message — made me try to reach through my computer monitor to throttle Joe Nichols. Let me summarize. Verse 1: A dad who screams at his Little Leaguer is awful. Verse 2: A son who takes away the car keys from his elderly father is cruel. Verse 3: Banning the Pledge of Allegiance from American public schools may cause God to destroy the universe.
That’s why there are fingernail scratch marks all over my screen. Quick — institute compulsory Christian prayer in U.S. schools, before the Almighty gets bored and disintegrates those tenth graders one by one. Gah.* And if anybody can give me hard evidence that the Pledge of Allegiance has been banned in even one American school district, and that such a ban has been upheld in court, I’ll make my own video of “Rock Me Tonite” and post it here.
However, I can’t bring myself to hate “Hip to Be Square.” And Sisqo’s “Unleash the Dragon” is merely seven minutes of grandiose posturing and stultifying CGI mayhem. Which bizarrely seems to feature Marco Rubio’s stunt double in a helicopter.
How about everybody else? What do you hate? And don’t say me, for exposing you to these videos.
*Besides, didn’t the notion that the universe is nothing but an idea in God’s mind go out of fashion with George Berkeley in the 18th Century?
IN THE COMMENTS: I debate whether “If Nobody Believed in You” implies that God is this close to blinking and snuffing out the cosmos, or whether it hints that he might instead curl up in a fetal position and cry because American public schools aren’t paying homage to him.