Friday, November 5, 2010

Backup Dancers From Hell: Pink - “Raise Your Glass”

Fasten your seatbelts…

We start off in what might be a high school lunchroom, with a rather plain girl surrounded by life-size fashion-model cutouts sitting at the table around her. (Flashback to sucky teenage years, right?) Just before spending some serious quality time with a corndog, the plain girl smacks one of the cutouts to the floor. (Which is what we all wanted to do in high school. Unless you were actually the supermodel, in which case you’re probably not watching a Pink video.)

Cut to Pink, dressed up as Rosie the Riveter from back in the World War II day. She’s showing us her very impressive bicep while singing the opening lines to the song. Zip over to Pink in what might be a Spanish Civil War outfit, just as she’s stabbing a matador instead of the matador stabbing a bull. (Shout out to animal rights.) There’s some guys lurking in the background wearing creepy stockings on their head, with X’s for eyes, and I’m not really lovin’ on that, but we’ll see.

Now we have Pink, sporting slightly-nerdy glasses while strumming a guitar in what might be a fancy supper club. Back to the matador scene, with Pink shoving those bejeweled dagger things into the matador. He drops to his knees in surprise. (Just like the poor animals usually do, right?) Quick shot of Rosie again, then back to the supper club, where we see two guys kiss. (Okay, gay rights, and now I’m starting to see where Pink is going with all this. Totally wouldn’t have envisioned this when I first heard the song.)

Next up, Pink is hangin’ out with some street thugs swigging gin and juice, then we roll into a rapid-fire montage of the previous scenes, ending with Plain Girl hoisting her milk carton just as Pink bellows “raise your glass!” Cut to Pink with a punk hairdo, which is kind of a trite statement, I realize, as she stomps around with the thug guys. This goes on for a bit, with Pink concentrating on the younger thug-ettes standing around. Yo, better life than this. Find it.

Then Pink is facing off with a Sumo wrestler that oddly looks like that guy from the Monopoly game. Not sure what that’s all about, but there’s a dollar sign painted on the floor so maybe Pink is single-handedly trying to bring down Big Business. Then we have several blind-folded ladies feeding breast milk to a calf. (Not kidding, and my confusion grows, especially since one of the pantyhose-heads is spray-painting “FARM” on the brick wall behind them.) I’m sure Pink is making a political statement, I’m just not hip enough to get what it is.

Cut to Pink at one of those skateboard parks, where she’s thrusting a beer toward the sky while boys fly through the air. This kicks off a semi-morphing scene where different facial parts are pieced together to create unique characters. The morphing continues for a while, with jump cuts to the other scenarios in the video: Rosie, the skateboarders, Pink’s continuing efforts to defeat the Sumo Money Guy, and the mystifying feeding of livestock using Victoria’s Secret starlets.

Oh wait, they’ve slipped in a new vignette where diaper-clad toddlers are raising their bottles and sippy-cups to the lyrics. (This means that you should either celebrate life from the very beginning, or that you should demand premium formula from the daycare workers.) Then Pink wakes up after apparently having had sex with an Hassidic Jew.

Don’t even ask. I don’t know.

Next up is Pink sporting a tragic hairdo while she watches a rhythm-challenged guy trying to dance at a high school prom circa 1976. Pink sniffs at her armpit, because uncool girls always do that. I guess she smelled something really inspiring, because she suddenly leaps to her feet and starts to boogie, oogie, oogie, till you just can’t boogie no more.

This kicks off another montage, revisiting some scenes that we’ve already enjoyed, along with new stuff, like a scantily-clad woman who has a very special relationship with a hula hoop. (Really love the hyperkinetic hand gestures that 1970’s Pink teaches the nerdy guy in his polyester suit.) An important update concerns Pink finally getting that Sumo wrestler out of the ring, and then she does a victory dance indicating her nether regions are really, really itchy. Meanwhile, Hula Girl is able to spin that hoop horizontally, which is a skill that I now greatly desire.

More montage, where it seems that everybody should be able to find their special place in life if they just stay true to their inner wants and desires. It also helps if you drink a lot. In quick succession, Pink sleeps with the Pope, some guy with a really big hat, and a nun, with Pink saying a brief thankful prayer about that last one. (Apparently the message is that you should sleep with lots of flavors to make sure you find the right one. Can’t argue with that.)

The montage continues all the way to the end of the video, but as we wind down, we see Pink setting aloft these tiny flame-powered balloons into the night sky, and it all gels. Everyone can succeed if they try hard enough, knock it off with the senseless killing of animals, the morphing means that we are all part of one another so stop with the pointless labeling, all people are of equal value, and the balloons…

The balloons are hope.

At least, that’s how I’m taking it….


Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.


  1. Interesting overview. I'm pretty sure that Hula Hooper isn't a biological woman though. Perhaps a drag queen, perhaps gender queer, perhaps just a style, perhaps a MtF transgender. Who knows. But that takes the message of embracing difference further. I think the Hula Hooper is beautiful, either way.

  2. Hey Anon,

    Agreed, your thoughts on Hula Hooper are very inclusive, and I failed to realize the true significance of this supporting performance. And I still want to be able to do that with a hula hoop. Without, you know, damaging my spine.