Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Backup Dancers From Hell: Five For Fighting - “Superman (It’s Not Easy)”

We start out with the camera zooming through some fog and up to a window in what we can assume is a house. A woman is standing there, holding a little baby and gazing wistfully out the window. We don’t really know who she is, so there’s not much investment in her outcome, but perhaps we’ll care more when we can see what she’s looking at that’s behind us. Sunshine and singing birds, yay. Serial killers who just burned their TV dinner, not so much.

The camera pans to the right, and there’s the lead singer looking out another window. At least we know him, so we’re more at ease. The camera person thinks the same, so he zooms into the room. The lead singer (John?), sings a few words, then turns and walks further into the room. As he makes a motion to sit down, a bench suddenly appears, followed by an entire matching piano. (This is a very special skill to have, and I’m slightly jealous.)

As John plays the piano, other band members start appearing in the room with their instruments. The camera pulls back, and the room fades into a street corner at night. (The other band members disappear, apparently not proving interesting enough to stay visible.) The camera cuts to the left where we watch a man throw a red ball into the air and catch it, followed by a little boy who does the same. The man vanishes, and the little boy rudely throws his ball down and runs away. (No idea what this means. Playing catch can lead to relatives disappearing and emotional stress?)

The camera pans to the right, where two women appear. They lean in to kiss, but they turn into a different woman and a man before the lips actually touch. (What, lesbians aren’t allowed to be physically intimate in this video? Who produced this? Fox News?) The camera zooms in on John’s face, which turns into a mirror reflection as John opens a cabinet and places a tiny red ball back inside. (Okay, clearly something is up with the red-ball imagery. Was there a life-changing dodge-ball situation in John’s past?)

We’re back in the big room where we started, and the band is back, so I guess they’ve promised to behave this time. Whoops, that didn’t last very long. John is alone again, on top of a big-ass hill with the ocean behind him. He sits down on a tree stump in an odd position that shoves his crotch right at us. In case we didn’t notice the crotch action, John places his hand right there so we can see how big that hand is. Message received.

The ocean view fades and now we’re in the back of a car. (We can see a giant glowing orb out the back window, so either the sun exploded or it’s an alien spacecraft, come to take John back to the planet Mulder for further study. I guess they heard about the crotch.) John doesn’t care about his fate and keeps singing. He turns to look out the window on his left, and there’s a couple in another car, being tender with one another. (Which means we really shouldn’t be watching this, John. It’s called voyeurism, and some people don’t take kindly to that. Others, like Lady Gaga, actually prefer that you watch every single thing that they do.)

The camera turns away from the lovers’ car, and starts moving faster as we zip along some sidewalk where the people are all ghost-like, except for John, who suddenly starts running. (NOW he’s going to worry about the aliens?) He ends up in that original room again, where the band has been given another chance to behave, along with lots of people that we don’t know. John plunks down at his trusty piano and starts to play again.

It’s possible that the piano is actually the control mechanism for all the apparating that has been going on in this video, because as John plays, people and things start to vanish again. (Yet another reason why the aliens are interested in abducting him. John seems to possess a lot of special skills, although maybe not a personal stylist. Jury is still out on that one.)

Now we’re in the middle of a forest, and John wanders away from his piano. He ends up in a nice little clearing, where he sings the delicate last strains of the song. Then the camera pans up and we see a bed behind him in the grass, occupied by the woman and child that we met way back at the start. He turns and lays down beside them, kissing the baby and snuggling.


But seriously, John. Those aliens don’t play. You better pack an overnight bag and get to runnin’…


Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

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