Jeremy's Ramblings, Babblings, and Other Pretentious Bullshit.
Sunday, December 18, 2005
Let me just dust off this blog here. It's been a while.
I've decided that I read too much into things sometimes. This concerns both my personal life (like when comments just out of my earshot must be about me, or when Brey's bad mood has to be based on something I did) or in the entertainment field. I don't just go searching for the message of the work. I study the technique. This is why Gene Kelly and Buster Keaton are two of my favorite actors and why "all wear bowlers" was my favorite show this year.
However, I feel like I go too far sometimes.
I came to this conclusion this morning after watching one of the many random videos floating around the Internet. As connections have become faster and computers become more advanced, the "funny picture" has given way to the "funny video". In the past couple of years, I have been treated to countless television commercials, home movies of people falling and "optical illusions" that turn out to be pranks.
Most of these range from the mildly amusing to the downright boring. However, there is the occasional clip that actually manages to fill me with a sense of wonder and delight. These include a two-minute Honda commercial employing a Rube Goldberg device made from car parts, a troupe of Japanese puppeteers making a ping pong game where the players leap impossible bounds and a very funny spoof of "The O.C." entitled "The 'Bu".
I found another such video. In its most basic form, it is two college-age guys banging their heads and lip synching to the System of a Down song "Chop Suey". Upon first viewing the video, it reminded me of something my friend James and I would have done in high school to amuse ourselves. And then I found myself watching the video over and over again.
I've seen it about a half dozen times now, and I find myself admiring the technique of these two guys. It is not simply two a**holes lip synching to a rock song. One of them is sitting in the forefront, with the other one popping out from behind his right shoulder for a more interesting angle. In the quieter opening passages of the song, they sit looking pensive, deep in thought like monks, until the song takes off and they instantly explode with flailing arms and pounding head movements. They proceed to mock the lyrics through spastic body movements and exaggerated facial expressions.
What strikes me about the clip is that, apart from their clumsy thrashing in the heaviest parts of the song, their moves seems carefully calculated. Without looking at each other, they mirror and compliment each other's movements (which becomes more noticeable at the angle they used), and their jerky motions are beautifully counteracted with their rubbery facial expressions, making it an excellent mockery of the song.
Or it could just be two a**holes lip synching to a rock song.
See what I mean? Why do I do this? Ever since the statewide drama competition my senior year of high school, when I fiercely claimed that a simple sketch comedy idea had "something going on underneath", I have overanalyzed everything from Homestar Runner cartoons to Tuesday's Golden Globe nominations (My predictions of the winners: "Brokeback Mountain", "Walk the Line", Ang Lee, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Felicity Huffman, Joaquin Phoenix, Reese Witherspoon, Paul Giamatti, Frances McDormand).
Why am I so desperate to study these things? Why can't I just sit back and enjoy a stupid video about two guys lip synching? Is it the director in me just wanting to get out and show himself? Am I trying to find out what works and what doesn't in the world of film/theatre/music/comedy? I'm obviously very busy and have a completely fulfilling life, so it can't be that this need is making up for something missing, right?
And why am I overanalyzing my habit of overanalyzing?
You see what I mean?
The infamous video