Monday, December 27, 2010

Music Video Monday: Best and Worst of 2010

Here we are on the Last Monday of 2010. For my Music Video Monday feature, I have decided to honour both the Best and the Worst music video I have seen this year. First, for the best, it naturally goes to "Greatest Day" by Take That. Though the song was released as a single in the United Kingdom in November 2008, it was never released in the United States. I'm sure if I had heard the song in 2008, it would have been my favourite that year because of the election of Barack Obama as president being the greatest day of that year.

This year, I decided to watch some Take That videos on YouTube and discovered this song and was immediately struck by the powerful lyrics / message, as well as being impressed by the simplicity of the video: the four bandmates are on top of a skyscraper in Los Angeles awaiting the sunset, when the magic comes alive in the air. The video has such a golden glow to it and it was great to see the group of guys all grown up (we're about the same age and I feel like I "know" them since I became a fan of their music during my younger days in La Maddalena, when their songs were played in bars all across the Mediterranean resort towns).

"Greatest Day" has special resonance to me as well, because I would sing that song in my head each morning as I went to work in August and September. I was so determined that I would find a job that would get me out of that negative environment that I used this song as my invocation to yet another stressful day dealing with a control-freak. Here we are at year's end, and I've had many "greatest days". I decided to adopt it as my anthem of the new decade, to get rid of my anthem of the previous decade (U2's "Stuck in a Moment That You Can't Get Out of It").


For the worst video, I have to go with Katy Perry's "California Gurls." I love the song, as it has that addictive allure that makes it a popular summer hit. It was inescapable this year. However, the video was a bit much. When I watch that video, I keep thinking of it as a "Diabetic wonderland"! Her candyland dream world is too much visual stimuli and induces the equivalent of a "sugar shock" to your eyes. Even worse is her Fembot rip-off near the end when she sprays the army of Gummi Bears with her breast-guns. Cheesy! Those Gummi Bears are the best thing about the video!

Speaking of rip-offs, a close runner up for worst music video of the year is Lady Gaga's "Alejandro." She channels Madonna with her homoerotic, sado-maschistic insult to religion and the military. Plus, Lady Gaga is butt ugly in the video. The song is pretty good, though. This song deserves the Worst Video of the Year distinction, but I have to go with Katy Perry's diabetic wonderland for the dishonours.

That song is so catchy, though, that it has inspired quite a few spoofs. My favourite is "Provo, Utah Girls" by the Garrens Comedy Troupe. For those who don't know Mormon humour, I can attest that this song parody really got the dating culture of BYU down. When I was there, I was shocked by how boy crazy the Mormon girls were. They were the aggressors. For an All-American, clean cut Mormon male who served a mission, he basically had his pick of women. For those like me (racially mixed and non-Mormon), I was S.O.L. (lol!). Oh well. I appreciate the humour. Particularly the line: "She'd marry a tree so long as it served a mission!" Yep. That was the most important experience that a Mormon male had to possess to be considered marriage material. Mormons are brainwashed into thinking that following the same life script is vital in order to be a worthy member of the church and the society as a whole. Doesn't matter if a guy went into the military or served in the Peace Corps instead. A Mormon Mission experience was vital to the conformist culture of this church. One of the reasons why I love the church I grew up in: no one tells you how to live your life. You're accepted no matter what you decide for yourself.

So, if you want a glimpse of the crazy Mormon culture of BYU, please check out the video! I hope you can see the humour in it and appreciate what I endured during my college experience.

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