Sunday, July 25, 2010

Travie McCoy, Bruno Mars - “Billionaire”

  We start out with Bruno (I think) sitting by the seashore, playing his cute little guitar and wailing about wanting to have lots of money. (Um, who doesn’t?) Seagulls are wheeling about in the sky. I don’t know if this means Bruno loves nature and wildlife, or if there is a landfill nearby.

  Quick shot of Travie hangin’ at one of those skateboard parks, then a shot of some hitchhiker holding the typical cardboard sign. The street he’s on is deserted, so I’m thinking he’s not a smart hitchhiker. (Am I being stereotypical? My bad.) Then we have some guy, wearing headphones in a crowded outdoor market. This seems anti-social to me.

  As Bruno continues to emote the words of the song, we see Travie raise his hand to the sky like he just found the Lord or at least needs a hall pass from the teacher so he can go to the bathroom. More shots of the untalented hitchhiker being unsuccessful. Then we have a graffiti artist on the beach, fiddling with his cans of spray paint. He seems upset that most of his cans are empty. (Symbolism for the Bush-legacy economy?) He turns and throws one of the cans in the ocean, because THAT’S a green thing to do and all.

Then Travie and Bruno are in a very nice sports car, one that none of the real people could ever afford, driving along in the sun. Travie starts rapping about wanting to have lots of money that he can give to people, adoption agencies, and other social causes. But he’s wearing an annoying stocking cap and I really can’t take him seriously. Bruno just nods his head to the beat and waits for his turn to sing.

  More shots of the skateboard park, where some unseen person commits vandalism for no apparent reason (symbolism for the Republican party?) while people ride skateboards through the concrete jungle and our boys sit on the lip of one of the curves, rapping and high-fiving each other because they don’t have to work in an office.

  Back to the outdoor market, with the headphone guy offering his equipment to Travie. Travie seems to enjoy whatever is playing on the phones, but we can’t hear it, so the whole scene is kind of pointless. But Travie gives the guy some money, so I guess we’re supposed to learn “if strangers offer music, give them cash.” Okay, got it.

  Then the boys are suddenly riding some Vespa-like scooters, which even with my gay sensibilities I know this is something that straight guys shouldn’t ride. But they happy and all, cruising the streets, laughing, and slapping at each other’s helmets. Travie starts rapping again, and he’s all over the place. In the fancy car, on the beach, walking on a nameless sidewalk, skateboard park again, and some place where he’s inspired to shove his face in the camera repeatedly. (I’m still not a fan of those giant discs inserted into your ear lobe. Doesn’t that jack with your sense of balance?)

  Back to the feeble hitchhiker. He’s just sitting down, not even bothering to wave his sign or motion with his thumb. Travie drives up in the fancy car, and tosses the keys to the hitchhiker before wandering off on the beach. That’s nice and all. But Travie dude. The guy has no money. How’s he going to put gas in that car?

  Then we have some editing issues, with more shots of the skateboard park and our boys driving the fancy car that they no longer own. Oopsie. To distract us from this illogical mess, we cut to the beach at night, where a crowd of partiers is despondent because their keg has run dry. No worries. Travie and Bruno show up with an endless supply of bottled brewskis. The crowd instantly worships them, so our boys decide to give a concert, with drunken people waving their hands in the air and considering random sex among the dunes.

  Brief shot of Travie leaning into the camera again, screaming “What up, Oprah!” and making a barnyard noise. What is it with that subset of cocky young men who think being obnoxious is somehow appealing to anybody? (Except other cocky young men.) Do they really think that a supermodel wandering by is going to hear that mess and instantly want to bump uglies with them?

  More drunken dancing on the sand.

  Cut to Travie the next morning, walking up to the angry, spray-can-depleted graffiti person on the beach. Travie hands over a bag full of fresh cans ready to go. They do the bro hand-clench thing and the graffiti dude gets back to work. Hold up, Travie. One of your goals for social betterment is to provide endless supplies to people who deface public property? John Lennon is cursing your name as I type. (Note to Travie: John Lennon was way before your time. Look him up on Google.)

  Oh look, we’re back at the beach party that happened the night BEFORE. (Who edited this? Sarah Palin?) People are still dancing and waving their hands, and we see that the guy from the outdoor market is now playing keyboards. So THAT’S how you get in a band? Wear headphones in public places until someone offers you a J-O-B?

  We wind things down on the same beach, with people still gyrating like they just discovered the solution for Universal Health Care, but since they’re all still young and un-decayed, they don’t really care. We end with Travie laughing smugly, and then wandering off…

  And people wonder why scores on achievement tests are plummeting in this country.

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