Saturday, January 22, 2011

Third Eye Blind - “Semi-Charmed Life”

  We start off, briefly, in outer space, then we zoom all the way down to an American flag on somebody’s motorcycle jacket sleeve. It was probably important to somebody that we start out that way, but I didn’t learn anything from it. Then we have lots of people riding motorcycles down part of a road where “STOP” is clearly painted on the pavement. I’m guessing these people are not interested in being told what to do.

  Then we’re traveling in a car with what might be the band members and a dog, but no one is wearing a name tag so it could be anybody. They seem to be going somewhere industrial, but it’s not really clear because the video producers thought it would be fun to shoot things with a shaky camera. At some point the lead singer, Stephen, must have fallen out of the car because he’s suddenly walking down the street all by himself.

  So he starts singing the song and almost immediately runs into the side of a building. It doesn’t look like that was planned, but Stephen is a trooper and keeps going. Meanwhile, those people on the motorcycles are zipping all over town, and they’re already starting to get a little annoying. They need to get wherever they’re going and stay there. This is followed by a few shots of some geeky guy that most likely has dating issues.

  Then we’re back in the car for a little bit, still driving toward who knows, and then cut to a venue where the band is playing. They seem very happy to be doing so, which is nice, and their happiness probably has something to do with the fact the Jesus is one of the guitar players. Nothing puts a smile on your face like Divinity in a jam session.

  Everybody bops for a little bit, then we’ve got more of those damn motorcycles racing about. I’m not claiming to be a skilled motorcyclist, but I’m not sure these folks need to be in control of moving vehicles. We seem to be having difficulty with things like staying on the road and not running over people.

  Cut to Stephen outside some produce market or some such, with lots of people pretending to not look at the camera as they mill about, waiting for something to happen. This batch of people doesn’t appear to be very happy, so they might be waiting for trials to start where they’ve been accused of involvement in unsavory activities. Stephen doesn’t care and just keeps singing. Then he starts walking down the street and interrupts some kissing lesbians. But instead of yelling at him, they yell at each other, so I don’t think that relationship is going anywhere.

  And once more with the jam session at the unknown venue, where Jesus is just alright with them, then we have Stephen hopping excitedly down a sidewalk. Then he’s suddenly running very fast, so he must have done something very bad and has decided that he doesn’t want to be associated with the mischief. He runs for a very long time, to the point where we really don’t care what he did, we just want him to settle down.

  Oh look, he’s stopped running and is just sitting on the sidewalk, then he suddenly gets very hyper and snarls at us. Then he does some more of that aimless bouncing around. (Does this burst of energy have anything to do with the “crystal meth” phrase that the censors distorted in the radio single? Just wondering.) Speaking of the radio version, this video apparently isn’t, because now Stephen is bellowing some lyrics that I’ve never heard before. So either Stephen is just making crap up on the fly or this is another example of the world not being what we think it is.

  Okay, we’re finally back in familiar territory with words that I know, and here come those motorcycles again. (God!) Some of them even start driving around in a large circle, as if they know I’m having an issue with them and they are pushing it as far as they can. It looks like Stephen is standing in the middle of the circle, so we might actually be witnessing a cult celebration of some kind. As if to confirm this, a woman with really odd sunglasses briefly flashes on screen.

  Now we have the motorcycle people just sitting around on their colorful rigs and comparing leather accessories. Then they all jump back on their scooters and start with the crazy-ass driving again. Cut to the band at that venue, where it appears that the folks in the very small audience have been hitting the eggnog a little too hard. Lots of pointless, uncontrolled dancing, some twirling, and stumbling, unisex-attired people are banging into each other and clutching at their heads. (Good thing Jesus is on hand in case something really bad happens that requires an impromptu confession.)

  And that’s how we wind down, with shiny, happy people expressing rhythmic joy as the band finishes the song. Final scene is of a woman with cropped hair watching a moon landing on TV and appearing stunned that the flag being planted is the same as on that biker jacket that started this whole thing. She must not get out much…

Note: Original video is no longer available in a decent version on YouTube. Apparently somebody didn't play nice somewhere along the line and now we have legal issues...

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