Not a lot of liveliness on the blogs lately, eh? Well then. Guess I'll just muck around here and hope your busy busy weeks don't stop you from reading the blog as well.
So 'Elastic Heart' was the most popular option and so has won as topic for the day. Thank you all for commenting :) The others will keep popping up as options until I either write about them or lose interest.
But first an update -
Of note this week was what I stumbled upon Sunday morning at Target. I was just coming out of the bathroom when I see Eric, our Asset Protection Team Lead (basically think security guard only cooler) running out the front doors chasing a young woman. He managed to snag her purse just outside the entryway; she dropped it and kept running. Then I just shrugged and went back to work (can't just go gawking at the bad egg guests without getting any work done). I found out later from him that she got away but they did stop her from stealing like $100 worth of merchandise or something. So there's that.
My second story also involves Target. I've discovered my favorite (and least favorite) piece of re-shop.
(Re-shop is merchandise you find in places where it's not supposed to be because customers are lazy or just hate your existence. Like sometimes I find things literally 2 feet from where they're supposed to be. Like, did have to put the Reese's bag you considered buying with the Hersey kisses instead? Are you that lazy? Do you hate me that much? Literally just move your arm a little to the left and you'll have saved me some trouble - both in putting it back in the right spot and worrying about your mental capacity)
Ahem, sorry for the little rant. Anyway, one of the ways to amuse myself and not hate everyone in the store when I come across stuff like this is to just make up a little story about how that product ended up where it did. Before, my favorite re-shop story was when I found a lacy bra buried in the stuffed animal shelf during Valentines. I like to imagine that maybe someone had an epiphany about what an appropriate Valentines gift for a new girlfriend should really be. But my new favorite/least favorite is what I found yesterday. I was putting out some chocolate crosses on the back wall of the Easter section when, lo and behold*, I find the Fifty Shades of Grey books. Now, first I freaked out because it was right in among some little kid toys but then I just started giggling. Big change of heart there, huh? That's right, find you some Jesus or whatever.
And lastly: Vikings. Not like historical vikingr vikings (though I like those too, AB knows). The show 'Vikings'. So good, man. Big things happening. Big spoilery things. Things you probably don't really care about but I just wanted to mention because I watched the latest episode and.. all the good man, ugh. Just all the things. And mostly things I don't want but still good things. Ok, I'll stop now.
And on to 'Elastic Heart'.
Before proceeding further, please watch the music video I'll be discussing.
(I guess if you've watched it already, you can skip ahead, but it wouldn't hurt to watch it again either)
For some background, the first time I heard about this music video was from seeing people online complaining about other people complaining about how pedophilic the video was. The former was saying to grow up and just because a young girl was dancing with an older man, that doesn't automatically make it sexual.
I feel like that happens frequently: me being exposed to something not from people complaining about a thing but from people complaining about other people complaining about a thing
I then watched the video and found I really liked it. I think I generally really like stories that are very open to interpretation (not open endings usually, but when the whole story itself is open to interpretation). I liked all the different stories it could represent. And I know the artist/director had a certain meaning in mind. And I think it's important to be aware of an artist's intended meaning or story, but I also like that art is open to the interpretation of its viewer. As John Green says, "Books belong to their readers," - only apply to more than just books.
(side note: although I like viewing multiple stories and meanings from a single source, I also think that one is capable of coming up with an 'incorrect' interpretation. One that just doesn't go within anything the piece is portraying. But that's probably worth its own blog post. I'm supposed to be talking about Elastic Heart)
Based on minimal poking around online, I think there are 3 main categorizes for what the dancers (Shia Labeouf and Maddie Zielger) represent.
1) They are manifestations of the same person
This is my own personal favorite interpretation and the one that I think makes the most sense. I know the category in itself is also vague because you could have multiple inner voices or emotions or parts of your pysche to choose from, so I'll do another break up (yay outline formats)
Ok, this is the one I really meant when I said this is my favorite. It's my own personal
interpretation of the characters in the video.
The dancers represents two sides of Sia, or I suppose you could say any person who has had
to deal with fame and being in the public eye -might make more sense as I don't actually know
anything about Sia outside of performances of this song and 'Chandelier', but for the sake of
simplicity, I'll just say Sia.
Maddie, the little girl, represents the young, bright side of Sia that has always wanted to be in
the spotlight, to be a rockstar or what have you. And Shia represents the side that is tired or
anxious of being in the public eye.
Despite being so different in appearance, both dancers are really made up similarly. Both are
wearing nude, tight costumes. Both are slightly dirty. They both do this move where they put their
fist to their cheek. And most notably, both have purple paint on their hands and feet. Granted, I
have no idea what it's for, but Maddie was in another of Sia's music videos (Chandelier) wearing the
exact same getup, and she wears it in every public performance with Sia as well. I imagine that
costume/look somehow represents Sia.
Part of what made me come up with this particular interpretation was Shia. Like, he could
have just been cast because of his acting ability, but I couldn't help but think back to the period
where he wore a paper bag over his head saying "I am not famous anymore" to the red carpet (I
admit, I'm not that familiar with his story, I heard it was linked with a mental breakdown, but I have
no idea really. Everything I'm saying here is mostly just based on what I see in the video)
What I see in the video:
- Shia is nervous/scared of Maddie - at 0:27 his heart races when she lashes out at him
- The cage represents safety and privacy and not being in the public eye
- Maddie is more manic/showy - Shia hides his eyes and backs away - 0:37
- Maddie feels her voice is being taken away - 0:43
- Shia is usually the one running from Maddie
- Maddie is briefly satiated when Shia pokes his head out of the cage - 1:43
- Mirrored positions at 2:01, reinforcing the idea that they are the same person
- Shia genuinely cares for his other half/himself/herself and wants peace
- 2:55 - Maddie can leave the cage - Shia tries to stop her but can't leave the cage himself
- 3:20 - inverses of each other - representing two opposite sides of the same person
- 3:44 - the faces we put on - or practicing putting on a face to get ready to go where people will watch and judge you
- Maddie leads Shia to the edge of the cage. She wants him to go out. She wants to go out and stop being restricted by the safety(privacy) of the cage.
- At the end of video, Maddie is trying desperately to pull Shia out of the cage, but he cannot leave. Both despair and begin to cry. Shia grows tired of Maddie's incessant pulling. He can't do it anymore.
- In the last shot, Maddie is outside the cage but she is still being supported by Shia. She is standing on his knees through the cage bars
b) mania, depression, or other mental illness
When I was looking around for other people's take on the performance, these tended to be
fairly popular. And I can see why. The video does make sense in these contexts as well, whether
that be Maddie representing a person's inner mania or addiction, Shia representing depression,
Shia and the cage representing self doubt, etc.
I don't think I would have ever thought of this one, but I find it very interesting:
"I believe that the young girl represents youth. He is acting immature in order to try and regain what he can of his youth. The cage represents the confides of the mind, suggesting it is an emotional struggle. At the end, the young girl slips through the gaps but he can't. To me this suggests that he can't regain his youth - it's left him and nothing he can do will enable him to get it back. He is then trapped emotionally in his mind and must accept the fact that he must grow up."
"I think when Maddie is hitting Shia on the head it shows how the grown up generation put on a face to try and hide their problems, but Maddie, portraying youth, realizes what is wrong and gets rid of the mask Shia makes."
2) Abusive relationship or otherwise unhealthy dynamic
Possibly spurred heavily by the controversy surrounding the video, many people seemed to see the story as abusive and dangerous, whether Shia represented an evil family member or an unknown kidnapper. I see this one less than the two of them being the same person, but the story doesn't stop being interesting with this interpretation. What's the most interesting to me with this interpretation is that I can't unsee the ending as Maddie desperately trying to remove Shia from the cage as well. It's not just that she wants to escape herself. We see earlier in the video that she is fully capable of leaving. She's the strong one here. Maybe she wants to remove the man from his own evilness, fix him and make him better. Or maybe it's more Stockholm Syndrome than that.
This is the interpretation I was first presented with before even watching the music video. Someone was ranting about the notion that an older man and a young girl can't dance together without everyone thinking it's pedophilic. Said person was saying more or less: 'So we can never have a father-daughter story that's free of sexual interpretations? We can never have brother-sister or, heaven forbid, a mentor-mentee dynamic with these two types of people?' And on about how we would be limiting the stories one can tell through dance by limiting who can dance with who.
But the interpretation:
" the cage seems to symbolize something mental. Like maybe depression or self doubt. The relationship between the girl and the man, to me, seems to represent father and daughter. At first, the daughter is angry and doesn't have a good relationship with the father, but as time progresses, she becomes closer to him. The father is restricted by the cage- he cannot overcome his mental problems, whereas the girl can escape the cage and be free. But she begins to love her father rather than hate him, and she does not want to leave him behind. She is frustrated that he cannot help himself, and is conflicted between being free from the cage and living, or being loyal to her father. In the end she is seen to be restricted from freedom because of her emotional ties to her father, she can't leave him because she loves him. But at the same time she wants to be free."
Or maybe none of these are right and this person had the most correct interpretation:
Your options for next week:
2) plansnotplans for Ireland
3) Irish dancing
4) An expanded discussion of the 'Aesthetic' and taxidermy (etc) at the Field Museum
5) Anna Beth and I's conversation regarding the question "Who are you?" and "What defines you?"
6) Alex the parrot
I am now sick of the word interpretation
Hope 2000 words is are better than 3500. sorry again for that.
* - ever get curious about a phrase as soon as you have to write it. That happened to me. Interesting. Things are so interesting
I use 'interesting' too much