Sunday, February 22, 2009

Buffalo in Hovercraft, or Why I Don't Direct Videos

So anyways, this car showed up in this gravel pit, and three guys got out. The dark-haired one walked toward me singing, while the light-haired guy with the guitar and the third guy with the glasses hung around the car for a little bit, then brought a cup to the first guy and walked back and got his bass. Then this donkey or mule or something walked by...

All of the above events actually happened, and they happened in one of my favorite videos, "Useless" by Depeche Mode. This UK-only single was taken from the Ultra album and featured a single that was, in my estimation, very English. Even if it was shot in Wales. I don't know if it's strictly Python-esque, but scenes in which Martin Gore wanders toward the camera, sings two words, and returns to the car are mixed in with a plane flying over, a random person walking around, and other oddities. See my March 3, 2006 post for another account.

Incidentally, I don't know where I got the idea that a cow was present in this video. I just re-watched the video again, and the animal is definitely not a cow.

Speaking of cows, I went to a FriendFeed meetup at Five Guys in Cerritos on Saturday and ate a hamburger. I don't know whether it was the hamburger, or the meetup, or whatever, but several hours later I was musing on one of the non-eternal questions of life:

If the U2 song is called "One," why did they make three videos for it?

Of the three videos, the one that most caught my eye on Saturday night (I guess that makes it all right) was the "buffalo" version of the video. There's a whole story behind that video, but for now suffice it to say that in the first verse of the song, one hazy buffalo appeared, while in the second verse, two hazy buffalo appeared, and so forth.

Jandy Stone was also in Cerritos, but she eventually left and ran into some strange behavior when she typed something into her so-called smartphone.

iPhone just corrected "frakking" to "franking". What the frak kind of word is "franking"?

This tweet ended up on FriendFeed and sparked a bit of conversation. While FriendFeed user Glen Campbell made the obvious connection to Congressional franking privileges, I was in my hamburger-induced buffalo mood (blame Sammy Hagar) and, via my superhero Ontario Emperor persona, made an alternate observation:

"Franking" is when you go to Santa Monica. No, not the one in south California. They got one in south Patagonia.

The link goes to the lyrics for Frank Black's classic, which has its own unusual video that includes stunning scenes of a hovercraft drifting across the landscape.

Then, and only then, did I get an idea. Why not reshoot the "Useless" video, but instead of using the animal that is not a cow, why not use a buffalo? In a hovercraft?

You might look at my idea and say that it's no good, but the bottom line is that such an adaptation of the video displays superior insight and will bring the true meaning of the track home. Of course, you'd probably have to point a barrel of a gun at director Anton Corbijn to have him reshoot the video.

Cue the hovercraft.
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