Muse, and annoying music videos

A week or so ago I happened to see bits of a DVD of a band called Muse performing at Wembly Stadium. Last night, I remembered liking the music and decided to YouTube it. The music was still good, but the music videos…ugh.

So that you can decide on the music yourself without the terrible video prejudicing you, here’s the version I saw:

It may not be your kind of music, but hey! Not bad! Here’s a video:

Now, I’m not really sure what’s going on in this video. For example, are we following one man or two? I am unsure. What I AM sure of: this woman, who is being stalked, is being referred to as “it,” as in, “I want it now.”

I don’t get the impression that this is meant to be a romantic song, which is good, because this is possibly the least romantic relationship I’ve seen. I mean, the way he destroyed his room? I was definitely thinking to myself, “no woman should go near this man, ever.”

It’s possible we’re not meant to sympathize him– he doesn’t get the girl, after all, so it’s not like this strategy works for him– but something about the way he was presented to us bothered me. Violence, stalking, and objectification are not good things; in fact, when applied to women, they’re all different faces of the same bad thing.

I decided to try another one. For the record, here’s just the music:

And here’s the shiny music video:

This one is a little less blatantly objectionable, but the previous music video had set the tone for me and so something about this one really rubbed me the wrong way.

I think it’s in how Blonde Woman isn’t characterized as well as Mustache Guy and Blonde Guy. I mean, none of them are characterized well, it’s a music video for goodness’ sake, but they at least make a little sense. Mustache Guy and Blonde Guy don’t like each other! Mustache Guy is good and Blonde Guy is bad! This is honestly all the characterization we need to understand them.

Whereas Blonde Woman…well, we see her making out with Blonde Guy. Then she’s peeking through a window when they fight? Then she’s playing poker with Mustache Guy, and they end up in bed together (and oh god, let’s just ignore that terrible, terrible slapping montage. That’s a post in its own right.), and then, uh, she’s still in bed with him…and then Blonde Guy kidnaps her, and then she apparently escapes or something because she shows up on a unicorn in a bikini, bearing the magical CD Mustache found earlier, and then she’s badass in her armor riding off with him, and then she’s getting hanged in lovely, virginal white and Mustache rescues her, then she has two laser guns all of a sudden, and then they ride off into the sunset!

It’s like they couldn’t make up their minds about her. She’s badass in her spiky armor one moment, then on the gallows in a lovely white gown the next. She doesn’t seem interested in fighting Blonde Guy herself (when she has the guns, she doesn’t even look for him). I can’t figure out what’s up with her and Mustache (that slapping scene!). I just don’t get her. She’s just the Hot Lady, the Object of Desire, played completely straight.

It’s not the worst thing I’ve ever seen, obviously. (Hysteria was worse!) But it was distinctly unimpressive, and it really soured the music for me. I’m not going to be watching any more Muse music videos. But I’m also not sure if I can adore them quite so unreservedly after having seen these two. It’s just disappointing.

Grr. Argh.

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