This final week of the Month of Horror ends with Halloween, of course, and if you’re tempted to be one of those jerks who can’t come up with a coherent theme for his costume — and so simply wears a fright wig and oversized sunglasses with maybe some glitter on his shirt and a fake nose or something — here’s a video clip of a costume-based prank that should inspire us all to aim higher.
That clip was pointed out to me by Paul Taylor, who, along with his wife Jenny, was nice enough to put me up during my travels over the past few days — and now has a blog that includes clips from a few of the home movies he made back when we were teenagers (whereas the clips of his video game triumphs are from more recent days, which is to say, his late thirties). That’s our friend Chuck Blake, upon whom untold millions of dollars depend now that he works at a hedge fund, seen giving his harrowing portrayal of a traumatized war veteran, two decades ago, in the Taylor classic “War and Then Some More.”
The astronaut suit prank linked above, by the way, reminds me of the video for Britney Spears’ “Oops, I Did It Again,” which I only saw for the first time in recent weeks and which I think is an awful lot funnier than it was likely intended to be.
There is something so generic and bland about Britney Spears that it’s fascinating she remains popular, much in the same way it’s interesting and a bit disturbing that “averaging together” numerous ordinary human faces into a single computer-generated face tends to result in an imaginary someone commonly considered quite attractive, psychologists find (all the “imperfections” and rough edges having been rounded off and asymmetries eliminated in the averaging process).
It’s astounding that so much money can be put into Spears appearing in six different settings in each video without any of them being remotely innovative or original — as in her new video, for the song “Womanizer,” which also manages to be unrelentingly indecisive about whether it has even a hint of a message or moral point of view. Is the womanizer guy good? Bad? Being punished? Being rewarded with sex? Who cares — now Britney’s riding a motorcycle! Now she’s in a tall building! Oh, look, now she’s dancing with a bunch of other people instead of alone! Etc.
It’s all so by-the-book and uninspired, yet in some ex-Mousketeer sense perfect, that it’s a lot like the fake music-videos-in-progress you glimpse in the middle of sitcoms or TV commercials when they need to quickly, efficiently establish that A Rock Star is engaged in the making of A Music Video for the sake of some other comedic or plot point. Utterly simple and unchallenging, and in some appalling way effective. Britney is boring like clouds.
P.S. Paul is planning to be the Joker for Halloween, which makes a disturbing amount of sense to anyone who knows his appearance and his mind, not to mention his stash of gadgets that has only grown since we made those movies linked above (you can probably spot me easily enough as the clothesline-riding commando in “War and Then Some” and the fake-goateed psychoanalyst in “War and Then Some More”).
He stresses that he is aiming for the Caesar Romero Joker, not the Heath Ledger Joker, of which he rightly observes there’ll probably be plenty this year.
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