Monday, July 9, 2012

Thank You, io9, for Being Amazing Today

Posted By on Mon, Jul 9, 2012 at 12:00 PM

I generally have mixed feelings about the internet, especially on days when I get a lecture from a commenter to "do a little research on what Islam" because my "worship of 'diversity' blinds" me to the real truth, but then there's something like io9's extensive look at the video for Billy Ocean's "Loverboy," which somehow includes a brief discussion of "epic theater":

Muppets of Disgust, Muppets of Eroticism: A Post-Lacanian Decalogy of Exegeses on The Extraterrestrials in Billy Ocean's "Loverboy"

In the 1939 edition of Walter Benjamin's essay "What is Epic Theater?," the author notes that:

The [Brechtian] art of the epic theater consists in producing astonishment rather than empathy. To put it succinctly: instead of identifying with the characters, the audience should be educated to be astonished at the circumstances under which they function.

And in the history of the music video, there is no greater example of epic theater than R&B superstar Billy Ocean's 1985 single "Loverboy." The audience is not only astonished by the circumstances under which the characters function, but the viewer also has no fucking clue what those circumstances are.

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