Thursday, 5 May 2016
Capitalist Sociological Breakdown of Radio-heads new video "Burn the Witch"
The video for this song reminds me of a satanic postman pat with a guy walking around and surveying an evil village probably a metaphor for modern society. The mayor in the video is an evil dude. Strings and synths in this tune are top notch with a chronic vocal performance by Thom Yorke. A lot the video is referencing the evils of capitalism. There is creepy cult vibe imagery that hints our how we are sacrificing the youth in society for the older to gain power and wealth. The excellently fleeting shot of the gluttonous food is dripping and drenched in the blood of the human young and animal a like.
A hanging nose hangs empty in the city centre quietly oppressing people and ever ready to kill individuals who don't support the ruling capitalist ideology.Workers in an orchard are exploited and forced to labour while their dickhead bosses drink strong booze right in front of them profiting off their hard work while they stand idle.
The viewer is then thrust into a village festival that tries to show how great and happy everyone is continuing the great big lie of the village. The early shot of a man painting a red cross foreshadows the sinister idea of the mayor and his aim of despotic rule. In the festival the facade is abandoned and the true nature of capitalism is uncovered the aim to kill all that oppose (though there are only very few brave enough to oppose hence why there is only the one man with a bowler hat).
Once the man with the bowler hat is tricked into entering into the system of capitalism uncovered or unleashed a possible hint to neo-liberalism the giant burning man is set a light with the whole town forced to watch. It demonstrates to the masses how one will get burnt alive by society and murdered by individuals drunk on power relations. It also conveys how we are forced to becoming a complicit party to the horrors of capitalism to avoid our individual head being chocked the nose.
However, the man with the bowler hat, the lead actor in the film manages to escape and run away into the bushes in the very last shot. The whole video echo's how everything in modernity is conveyed as great and awesome, where in reality everyone is tricked into thinking our lives are fantastic under the very real threat of death and painful social repercussions.
The video also highlights how the mayors, politicians and business owners get to profit from our collective working together to live a life of excessive corrupt luxury. From this point I think its interesting how the man escapes back into the wild, it kind of shows how he turns away from society in order to survive although he was very happy to be a part of it in a removed sense by merely being a spectator of the horrors. The man with the bowler hat is only thrust out of his happy disposition under capitalism when he is forced to due to the very nature of his role as a spectator. No one is allowed to examine the village and how it functions a metaphor for capitalism least the cracks holes and evil in it be uncovered like the burning man.
Finally I should mention the happy singing bird at the start of the video, this bird a metaphor for the whole animal kingdom is blissful in nature and it sees the whole disaster of human society unfold from a distance and yet through all the horrors of human society it becomes affected by our bad and destructive behaviours under capitalism the song of the bird changes animals are forced to be transformed as is man from a state of happiness to one of extreme fear and anxiety, this is because I think the bird realizes that if man is in trouble it could threaten its way of life - war, exploitation of nature and burning deforestation will harm all animals causing them to fall like human beings have from a state of naive bliss into a painful capital fuelled nightmare.
The bird also hints at human beings egotism and specism and complete lack of compassion for animals - we look down on there way of life as primitive and lacking the materialist objects of capitalism. Which is wrong because it seems the video is trying to convey at the heart of modern society a foundation is layed built on the killing, slaughtering and murdering of innocent people who don't want to live under capitalism in a false sense of consumer happiness.
I think Radiohead's video is probably about many people not being allowed to join in the fantasy of past generations of humanity who have been allowed to live inside the pseudo-masochist capitalist dream
On a lighter note
Bassline is classic fat thumping flea style with an eerie reference to the recently deceased Prince.
The lyrics are top notch in this track with the melody that has a nice minor note vibe with dyspotpian lyrics that make your brain click and start function again the chorus also has some dope ass shakers and back up vocals are syrupy. Great progressive move for the band aka adding to the legacy of RHCP