Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Pop messages

I love pop music—I’ve said that plenty of times. But sometimes I end up loving a pop song just a little bit more later on. “Uma Thurman” by Fall Out Boy (video above) is a perfect example of that. In this case, it’s because of that video.

I loved “Uma Thurman” from the moment I first heard it, but only accidentally. Back in mid February, we were in a store that sells computer bits and pieces, mostly for gaming, but also lots of Apple stuff (so it’s a bit cooler than "just" a computer store). As I wandered around browsing aimlessly, I heard the unmistakeable sounds of the theme [Listen] to the 1960s TV show, The Munsters, one of my favourites when I was a kid. I couldn’t hear the song itself, but I could hear the sample.

After I got home, I Googled it—probably something like, “song with Munsters theme in it” or whatever—and I found the song. One of the hits was the audio version on YouTube, which was posted back in January.

The actual video, above, was posted last month. It really has nothing to do with the lyrics, though it’s often visually interesting. And then, near the end of the video (around 3:45), there was this:

I had no idea what "Article 1 Section 36.03" was about, so I Googled that, too. It turns out that it’s the section of the Alabama state constitution that outlaws same-gender marriage, the same thing that the religious extremist crackpot “judge” Roy Moore used to defy federal courts that found Alabama’s ban unconstitutional, all of which was in the news awhile back.

In the video, a tank rolls over and destroys a white pick-up truck symbolising Alabama’s anti-gay laws. I very much like that: A tank crushes a symbol of bigotry—that’s awesome.

What surprises me is that no one in the LGBT media seems to have noticed. Okay, so they probably don’t pay that much attention to the details of everything created by straight artists, nor the symbolism contained within their work. After all, I only noticed because I liked the song and watched the newer video and wondered what the writing on the pickup truck referred to. But I know I’m not the only one to notice this, so I wonder why no one, as far as I can tell, in gay media has mentioned it.

Never mind, I noticed. And the fact that I did, or, more accurately, the fact that Fall Out Boy placed such a subtle pro-gay message in their music video, makes me like this song just a little bit more.

And three cheers for tanks named Uma.

Related trivia: In a video of a radio interview posted on YouTube, Fall Out Boy talk about sampling The Munsters theme. The band was originally formed in Wilmette, Illinois, not all that far from where I grew up. That area is also known as “the North Shore”.

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