Thursday, 16 July 2009

Set radar to "hairy"

"Think I can handle that animal in the sack?" asks Britney Spears in her new video, "Radar," as a horse is sprayed with water. (But Britney, it isn't in a sack!) It's not all sexy visual puns though: there's a cunning subversion of pop-video conventions at play!

Britney is the partner of a fabulously rich man, who is handsome and clean shaven and has short hair (more of which later). One day, as she is walking through the ol' mansion, she catches sight of another man, who is handsome and stubbly and has long hair. Allow me to draw this dichotomy more clearly:
  • Man #1 = handsome, clean shaven, short hair, wears a suit.
  • Man #2 = handsome, stubbly, long hair, wears a vest.
Naturally, Britney immediately falls for Man #2. She eyes him up coquettishly and sings suggestive lyrics (viz. "animal in the sack"). It's a perfectly neat setting up of pop-video convention number 36: rich person is attracted to poor person and ultimately spurns material wealth for love.

However! Things are not as they seem! Britney takes to the balcony of her home in order to spy on her prospective paramour with binoculars. What is he doing? Is he a gardner, hunkily pruning roses? Is he cleaning the pool? No! He's playing fucking polo! He's rich too!

And with that, the last remaining flakes of Judeo-Christian ethics are brushed from the shoulder of Western Civilisation's pristine dinner jacket, lest they deter the laydeez. Britney hooks up with Man #2, who is now besuited himself, and heads into the sunset. Curiously, she leaves her diamond necklace, a gift from Man #1, behind her; is there an anti-materialist message after all? Did the director, seeing that the fairytale wasn't as magical as had been intended, insert this shot to preserve the ideal of a love that transcends economics and social distinctions? No, the necklace clearly just fell off while Britney was canoodling. If you buy the single, you'll be able to watch bonus footage of her going back to collect it.


Just Lianne said...

I've read this a lot of times and i still really love it.

Alun Richards said...

Thanks for the kindness!

Emma Louise Layla said...

Naturally, Britney immediately falls for Man #2 because he's wearing a vest. It's all about the wifebeaters...