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Welcome back. In the last entry, I talked about everyone's favorite 'controversial' Prissy Faux-Rock band; Blood On The Dance Floor. Since they failed at making a club song, which I didn't think was possible, considering that formula consisting of the words 'Drink', 'Party', 'YOLO', or any variation of the previous three is so permanently engrained in the music industry that any attempt to make a song covering different subject material might cause the typical audience for these songs [represented here by Patrick Starfish ] to experience internal hemorrhaging from having to think about said material. Especially if it contains the ridiculous notion that actions have consequences, and if one acts like a drunken, raving sexist twat 24/7, it may end up NOT getting them laid and instead might result in them getting a restraining order. Insert They Live joke here.
Anyway, speaking of soapboxes, today we'll be looking at one of BOTDF's more 'inspirational' songs. And I use that term very loosely. See, the Slash/Gash Terror Crew frequently cite these walking chemical plants as being inspirational, specifically some of them that cite the band for saving them from committing suicide. I honestly wish I was making this up. As a little disclaimer, this review isn't going to be about depression or suicide. I am neither qualified to talk about these very serious issues, nor do I criticise those who go through these experiences. If you want to learn more about these very serious issues, I recommend checking these links: www.webmd.com/depression/ss/sl…www.webmd.com/depression/ss/sl…www.webmd.com/depression/guide…www.helpguide.org/articles/dep…
With that out of the way, let's get on with this review. This is the infamous anti-bullying song 'Rise and Shine'.
Since the majority of this song's infamy comes from it's music video, let's first talk about that so we can understand the context of this song.
We start out in a typical American high school, as the soft keys of a piano play in the background to set the dire mood. The camera is primarily located in four spots; a locker room, a football field, a classroom and a school hallway.
At fifteen seconds in, we see an entire class of students jeering at the supposed protagonist of this music video. But we don't hear the students over the almost overbearingly dark atmosphere. And herein lies the first problem of this song. Manipulation. Instead of actually setting the mood, the music video relies on painting everyone except our protagonist and the two members of the band as being either unsympathetic or uncaring. I know that sometimes bullying can go unnoticed, but this is taking place in a packed classroom of around 20 people, including the teacher. It's not subtle, in fact it constantly beats you over the head with the song's message. Instead of actually using this brief period in the video to let us hear what the students are saying or having someone in the class actually stand up for this person [who by the way is a skinny normal-looking teenager with the word 'antihero' emblazoned on his chest], the song repeatedly beats you over the head with the theme. It's disturbing, and not in an effective way.
Anyway. The kids' bullying eventually has the protagonist storm out of the classroom to escape the jeering crowd, just as Dahvie's singing accentuates the already dreary mood. But the crowd doesn't seem to want to leave the protagonist alone, basically chasing him all over the school. They push him against the drink fountain. Basically push this kid over the edge, until we see him cradling a pistol in the locker room. Images of blood and news reports briefly flash on the screen, as if this kid's being slowly driven to insanity. Finally, he snaps, just as tasteless imagery of school shootings flash on the screen and the bodies of dead teenagers lay sprawled around on the floor.
The second problem is that the video seems to be playing in slow motion, trying to make the story look more like a documentary or a film. But instead of making the video look cinematic, scenes drag on longer than they need to. I get if it's supposed to have emotional impact, but that impact is lost when the protagonist shoots at the people around him in the hallway. This, combined with brief flashes of a shadowy figure carrying around a machete, just make video seem disjointed. This is particularly noticeable in the classroom, especially when the protagonist is emotionally pushed over the edge. Again, had this scene play out naturally, or had the teacher intervene, it would look more believable.
After the shooting spree, we see brief images of adults standing in front of a blackboard. On one frame, the blackboard says 'Where are we'. In another, it says 'No-one's listening'. And when it cuts back to the classroom, we see several of the students holding guns to their heads whilst looking at the camera, including one shot of the protagonist placing the gun in his mouth. And what do we see on the blackboard after that one shot? The line 'I Will Not Listen To Blood On the Dance Floor' scrawled all over the blackboard.
When the song ends, we see the protagonist waking up on his desk, before looking around to see the rest of the class sitting still. He than covertly places the gun back into his backpack, as if it was all a dream. Than it cuts to black, as text on the screen quotes information about how many children are bullied daily at school, especially LGBT students, and how that affects them. Including how adult intervention is 4%, peer intervention is 11% and no intervention is 85% And than it ends with a quote. "I thank everyone that has caused me to suffer, without you I would have no reason to express myself. Through mercy and compassion we can end all suffering".
Now let's listen to the lyrics.
Rain Rain won't go away Cloud on my head every single day This pain pain goes right inside Breaking me down till' I just cry
Quoting a nursery rhyme doesn't make your song any more poignant, Dahvie.
Little Bully wants to play Hits me every single day Pain, pain go right inside Guess I'll just have to let it slide
Presuming you're speaking from the protagonist's point of view, letting this pain slide is the worst thing you can do. He should tell his parents or his teacher about the problem. Or confide in a psychologist. Either way, seeking help is a valid option instead of keeping that pain inside you.
Drain drain all my life Why can't I just stop this strife Rain rain, won't go away Cloud on my head every single day
More pointlessly dark imagery. You see where I'm getting at?
Beat on another kid But not on me Rain rain won't go away Cloud on my head every single day
Hoping the bully picks on someone else isn't wise. Again, seek help.
These games games that you play Eventually I'll get up and say No, no not this time I'm taking back what is mine
Bravo, Dahvie Vanity. You've made your protagonist into the same violent little shit you portray in every other song. Violence is not strength and compassion is not weakness, mate.
[The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.:] "With this faith We will be able to transform the jangling discords Of our nation into a beautiful symphony Of brotherhood. With this faith We will be able to work together, To pray together, To struggle together, To go to jail together, To stand up for freedom together, Knowing that we will be able To sing with new meaning."
I'm sorry if I'm skimming over your quoting, Dahvie, but I don't believe you've earned the right to borrow a quote from an actual philosopher. Martin Luther King Jr, if he had been alive today, would want nothing to do with you or your antics. And I'm also sorry that I'm not taking your little quote seriously, considering you said this:
"To everybody who backstabbed you, *points to girl off sidestage* Fuck you, you stupid bitch! Yeah, we're giving you this middle finger because we hate your guts! And we hope you die a slow death. So fuck you, you slut!'" December 8th, 2012. Studio Seven- Seattle, WA
Yeah, you might want to check over your own words before using the words of a dead person-someone who fought for equal rights and who died for his belief in a country where blacks and whites lived together in harmony without prejudice- to justify your little snuff song about how wrong bullying is. Considering you've done the exact same thing.
Stand up And take what's mine Insecurities Is what you're trying to hide I don't care For the things that you say I know that you're just one step away From breaking down Pick yourself up off the ground I know that you are better than this
The irony here is astounding. Need I remind you of the music video and how it seemed to glorify the protagonist gunning down not only the people who bullied him, but also his friends and family? Oh wait, that was just a dream. My mistake. Please, carry on with your pretentious little song.
Open your eyes Now is the time To rise up With darkness we'll still shine Idolized and Despised Wrong or right We'll make it through to the other side
Again, Dahvie, need I bring up the Studio Side quote? Or you getting an underage fan of yours drunk and than screwing her? Or even comparing yourself to Spiderman despite all the heinous shite you've sung about? You see where I'm getting at, Dahvie? Normally I don't personally call out artists, but I'm making an exception for you. Fuck you, Dahvie. Fuck you and your pretentious, condescending attitude. You can take your little 'message' and stick it where the sun doesn't shine. I hope you step on a lego brick in the middle of the night.
And that's how the cookie crumbles. This is perhaps the worst song I have ever had the misfortune to review. It's not just because it includes screamo at random intervals, interrupting the song's flow. It's not just the droning instrumental that beats you over the head with it's dark tone. It's not just the insultingly childish lyrics. It's not even the random quotes from individuals like Martin Luther King Jr. It's that it has nothing of substance to offer anyone. It is crass, cheap and manipulative, offering no hope or substance to take away from the song other than 'Bullying is bad'. Nothing else. Just 'Bullying is bad'. No insight into the protagonist's mental health. No warmth or sense of humanity to balance the dark mood. Just shock value and nothing else. It uses imagery of school shootings to make itself feel important. It frames everyone as being less than human. It offers no hope for anyone involved. And above all else, it uses said material to shield itself from criticism, treating that material in the most childish way possible. No, Dahvie. You have to treat that material like an adult. Offer solutions to the problem. Tell the full story. Give us insight into the character's mind, other than misusing the words of someone far more intelligent just to make yourself feel important, or framing it like a nonsensical diary entry. Give us something more substantial than just 'Bullying is bad'. Overall, this is a pretentious, sloppy mess of a song. I hate everything about this mean-spirited drivel, and I hope that Dahvie eventually stops acting like the bully he claims to be against and starts living up to the meaning that he himself coined. PLUR; Peace. Love. Unity. And respect.
Favorite visual artistMy pals, I'm not necessarily a tymey-wymey person.Favorite moviesAristocats, 1986 TFTM, Sword and the Sorceror, Big Trouble in Little China and Highlander.Favorite TV showsFuturama, Beast Wars, Highlander TAS, Batman TAS and Transformers: PrimeFavorite bands / musical artistsBolt thower, Motorhead, KISS and AnthemFavorite booksMouse Guard, Twisted Metal, The Redwall Series and (the awesomeness that is) Light Brigade.Favorite writersFrank Miller, Brian JacquesFavorite gamesThe LOS spyro games, Fallout 3 and COD 5Favorite gaming platformPS3 (though not as much as some would, I just like it because there's actually good GAMES on that thing-only other console I've played is the Wii.)Tools of the TradeFlaming Battle Axe.Other InterestsTransformers, Power Rangers, Redwall, Nazi Zombies, Sly Cooper, Babyfur.