Press-release time again! The constitutional crusader in me was provoked to outrage when this inflammatory, bright-red headline hit my inbox: "Mudvayne's NEW VIDEO FOR SECOND SINGLE 'BEAUTIFUL AND STRANGE' BANNED FOR EXPLICIT IMAGERY." Banned! How dare those government puritans deny me my Mudvayne? But before we call the ACLU, let's check out the press release:
With the release of the video for 'Beautiful and Strange' came the unwillingness of networks and media sources to play the video due to its disturbing and thought-provoking imagery that is meant for mature audiences. The video contains sexually explicit acts that take place in a graveyard and some scenes that involve acts of sadism.
I watched the video, and my thoughts were indeed provoked: a naked man crawls from his coffin, wanders over to a semi-conscious, equally naked woman lying in an open grave, and proceeds to sex her up while she has flashbacks of a scary monk guy sewing her mouth shut and sadistically molesting her. Or something.
I don't know about you, but I'm detecting some issues with the logic of the release. First, I question the idea that a heavy-metal video full of graveyard sex and misogynistic lady-hurting fantasies is truly intended for "mature" audiences. Seems more like the kind of thing creepy teenagers would dig. And, oh!:
"It has been banned from every outlet except for one; the only place where this video can be seen is on the social-networking site vampirefreaks.com." In case you hadn't heard, Vampire Freaks is a longstanding hook-up site for gothic teen goofballs. It has a palpable "Mother, you shall henceforth refer to me as Alistair" vibe, so corpse-sex scenes are about as mature as it gets over there.
Second, I find the claim of a "ban" a little dubious — even if their record were a hit (and it's not), could Mudvayne or their management honestly expect MTV to air this video? Or are the cries of censorship a pathetic attempt to create controversy? I'll take door number two, Monty — their video isn't being suppressed because it's too "thought-provoking," it's being ignored because it's ugly, stupid, and obviously unairable. Worry not, Mudvayne fans: the First Amendment is intact.
Elsewhere in the world of essential PR, exciting news from Graceland! A forthcoming exhibit will showcase the iconic fashions the King wore during his drug-addled Vegas decline:
This exhibit charts the evolution of the design of Elvis' stage wear, popularized during his Las Vegas engagements and concert tours. Inspired by Elvis' great interest in karate, simple wool gabardine suits were engineered with tunic-style tops and long, karate-style belts knotted to one side with the ends dangling from the hip. More than 20 of these costumes, now considered works of art, will be on display throughout 2010 in this special exhibit.
Given all the lasting innovations Elvis contributed to style, why showcase the latter-day fashions more readily associated with tacky Elvis impersonators than with the man himself? Probably because Graceland is just running out of good shit to display. Also featured in the exhibit are "rarely seen artifacts, such as photos of Elvis from his childhood, report cards, and one of Elvis' first pay stubs as a delivery-truck driver."