Thursday, May 1, 2014

Why I Believe "Bubble Butt" is Brilliant

If you are unfamiliar with the Major Lazer song and video, "Bubble Butt," take a moment to acclimate yourself.

I understand if the gratuitous posteriors offend some of you. On the surface, it appears as if this video is a prime example of female objectification. But(t), I beg of you, look closer. On the backside (see what I did there? No? Let's pretend this never happened then), this video features a bountiful range of booty types. Some are the run of the mill oversized rumps you see in every music video (well, every music video featuring dancing women. We'll have to keep waiting for a Tegan and Sara twerk-off). Other asses are relatively small and firm, and more than a few are disgustingly dense.

In between all of this is an oversized woman attacking a city. Her multifaceted disembodied head occasionally spins around like a mirror ball, reflecting all that we normally find acceptable, abhorrent, or sexy and simultaneously disgusting about mainstream music. And this is where it really gets me. Major Lazer is a collaborative effort. All of their releases bend genres, not the least of which include reggae, dancehall, trap, rap, and anything else you could conceivably use to get your bubble butt shaking. They bend those genres, it seems, until they snap and bleed into one solid, coherent work of art.

Eric Warheim does something very similar with this video. He takes everything provocative but otherwise officially "okay" about sexual objectification, and pushes it just beyond the point of what is commonly acceptable. This video forces us to reconcile our ideals with our animal lust and our hostile reality.

If nothing else, the song itself is so catchy that it burrows into your brain and lays bubble butt eggs somewhere around the part of your brain that is connected to your ears. They hatch at random and you must feed the little minions by listening to the song again and again.

Some of you may accuse me of reading far too deeply into this song and video. My only response is that I'd rather read too deeply into something enigmatically simple than recklessly ignore something important.

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