Monday, February 25, 2008

Waiting for Big Booty Godot

The video for Kanye West’s “Flashing Lights” is pure brilliance, and not merely because of the undulating orbs inside Rita G’s [NOTE: LINK NSFW!] satiny bra. Directed by Spike Jonze and West himself, it is a strange drama that begins in medias res, with our well-endowed heroine stepping out of an expensive sedan at dusk (or dawn?), somewhere on the desert outskirts of a city emanating neon. She takes a short walk, removing and then burning her fur and skirt.

You’re going to have to watch it for the rest of the story. (Please note that the video is somewhat risqué too. Perhaps you could guess this from the title.)

The video ends abruptly at 2 minutes 47 seconds, more than a minute shorter than the album version of the song. The puzzling brevity raises all sorts of questions. Who is this woman, and why does she murder poor Kanye? Did he screw her over? Or was he just the naive loser in some wicked con game? And what’s her phone number?

Jonze and West have simply given us too little information to analyze the story. It’s the Beckett theory of drama: the important action has taken place before the play itself begins, and we are left with the aftermath. Our Vladimir and Estragon here are (1) a big booty fertility goddess slash stripper and (2) Kanye as a tuxedo-clad hostage who bites it on the wrong side of her heavy shovel. Fucking awesome, yes. And those tantalizing plot gaps? We can only use our imagination. The backstory scenarios are infinite; so far I’ve got four.

SCENARIO 1. It’s Vegas, the city built on broken kneecaps. It’s an “Ocean’s Eleven” situation, the big heist, and Kanye is our Danny Ocean. Somehow the showgirl was supposed to be the mule here, or the distraction, or something: she was a bit player and he was the mastermind. Or so he thought. Turns out she was a double agent, and as Andy Garcia waits back in the penthouse suite — grinning like a motherfucker because his money remains secure in the vault — his killer queen disposes of the shithead out in the desert somewhere at 4:45 a.m. Kanye looks up at her from the trunk so innocently. He never saw it coming. He was a good lay, she thinks, and as he lies there bound and gagged she lets him know she appreciates that: the last thing he sees will be her boobs bursting out of that lingerie, her heavenly kiss the last thing he feels. But there’s some serious vagina dentata action here as she bludgeons him to death in the trunk of her own car. It’s going to be dirty back there! Why didn’t she pull him out, dispose of him less messily? Is she going to dig a hole with that shovel?

SCENARIO 2. It’s still Vegas, only this time he’s the Andy Garcia, and Ocean is the one grinning like a motherfucker back at the bar. It worked. Not only is she a fantastic lay, she’ll even take out the fucking trash. How much do you love this woman! Kanye was an easy mark. Gave no struggle as the goons tied him up. They were just about to drive off when she showed up, said she wanted to take care of it herself. Fine. The goons looked her up and down — you’re going dressed like that? — but handed over the keys. Kanye didn’t know who was going to whack him until she opened the trunk, and at first he thought he had been rescued by a bosomy angel. Her! Such a fantastic lay, so innocent when he spotted her dancing at his casino. He remembered the look on her face when he laughed at the word “marriage” and she realized his sweat and $200-an-ounce cologne were smeared on every call girl in the house. He thought he could buy her off with a fur. It was chump change. You insult me, you son of a bitch. She held up the shovel, smashed that lying mouth and just kept on smashing. Ocean is back at the bar. He said he was going to take care of her. He couldn’t believe how gullible she was. But what a fantastic lay.

SCENARIO 3. It’s L.A., and it’s Grammy night. The parties are still raging at 4:45 a.m., and even though Herbie and Amy won all that shit, it’s still good. He’s in a smart tux, king of the world if only because there are no challengers to the throne. He chuckles as he takes off in a black Bentley with Rihanna and a bunch of young sisters from somewhere or other: that British skank is probably being led back to her padded cell right about now. The Bentley pulls up at somebody’s place in the Hills — Jimmy? Clive? — and Rihanna slinks off to the pool house, leaving him with a wet kiss and “hold that thought” eyes. Five minutes later he had a sista sandwich going when she opened the door in a long fur and full Victoria’s Secret getup. Get the hell out of here, bitches! Farnsworth, gimme a hand with this asshole! That’s it, tie him up! Tie the motherfucker up! Nobody does that to fucking Rihanna!

SCENARIO 4. It’s L.A., and it’s Grammy night. It’s been a good year, but not good enough. Nobody knows how this game really works. You’ve got the biggest opening-week sales and still it don’t mean shit. He crushed 50 Cent, and yet who made the real money? The guy with the fucking sugarwater endorsement deal who hasn’t had a hit in four years, who spends half his time with captains of industry and the rest with gangsters. He had Jam Master Jay whacked, everybody knows that. Only reason the Game is still alive is all the heat. He’s no idiot. Neither are the loan sharks who run this town, who hand out deadlines and then beatings; 2 million records is dandy, but without green it don’t mean shit. He should have known that the big booty beauty who cornered him at that party in the Hills was a setup. Her hand was in his crotch and her chest was exploding out of that fur when she pushed him through the pool house door. He never saw the goons back there. 50 was sweating, shouting, as if he were the one about to get it. Don’t be an idiot, just get the money! Our hero squirmed like a girl as they put the gag on him. Fuck you, he shouted. I’m Kanye West!

Any other reads?

UPDATE: Thanks to Jesse for pointing out this interview with Rita G on MTV, which I cite as advance approval of my plot projections:

“I just think it’s great to have a cliffhanger,” she said. “It’s great when the mother goose doesn’t have to chew the food up for you and then feed it to you. Use your motherf****ing mind. It’s abstract. It’s whatever you want it to be.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is not the "real" Kanye. Rather, it is an expensive Kanye "clone" made by the Aliens. These are the same Aliens who replaced Black Francis with Frank Black, but, unlike that copy, the Kanye copy did not rebel against it's masters. Instead, Kanye, through extensive indie-rock hangout sessions with Will Oldham, Jeff Mangum, and Joey Santiago, was prepared: he set a trap - an entire well trained secret sexy army that was put together in some sort of Dr. No complex. Each girl was armed with giant breasts, sweet ass, and expensive underwear. Also was included was the abilty to differentiate the real Kanye from a fake Kanye. Part of their equipment list includes a fur and skirt, which, when burned, sends out a detectable smoke signal that can be picked up by Kanye's satellite system.