Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too

By Iago

These are the words of one Gregg Alexander, quite possibly the finest musician of our time. Sadly, his band The New Radicals parted ways after their only album; I guess he felt he'd said what had to be said.

Maybe a few people listened too. Maybe somewhere, another kid like me perked up their ears and stopped listening to manufactured, processed, homogenised "popular" music when their single You Get What You Give was released. I saw something today, however, which makes me sincerely doubt this.

Enter Holly Valance; fiancé-stealer, older-guy-lover, and generally vexatious bitch. For those not in the know, this young lady (in fact, 19 years young) plays the nauseatingly foolish bundle-o'-funbags, Felicity "Flick" Scully in the Australian soap Neighbours. In fact, Shrine members have been given an opportunity to call her whatever the hell they want on the site. But I digress…

So anyway, Hols has released her new debut single, Kiss Kiss. The song is of course a heartfelt protest against several current world issues, bundled with metaphors and other poetic devices, and structured around an avant-garde melody with a huge dynamic range and various talented musicians assisting her through a stunning four minutes of music.

Oh shit no, that was an At The Drive-In song.

No, no, no… Holly includes in the song such intellectual statements as "Mwah, mwah" and "I'm gonna be a bad girl again." Her voice is modulated using the very latest "equalizing" equipment, and her backing track is your typical pop-starlet electronica - uninventive and repetitive. But it's not these things that offend me; I understand that yes, there is a place for pop (apparently; I have yet to discover any use for it except maybe fertiliser), and she can probably carry a tune. Fine.

It's not even the fact that she is nude in the video clip, bar some very carefully placed lights. Like most of us, I have no problem with nudity (I'll be covering this topic in more detail during my next article, "Swing Low, Swing Free - How To Successfully Run Your Own Nudist Colony"). I don't agree with the fact that she is in the top 10 because she happens to have a particularly nice set of boobs, but shit, why not. I'm sure if John Howard showed a bit of nip during the next election, he'd rack up (no pun intended) the votes as well. Though that Simon Crean is a foxy man…

Moving on.

There are two core types of buyer here, and I think both are untapped, under-targeted niche markets. The first is the impressionable 8-12 year old girl. What better way to show a kid the appropriate way to interact with the boys at school than teaching them to nude up and offer all and sundry their kiss kiss? And hey, she's showing them at the same time just how little an education counts for if you have looks and a good figure!

The second market is, of course, the 18-40 year old male (arguably, with the advent of Viagra, the age of said male may be considered unimportant). Who needs porn when you have Video Hits? Sure, it's not helping the Mum and Pop video store on the corner… but hey, it's saving the guys some dosh much required for beer and general tomfoolery.

Just on a side note, remember when pornography had to be kept in a secret little back room in the video store? Nowadays, Video Ezy just whack it next to The Land Before Time LVIII. Where has the age of innocence gone, where as a minor you had to hire The Blue Lagoon for some hardcore action rather than some peroxide blonde porn star in "Salacious Intent"??? I long for those days to return… c'est la vie.

To wrap up the story… Valance is not the first, nor will she be the last, to strip nude for a clip in order to boost sales of what would otherwise be an ordinary song. But I wish, oh how I wish, that she and the rest of these corporate tools would wake up to the fact that they are brainwashing an already impressionable youth, and just screwing them right over. Her game plan, apparently, is to make an impact with the first single, then follow it up with others that concentrate "more on the music itself, rather than the way I look". Let's hold her to that and see how the next clip turns out… maybe I'm just cynical, but I don't think there'll be that many more clothes in the starlet's next clip.

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