Voyou Désœuvré

Watch: Christina Aguilera – Candyman

Wow, Christina Aguilera’s new video is pretty awesome. I especially like the bit where they copy the choreography of “Springtime for Hitler.” The first time as farce, the second time as… I’ve just realized that I forgot to mention the also brilliant video for “Hurt,” which features an elephant. A sad elephant. Hopefully, she’ll keep up the quality by releasing “Nasty Naughty Boy” next, with a video in the style of Cabaret.


  1. Dejan, 12:29 am, March 8, 2007

    Inspired by your lovey review I tried to see the beauty you saw, but all I saw was a tuppence Moulin Rouge SLUT dancing in front of the American flag in yet another stupid propagandistic assertion of the American 50s as the age of innocence which I suppose is to wash the American conscience from the crimes of the marines, here also presented in a positive and optimistic light. GO WEST, as the Pet Shop Boys used to sing.

  2. voyou, 2:16 pm, March 9, 2007

    Why you feel the need to express your dislike of Christina in sexist terms I don’t know, but I wish you wouldn’t. Aside from that, the “stupid propagandistic assertion of the American 50s” is precisely the point – American war propaganda turning itself into a bizarre self-parody. The half a million or more people dead make it an extremely grotesque self-parody, admittedly.

  3. Dejan, 8:43 pm, March 12, 2007

    But what’s sexist then about calling someone who performs as a slut – a slut?

    Let me put it in another way:

    It is your PoMo ironic perspective here  which puts you in the sort of a mindframe where you assume that this clip is ”knowing” and that the reason it displays patriotic American propaganda is that it wants to subvert it.

    But like the Lacanian Purloined letter, the clip puts the propaganda under your nose because it relies precisely on the distortion that your PoMo ironic mindframe will make of it.

    In this way the agitprop is endlessly replicated in the guise of subversion.

  4. Dejan, 8:48 pm, March 12, 2007

    Which is exactly the mechanism you described yourself in relation to ”The Devil Wears Prada”, but which somehow escapes your attention here.

  5. voyou, 9:15 pm, March 12, 2007

    But I don’t think it’s knowing; that’s what’s so fascinating about it. Contemporary propaganda is totally serious about its absurd project of recreating the ’50s. I don’t know what, if any, options that allows for in terms of political activity (how can one subvert something that is so preposterous in the first place); but it’s an interesting and, I think, fairly new political terrain (see also the bankruptcy of Adbusters style pseudo-situationism).

  6. Dejan, 9:27 pm, March 12, 2007

    I was talking about YOUR assumption that it’s knowing – that it references Mel Brooks (which people in one of MTV’s export markets might not have ever seen, as Mel Brooks is distinctly American, so they would not be able to make such a connection) in order to deliver a parody of American militarism.

    I am reminded of Pink’s clip for ”Stupid Girl” where she delivers a ”criticism” of capitalist icons like Paris Hilton while portraying herself exactly the dumb blonde Kim Novak/Marylin Monroe bimbo that the clip is supposedly attacking.

    It’s branded subversion ™ or subversion through rebranding (r).

    But even without this analysis it’s obvious that MTV constantly and ceaselessly bombard you with images of patriotism (the flag, the 50s iconography, Marylin Monroe), which even if it can’t work directly, will certainly work subliminally to assert American imperial cultural suprematism.

    I’m not aware of this contemporary propaganda movement so maybe you can quote some more examples?

  7. Dejan, 9:30 pm, March 12, 2007

    Yes same way that situationism imagines a perspective ”outside of the system”, this sort of propaganda imagines a  ”knowing audience”. 

  8. Dejan, 9:50 pm, March 12, 2007

    sorry instead of knowing I should have said ”referrential”

  9. Dejan, 10:03 pm, March 12, 2007

    all of which brings me back to Devil Wears Prada (what stood at the tip of my tongue when we started talking about it):

    yes the ”situationist” position of the Communist is rightfully rendered comic, but the producers’ position (assuming an all-powerful fashion industry that is able to cast a spell on EVERYONE) is even more ridiculous.

    maybe hope lies in the fact that the way capitalism is being adverised is growing increasingly transparent and stupid

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