Photo by matsuyuki
The Daily Grind
Apologies to those of you who aren’t Katy Perry fans but this video is brilliant as it is a great example of “purposeful pop”. Katy Perry sings about a theme park called Oblivia and being “chained to the rythmn.” It’s all about the daily grind. Are we just like rates in a maze? Being chained to the rhythmn is a euphemism for being stuck in a system where politicians are dishonest and don’t deliver on promises. Where we are all so influenced by online technology and are glued to our smart phones and ipod screens. This means we are less in the present moment and ‘absent’ from our lives in many ways.
The guests are dressed in vibrant 1950s clothes, an era of great optimism for America. The song’s lyrics depict a world of repetition and ignorance, where technology renders us oblivious (hence the name “Oblivia”) to people’s real problems- mental health, poverty, inequality, corruption and so on.
The “greatest ride in the universe” turns out to be a treadmill. The guests aren’t there to have fun – they’re assets. Cogs in the machine. Literally hamsters on a wheel.
In the closing scene, Katy Perry turns to make eye contact with the camera, tacitly issuing a challenge to us, the viewer.
Are we comfortable with unquestioning conformity? Or will we join her big pop revolution?
I urge you to be a critical thinker, don’t believe everything you see in the media, it is always slightly slanted according to one’s interpretation. Learn to stand apart, be a non-conformist and stand up for what you believe in.