Friday, January 14, 2011

Friday Morning Videos: "Relax (Don't Do It)"

I can't remember, much less find on the internet, any video quite as weird, offensive, and/or disturbing as last year's creepy masterpiece by XTC. But there is this:



Yes, this is the video banned by MTV and the BBC. Not sure why, since looking at it today, it seems to be a story of a bunch of roadies for a stage show of Caligula getting drunk and skanky. And then forcing some guy to fight a tiger. I don't know; maybe it's the fake Roman senator's thong underwear that did it. Anyway, here's the version most of you are more likely to remember.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is it something you would want your daughters to watch?

Anonymous said...

Watch from 3:20 to 3:23 a few times and tell me how you interpret that.

Russell Arben Fox said...

How many times did you have to watch it to get the idea, I presume, that the fake Roman senator was peeing on them? I'll confess, that did not pop into my mind automatically.

Hey, it's a crude video, no doubt. I probably would have wanted to ban it too. Twenty-five years later though, I think it's more infantile, a bunch of sniggering adolescent posing, than anything else.

Dan H said...

I think it was also the very overtly homosexual overtones the whole video had. That and the gigantic golden shower....

Anonymous said...

MTV showed plenty of het heavy metal videos that were as bad. It was probably the shot of the guy licking the condom that got them banned. You just couldn't be overtly gay then. Bronski Beat had to tone down one of their videos that was already tame to eliminate the suggestion that the lead singer was fantasizing about men. Which kind of made subsequent gay bashing scene look a lot less coherent.
-Western Dave

Camassia said...

I remember when I first heard the song -- with the familiar video -- I thought it was kind of boring. But then, as a sheltered 12-year-old in the pre-Internet age I had no idea what it was about. Now that I listen to it again, I see the genius of its ambiguity -- all the words in it individually could have an innocuous meaning, but put together they couldn't mean anything else.

They managed to be ambiguous about their sexual orientation too, as I recall. Does anyone else remember a performance video by FGTH where they kept getting swarmed by amorous female fans?

Russell Arben Fox said...

Dan H,

That and the gigantic golden shower....

Is that what Anonymous thought he saw? Man, I just don't have a dirty enough mind, I guess.

Dave,

Bronski Beat, yes! Oh, I'm going to have to get one of their videos into rotation here, eventually...

Camassia,

It's actually so ambiguous that you could positively use the lyrics (or at least the beat) in all sorts of ways without doing much violence to the song. Or at least so a lot of 14-15-year-old Mormon boys like me must have thought back in the day; ever since I put this up, I've been remembering this horrible church skit, in which some kids were dealing with somebody feeling stressed and pressured by wicked friends to commit some sin (smoke? take drugs? I don't recall), and they broke out with "Relax! Don't do it! Go and read the scriptures!" etc., etc. I'm sure FGTH would have approved.