As If I Needed More Proof That I Am Getting Old

I went to the dermatologist today and spent time in the waiting room looking at before and after pictures of people who had Restylane injections. I know I am supposed to be cool, hip, and confident, but when the time comes, I will probably be getting me some of that. Or something like it at any rate. But that time isn't upon me yet.

Which isn't to say I am not aware of the passage of time (heck, I have a whole category for blogposts which may fall under the umbrella). However, most of my realizations that things have changed have been in the realms of emotions and culture, as opposed to the physical (although I have noticed that my muscle tone isn't what it once was, but then, neither are my workouts. This may be a sign I am getting older, or it may be a sign that I have a toddler).

There was a time, when I was twelve, when I could watch a Duran Duran video and accept it for what it was: a beautifully filmed narrative designed to appeal to our base desires for fame, wealth, and sex (except for Save A Prayer, below, which was designed to appeal to our base desires for the members of Duran Duran in a tropical paradise, but I digress). Oftentimes, the narrative was not terribly coherent or linear, but I didn't care as the images were so hypnotic and pretty. Also, at twelve, I tended to take things at face value.

Then I grew up. I went to an elite private college where I learned about subtext and allusion. I was trained to see that things have meaning and, oftentimes, it couldn't be grasped at first or second glance. In fact, to truly understand a piece of work, you would need to be intimately familiar with every piece of work the original piece of work referenced, sometimes unintentionally. And you wonder why I didn't go to graduate school?

So here I am, trained to understand that things are not what they seem and I encounter the recent Duran Duran video:

Yes, I know that Duran Duran videos are supposed to be heavily populated with models some of whom do vaguely suggestive things to one another (to appeal to the viewing public's desire to see hot girl-on-girl action) or really cruel things to one another (to appeal to the viewing public's misogyny, or at least, their hatred of skinny models). I imagine the pitch for this video was "What if One Flew Over The Cookie's Nest and America's Next Top Model were to have a baby?" But is that all it is? Watching this video, I couldn't help but wonder if it is meant as some commentary on Britney Spears and what our society does to its girls. Or how female empowerment has been coopted by pornographers, so young women are told that flashing their breasts is a sign of liberation and not exploitation. Or how the people who are supposed to be helping girls grow into young women unscathed seem incompetent and clueless as to how to make this happen. Or maybe that we are all a bunch of voyeurs. Which is a lot to be reading into a Duran Duran video. I mean, back in the day, no one would have accused Duran Duran of making a socio-political statement via there videos.

So either times have changed or I am really good at finding meaning where none exists.

But I'll always have the old videos to go back to and, now that I'm older and wiser, I can see all the references to the Jean Genet and Jean Cocteau which I didn't get back in 1984. And don't even get me started on the metatext.


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