Monday, 30 March 2015

Take Me To Church—A Breakdown

First off, if this video hasn’t swept YOUR screen yet, here’s a little preparatory homework.

Now that everyone reading this has watched the video (you’re welcome!) you can deduce for yourself whether it went viably viral; or in the same, undeserved manner as the ‘I Can Has Cheezburger?’ Lolcatz nuisance. My stance, however, is as solid as The Hulk’s gargantuan, green chest: I. Love. is. The song and the video. Independently and together.
And the song shook me especially when someone offhandedly compared me to the man’s lover in the song. It was a compliment I did not want—nor felt I warranted. The idea of being worshipped is almost narcotic in its intoxication… but the thought of having someone at your service is equally frightening. The lyrics, every time they’re sung at me, remind me of this essential dilemma often comes to the fore—power, and how quickly it turns to this liquid evil. Something I want on multiple levels, and yet do not wish to bear the brunt of.

(Still From The Video)
I went for this play in January called Venus In Furs, an interesting Matryoshka doll-esque concept. In this play-within-a-play setting, we saw the two leads, and the characters playing them, shifting the dominant-submissive sexual dynamic between them. I truly believed that I’d love that degree of power over someone—to have them kiss my shoes, run to me as I summoned them. But I also came to the swift and sharp realisation that I wouldn’t have the heart to put someone through that. That maybe I’m too weak for power that potent.

I'll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies
I'll tell you my sins and you can sharpen your knife

Offer me that deathless death
Good God, let me give you my life
(Still From The Video)
I remember, once, watching Polanski’s Bitter Moon, a movie that (in order not to spoil it for everyone that may hopefully watch it) exhibiting in the most sensual, fluid form the deepest levels of cruelty between two people in love. The idea that love and torture were a packaged deal was something I had presumed from all the tragedy forced down my throughout via literature and the cinematic arts. But to see it inflicted so intentionally, so callously was something I wasn’t getting. If this was love, on any level, with any explanation, the world was deeper and darker than I wished to comprehend.
Opening up that thought-wound is bittersweet, one that incites both a grateful and hateful part of me every time I listen to Take Me To Church. It bothers me profoundly, but I love it.
The video is equally stirring in an altogether different fashion. It’s the most heartrending commentary on homophobia, blending seamlessly with—and detaches repeatedly from— the audio stimulus in a perfect harmony that drives home the point it’s making. 
The line She tells me "Worship in the bedroom"/The only heaven I'll be sent to/ Is when I'm alone with you syncs perfectly with the two boys kissing, cut quickly by the angry mob descending on one of the boys’ houses. The video ‘shows instead of telling,’ a trick every writer aims to learn to better their craft.
(Still From The Video)
 One of the most crushing moments is when we see the boy’s face, contorted with anguish, in the mini-screen of a handicam. The fact that someone is filming this shows just how deep the rot goes. It no longer becomes a righteous quest to ‘correct evil’—The vindicativeness tears through the seams of the (already flimsy) defence of ‘God’s Will,’ and the hypocrisy floods in.
I am well aware of how the video has resonated with everyone that may have been through/ known someone who’s been through this struggle with society. I can only hope it resonates with people that have never been brave enough to imagine it.

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