Timberlake video excels at fakery

David Soler

Have you watched Justin Timberlake’s latest music video? You know, “What goes around comes around?”

I have to be honest. I found it to be wonderful – an authentic masterpiece of the present capitalist system.

It’s an explosive pastiche of sex appeal, sheer genius and overall pure fakery. It’s a bullet – oh, yes, it is! It’s a lost bullet targeted at maximizing profits and unbalancing as many lifestyles as possible.

The video – and particularly the song – has been honed to the nanometer to capitalize on every conceivable aspect of the music/gossip/beauty complex not only of its actors, but also of the people living in the United States.

The hit song starts with an unlikely intro for the average profane-video-to-be-forgotten-after-one-month’s expectations: Astonishingly, it starts introducing credits, rolling “Written by…” and “Directed by…” as if we are going to watch a big-budget film. Already one minute into the video, it proceeds with a hastened, artificial, sex-appealing dialogue between two partygoers, and viewers start wondering, “Where is the song, dude?”

Then it begins, and you realize why they procrastinated so much. It’s a bomb!

The melody develops with such an exacted protraction of catchy Middle Eastern cadences that listeners are instantly hooked. It’s like Timberlake and his producers are telling viewers, “Now you are our dog, and you are going to listen no matter what nonsense we feed you.” And they lose no time on it, first joking about committing suicide, then switching to a drunken binge conversation displaying misogyny, lesbianism, gambling, promiscuity and more – again during an awesome fifty-three seconds where the clip completely stops the song!

When it resumes, it features J.T. on a background hybrid reminiscent of Eyes Wide Shut‘s orgy scene and Moulin Rouge‘s flamboyant musicals. After this, some gratuitous violence comes from nowhere, using the proper dosage of cussing and f-words. What else? Oh, yes – some Need for Speed video game-style speeding with a finale featuring a time-bullet upgrade of the flying cars we watch on the A-team.

Finally, to kill it off, Timberlake throws in some pseudo-rap, just in case he failed to lure his rap-loving audience.

In a sentence? This video is near perfect. It has it all!

If you didn’t notice while digesting all this raunchiness, the lyrics’ prime target – a.k.a Exploit Number One – is (the temporarily insane) Britney Spears. The song is virtually rigged with verses like, “You had me in the palm of your hand” and “your love went away.” Oh, yes, J.T.’s feeling them, on the brink of crying. But, wait a moment – maybe all this is aimed at Diaz, J.T.’s last “official” girlfriend, no?

Hmmm, it’s a tough dilemma to discern upon.

Maybe we will have to wait for Mr. Time to see if this song turns out to be another commercial exploitation or a clever, never-before-seen petition for reconciliation.

David Soler is a biomedical sciences graduate and a columnist for the Summer Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].