This article originally appeared on Noisey US.
Father John Misty was the musical guest on last night's SNL, fulfilling latest in a long line of promotional duties in the lead-up to the release of his new album, Pure Comedy. The performance grabbed headlines because "Total Entertainment Forever," the new song he debuted on the show, opened with this line:
Bedding Taylor Swift every night inside the Oculus Rift
After mister and the missus finish dinner and the dishes
It seemed clear that Misty was parodying some dystopian near-future (or present) rather than glorifying anything; but then again, Father John Misty is a well-heeled serpent intent on consuming his own tail. And rather than wait for this to play out, Misty got on the phone with Exclaim! to discuss the line this afternoon. Like everything that leaves Misty's brain, it contains some interesting ideas, some bizarre references, and, eventually, some slightly cringeworthy theory about the zeitgeist. Let's see:
Human civilisations have been entertaining themselves in disgusting ways all through human history—I mean, whether it's lighting Christians on fire, or whatever. We have to consider that maybe there are ways in which we entertain ourselves now that are equally as disturbing. I think that that's important—to not assume that everything about the way we live is the direct product of progress.
The fact of the matter is, I don't want that to happen to Taylor Swift. That is the worst thing I can think of; that is so horrible. But again, this plays into progress, where like, the internet was supposed to be this new democracy, a utopia of information where everyone had a voice and we were all interconnected, and we would experience true democracy—and it turned into pornography, followed only by outrage. The tools represent some kind of technological advancement, but if we can't act like more than angry ecstasy freaks with the most advanced technology in the world, then how much have we really progressed?
And if you don't think that this virtual reality thing isn't going to turn into sex with celebrities, then you're kidding yourself. That face recognition stuff? I mean, there are people working on it right now. It's absurd. Someone sitting with this headset on, you know? Oh God, it's just, how many different ways do human beings need to masturbate?
So on the album there are more than a few songs where I'm saying 'Is this progress? Like, is this really what progress looks like?'
Turns out, explaining one's lyrics is a lot like masturbating. You don't tend to learn much, it's mostly done for immediate gratification, and you often end up with a bigger mess on your hands than when you started.
Lead photo via Father John Misty on Facebook.
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