Wow, so here we are. It's been a big week. Honestly? If you had've told me ten days ago that I'd be listening to Katy Perry all day, every day, I probably woulda laughed. If you had've said, "Issy, one week from now you're gonna leave a pub with your friends just to walk home and dance to Katy Perry in your bedroom on repeat for half an hour" I probably would've said: "How drunk am I in that situation?"
Do I hate Katy Perry? No. I liked—nay, loved—every single song on Teenage Dream. We all did! And then of course "Birthday" was a delight. But then she went and she cosplayed as a kitsch Egyptian in "Dark Horse," and I kinda fell off the bandwagon. But now she's gone and made this absolute fuckin' earworm. And it's just perfect. God bless you, ma'am. Thank you. You've made my life at least 17 percent better than it was this time last month. So let's take a closer look at the pop star's return to form with her new video, "Chained to the Rhythm."
When You've Nailed Your Brand, You've Nailed Your Brand
Three seconds in, here's Katy, who hasn't been seen without at least one latex item on since discovering the fabric in 2010. Pink hair, white pleather Agent Provocateur body piece with a giant ass popped collar, baby blue eyeshadow and brows for days. Weeks even. This is the Katy we've come to know and love ever since "California Girls." In other words, this is Katy's rich, kitsch, vivid fantasy world of retro-alien theme parks and tits that spew liters of whipped cream and we're all just living in it.
Nail Art, Bitch
Been on Instagram lately? Yeah? Ya seen all the nail art? Those fuckin' tubs of… I don't know, matter, that look like broken down moon rocks being delicately tapped onto nails. It might as well be ASMR. Getting tingles on the top of your head just thinking about it? Me too, dude. Nail art is in babyyyy and it's here to stay. These nails are particularly nice. Katy, you beautiful, flamboyant bitch. That sparkling french tip? Looks almost like silver flakes, doesn't it? Whoops, she pricked herself on the rose bush. Careful, Katy! Guess not everything is always what it seems… Ha. Weird. Love you.
Danger is Very, Very Cool
I know this is no revelation, I get it. We humans have been enamored by badness since day goddamn dot. James Dean, Robert Downey Jr., eating a piece of food off the floor after the window of the very scientific Five Second Rule has officially closed. The dark, glittering allure of danger and uncertainty is irresistible. What is it inside us that death-defying roller-coasters satisfy? Are we that bored? Do we need to reach out and graze death just to feel alive? Who knows…
Danger is Maybe Too Cool
"Bombs Away"? Wow. Like… Those are nuclear bombs, right? And, sorry, is it just me or does that fairy floss look like a mushroom cloud? Hmm, Katy… I don't know about all this. I don't think I like it. Something's not right…
People Are Kind of Like Hamsters in a Way
Why are these people lining up to run on a hamster wheel? Who would do that? They're out of their minds! Although… I guess, when I think about it, we all kind of run on a hamster wheel in our own way. I guess in the way that I get up every day and I come into my job and I work for Rupert Murdoch and I take my pay and I go home and I sit in front of Netflix and then I turn out the light and then I wake up and do it all again. Except for weekends when I go out and drink myself into oblivion to wash away the tension from the working week. The tension that built up each time I said, "but that's just my opinion, man colleague, what do you think?" when I actually meant, "shut the fuck up and seriously consider someone else's opinion for once, Kyle. Nobody says 'AF' out loud what is wrong with you?" Sure, every now and then I write an article and think to myself "hey, this might actually mean something to somebody," but most of the time I write about trap music that I can't tell apart or about Justin Bieber—whose mental health I'm genuinely quite worried about. I s'pose what I'm feeling is a form of disassociation. I feel like it all started when Bernie Sanders was knocked out of the presidential race. I guess I've been kind of "off" since then, you know? Sleepwalking through life. Existing, rather than living. Starting to think Katy is not talking about a song here, but in fact, a lifestyle. A societal epidemic… God, I don't know. My head hurts.
I'm a Fucking Sheep
Is that petroleum? Is that a Flaming Moe? Is Katy saying that we're all drinking the Kool Aid? Am I drinking the Kool Aid? Are any of us really, actually, properly thinking for our selves? I mean… if everyone else was drinking petrol with fire on it, would I? Yeah, probably! I don't question things, I never have. I didn't question Timmy in 1997 when he told me "if your hand is bigger than your face you have cancer." I got punched in the face that day. And I've been metaphorically punched in the face every day since for being that goddamned impressionable.
A Sheep Who is "Chained to the Rhythm" but the "Rhythm" is Actually the Exploitative Systems of Power Built by Bureaucrats and the One Percent!!!
Wanna know why Katy's brows are so big? Because they're full of secrets: the shit that Wall Street Fat Cats don't want us to know. But that's just too bad, corporate-ass America, because these brows can't be silenced. They're more than a statement. They're a manifesto. You need to listen to what Katy's trying to tell you. "We think we're free." We're not. Do you get that? Do you you see what's happening in the world? Fossil fuels? The Barrier Reef? The GFC? The patriarchy? Bees Are Dying and the news is getting faker and frickin' phonier by the minute! Sad! This song's a call to arms. Viva La fuckin' Revolution, sheeple!
More Importantly: Where Are the Emails, Hillary???
Let me tell you something about that little perspex scarf Katy has on: That bit of glorified glad wrap is basically the clearest thing in all our lives. Think about it! Nothing else in really that transparent, is it? The corporate-ass media sure isn't. Zuckerberg and his little cronies sure aren't, I'll tell ya that much. Oh, you think people in the White House are walking round in clear coats? Nope. Not a chance. They're wearing suits. Suits with dozens—possibly hundreds—of concealed internal pockets. And you wanna know what's in those pockets? You and I. The American people. The public at large. We're in those pockets. For god's sake can't you see?!
THE MONSANTO CORPORATION ARE GENETICALLY MODIFYING MILK AS WE SPEAK!!! MILK!!
Fucking hell. It's all coming down around me, I've got to be honest with you. I'm sitting here, at my little desk. It's nice enough, it's got a plant on it. But is it real? Is it living? The plant is, yes. For now. But am I? And if so then to what extent? If I am experiencing this life, am I only experiencing it from my own, deeply narrow, perspective? Am I questioning things enough? Did Bush do 9/11? Is "conspiracy" just an invention of organisational authorities to make "woke" people seem unhinged and therefore unreliable? How does the Average Joe prove anything anyway? Is the propagation of this very fear how they control us? Keep us chained to the rhythm? Fuck. Katy, I don't know what to think. I want to step off the hamster wheel, I want to flip my desk and scream out loud but... everyone's going to Nando's for lunch.
Follow Issy on Twitter. Unless you are George Bush or Nestlé in which case you can SUCK IT.