Good Song, Bad Video
"Say Say Say" by Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson
Okay, first thing's first... the video has NOTHING to do with the song, which is about... er... people say, say, saying things to each other or something. Doesn't matter; like most Macca post-Beatles efforts, it's catchy, easy to sing along with, and totally incomprehensible. Seriously, take a listen to a Best-Of Wings compilation sometime. It's like the ravings of a madman, but uptempo enough to where you feel comfortable listening to it in your car. Anyway, what the song is most definitely not about is Depression-era swindlers selling fraudulent tonics out the back of a dilapidated pickup truck. And yet, that's exactly what we have here. And there's a magic show, but more on that in a minute.
My question to those responsible is this: Why are we rooting for them? Why are they "our heroes?" They're ripping off hard-working people in the middle of our nation's greatest economic crisis. Nothing more, nothing less. Oh sure, they try to qualify their behavior by showing that the ill-gotten proceeds are going to an orphanage (side note: shouldn't someone be watching MJ around all those kids?), but that doesn't change the fact that they're basically taking food out of the mouths of kids who just happen to have gullible parents. But, according to the video-makers, that's okay because they're orphans. Get it... ORPHANS!!! One can only assume that the original cut of "Say Say Say" included a scene of Paul and Michael garroting a man in an alley so they could bring the orphans more gruel money by stealing his wallet.
Once they leave the orphanage (don't know how those little bastards can sleep at night, honestly), they end up catching on with some sort of vaudeville organization in what looks an awful lot like a whorehouse. Not saying it is, not saying it isn't... just saying there's a lot of happy men in there and the women who aren't Linda McCartney are awfully tarted up.
Oh, speaking of Linda... was there ever a person in the music business who had less charisma on camera than her? They literally could have replaced her in this video with a tire from off an old Chevy conversion van or a large wedge of cheese without any discernible difference. I mean, I've got nothing against her at all... she and Paul were by all accounts a lovely couple; certainly better than a certain one-legged harpy I could name... but still. She's a black hole from which personality cannot escape, at least while being filmed.
Anyway... the magic show, or vaudeville show, or whatever the fuck it is they're doing. All I can take away from the last half of this video is this: Creepy clown make up. Totally unnecessary, completely blood-chilling, and it certainly lends credence to those outtakes of back-alley murders for cash. There's also some arrogant houndstooth suits and hostile seltzer-spraying going on, but mostly it's all about their grim visages of death and how they haunt my soul.
In the end, Linda lights fire to something on stage and, because the audience is made up of Frankenstein's monsters and the Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz, they all flee into the street. Which I guess shows that Depression-era audiences were MAJOR pussies. Anyway, this distraction allows our hardened gang of criminals to escape mustached justice from a local sheriff, which means their reign of terror is far from over.
Sadly, we never got a sequel. And their own "The Girl is Mine" would have been the perfect song! Seeing as how it had nothing to do with the aforementioned plot line either.