Young Indie Alt Media Star FKA Twigs appears in a Spike Jonze video, with the lacerating title “Welcome Home,” about the circular route, around the dead rituals of Capitalism’s cheese-in-the-maze worship, to schizophrenia. But can the schizophrenia be monetized? Spike Jonze, the upper class video director who specializes in the mental illnesses of Serfs, addresses this question.
In the video’s conceptual top layer, a mouse (trapped in a post-Blade Runner rainscape denied even the decorative mercy of neon lights) returns to her HomePod. Where has she been? Working? Wandering the streets? We’ll never know. “Safely” within her HomePod again, she speaks to her HomePod through a sinister machine-ear as dead as HAL’s eye in 2001: A Space Odyssey, as if it were a friend, and the HomePod, without consciousness, responds in kind. The hallucinations thus begin.
The mouse has a sudden convulsion… a paroxysm of heart-breakingly shopworn dance moves… then whispers to the confining walls of her HomePod. Her lips are kiss-close to the wallpaper as though chiding a lover to perform more adequately. The HomePod grows, suggestively, to the size of a rich woman’s closet.
Telescoping to the narrow geometry of the iconic corridor of the space ship Discovery, in the above-mentioned 2001 (and lit like a corporate version of the psychedelic wormhole of the same film), the HomePod shows the mouse to herself in an unadorned mirror at corridor’s end: a mouse alone, gyrating without talent, conviction or reason. This traumatic confrontation induces the mouse-personality to divide until mouse becomes dancing Schism.
The Schism performs, as sexlessly as any pair of lovers in a Serf-mocking MGM musical of the mid-20th century, until one half of the Schism abandons the other when the Schism exhausts itself. Conviction abandoning Delusion? Passion abandoning Compulsion? With which half are we left? The mouse is now truly mad. Yet spent… via pseudo-cathartic aerobics.
Only as the stage-set of her breakdown grows dark at the end of a cycle as long as a Pop song (how many times has this happened before?) and the mouse finds herself at the same sad, eternal spot on the wheel of all her futile running, has the HomePod fulfilled its True Function. The mouse’s psychotic episode has been perfectly confined and absorbed. Whatever the mouse’s value, given tasks or overall purpose, her breakdowns are incorporated, seamlessly, in the process. Perhaps her breakdowns are the process. In a profitable System, it is impossible (and unnecessary) to distinguish between the two.
The video’s deeper meaning is obvious, upon reflection: Media Stars are no longer paid enough money to say “no” to appearing in humiliating commercials.
The System is always learning.
(Considering the fact that the video’s YouTube comments are disabled: perhaps we are.)