This is the music video to Janet Jackson’s new song, “Rock With You” and for some reason I’m mildly addicted to it. Wow, I really have a weird reaction to it. First off though, why does she look like a mashed together version of Lydia Lunch circa 1985 and Joanna Cassidy from Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead? Why did they do that? Oh, it’s probably just some progressive way of embodying some aesthetic no one is thinking about naturally so she seems edgy.
Anyway, so the song is clearly playing directly to the gays because it’s compellingly empty and yet it has this way of hitting the ego. Is it in a minor key? I can’t actually tell. That’s how they get you. They get your ego with a heavy beat and a minor key. Because then, when you’re dancing to it at 3am you can think about how hard your life is but at the same time you can think about how you’re enjoying yourself at this point and therefore you’re a survivor. They’re all essentially the same. Plus, you know she’s throwing a bone to the gays when, towards the end she walks through the crowd of people grabbing her hair like a flustered drag queen who still looks “fabulous”. Of course there are the obligatory local drag queens playing themselves in the background – a job they’ll dine out on for the rest of their lives.
It’s got a weirdly melancholy thing happening though – like, for some reason I can’t stop thinking about waking up in a horrifying house in hard suburbia where everything is concrete and the sun is hot but I’m still in the clothes I wore out the night before and somehow I have to get home with a hangover.
Strobe lights make everything sexier – she’s vacant and sexual and petitioning for attention. It’s nothing new but I can’t look away. I don't know what's wrong with me. I don't buy into this shit and yet here I am.