Well, this should have been the worst video I'd ever seen. Even though Nicolas Cage isn't in it. Why? Because it won't play in my $3 VCR. The nerve! CARTOONS R FUN only when you can see them.
Or so I woulda thunk. See, it doesn't entirely not play... only 50% of the time. It does this weird thing I've never seen a video do before, flashes off and on like a really slow strobe light. At first I watched in the vain hope that it would stop doing that, but before long, I leaned forward and stared, weirdly mesmerized. In some odd way, these familiar, classic cartoons take on an odd drama when they flash on and off.
For one thing, it kills the gags, most of which are—let's face it—pretty corny. That leaves you with the overall visuals, which are actually pretty stunningly well-composed. And the faces and bodies are powerfully expressive. When you scrape off the surface-layer of nyuk nyuk nyuk, you see the characters' rubbery forms flashing from terror to joy to steely determination to despair in lightning succession.
I couldn't deal with the sound going on and off, so I put on some music. Naturally, I chose Orff'sCarmina Burana, which heightened the mood even further. I mourn the blows of Fortune with flowing eyes, because her gifts she has treacherously taken back from me. Could these not be the very words of Elmer Fudd, at the moment when Bugs has eluded his grasp, just when he was so clearly about to be rabbit stew? A vulture trying to peel a baby goose away from its gaggle, a rabbit looking down the barrel of a gun... these old cartoons always seemed to be eat or be eaten. Take away the silly voices and goofy gags and you've got some primal stuff there.
I was actually sorry it only lasted about 15 minutes. I only got to the fifth song in the Carmina Burana cycle. Oh, well. I guess I ought not curse Fate. I guess that's still less than 2 cents a minute.
Ironically, this surreal, random, opera of decomposing psychodrama closed with the credits: A DURATAPE PRESENTATION.
Fate, savage and empty, you are a turning wheel, your position is uncertain, your favour is idle and always likely to disappear.