Father John Misty’s whimsical new music video is probably the most fun way anyone could have made a horrifying send-up of consumer culture and capitalism.
At least, that’s one way to read it. After all, Kurt Cobain, played by everyone’s favorite troubled former child star Macaulay Culkin, gets flagellated and crucified by Misty, who is dressed as a crude cartoonish version of Ronald McDonald. What more to interpret?
The song is called “Total Entertainment Forever,” and it’s the latest track from the reigning bad boy of folk pop. Opening with the lyrics, “Bedding Taylor Swift / Every night inside the Oculus Rift,” the video shows George washington donning a virtual reality headset to watch the action unfold in a candy-colored cartoon world of entertainment. Misty whips Cobain/Culkin from behind before tying him to a cross alongside a rubber-masked Bill Clinton on saxophone and John Arbuckle from “Garfield.”
As if the images weren’t enough to send Misty’s message of vapid humanity, the song ends with this ominous stanza: “When the historians find us we’ll be in our homes/Plugged into our hubs/Skin and bones/A frozen smile on every face/As the stories replay/This must have been a wonderful place.”
It has to be seen to be believed: