Every once in a while, a song gets under the skin that really shouldn’t, and it feels rather intrusive — sort of like how a tick burrows into the upper dermis of an animal. Usually, it’s a song that you wouldn’t catch yourself listening to, yet, for some reason, you know almost every word.
Today, my song was Thomas Dolby’s “She Blinded Me With Science” — a synth-heavy ditty from 1982, which is probably playing in some orthodontist’s office as I type this. I spent much of the day trying to figure out why I was singing this song (and walking around like a robot) — with no avail. Instead, I decided to check out the music video for the one-hit-wonder.
Music videos can be artsy (The White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army”), simple (Foo Fighters’ “Learn to Fly”), or even carve out a complex/incomplete storyline (Muse’s “Knights of Cydonia). However, Dolby successfully (or unsuccessfully) creates one of the most humorous and embarrassing music videos in music history.
Mr. Dolby plays himself here, as a scientist gone off the deep end. We aren’t exactly sure why this is the case but it’s expected that we trust he is not right in the head. He is so senile that he’s checking himself into an institution entitled, “The Home for Deranged Scientists”
However, within seconds of the video’s start, we realize that our young protagonist in the trench-coat is actually quite normal compared to the loonies at the HDS. (He catches eyes with a man wearing what appears to be goggles and a jet-pack standing on a roof, shaking nervously.)
Mr. Dolby (as read by the silent-film cues throughout the music video) enters the institution and is met by a mysterious but attractive receptionist. From there, he is led into a private room to undergo “The Consultation.” The receptionist and Mr. Dolby are united with a man with a thick mustache and the hair of a young Albert Einstein. Then, for almost no reason at all, the receptionist climbs up a small step-ladder, gyrating awkwardly as Mr. Dolby looks on nervously. What is more comical is the mustachioed consultant’s explanation of “Science!” with the same wide-eyed excitement that a small child would have around Christmas.
At this point, both Mr. Dolby and I are confused, scratching our heads vigorously out of confusion. The consultant continues to exclaim the song’s title or “Science!” and calls Thomas Dolby “A suitable case for treatment” after failing a basic shape-recognition test.
Mr. Dolby is rushed on a stretcher and put into a hospital gown past what appears to be a to-scale version of the White House and yard — except it’s filled with wily, dancing scientists examining such basic, everyday items such as bubbles and telescopes. Dolby is connected to basic machines, but escapes when he finally “rejects science and things scientific.”
Oh, did I also mention that the consultant — now in a wheelchair – is pushed backwards into a giant lake? Because in as little time it took me to write this sentence, this part of the plot was introduced and exhausted.
Conclusively, this video is a perfect reason why science isn’t for everyone.