Thursday, December 4, 2008

Anal-ytical Appreciation: The Killers' 'Human'

Guess which one just farted



So this song’s slightly old, but it’s screaming for a blog post. Full disclosure: I’m not really much of a Killers fan. But whatevs, I like this song. A few thoughts

1) Without a doubt, the most compelling thing about this song is its chorus. In particular, the badass refrain “Are we Human, or Are we Dancer?” Journalists and fans alike are
flipping their lids over this line. Everyone’s going: wtf do you mean ‘are we dancer’? How are we dancer? Shouldn’t it be “are we dancers”? There’s a good chunk of people who are passionately arguing that he’s saying “are we denser?” As evidenced by the youtube comments section (always a dependable spot for hilarity), there also seems to be a chunk who are arguing that ‘dancer’ is right in the context, coz it’s in line with the singular word ‘human.’ Reading these kinds of reviews is a total LOLercoaster ride. I don’t recall the last time pop fans got their panties in such a terrible twist – All this over the necessity of consistent grammar, dukes? I obviously believe that this is a brilliant marketing move. There’s no way you leave an obvious error like that without knowing that you’ll ruffle some feathers and create some buzz in the process. It’s not like it’s an inadvertent instant messaging typo. Lead singer Brandon Flowers stands behind the quote, and jokes about the backlash, so you get the impression that he’s always been fully aware and ready for the line's ramifications.

As you’ve probably heard, the line “Are we Human or Are we Dancer?” is a Hunter S. Thompson-inspired quote. Its apparently based on a disparaging remark that Thompson made coz he felt that “
America was raising a generation of dancers” – Yknow, probably a comment on the ever-evolving pussification of Western culture. (So yeah, there’s goes your dream of having a Thompson vs. Geraldo Rivera showdown on Dancing with the Stars). Though a few of Brandon’s quotes seem to hint that he shares Thompson’s sentiment, he has not been super-explicit about it (Its probably quite hard to comment on the emasculation of society when you’re singing and wearing mascara)

2) Now you might ask yourself, how do we answer such a profound question? How do we find out if someone’s a human or a dancer? Well, the rest of Brandon’s chorus
mentions “And I'm on my knees, looking for the answer” Wowowow dude easy there, you don’t have to sink that low to get an answer. I’m curious too, but I can’t co-sign oral sex for enlightenment. Yeesh.

3) This song’s pretty catchy, and the whole tribal drum deal makes it danceable dammit! So, my obvious question is: are the Killers paying mind games with their audience? Are they mocking dancers with a dance song? Is this a test of faith to see if you are actually a dancer? How do concert goers react to this song? Do they just stand there and mimic Brandon’s super-suave hip and shoulder swivels? Do the Killers make their live rendition of this song extra catchy so as to expose the lame dancers who cannot control their nerves?

4) Does Fat Joe approve of this song? Fat Joe’s
‘Lean Back’ is presumably the first track to salute Thompson’s dancer hate. Isn’t Fat Joe’s “My niggas don’t dance, we just pull up our pants, and do the rock-away” chorus much more resolute in its anti-dance stance? Does he think the Killers are biters? Would you rather be in a group called The Killers or one named Terror Squad?

5) I’ve always been of the impression that a) the Killer’s first record was a tame hop-along on the 80s revival bandwagon and b) the Springsteen steez on Sam’s Town, their second record, was worth paying attention to. Now that I think of it, it’s not like I was really objective about their musical output. I just liked their outfits better the second time around.

6) My interest in the Killers is also apparently inversely proportional to the length of Brandon Flowers’
borderline-Hitler moustache. He has sadly decided to part ways with this fantastic piece of facial hair this time around. Le sigh. On the ahem brightside though, he has decided to decorate his jacket shoulders with bird carcasses. Fuck the haters, the fluttering feather-swag is a good look, son!

7) Why do we have friends? Why you do we feel the need to share our thoughts with the rest of the world? What do we gain from conversation? Are we human or are we blogger?

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