Monday, November 29, 2010

Mariah Carey for The National

My most recent essay for The National's Review, in which I argue that Mariah Carey in a sexy santa outfit represents the Platonic ideal of late-Christian festivity. Here it is to download as a PDF. (The National website is a tad ropey at the moment)
The video to Oh, Santa, the album’s stand-out track and lead single, tells its own story. Set in New York’s Radio City Music Hall, the video begins with an avuncular voiceover saying that the song is “brought to you by Lollipop Bling, from the Mariah Carey Fragrance Collection”. (This perfume actually exists.) Like the rest of the video, the ad is a 1970s homage – a pastiche, really – invoking American TV Christmas Specials of yore (and childhoods of yours, more importantly). Most striking is the fact that the ad for Lollipop Bling is woven into the fabric of the video, the footage of the bottle flickering as if weathered with age. Even branding is allowed sepia-tinted moments.


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