Katy Perry’s New Video Eviscerates The American Dream
It’s catchy, satirical and deeply disturbing.
Katy Perry’s sunny new music video embodies the American Dream: Theme parks! Sunshine! Roller coasters! Suburban homes! Smiles plastered onto everybody’s faces because everything is great!
But take off those rose-colored glasses and you’ll see missing roller coaster tracks, a human-sized hamster wheel and disillusioned people who can’t stop “dancing to the distortion.”
Katy’s new video for “Chained to the Rhythm” is a point-for-point satire of America in 2017.
The video takes place in a retro-futuristic theme park called Oblivia, which Katy wanders with a smile on her face. She watches people enjoy rides like “The Great American Dream Drop,” “Love Me” and “Bombs Away” (because apparently, it’s entertaining to be lunged into the air). She also marches in line with people waiting to take their turn on a giant hamster wheel, the “greatest ride in the universe.” If that sounds depressing, don’t worry—everyone’s smiling so it’s all OK!
Things gets woke when Skip Marley literally jumps out of a 3D movie and warns Katy to open her eyes. “Time is ticking for the empire, the truth they feed is feeble,” he raps, as she rises from her seat to listen. Katy then tries to stop everyone from conforming, but all they want to do is run on the hamster wheel. The video ends with a somber Katy looking straight into the camera, horrified.
While the song is upbeat and SO. INSANELY. catchy, its deeper meaning is rooted in undeniable truth. In fact, the juxtaposition between the song’s tone and lyrics is what makes Katy one of pop’s greats.