March 11, 2007
All A Part Of This Complete Breakfast

A few days ago, Trent Reznor (NIN) decided to forgo his usual technique of blowing upwards of a quarter million on a video, then scrapping it at the last minute because his sideburns look uneven or some such nonsense and replacing it with a hastily-made live performance recorded in somebody's U-Stor-It garage, and this time chose to spend only a couple grand and then actually let other people look at the finished product. Personally, I've always been a fan of justifiable expenses, and it's cool to see this idea catching on with others.

The video for the mega-smash-hit song "Survivalism," rather than making its big debut on MTV's Total Request Live with Whoever The Hell Got Roped Into Hosting This Piece of Shit These Days, was instead distributed to doughy fans via Trent's favorite compact and relatively inexpensive data storage device: the USB key. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on what you're into), the USB keys were not left in a pile of human excrement to be discovered and retrieved shortly thereafter. No, this time various people on the crew were given the order to hand them out directly, in exchange for Trent promising not to fire them on a whim before the end of the night. Obviously it was important that this video make it out onto the internet as quickly as possible, and Trent & Co. couldn't think of a more effective way to do it. You know, other than, say, uploading it themselves. But in doing it this way, the fans can actually feel like they matter, so I guess there's something to be said for that.

As part of society's lower class, I cannot afford to gas up my private jet and take off to whatever obscure location NIN happens to be visiting that day, so therefore I was unable to attend this particular performance and receive one of these USB keys. Therefore, I had to wait a few extra hours until the video was available to download onto my computer. Oh, the agony. But was it ever worth it!

First of all, I have to say I was completely blown away by the new video's incredibly original concept. The camera pans across all these surveillance monitors with different things happening on them. Never in my entire life have I ever seen anything quite like it. Fuck, that makes me so jealous. I can't help imagining how cool it would be to travel back in time to... let's say, April 23, 2006, and use the exact same idea in one of my Flash cartoons. Then I'd be the one who's all rich and famous, and everyone would be kissing my ass. But since that's impossible, my hat goes off to the genius who came up with it, and I can't wait to see what you think of next!

Anyway, let's get back on topic. This particular video takes place in a shitty apartment building sometime in the future, whenever all this Year Zero bullshit takes place. It's nice to know that they still have shitty apartment buildings in the future. I was afraid we'd all be living in those weird glass dome shaped things like in The Jetsons. Those conveyor belts would be pretty cool though. I hope they still have those. According to the survelliance monitors, the building's tenants include some aspiring artist types, a lazy pothead who will never amount to anything just like her parents always said, a naked Asian woman, a depressed middle-aged couple who loves the Lord, two guys playing Twister or something (I can't tell for sure), a computer nerd, a lonely African-American gentleman who sits in his kitchen all day, and Nine Inch Nails. Sounds just like where I live.

It's a typical day, with lazy pothead girl passed out on the couch, naked Asian lady putting on makeup to seduce the pizza guy, internet loser trying to figure out why his flood control on Echoing The Sound keeps getting jacked up, and Trent lip-syncing to his songs over and over while his bored bandmembers pretend to give a shit (except for Josh Freese, who genuinely seems to be enjoying himself, which is even more unsettling, seeing as he is not even human). Strangely, no one is complaining or pounding the ceiling with a broom handle. I know my neighbors were pretty pissed off the other night when I invited some "friends" over for an impromptu two-hour freestyle jazz performance of "More Than A Feeling" in memory of Brad Delp. I guess people are more chilled out in the future. Thanks, Parepin!

I would be remiss if I neglected to state that whoever was in charge of the wardrobe department during the shooting of this video deserves a Nobel Prize, the key to the city of Los Angeles and an exclusive audience with the Pope. Seriously, nothing says rock and roll like that ultra-manly scarf-type thing Trent is wearing. He clearly does not like dudes! It's funny, because in previous Nine Inch Nails videos, I'd always had this vague feeling that something was missing. Well, now I know what that is: A SCARF.

The band continues to "rock out" for what feels like an eternity, until some guys in uniform eventually show up. I guess someone finally called in a complaint about the noise. Either that or they're here about that leak under the bathroom sink, but knowing how hard it is to get just one repairman to show up -- let alone eight of them -- it's more likely the former. Looks like someone could use another glass of water. I bet it was the computer nerd who did it. But regardless of who it was, someone isn't happy that Trent is violating the "no whining after 10 p.m." clause of the lease agreement, and someone is here to kick his ass as a result. See, that's another thing that's always bugged me about NIN videos. How come Trent never gets the shit beat out of him at the end? I think that would have made the "Deep" video considerably better, at least. Thankfully, this issue has finally been addressed.

It's too bad we don't actually get to witness the ass-whooping, but I'm sure it was quite epic. You definitely don't want to fuck with the management at that place! Anyway, the video was pretty decent (how could it not be with such a groundbreaking new concept as that?), and certainly wasn't the worst NIN video ever ("Deep" was the worst NIN video ever). Hopefully this "making videos and then actually releasing them" phase that Trent is going through will last a while, and we will eventually see a video for the song "Capital G" featuring Trent at the disco. Nobody's thought of that yet!

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