A Close Reading of One Direction's New Music Video

One Direction's new music video for "Midnight Memories" has just come out, and can you even believe how likable and real all four of my boyfriends and their weird friend Louis are?

After watching this musical clip, you may be left with several questions, such as "What?" and "Excuse me?" So, let us try to unravel this beautiful enigma together. One Direction begins the video at a party predominantly populated with lame-os and nerds. Bored with their peers, the strapping young lads head to a kebab shop, where they heartily consume bits of meat (even though none of them touched the onion rings at the party, which were CLEARLY laid out in the kitchen for guests to consume).


You may be familiar with the Freud quote, "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar." I think we can all agree that a sweaty slab of meat glistening on a pike is never just a sweaty slab of meat glistening on a pike. But what is it? Let us examine the clues.

The raucous young boy band is transported into some sort of bizarre underworld after gorging themselves on the quivering assorted meats. They're like the hero of the epic poem, who must enter Hades in order to bring back a chord progression from a Def Leppard song to the assembled tweens on the earth. Is the sweaty meat slab a metaphor for the moral coil? Is it like a transubstantiation thing? Possibly.

In the next segment — well, I cannot for the life of me explain why they brought all these grandmas into it. Sorry. But everyone had so much fun!


MOVING ON, the cheeky lads of 1D figuratively bribe Charon, the ferryman of the afterlife — who here is represented as a policeman, a hollow representation of a vacant appeal to patriarchal authority. Was the sweaty meat-slab a metaphor for the crumbling Law of the Father? Was the autographer's pen a feeble symbolic phallus? Like, it could have been. I'm not counting any of that out.


And then the band climbs a bridge while the mortals of the planet toil beneath them like so many worthless ants — raising quite a few questions. Namely, ARE WE THE ONES TRAPPED IN HELL? Also, why did no one want the onion rings?



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