John Mayer has been quiet for some time now —a nice thing, really—but guess what, here he is, he’s back, baby. Here’s a new music video from John Mayer. What the hell is going on in this video(via Vulture)? Please. Someone. Help me.
“Still Feel Like Your Man” is a song in a style Mayer described to the New York Times’s Joe Coscarelli as “ancient Japanese R&B.” He acknowledges that this is a genre that doesn’t exist. He also said that it “moves and throbs and has women in it again,” to everyone’s great relief. The setting is a “disco dojo” —once again, not a thing—and the video is doing quite a lot without really understanding what it’s doing or why.
As per the Times interview, which feels like it’s supposed to be a big, fat mea culpa for, um, being John Mayer, the song is obviously about Katy Perry but is definitely not about cultural appropriation. That was NOT his intention.
“I think we were as sensitive as we could possibly be,” he said over burgers at the Polo Lounge the day after the video shoot. “It was discussed at every juncture.”
“Part of cultural appropriation is blindness,” he added. “I’m on the right side of the line because it’s an idea for the video that has a very multiethnic casting, and nobody who is white or non-Asian is playing an Asian person.”
It’s fine if you want to tell yourself you’re on the “right side of the line” my dude and maybe I’m asking too much for this to make any sense but...what the hell? What is this?
This is less cultural appropriation and more a horrible weird pastiche of bamboo, pandas, sword fighting and fans. It’s a lot of look and none of it is really great. There’s no hard and fast rule that music videos match the lyrics of the song they accompany but the choice to croon lyrics about keeping your ex-girlfriend’s shampoo just in case over some half-hearted dancing with two people in panda costumes makes little to no sense to me.
Maybe you can figure it out for yourself.
Here’s John Mayer and some pandas.
Who is this person and what purpose do they serve in this loosely-constructed narrative that isn’t really a narrative at all?
Are they mad that they’re in this video?
Still not sure why he put this here, but maybe I’m missing a message that’s deeper and bigger than we will ever understand.
“Do I think that someone is going to tweet that this is cultural appropriation? Yes,” Mayer said to the Times. If that’s the point of this entire thing, then I guess I played myself.