Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Rihanna: She is the Darkness

Marilyn Manson called- 
he wants his video back 

Rihanna is one of these divas who are so preternaturally gifted and so heart-stoppingly gorgeous you wonder if she was grown in a lab somewhere.

I first took notice of Rihanna (and immediately thought "Rhiannon") when I heard "Umbrella," which, like a lot of you out there, I immediately associated with the Umbrella Corporation in the kill-crazy desensitization program video game/movie franchise Resident Evil. 

Like a lot of you (Ben S and Droidy, to name two), I noticed Umbrella's barely-disguised Templar cross, which certainly ties into popular conspiracy theories about the Knights, at least in the misanthropic context of the franchise. So imagine my surprise stumbling over the above video from the British VMA's, which has Rihanna singing her hit enclosed in an illuminated pyramid. Even more fascinating is the Union Jack stained glass window, which looks suspiciously like a Templar cross itself. Fascinating. 

Perhaps the stage designer was merely riffing off of the pyramid in the official "Umbrella" video

Perhaps this is a message from the Collective Unconscious that Rihanna is an incarnation of Hathor. Who knows. I can't see anything resembling a coherent narrative, just a random snatch of symbols. Which I'm seeing everywhere all the time these days. 

I like the song and love looking at Rihanna, but like so much else in the media I can't deal with the semiotic chaos and the all-pervasive darkness in her videos. Everything is becoming so cold and hard and dark. So much of the imagery out there is an internalization of dehumanization. 

People who have no understanding of these symbols or their power are tossing them into their sociopathic FPS games and their slasher films and their rap videos at random, which along with the generally inhumane spirit of this pop culture is creating a media toxic sludge that is threatening to become sentient. It's as if people are tired for the demons of the Apocalypse to arrive and decided to brew their own. 

 If we've learned anything over the past few thousand years, it doesn't matter what beliefs you espouse or what symbols you use, what matters is your strength and compassion. Which are almost invisible in our culture these days.