|Stan: The Video|
posted by Paul on 3/16/01
By now, most of you will have seen the video for Eminem's " Stan " song - that dope rap about a crazy white boy with a pregnant girlfriend who drives his automobile over a bridge. And if, by some bizarre twist of fate, you haven't feasted eyes on it, crouch around your MTV now. With clown hair and Tarzan trunks. For it's no secret that Eminem is something of an icon around these parts. I mean, how many midget albinos do you see, rapping about people who munch buttocks whilst pretending to be a ghetto survivor? Exactly. But " Stan " takes this wigger legend on to a whole new level. Free from the vacuousness of " My name is " and the pretentious droning of " The Real Slim Shady ", this is a chronicle of America's decline into illiteracy, indifference and devoting your life to the new media fad.
Sandwiched between Celine Dion's duck neck, choreographed poseur dancing and that guy Nelly pretending to be Sisqo, sits this little gem. " Stan ", the title character, is the sort of in-bred hick who'd shoot up his classmates or appear with his pregnant hicklina on " Jerry Springer " ( the show, that is, although the other vision surely has humorous possibilities ). In other words, he represents the sort of person so prevalent in high schools these days. Eminem is often criticized for his homophobic views and sexist lyrics, but as a prophet of urban decay, there's few better. This guy is no brain surgeon, but he's able to tell us how far the world is sinking into a hellish pit of desperation. We can thank him for that. Thanks, homey!!
Life sucks, but Eminem can tell us that AND make it rhyme. Eminem 1. The establishment...0.
Beginning with the haunting echo of " My tea's gone cold, I'm wonderin' why I got out of bed at all.. " and the vision of a pregnant Dido, the feeling of impending gloom envelopes us. Dido, ah our wonderful Dido, what would we do without her? A question second only to " What's the meaning of life? " and " Kathy Griffin. Why? ". I'll let W-D's very own B field that one...
"Stahn-leeeee??? What ah ya doin' to ya'self?"
Stop the presses, either Stan is somehow in a relationship with the already-married Crocodile Hunter, or it's POP-SINGING SENSATION Dido! Yes, Dido, whose song "Thank You" provides the hook for "Stan," stars as Stan's pregnant girlfriend in the video. And honestly, I don't know why she got out of bed at all either.
Packaged as "Sarah McLachlan's sister" by ambitious fans, Dido provides music for two very specific groups of people:
1) People who have never heard any good "lesbian folk rock" before,
2) Scared white people who WANT to listen to Eminem but can't, so they've
begun listening to Dido to make themselves feel cooler.
Seriously, I was living a sensibly Dido-free existence before "Stan" came along, and as much as I can appreciate an enraged homophobic Grandmaster Sexay, I cannot and will not accept Faux-McLachlan as an "artist" or even as a block in the wall of today's popular music. Don't you hate it when people take the EXACT SAME IDEA from ANOTHER PERSON, change the colors around, and say that it's ALL NEW and BETTER? GOD! I would NEVER do that!
Paul says she's got chubby arms, but I've never looked at her long enough to notice them...she's not a bad looking girl, but if I want a bad singer with flippy hair I'm going with Vitamin C every time. If I want to listen to bad folk rock I'll listen to Jackson Browne, or, if I'm feeling heterosexual, Jewel. Do you think DIDO ever lived in her car? Do you think DIDO had to wake up in Europe or wherever the fark she comes from to battle polar bears JUST to catch fish out of a hole in the ice every morning?
I know a great way to put an end to Dido that doesn't involve slitting her throat, or stuffing her in the trunk of your car and driving her off a bridge. When she spits one of those big eggs at you, jump on top of them and then throw them back at her. After a few shots to the cranium she'll be down and you can move onto the next stage.
Sure, that jokes sucks, but I could've made a joke about Tammy Sytch and Chris Can Dido...and only half of you wouldn't gotten it, and only half of those people would've laughed. Help me help you, people.
My sentiments to a tee. Dido is one of those strange chicks. I don't think I need to qualify that, but I will ( call me generous ). Depending on what day you see her, she's either naturally beautiful or a haggard chick with dodgy make-up. It's easy to see that deep beneath the Pop Star smile and the cakes of foundation rests the remnants of a fat chick. Translation: Dido is the result of a rigorous diet ( read: fingers lodged in throat ); her chubby arms and jiggly posterior bear testament to that.
To enjoy " Stan ", suspend your disbelief. Stan himself is not exactly a bright spark. The fact that he worships Eminem should clarify that; that he dyes his hair in a shitty bathroom confirms it. We see our desperate hero shouting at his English rose of a girlfriend. Dissin' her, yo. Yeah, Trailer Park trash hooks up with an Ivory Merchant soundalike. Likely scenario. You have to wonder where those two would have met. Stan isn't exactly George Clooney when it pertains to charm or aesthetics. And he's obviously no rocket scientist. Writing a series of unintelligible letters to Eminem with no form of reply seals that conclusion.
I'd hate to accuse the guy of incompetence, so let's take a look at one of his letters and you'll see my point.
" Dear Slim, I wrote but you still ain't callin I left my cell, my pager, and my home phone at the bottom "
And I thought I was slow on the uptake. Fact: It's not like some angry white rapper is going to read your muddled English, see your contact details in the tagline and think " I have to call that guy ". Between partying with Dr Dre and counselling some social retard, Eminem gets all the tough gigs.
I sent two letters back in autumn, you must not-a got 'em. There probably was a problem at the post office or somethin' Sometimes I scribble addresses too sloppy when I jot 'em but anyways; fuck it, what's been up? Man how's your daughter?
This is a good way of avoiding rejection ( thanks, Stan. P.S we should be together ). Turned down for a job? Rejected by a girl? Just blame it on them not hearing what you were saying. " You mustn't have wanted me for that job, because I was too good, yo"... " If you had dated me, you might have felt inferior ". e.t.c. It's also a little ass-about-face to hypothesize about your sloppy writing being the reason your pointless letter was never delivered. If that's as big a problem as he claims, he'd be well advised getting handwriting tips, since all he seems to do is parade around in a vest and fantasize about Eminem. A worthwhile investment, you'd think. For someone who loves to send grade-school girl type fan mail.
Notice the beautiful segue from laying the verbal smackdown on his own writing capabilities to asking Eminem about the welfare of his daughter. I wonder if anyone monitors Eminem's mail..They should. Stan's fascination with Eminem is a little bizarre. I wonder if he goes nuts in this video..
My girlfriend's pregnant too, I'm bout to be a father. If I have a daughter, guess what I'ma call her? I'ma name her Bonnie
So Stan has some lead in his pencil and some ink in his biro. However, the last thing the world needs is spawn of " Final Destination " man coupled with the annoyance of Dido's chubby arms. Imagine that child for a second. Chubby arms, mental problems and a father who dreams of hooking up with a noted homophobe. Take two of those characteristics away and you're left with something which might resemble a poorer Tori Spelling. Scary thought. But I'm sure Eminem is touched by the notion that his self-proclaimed " biggest fan " is going to name his daughter Bonnie. Forget record contracts, world fame and best-selling albums. Some nut is going to copy your kid's name. Life is...complete. Unfortunately, we don't hear what Stan will call the kid should it be a boy, but he's such an original guy my guess would be... Marshall.
Stan grows increasingly frustrated with Eminem's lack of feedback. One of the most in demand " artists " in the world is bound to take time to answer questions about his infant daughter. Stan naturally vents his frustration at the ideal person for such pursuits - Dido. Convenience.
" Sometimes I even cut myself to see how much it bleeds. It's like adrenaline, the pain is such a sudden rush for me "
Alrighty, then. I think we can all understand that sharing a house with Dido might lead one to drastic measures. For Stan, said measures involve mutilation and talking about Eminem 24/7 ( he doesn't sleep? ). Whatever works better for you, I figure. I'd just put a pillow over her mouth so I wouldn't have to hear her bleeps of " Here With Me ".
Dido is concerned by Stan's frightening obsession with Eminem. Either that, or she's just a nosy cow, since she snoops around his basement hellhole. Pics of Eminem everywhere, you'll be amazed to know. She finds a picture of Stan with a doctored image of Eminem in place of her, implying that Stan and Marshall are into brown love. Real suave guy, that Stan. I will say this: he's much better at graphics than me. For years I've been trying to doctor images to give the impression that I co-starred in " Who's The Boss? ". Alas, to no avail.
Stan makes a plea to be together with Eminem. What a twist. Nope. Never saw it coming. Asking Eminem if he wants to be a butt buddy is like asking Calista Flockhart to eat. It's been done but proves to be an exercise in futility, since we all know Eminem would rather puke in a toilet and lick the seat, while Calista would puke in a toilet and magically lose weight.
" I CAN'T BREEEEAAAATHHHEEE!! No, really, I can't. I wasn't singing this time "
Realizing that Eminem is not going to reply ( OMG how horrible? ROTFLMAO. j/k ), Stan decides that he'll abduct his pregnant girlfriend, force her into the trunk of his car and record a descriptive tape to torture sensitive Eminem. If he wanted to find some music with which to annoy Eminem, it might have been easier to jet by the record store and pick up an N Sync compiliation. But oh no. For Stan isn't a regular pseudo-homosexual with " issues ". He decides that getting wasted and delusional while driving his annoying girlfriend to an early meeting with the Grim Reaper is a good move to piss off Eminem. Bit elaborate, no?
Alternatives to murdering your girlfriend and unborn kid just to get back at someone you've never even met:
1) Turn the other cheek - ignore them and take higher ground, deciding that their indifference is their loss.
2) Dedicating your life to something other than Eminem. Like the internet! OMG, the net is so cool!!1!1 Click here to meet friends on the net!!11 Hot girls just 4 u!!!11 Farm Animals!!1. Everyone but Stan knows that, if you have a mental problem and didn't get enough attention as a child, you simply make a website and pretend to be important.
Send me mail!! send me mail!! Tell me you love me!!
3) Talk to your girlfriend. Ok, so she might be a second-rate singer with a serious case of puppy fat, but at least talk to her. If she remains annoying, you can still gag her and drive her off a bridge. I think the law would understand. That's a clause in the law-book: page 198, I think. God will definitely understand. He takes no responsibility for Dido.
" Sure, blame me. I only died for your sins and got hammered to a cross. Now, you're blaming one of my personalities for Dido. Thanks. Whitney Houston has three personalities. Why don't you crucify her and blame HER for Dido? Ok, back to praying for me "
The whole production takes a sinister turn when Stan mentions Phil Collins. That would explain his descent into deep depression. It also explains why Dido stopped pleading for her life as she suffocated in the trunk. In fact, she was begging for her death at this point. Ok, Phil's not so bad. He's actually about sixty times more talented than Eminem, although you won't hear me boasting about liking a few of his songs.
And with that, Stan plunges over a bridge. Dido? Dead. Hideous offspring? Dead. Stan? Appears in windows behind Eminem.
Eminem is suitably intelligent, eventually taking the time to reply to Stan's beg letters, and making sure to ask about his pregnant girlfriend. Of course, he'd be remiss if he didn't point out that Stan might, uhh, need some counselling. The self-abuse and emotional torment are a clue. Stan wasn't exactly exuding happiness in those mails: unless you consider standing in the freezing cold to meet some bloated hood " happy ". Eminem also says that he was flattered that Stan wanted to be with him, but he prefers his men like he prefers his coffee - black and peppy. Ok, so he didn't say that, but he did think it behind denials of homosexual leanings. And you do know what they say about denial.
" I hope you get to read this letter, I just hope it reaches you in time before you hurt yourself, I think that you'll be doin just fine if you relax a little, I'm glad I inspire you...but Stan, why are you so mad? "
And then Eminem's pea brain somehow figures that that crazy guy sending the mails and that crazy guy who killed himself are the SAME GUY!! Cue dramatic music. Both called Stan, both of them have fucked-up tendencies and their ghost is appearing behind you in a vest. With a scowl. OMG!! Run, Eminem!
Fade to black.
The video is not without its charm, and it works as social commentary and on a humorous level. It's certainly a shocking video. Shocking because you know that it actually represents the fragile psyches of the many tortured souls out there. The stalkers, the obsessives, people who spend too much time online. Eminem is unlikely to be anything more than a fifteen minute wonderboy, but " Stan " proves that he has a story to tell, and that elevates him far above the " Ice, Ice, Baby " warblings of Vanilla Ice and co.