SO THIS D'ANGELO
video, have you seen it? It's the one for "Untitled (How Does It Feel?)." It's just him, against a black background, and the shot is from just above the groin up, and he's naked. And he just lip-synchs, and dances ever so slightly, like you would in the seat of a car; and as the video goes on he gets a little sweaty, and the camera moves in and out all around his body. To be fair, it's pretty much just objectification, but my God, it's the sexiest thing I've seen on the MTV in years. At one point he licks his lips--it reminds me of the way LL Cool J does it--and the camera kind of lingers on them. It's insanely erotic. And I just can't believe that after watching that video I'm expected to go back to my real life, with socks and cottage cheese and toothpaste and frustration. These things do not exist for the four minutes or so of the D'Angelo video. D'Angelo negates details, sundries, anything common. You know, when Mariah Carey does it it's just more T&A, but when this beautiful, black MTV singer-man does it, it's completely fucking revelatory.
You know how The Purple Rose of Cairo, that Woody Allen movie, examines how movies are an amazing fantasy because they have form? With books, it's different. But movies seem so possible, they make it hard to accept your real life. And we, as cable-TV-Internet kids, are generally immune to that, but I know I have these moments when movies or music or something will make it hard to live my own little life. It's kind of like, I'm just one little person, and how am I supposed to fight a fantasy in the face of so much beauty, right?
See, that's the thing. This video stands out from all the other sex on TV because it's shockingly simple. And the song is perfect for it, because it asks "How does it feel?" How does it feel to be you, watching me? It's actually intimate voyeurism. Something to remember to ask the next time you're talking dirty in bed.