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Been Caught Stealing

I grew up in an MTV-free world, not only because “cable” we were poor and lived well outside the range of the cable company’s longest cables, but also because MTV had been banished from the city’s walls by the Kinder, Kirche, Kuche society. That is why, while driving home from Minneapolis last weekend, I was forced to admit that I had never seen the video for “Been Caught Stealing.” Thank God for YouTube:

The entirety of 1990s youth culture is there: the play-acting; the symbolic head-turning and mouth-gaping at the actors (it is for astonishment’s sake that the actors work, after all); the revelation that the head-turning and mouth-gaping was only symbolic when the squares join the party; finally, the actors’ coup de grâce, a curtain call that declares the acting itself—not shock, not anarchy, not the denial of authority—is the primary thing. It was theatricality for theatricality’s sake: it wanted to affect only itself, life outside the theater be damned.

God, but Jane’s Addiction was awesome, though.