I don’t like doing these kinds of posts. Just posting a video seems lazy to me, although I have done it before.
But there’s something about this performance that I want to discuss.
Everyone knows The Human League and their songs “Don’t You Want Me” and the one above, “Human.” Some know Human from those insurance commercials a few years ago (if you’re in the US), so there’s a tendency to dismiss it as just another cheesy 80s song.
And that’s where everyone is wrong.
I mean, it sounds alright in the studio recording. But live, it becomes something else.
At least during this live performance, the song’s subject, the regret of infidelity and the simultaneously true yet stupid excuses to justify it (“I’m only human”) becomes much more potent.
The performers don’t do much. Nothing really. But as the song comes to a close, watching Phil Oakey meander to the back of the stage, get uncomfortably close to the drummer, and gaze at the crap flashing across the background like he’s having a mental breakdown on stage is a subtle piece of performance art.
He has no words.
He knows what he’s done, and has to live with it.
This is done to the soundtrack of a haunting keyboard and a drum beat that absolutely slaps. I don’t know if it’s the acoustics of the room, but there’s a dimension to the bass keys that, well…it just hits you.
There’s something about this video that just hits.
I was hopping up and down to the sounds of 80s pop phenom Human League when there was a pound on the door.
“Open up! It’s LAPD!”
It was Randy. I wasn’t fooled.
“What can I do for you Randy?” I asked.
“Can you believe they let me out on bail?! I mean, seven vehicular manslaughter charges!! That’s crazy!” Randy said.
He was flanked by his two female henchmen, Anthrax and Honda. As Randy hoot and hollered, the ladies just stood there, arms crossed.
“So Jimmy, wanna do some drugs? I gotta speedball here,” he asked.
“Gee, I don’t know Randy. Isn’t that dangerous?”
“Not at all! Everyone’s doing it.”
He didn’t have to tell me twice.
Eventually I found myself in a daze sitting in the backseat of Randy’s Pontiac between Anthrax and Honda. Randy was driving like a maniac down the streets of West Hollywood when he looked to the backseat. “You see! I told you everything will be alright!” he said.
I didn’t think anything was suspicious.
Finally Anthrax and Honda carried me out of the car and into the back of an abandoned warehouse. I recognized the place. I survived a stabbing there a month earlier. They laid me down in a tub of ice and an overweight German doctor wearing a lab coat and nipple piercings tried to load me up with barbiturates.
However the joke was on them. I was always loaded up on barbiturates.
But then it occurred to me.
“Fuck, they’re gonna harvest my organs.” I thought.
Now, like most people, I’ve had to talk my way out of an organ harvesting attempt before. But this one was different.
It was going to take some skill.
“You know, there’s other ways of making a quick buck,” I said to Anthrax. “You can humiliate yourself in front of complete strangers on the internet like I do.”
But she stood there motionless. So I tried a different tactic: the art of seduction.
“It’s a shame I’m about to die. I wish we’ve gotten to know one another more. But, I guess I should count myself lucky. At least the last thing I’ll ever see is your beautiful face,” I said.
Finally Anthrax uncrossed her arms and adjusted her posture. Clearly she was responding to what I was saying.
“I have a confession to make. That time when you and Randy cornered me behind Dick’s Sporting Goods, pulled down my pants and shoved golf balls up my ass, I thought: ‘I could spend the rest of my life with this woman.’ Well it appears I’ll get that chance,” I told her.
Finally she removed her black Gargoyle sunglasses so I could see her eyes.
“I believe it’s customary to grant a dying man his last request,” I said.
“What’s that?” Anthrax replied. “A kiss? How lame.”
“No. I just want to cop a feel.”
She stood there and thought for a second. Finally she moved in closer, removed the handcuffs from my left wrist and placed my hand down her low cut tank. I then grasped as hard as I could on to her tit.
“Ow my titty!” Anthrax screamed.
I then leapt out of the bathtub and kicked Honda in the coot as she moved in closer. I grabbed her nickel plated .45 and pistol whipped Anthrax unconscious. With both henchwomen neutralized, I moved over to the doctor.
“Nein nein nein!” the man screamed. “Ich spreche kein Englisch. Ich weiß nicht wo ich bin!”
“I don’t want to hear that shit!” I yelled while he stared down my .45. “Where’s Randy?!”
I took the doctor by gunpoint into Randy’s lair. There were computer monitors everywhere with live feeds from CCTV cameras all over the world. Mostly in women’s bathrooms.
There were also scientists everywhere and a shit ton of beakers.
“Well well well,” Randy said menacingly. “It appears that you foiled my plan.”
“This ends now, Randy.”
“No, you can’t stop me. The LAPD can’t stop me. INTERPOL can’t stop me. Not even unadulterated black tar heroin can stop me! You will never catch me Jimmy, so help me GOD!”
At that moment, men in black shirts began pouring out of every dark corner, firing their AK-47s indiscriminately at me. I used the doctor as a shield while I fired back.
In the mayhem, Randy disappeared while a timer began a countdown to 0 before 200 tons of dynamite exploded. As the clock ticked down, I jumped through the glass window, falling 14 stories into a dumpster while the warehouse exploded into a magnificent fireball, lighting up the Los Angeles skyline.
When the police and fire department arrived, I chastised the New York police officer with the LAPD for releasing Randy on bail.
“We didn’t let Randy out on bail. Dat man is dangerous! He escaped weeks ago!” the officer said while shoveling a hot dog into his mouth.
Then a junior officer came running out of the wreckage, claiming they didn’t find the bodies of Randy or anyone else.
“Say, are you sure that you were kidnapped and held against your will and did not just blow up 16 square blocks of West Hollywood because you were high on methamphetamine?” the New York officer asked.
I knew it.
We faced off once. But I knew that he’d come back for vengeance.