St. Vincent’s “Actor Out Of Work”

A little more awesome Annie Clark. First, here’s a brilliant video which I keep watching over and over.   It’s so hard to describe the way her immaculately deliberate, full mouthed enunciation in all her songs, including this one, conveys both a creepy intensity and almost mocking sense of overstatement and how her almost unnaturally usually blinkless blankly dark eyes convey an eerily insincere overreach for sincerity.  It’s like a villain’s reveal of her insincerity for an extra level of intimidation that makes palpable to her victim her willingness to deceive so as to make her malevolence and lack of human sympathy plain.  And her few eye blinks are filled with deliberation and intimidatingly controlled affectation.   They seductively and icily exude complete calm and control.  And the brief shots of her nonchalance in foot-tapping and finger-tapping out the song’s driving, aggressive beat, again shows her complete mastery of herself and the situation and how her aggressiveness is boiling to the surface and is driving the proceedings but completely under her control.  The intensity conveyed with such meticulous detachment of irony is just haunting.  And the video’s action just exquisitely fits these dichotomies with overt expressions of self-aware and highly emotional displays of acting.

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“Actor Out Of Work” comes from her 2009 album Actor.

UPDATE:  In reading up a little on Clark just now I discovered her birthday was just this past Monday.  Happy 27th Birthday, Annie!

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About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.


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