An ironic and unsurprising wrinkle of the Cambridge Analytica story is the appearance of whistleblower himself, Christopher Wylie, contrasted with the evil things he's admitted to doing. Pink hair, a septum piercing, big glasses – he looks like someone you'd see protesting outside of Canada Goose, not claiming credit for a digital psyops project that delivered Trump into the White House. People who look down to help, or who you may wish were down, ain't always down, and that's the theme of "Lean In When I Suffer," the dementedly groovy and very fun new song and video from Speedy Ortiz.
Director Ari Ratner gives the clip a hyperactive cut-and-paste PBS vibe, with lots of clowning and fun costumes, like the one worn by Speedy bandleader Sadie Dupuis. The throes of her depression send her to a place with people promising relief, and delivering even worse feelings. Read Dupuis's statement on the clip and tune below:
“Lean In When I Suffer” is about that fun breed of “ally” who wears out their already exhausted friends by relying on us for excessive emotional labor. They want props for their wokeness, but don’t want to put in any actual work or divest themselves of power. They just taaaake uuuup spaaaace, and shut down when you try to talk them through their problematic tendencies. Because #selfcare? So you’re stuck in a toxic vampiric loop trying to maintain a relationship--Lean In AND Suffer, why don’t you!
Director Ari Ratner took this concept a step further to address another annoyance we found relatable as hell, which is when “people give unsolicited advice about how to beat depression. [They] typically fail to acknowledge depression as a real illness and often minimize the experiences of the person they are trying to help.” So our OK-to-Cry-Corral band gets put through happiness bootcamp from a group of clowns who’ve "never been sad" (and some accompanying Crayola-bright illustrations from Julia Emiliani).
Ultimately, playing angry rock songs is our favorite form of therapy.
(And also, real therapy. That shit works)
Speedy Ortiz's new album Twerp Verse is out April 27 via Carpark. Preorder it here
Thumbnail photo by Shervin Lainez