Compelling others to feel emotions disproportionate to their experiences is called, as the terrible man T.S. Eliot used to say, messing around with the “objective correlative.” In his opinion, if you felt too much while reading a poem, it was because the language therein was Way Too Floral, and also you were probably a woman. If you weren’t feeling enough, it was because there weren’t enough Facts or Metaphors.
This is why he hated the famous play Hamlet.
I’m simplifying years of painstaking and unnecessary literary criticism to make a point here: a mash-up of famous Vine clips set to the “Blessings” reprise from Chance the Rapper’s third mixtape, Coloring Book, has moved me to tears at my desk.
If T.S. Eliot were editing this moment in my life, he would say it makes no sense and isn’t supported by the facts of the story. “There are lots of less silly things to cry about!” he would shout. “She’s an adult!” he would say, convincing no one. Unfortunately, it’s really happening, and that is part of why we should remember T.S. Eliot less fondly than we do. Also, he abandoned his wife (also his editor and The Wasteland co-writer), told his friends she was crazy, then pretended not to know who she was when she finally found him at a New York City book signing two years later.
The Twitter app Vine, as you might recall, has been dead since late October of last year. Some see this as a tragedy. This imbues the video with the poignancy of an award show “In Memoriam” segment even though it is, of course, just a tribute video to an app that doesn’t exist anymore. Adding to the effect: the Vines selected for the clip line up fairly well with the words to the song, which makes sense because Chance the Rapper is one of the best visual lyricists of our time.
At the end of the video, its creator points out that Vine (“the good app”) was “murdered by Twitter for not making enough money.” That statement is followed by an incriminating graph of Twitter’s stock value over time. Here’s the updated version of that graph as of this afternoon:
Which part of the video is your favorite? Is it that Twitter burn, enabled by Google search and the screenshot tool? Is it “do it for the Vine,” the cutest six seconds in film history? Is it the part where Chance the Rapper says “I speak of wondrous unfamiliar lessons from childhood / Make you remember how to smile good” while a puppy smiles?
For me it’s the part where two teens jump into a lake while Chance says “odyssey.” It just vibes with me, and I can’t explain it. Neither can T.S. Eliot, both because he’s dead and because he didn’t totally think women were human beings.