Lana Del Rey's "Ride" Is an Exercise in Clichés and Victimhood
You may have previously noticed that few things in life inspire sheer, gut-wrenching aggravation in us more than Lana Del Rey. In the history of music, we're not sure any artist has gone so far above and beyond in the pursuit of victimhood. Her previous videos have featured her drowning, her dying in a car crash, and her living out a Jackie Onassis oh-shit-my-husband's-been-assassinated nightmare. In all of these, she has flounced around, pouting and weak-willed, looking very beautiful, extraordinarily useless and -- oh yes -- very submissive. So, of course, we couldn't wait to see what travesty awaited us when she released the video for her new single, "Ride." And -- oh good! -- this one has daddy issues up the wazoo. Let's take a look.
The role of the submissive, desperate little girl begins immediately here with the rambling, (seemingly) never-ending spoken-word intro that essentially works really hard to reinforce the stereotype that it's entirely impossible for women to live full and contented lives without men: "I was in the winter of my life. And the men I met along the open road were my only summer." Awesome. And, oh good! Here comes the victim complex! "It takes getting everything you've ever wanted and then losing it to know what true freedom is." Oh, do fuck off.
But then the singing commences and everything just gets worse. So, so much worse. Aside from anything else, at this point, every single Lana Del Rey song is a repetition of the last: sweeping strings, warbled vocals, contrived drama, and a giant dollop of pretension on the side. The "emotions" involved in "Ride" are about as real as Del Rey's fucking nails. "I'm tired of feeling like I'm fucking crazy," she swoons. Well, we're tired of watching you pretend to be, you dope. "I've got a war in my mind," she sings, tapping her forehead with a gun in the video. What's the message here? That being mentally disturbed and a bit suicidal is sexy?
Also, can we talk about the weird daddy shit going on here? It's a new low, even for Del Rey. Pairing an image of your young, nubile self, child-like bow in hair, sitting on the lap of a grizzly old man, getting your hair brushed by him, with the lyrics "You can be my full time daddy" playing over the top, is beyond fucking gross and creepy, it's utterly repulsive. Glamorizing victimhood and vaguely incestuous, child-molestation imagery? Nice one, Lana.
Then, once this non-song (seriously, it's basically just four and a half minutes of a girl crying "pity me") is over, it's straight back into the spoken-word nonsense, only this time, it's even more cliche-ridden: "Live fast, die young, be wild and have fun." What crazy new concepts! What a visionary this woman is! Del Rey leaves us with the zinger: "I am fucking crazy, but I am free." Both of those things are lies. Obviously.
Words simply cannot do justice to how sick we are of watching this woman repeatedly trying to glamorize being a doormat. Watching Del Rey drape herself all over men and inanimate objects, permanent vacant stare on her face, permanent bent-over submission, is the visual equivalent of getting a clammy, limp handshake from someone you don't want to touch in the first place -- it's super frustrating and shudder-inducingly gross. Lana Del Rey's little-girl-lost routine is beyond tired at this point. We can't wait til everyone gets as bored by it as we are.