Money For Nothing


This is 80’s nostalgia at its finest. Because, first and foremost, Dire Straits were one of the greatest bands of the decade and their presence is sorely missed. How many others had such a solid run of tip top material and bowed out with grace before they got to sucking? Not too many. This song, of course, is one of the definitive moments of an era. The dawning of the age of MTV. Today MTV is barely a blip among dozens of networks all selling the same low budget trash about the misadventures of the drunk and degenerate, but it the 80’s MTV was important. It was fresh and relevant and never-trod-before, and we wanted ours. It gave rock music – still dismissed as a teenage fad despite having existed for decades – real clout and mainstream legitimacy. Rock music made tons of money, rock music was serious business, rock music had something to say, rock music had its own television channel. Another thing that was dawning upon us was digital media and computer animation. The graphics in this video, which today look like something a lazy grade schooler whipped up on his iPhone, were groundbreaking in their day. I can attest how stunningly cool it struck me as when I was a child. It was like witnessing the birth of an entirely new medium. Not ‘like’, was. Never mind the retrograde content, though. Mark Knopfler meant it to be satirical, and in fact, the controversial lines about ‘the little f****t with the earrings and the makeup’ (and most of the other lines too) were direct quotes from a real-life appliance shop worker, presumably not dissimilar to the one in the video. The idea that the song was written in character and not as a literal statement of the singer’s own opinion went over a lot of people’s heads and caused no small stir, because even in 1985 the f-slur was not an A-OK thing to say. I think it’s quite plainly humorous, and I’m not sure how anyone could misinterpret the satire, but then, satire is a hard thing to for some to grasp.

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