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Saturday, August 16, 2008

A Catholic Views Nine Inch Nail's CLOSER Video

I recently came across the NIN Closer video*, now uncut since I first saw it years ago and I was struck by its Catholic overtones**. For example, images of fertility are presented alongside images of decay. Interestingly, Catholic theology says it wasn't meant to be that way: God intended a world of fertility without death, but Adam brought death into the world through his sin.

The song is about using sex to escape from one's self, and finding temporary perfection through the conjugal bond. Interspersed in the video is the theme of Darwinism and Eugenics from the late 19th and early 20th century. Non-white races, misfits, freaks, and mental defectives are paraded for the inspection of the European scientists (although I don't know what the little girl signified--the poor?). So two views of sex are presented, the "scientific" view which is distrustful of sexuality and seeks to control and confine it to the "fit", and the singer's view, which is distorted but somehow recognizes the transcendental nature of the act, a demonic view of sex.

*Sorry, no link because it is extremely graphic and disturbing.
**It may be more a matter of reading Catholic overtones into it (I don't know what the makers intended), although there is some Catholic imagery that would support it.

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