As visual tropes go, the “bored rich girl” has been a fairly reliable standard, giving anyone who uses it--video directors, magazine photographers, album cover artists and illustrators--the chance to make a seemingly profound statement about modern decadence while simultaneously benefiting from the titillation of the female flesh they are putting on display. From the cover of Roxy Music’s “Country Life” to the latest Taylor Swift video, examples of the trope are legion.
Which is a problem. The "bored rich girl" is getting harder to pull off. Overuse, the spread of feminist awareness and appropriation as a symbol of female empowerment by artists like Beyonce and Nicki Minaj have made the rich girl stereotype both too controversial and too trite. What, then, is a video director to do if he or she wants to conjure up glamorous fin de seicle world weariness?
The answer, it seems, has been staring us in the face. Or, rather, glancing briefly our way before going back to licking its own ass.
Cats are the perfect symbol of spoiled First World contempt. I have two cats, and I love them, but I know that they are a pair of shiftless, entitled bastards. If they were human, they’d be the type of people I would go to any length to avoid: arrogant, self-centered, thoughtless and demanding.
Inherent feline bitchiness is used to great effect by Dutch artists Lernert & Sander in this video for the European EMD group De Jeugd Van Tegenwoordig. A long haired Persian lounges in the cone of a bass woofer. As the speaker sends pulse after pulse of low end through its body, the cat remains as indifferent as a young heiress sitting in a booth at a club, staring at nothing as the bottle service champagne gets warm in its glass and the bass goes boom boom boom. This is a completely sexy--yet completely sex-free--distillation of spiritual ennui. And by combining our shared obsession with cat videos, wealth porn and computer generated beats, it may be the most perfect Internet video ever created.