Arts, Music

Cage the Elephant Tackles Ritualistic Medicine in ‘Cold Cold Cold’ Video

Cage the Elephant takes a crack at potentially dark underpinnings in medicine and entertainment in its latest music video for “Cold Cold Cold.”

Arriving at a medical institution, a man is dragged into its recesses. Met with doctors ready to treat him, the man sees they are not alone, as an audience flanks both sides of the room. Clad in white coats and masks that completely cover their faces, save for their eyes and mouth, the audience members are a homogeneous sea of blank stares. The doctors attempt to cure the man of a sickly heart that is pulsing through his translucent chest. After shaving the man’s head, he endures several rounds of odd therapy and homeopathic procedures. Interjecting with showy nurses, dancing in red clothes, and cuts to the band, the demeanor of the operation seems frantic and apathetic.

At wits end, the doctors draw a sword. In an instant, they decapitate the man. Through this new opening, the doctors remove his heart, revealed to be completely black, and carry it away. Sewing and cauterizing his head back on, the man awakens, cured—but with a queer and absent stare. A new mask is raised to his face, as he becomes like the others.

The video connotes strong notions of ritualistic behavior, which ultimately leads to a form of mild lobotomization. Perhaps the band hopes to suggest that the dire nature of overdiagnosis and flippant attitudes toward medicine leads to incapacitation and a lack of feeling. This showmanship of medicine does not have the patient’s needs in mind, instead revealing the glory of an individual’s reputation. Alternatively, one may interpret that the video details the dark nature of showbusiness—that one will lose one’s mind and subsequently, heart, when coerced into the system of showmanship and spectacle themselves.

Cage shows it can stimulate these kinds of complex thoughts within its music and in any auxiliary components thereof. “Cold Cold Cold” is an eerie video to remember the next time you drift off to sleep.

Featured Image By RCA Records

January 18, 2017