Scariest Music Video … Ever

Meet Dennis Madalone. He loves America. Really, really loves America. Oh, and sad '80s haircuts. Watch and learn

  • By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist

I am, after all, here to enlighten.

I am here to bring joy and laughter and dark madness and slightly surreal mental gyrations of bitter reality, right along with the occasional link to truly shocking and brilliant items of interest, items that make you want to laugh and cry and scream and rend your flesh and douse your head in a giant vat of cheap vodka, all at the same time.

See, there’s patriotism, and there’s patriotism, and then there’s patriotism that’s meant be written with a capital P and a long flowing scripty font with little butterflies dotting the i’s and a big fat bullet hole where the o should be, and it’s all circled a thousand times with a bright red crayon that’s been licked to a smooth nub by aging members of, say, REO Speedwagon.

It’s the kind of patriotism where everything in its warped purview has been happily whitewashed with this rabid glaze of shuddering mediocrity and flag-waving dorkiness and desperate earnestness, where dead people become white floaty angels and manly firefighters literally walk in the clouds and overweight people give each other slow-motion hugs and children become innocent cherubs of light and the American flag becomes a giant beach towel and bad hair becomes, well, even worse hair.

So then. Meet Dennis Madalone. He is a singer. But not really. He is actually a stunt coordinator, working for the past 14 years on the “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” and “Star Trek: Voyager” TV shows and he is apparently so deep into the nefarioous Trekkie thing he is even featured on a Star Trek trading card, which, of course, should tell you something right there.

Dennis has, for some reason, written a song. And made a music video to accompany it. This video, it is about America, an America that simply does not exist anywhere but in Dennis’ amazingly coiffed head, an America that is all about the aforementioned twice-baked patriotism and a heartrending love of country so syrupy and exaggerated it would make you gag if it weren’t so utterly perfect, so beautiful, so breathtaking in its, I don’t quite know what to call it. Genius? Simplicity? Harrowing vision of colon-flaming hell? Yes.

The song is called “America We Stand As One.” The video is making the rounds on the Internet right now, shooting from in-box to in-box like warped lightning because people are sending each other the link in a desperate mad rush of disbelief and saying oh my God have you seen this thing?

They are saying, stop whatever you are doing right now and click on this link right now as in immediately, please, and be enlightened as to the bizarre meta-saccharine joy that is Dennis Madalone’s America. You will never be the same again.

Watch the video yourself, if you dare. and please be careful of the thump as your jaw drops to the floor.

Stare in wonder at the silhouette shots wherein Dennis mouths the lyrics in exaggerated peroral contortions. Observe the extreme close-ups of Dennis’ face as he lip syncs so earnestly to the camera you think he’s about to pass a gallstone.

Watch as the aforementioned dead people walk in clouds and ghostly luminescent angels spring up from Dennis’s hair and beams of divine light blast Dennis straight in the heart and apparently give him the overwhelming desire to sing sing SING. And preen. And pose. And stroll wistfully.

And there are children, plenty of children, crowds of children, and Dennis even goes so far as to touch a few of them on the head, and when he does sparks immediately fly from their tiny innocent scalps and you are hereby instructed not to think creepy thoughts of pedophilia as you watch this because, well, Dennis is just too earnest for that sort of thing. You can just tell.

There Dennis is, thrusting out his chest as he belts out the “stand as wuah-hun” line, over and over.

There he is again on the beach, arms wide and clutching a U.S. flag doo-rag like a weapon, beckoning the soul of America to burst through his mighty rib cage, encased as it in a gold chain and a big bold all-American sports jersey with “USA” emblazoned across the front in giant block letters normally reserved for the sweatshirts of drunk German tourists visiting Disneyland for the first time.

There he is, holding a giant American flag while standing on a huge rocky outcropping by the ocean as the cool misty wind whips his long bitchin’ '80s tresses, and you can verily feel the nationalism surging through his tightly packed loins as the cameraman is standing back there thinking, oh my freaking God whatever happened to my career.

Is this video a hoax? A spoof? Surely, you think, this is a parody, this must be an SNL skit. You are at once frightened and thrilled and vaguely depressed to find out, it is not: It is very, very real – and stop calling me Shirley.

But then it hits me. As I watch Dennis cling to that giant flag on that rocky precipice of life, I realize, despite myself, despite all my better judgments and leanings and haircut preferences, I want to be Dennis Madalone.

Just for a moment. I want to live the naivete, swim in tepid pools of happy blissful ignorance, regrow my hair past my shoulders and love my country so blindly and unquestioningly that everyone and everything becomes sweet and sticky and warm, like giant mealworms of love. This is, I imagine, how a mental patient must feel.

But I can’t help it. I want to be him. I want to know that level of shockingly uninformed bliss, just for a minute. Hey, maybe I’ve been mistaken all these years. Maybe that really is America! Maybe it really is all about saccharine unity and love and shiny happy children and you, looking like there is nothing more important in life than trying to look like Peter Frampton’s brunet body double or the singer for small-time NWOBHM heavy-metal gods Saxon, circa 1981.

But then I come to. Because I know, deep down, that Dennis’ heartfelt vision has nothing to do with the real America most of us know.

America, after all, is about guns. And money. And Wal-Mart and fast food and Christmas and expensive coffee drinks and good porn and long walks in nature and power-mad governments and wacky gluttony and scoring cheap DVDs on eBay and rampant obesity and cats and oil and SUVs and cube-farm hell and God and iPods and candy.

Or, more specifically, America is all about the delicious unchecked freedom to use your paltry sums of money to score cheap porn DVDs and expensive coffee drinks and buy an obese SUV and load it up with Wal-Mart Christmas candy so as to escape your cube-farm hell and go on long nature walks with your iPod in order to shoot cats.

See, it is far too easy to mock. It is far too easy to deride and scoff and try to suppress the gag reflex as you sit all the way through Dennis’ bizarre and brilliant music video, so unerringly cheesy, so astoundingly saccharine it is, and you are forced to wonder, oh my God, who is buying this, who is enjoying this, who is believing this to be good and decent and singable art and is it the same people who enjoy Celine Dion and boxed wine and Ford Festivas and “Everybody Loves Raymond”? You already know the answer.

And then it hits you. Then you are forced to realize the terrible, heartbreaking truth that perhaps the only thing that might actually unify this fine nation in the way Dennis’ uncanny video envisions, the only issue over which America really and truly stands at one, is the overarching notion that Dennis Madalone must be stopped. Or maybe deified. Take your pick.

curt DR Oc

I once met a couple, in a camping place.
We spent half night speaking about religion, sitting out of their tent.
They was so disgusted by the way certain priests act… they were so skeptical and aggressive about the “church” that I was surprised to find someone acting toward religion in a way that was more “repulsive” than the way I’m used to.
“farmers and ignorant people!”
“Pedo assholes priests! If I had my way I had all of em shot!” :blink:

I was correctly suspecting because what it turned out to be is that they were actually “religious” people… with that kind of twist like “I don’t believe in the church but I feel like there must be a god somewhere”… in other words, such violent repulsion was nothing more than a selfish rage in the attempt of covering their own ass. An “hidden”, generic support toward those with the same mindset… but with an attempt of cutting some people out of this field: those following the stream in a most ignorant way, with a total lack of grace or diplomacy when making a display of their ideas.
"Stop fools! You’re ruining my gameplay… "

Now this one looks like a similar situation.
Sounds to me like the journalist who wrote that had quite an embarrassing moment when trying to condamn the ideals of Dennis Madalone because eventually finding out that those are the very same ideas on the base of “any” patriotism.
Despite his shy and weak attempt at stating some difference between “different” kinds of “patriotism”… funny thing, they all still come written by the same word.

I guess it’s not easy to write a critic article “against” Dennis orientation and the main idea underneath… and at the same time, because of some magic coherence, trying not to transform yourself into Michael Moore and say anything too bad against the USA.
Sticking to the bad haircut helps.

In my opinion this music video, with that feeling of incoherence, as bad as it gets, it’s not amazing me more than the average hollywood movie…
Only point is that this video does not have an hollywood-like budget. With more money our Dennis could have paid a good director and a writer for a good script… and turned its video into the new “Save Soldier Ryan” or the new “Pearl Harbour”… where at least we see the special effects.

Sure I agree that the journo is not attacking this as skillfully as needed.

I thought it was an interesting thing because I’m Australian, and seeing this, like seeing a movie like Pearl Harbour, totally knocks me out each time. Largely, we don’t take part in that same strong sense of patriotism in this country. If anything we spend a lot of cultural effort undermining patriotism. When I see anyone else like Dennis I think “drunk on ideology”.

There must be a strong strong surge of grass roots energy for such ideology across the US that I have no conception of, no grasp of. It’s strong enough for some zoob like this guy to make a video like this. It frightens me, and I posted it here in hope to frighten others! As a healthly sense of questioning needs food for thought, this is just yet another dish. Yeah… just another angle.

It also made me think that if it causes such a reaction in a journo like this, then I might make a similar song about Australia. “Australia will be strong against terrorrorororororororor!!!” etc… and then feed it back to people. This would be two things: a rather weird joke, and also a resquest for people to think a little more than usual, something like “hey, just why are we saying all this dumb shit about China, Korea and Iran”… for example. Hey Australia we luv U.

And those who didn’t get the joke would just sing along… maybe… I don’t see it happening here. It’s just facinating that one country has that and the other doesn’t.

But I don’t think it knocked the journo out… not the way it did our Dennis. I think it’s a matter of budget.

2 bad we have something like this in Italy… the same “patriotism” that the journo tried to split into different social segments and behaviours… <_<
Probably that’s the reason for a certain u.s.a-imported mindset to find such a fertile terrain among italians…

Hell, you did right buddy :) For sure it is not YOUR fault if Madalone does what he does…

:lol: LOL

It is very easy to go against America at all stakes and it doesn’t matter who tells it. But the only magic needed is you must not live in America.

They are higly self-consumed and consider their own deeds the biggest of them all.
They saved Europe from Hitler, while Hitler’s largest army-power got lost against the Russians.
To say so, the Americans came after the Russian’s did the most work.
They praise the international Human rights, yet they do not obey those rules themselves (war-crimes against Afghanistans, Iraqis recently, but Vietnam and who knows whatever i forgot in the past as well.)

They praise International Law, yet they do not acknowledge the International Court.

They say and agree with a lot of things, but they act on the contrary.
And the worse is that they make their own citizens believe that what America does, is all right. And the scam? People that live in America do not know that.
That is censored news.

You see, it is practically easy to dim any idea that would make people love America.
But what i do here now, Americans can do even better, yet use very weak arguments to support them.