Video Review: R.E.M. "Bang And Blame"

A person looks down at the driveway and pauses at the open door. Walking in, the person veers their head from left to right, fearing someone may be lurking in the foyer. Running, the person hides behind the wall and then heads into the family room.Taking a breath, the person walks into the kitchen. A stray dog turns its head as he sits it on the couch.

Upstairs, the person notices the bouquet of flowers still hanging from the ceiling in the bedroom.

In a combined split screen, Michael, Mike, Peter and Bill play their instruments, moving from frame to frame.

Outside, another stray dog wags its tail.

In the second bedroom, sheets are rolled up in the bed, picture frames of family members are displayed on the dresser and television sits in the corner, off. The person searches through the family picture frames and the full bookcase in the study. A dog approaches him.

The person speeds down the road, the bushes blurring as they turn the corner. Taking a hard left, the person drives straight and swerves to the right. Sixty, seventy, and eventually 80 miles per hour through the countryside.

The person continues to speed on the gravel and muddy road, staying in the center, destructive and unstoppable.

Rating: 5/5

Everything was the way it was: the sheets curled after a restless night, the kitchen table cleaned from dinner, the television off.

The overwhelming pine scent mixed with feces from the animals causes a wave a nausea to hit him. What happened was real. It was real. He scrapes some yellow tape off the doorway from the caution tape, which once covered the frame and takes a breather. The stray dog wags it tail, smelling the fast food lunch on his hands.

The newspaper said it was a break-in, door torn off as two men rushed inside the home and then beat the twentysomething until he stopped breathing. Neighbors said the man was gentle and welcomed everybody. He was survived by his two sisters, mother and father.

And him. No one knew he was the man’s lover, coming over his house a couple of times a week and staying the weekend. People assumed they were close friends. His lover wanted to come out to his family and introduce him as his boyfriend. No, the person pleaded, no, they can’t know. No one can know. But someone knew and now, he believes, he will be next. He has to get out of town, leave as fast as he can. Pretend to be straight and find a nice, sweet young woman to fall in love and marry. It will be ok, he reminds himself, nothing will happen to him. Just act straight.

Director: N/A Year: 1994


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Pam Avoledo Administrator
Pam Avoledo spends her time binge-watching classic teen dramas and stands firm in her pro-Leyton stance. She also received her journalism degree in 2006 from Oakland University. Her work has been published in the White Wall Review, Sledgehammer Lit & 45 Magazine.

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