Watch it now. In HD. On BB’s Channel. By clicking here .
Now here’s what’s going on in that crazy thing:
First off, the basic plot is simple enough. Evil government control of the spread and exposure of music. Take it as ACTA, PIPA, the K Censorship board, whatever, it’s generic. The people are rising up against the faceless evil.
Their gas masks symbolize the stifling, poisonous atmosphere they exist in; a world without music and one without room for protest. Also, while they are suppressed they are merely faceless, disconnected anybodies that have no individual mean or purpose.
Now, in order of appearance, the member roles:
For several reasons: the red hair’s length shows prowess, it’s being mixed with the wires that are literally sparking revolution show intimate involvement in the uprising. The staff shows power, black bound by gold chains reverses that image, showing the dichotic struggle between good and evil. The black and white suit shows also the dichotomy of good an evil; and he’s underground (or effectively so by being away from the sun and Light), and on a stone throne, both of which symbolize Lucifer.
The last time he appears solo, he’s got this beauty of a make-up job. Little black feathers overlying a white backdrop; that combined with the ninja-falling-out-of-the-sky-move simply SCREAM fallen-angel/Lucifer.
Note: Lucifer as light-bringer, not Satan. GD is a point of temptation, but he tempts the people to rise up, to grab for something presented as evil, but it’s really for something that enlightens them and benefits them as a whole.
The crazy hair, the fluffy jacket, the hunched animalistic positions and aggressive wild motions scream bestiality. The throne he’s on is stone but unlike GD’s raw Stone-Table illusion, this has the refining touch of humanity to it, making him a distinctly human beast. Also the gold net-like thing can be seen symbolically as a hunter’s tool, attached to the human side of things.
Humanity binds up bestial within Society. Simple fact.
Also, TaeYang’s mask show his teeth, and most of his role has him showing his teeth, which is yet another marker of the beast, the animal side of humanity. He also has the most ‘tattoos’ of the members, a tribalistic sign of wildness. The fact that he has the word ALIVE carved into his hair and inked onto his skin yet again alludes to the beast, the internal urges that make people do more that exist passively, that makes them truly be ALIVE.
Moving on to TOP: the Dream Keeper.
Dream Keeper is really just a subjective name that I recall from the first time I heard the legend. You could also call him a guardian of limbo or something, I don’t know. Anyway, the Dream Keeper is the creational pressure behind the changes in the world. War, Industry, Conflict, anything that results in Change is his domain. He gives people a taste of what they want so that they’ll change the world to get more of it. His power spreads across all of space and time, literally.
TOP has a military coat, and medals, and his throne had militant tassels an a set of pistols (which could also be seen as starting guns for races/duels/etc, which are all still events that he literally triggers). His throne is steel or iron (because of the corrosion thing) which symbolized the Industrial Revolution very clearly, the style of riveting wasn’t around much before the 1800’s and the throne’s just perfectly steampunk in style which dates it to about then as well.
Up next is Daesung: the Human refinement of that which is animal. His role is similar to Taeyang's but rather than that of the universally suppressed beast, he is the well trained and sociable, but still very animal, 'human pet'.
All the muscles and whatnot of the Beast imagery, but he’s been sucessfully chained up. Silver chains are a neutral thing, neither exclusively good or bad, much like humans can be either good or bad depending on things other than God or Satan’s will.
His mask is perfectly clear, containing, but you can still clearly see the animal that is humanity. He doesn’t get a throne until the very end, symbolizing humanity’s weak position in the universal sway of things, and when he does finally get one, it’s a crudely clever construction of rope and wood and iron pipes, which alludes to human ingenuity and a lack of materially creative abilities (and by that I mean we can’t actually make a material, ie construct chocolate pudding out of base atomic particles …sadly enough) and also our innately creative urges (ie, to make things out of materials we already have or can acquire).
Last, but not least, we have SeungRi: Raw Egoism, aka pointed bestiality.
He is the human need to dominate, and to be at the center or everything. The bestial symbolism is strong in the whole, bare chest with scratch marks, cat-girl orgy thing he’s got going on, but his throne is very much a craft of the human. It’s incredibly aggressive and dominating, but the sharpness of the spikes, their method of attachment, and the simple materials from which it’s constructed … it’s a very human design. SeungRi is at the center of his little orgy and his bit is at the approximate center of the song. It come up after the bridge, just before the ultimate conquest of the people, demonstrating a symbolic representation of human egoism. We think we are the center of the universe and can do anything, win any battle, take on any opposition … and as Nietzsche says, since it’s true in thought, therefore it’s true in action and in consequence.
We can because we think we can.
The Owl: okay, so it isn’t exactly a member, but it symbolizes wisdom, as many people know, and also carnage, as very few do. Minerva is the roman goddess of wisdom, yes, and also of WAR. He’s sitting on a light (symbolizing wisdom again) but it’s turned off, which alludes to the fact that there’s something missing to be learned of (ie the greatness of the thing that is music). And he’s in front of a fence; putting a war symbol in front of an oppression symbol can only mean there’s gonna be an up-rising.
As the beat drops and the war begins, the little owl takes flight, jumping into action with the song. Perfect ne? And that’s just the first 2 seconds.
The next time he appears, he still has the Red theme going on as he surveys the chaos (still on the stone throne, and still with the cool staff. Also, he’s still away from the light, even though he’s above ground as there’s no real veiw of the sky). He’s the tempter, giving them a taste of music, and leading the people towards uprising against order, which is all very lucifer-ish.
Next up is TaeYang: raw power and the human beast.
First he appears frozen, as the bestial nature of people has been so utterly suppressed by the imposed Order of the government. But as revolution builds and the MV goes on, he warms up.
The whole Zen thing goes along with the frozen one. The bland white, the gas masks, the discipline of monks … it all goes back to how oppression constrains the beast within.
His last look continues the theme. The bare-chested thing is a mark of primitiveness, again bestial, and the armor is a sign of aggression, also bestial, though it’s distinctly human at the same time.
At this point, I’m beating a dead horse.
He’s literally sitting in a limbo-esque space as the painting behind him which can be seen as worlds that he has access to span the styles of different countries at very different times of art-development.
The second time he appears for a major scene is at the end of the battle, surveying the empty landscape. The fluffy coat and the whimsical color and hairstyle allude to the transient ‘dreaminess’ of the dream keeper.Blue can mean ‘peace,’ but it also alludes (much more strongly) to the cyclical and ever-changing nature of the ocean, and his hair can be seen as waves, (both of which are powerful symbols of constant change on their own, but when seen as representing Poseidon, another God of war-like-things, they’re much more aggressive change than merely natural. The blank canvas of a world he’s standing on is the end result of a revolution, one that he may have help provoke, in order to create space for new art.
When his next big scene comes up, it’s bouncing back and forth off of TaeYang, but it shows Daesung in a well refined suit being the epitome of cultured and ‘human’ The beast and the suit bounce off each other to show how the human is free and the beast is human. Taeyang is still in a cage environment with the fencing, whereas Daesung is competely free, though we previously know that he is also a beast chained up. TaeYang’s armor is his human-making addition, and rather than the gold(which equates to god/godly) hunter’s net (a strictly offensive tool), it’s a silver (neutral) arm-guard which can be used flexibly for offense or defense, causing both TaeYang and Daesung to attract this human notion.
The liberation bash at the end is pretty awesome too. The pulling off of the gasmasks marks their true freedom, being taken into their own hands. The people and the members coming together showing how important each is to making humanity whole. The puzzle-piece nature of their thrones does that too.
I’ll be honest. I didn’t really have any idea what the carpet monsters meant at first … carpet monsters don’t exactly come up in a curriculum of traditional western symbology… My guess was another merging of humanity and bestiality. As the carpet monsters are clearly man-made and man-operated, yet at the same time are very reminiscent of true beasts … after a bit of research, I found out that the monsters are called HaeTaes and they symbolize justice and righteous victory, which makes them perfectly suited to being guests at the liberation bash. ^_~