Material World: Five High-Life Holiday Videos for Your Broke, Unemployed Ass

Only 29 shopping days until Christmas. More to the point, it's less than a month until we don't have to hear that goddamned barking dogs version of "Jingle Bells" and can stop forcing ourselves to be nice to each other for another year.

We at Rocks Off know times are tough. Unemployment is still through the roof, and the economy is just barely showing signs of improvement. It adds up to a grim holiday season, so we thought a good way to distract everyone while come up with stories for why Santa skipped their house this year was to watch some music videos showcasing conspicuous consumption.

No hip-hop, though, or this would've ended up a Hype Williams tribute.

Duran Duran, "Rio"

We always like the way Duran Duran rubbed their conspicuous consumption in our face. If they weren't partying with oiled-up women and sumo wrestlers ("Girls on Film") they were stalking wily jungle women in Sri Lanka ("Hungry Like the Wolf"). Here, they're just kicking it in Antigua, cruising around on a yacht in their Antony Price suits, cruelly introducing socially inept American junior-high kids to a world of exotic pleasures they would never know. Assholes.

Madonna, "Material Girl"

We'll always remember the '80s as being the last decade in which a Carradine could pass as a romantic lead. And the last time Robert Wuhl was funny.

Big and Rich, "Big Time"

Big and Rich, you guys need to take some pointers from Simon and Nick and the gang - there's not much point to having that bad-ass boat if all you're going to do is putter up and down the Intracoastal Waterway. Head for international waters, where it's nothing but umbrella drinks and monkey knife fights.

Fun Fact: Big Kenny goosesteps at the 2:31 mark.

Sheila E, "The Glamorous Life"

Like Madonna, Ms. Escovedo learns that while love is forever, money "only pays the rent." Luckily for her, she comes upon this knowledge after she already got the cars and fur coats.

Fergie, "Glamorous"

Don't be fooled by the jets that she got, she's still Fergie from the block. Our favorite part of this video is the revisionist history showing Stacy Ann Ferguson representin' at an "East L.A. kegger" in 1994, when in reality she was honing her pop chops in Wild Orchid.

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Peter Vonder Haar writes movie reviews for the Houston Press and the occasional book. The first three novels in the "Clarke & Clarke Mysteries" - Lucky Town, Point Blank, and Empty Sky - are out now.
Contact: Pete Vonder Haar