Carbon or titanium – which is better? For years cyclepeople have been debating which is the more amazing material – and now, thanks to top international DJ David Guetta, we finally have an answer. It’s titanium. Because, let’s face it, no one is ever going to sing, “I am carbon fiiiiii-buuuuh”, are they? That would be utter madness. Non-stop partying, energetic sex and a shiny, seemingly invincible metal – these are pop’s Tropes Of Amazingness and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.
I very much like the song Titanium, particularly the panicked, angry raveathon that hijacks the end of each chorus and stops abruptly, plonking you slightly disoriented into the next verse. I also like the video, which happens to feature a child riding a road bike.
If you haven’t seen the video, the plot goes something like this: a child causes an explosion at his school using the awesome power of his mind, then races home, packs his bags, and escapes before the cops arrive.
But he ends up in a forest surrounded by a SWAT team pointing their guns at him. So the kid triggers another explosion which displaces some leaves, but no one dies because that would never happen on MTV. The End.
The child is an enigma. It’s unclear to what extent he can control his powers, or what made him blow up his school, so you can’t judge his culpability. You don’t even know for sure if he’s a boy: you could be looking at a goofy, tomboyish girl.
And everything he (or she) touches – the teddy bears suspended and rotating in mid-air, the keys that fly across the room into his hand – makes this androgynous creature seem more alien.
But despite his otherness, you’re rooting for him because of the few expressive seconds in which he rides his bicycle.
When he’s trying to escape on his bike, our proto-superhero looks completely, wholly human – confused, vulnerable, terrified and yet somehow resolute. The strength of the video for Titanium, I think, is the bike.