I will freely admit that I am not a fan of American football. It is entirely too brutal for my taste, for one thing, so when I first saw the North American version of the video for “Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out of,” I didn’t know what to think. It seemed to be a mashup between one of my favorite things in the world (U2) and one of my least-favorite things (American football). Fortunately, due to a clever concept and some fun moments, along with a couple of great performances, the feelings I harbor for U2 won the day over my negativity toward the game and, although I don’t like this video as much as the European version, I do find it to be quite entertaining.
The video is set at an American football game, and the focus is on a player named Paul Hewson (Bono’s real name) who misses a field goal, which causes his team to lose the game. He relives the moment over and over throughout his lifetime, until finally, as an old man, he makes the kick, and presumably lives the rest of his life without the missed kick hanging over his head. There are lots of U2-related inside jokes in the video, such as one coach being named Dave Evans, Edge’s real name, and the teams being called the Lemons and the Flys. There are also several others, but I will let you watch the video and pick those out for yourself. My favorite portion of the video, apart from these little jokes, is Edge’s part, singing from his back on the floor of the stadium because he slipped and fell. Bono also really sells the emotion of the song, making up for some of the silliness of the video with his earnestness. It is, after all, a serious subject being addressed by the song, and the video is at odds with that sentiment in some spots.
Of course, all of this raises the question of why North American audiences required a different video of the video in the first place. It is interesting to me because some of my family recently got turned on to the European video for the same song, and they quite liked it, so I wonder how general audiences in the North American region would have reacted to the European video given the opportunity to view it. My wife and I were discussing this very question today, and she said that the North American version of the video was almost like a “dumbed-down” version of the European version of the video. I have to admit that I understand where that comment came from. I guess this goes back to the question of why different release dates and singles and B-sides are made for different countries in the first place, and why is this the case for some releases and not all of them? Why, for instance, did the whole world get the same video for “Elevation” but not for “Stuck in a Moment”? The truth is that I don’t know the answers to these questions, but if anyone does, I hope that you will comment below and shed some light on the subject for all of us.
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