SMS, emoji, and an iPhone in the restroom: Thank you, Katy Perry

The video for a new song called "Roar" shows that Katy knows exactly where modern symbolism is at. Even to the point of toilet-seat texting.

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read
You're looking at modern art. Katy Perry Vevo/YouTube Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

The first time I received an emoji, it was of an angry bald man.

It was followed by one of a smiley face, with one eye closed and its tongue hanging out.

I assumed this was some sort of encouragement to mingle intimately. I also assumed this was very modern.

Though it's hard these days to judge which music is modern, I know now with certainty that Katy Perry is no Drunken Uncle Rick of the music world.

For she has just released a music video in which all the words are in SMS and emoji.

I am grateful to Mashable for noticing this, as otherwise I would have felt like a baseball player who had never been injected in the rear.

Here we have extremely fine lyrics -- sample: "Cause I am a champion, and you're gonna hear me roar" -- visualized in what now passes for written communication.

Instead of the word "champion," we see a trophy. Instead of the word "hear," we see an ear.

Instead of the word "why?", we see the man on the left from Village People.

Wait, I'm quite mistaken about the last one.

But I do feel that with their quite seminal "YMCA," the Peeps were inspirational in showing us that we can make letters out of our bodies and that written communication doesn't need to be about staid versions of the alphabet.

This Katy Perry video is but the next step in modern musico-symbolic art.

I am concerned, though, that it also features an iPhone on a lap on a toilet.

The lady then reaches for the toilet paper, as Katy sings: "You're going to hear me roar."

Sometimes, symbolism can go too far.