Hobbies can be dangerous. In the new video for indie-rocking Canucks
Tokyo Police Club’s “A Lesson in Crime,” a middle-aged man is forced to
contend with the often horrific results of his apparently perilous
pastime—building miniature train sets.
Within the song’s two minutes and 17 seconds, a miniature
scale model of the band manages to wreak havoc on the otherwise quaint,
tiny town the video’s live-action amateur enthusiast constructs.
At the video’s outset, director Sean Wainsteim matches the
video’s imagery to the song’s lyrics. As lead singer Dave Monks sings,
“Do your neighbor a favor / Collect their morning paper / And clip out
all the sad bits, no one wants to read that,” the middle-aged man
confusedly examines a newspaper that has parts cut out.
And then there’s a shot of kids visiting the zoo as Monks declares, “Let them take their kids to school and the zoo in peace.”
Next, the video devolves into a frenzy of successive shots
showing motionless frames of plastic models in order to reveal the
violence that plagues the town. The reasons for the chaos are unclear,
but the band’s sinister, plastic presence seems like the driving force.
The animals in the zoo are let free and run amok. Violence and nudity
await at every street corner.
Not only does the middle-aged man have to watch in horror as
his once-peaceful town is destroyed, but he himself is imprisoned
Gulliver-style by the Lilliputian models. The town’s militia are
powerless to save him, and he, like the inhabitants of the town, falls
victim to the depravity of the Tokyo Police Club.