Biodiversity, Colony Collapse Disorder and Psychotropic Drugs: TV on the Radio’s Fantasy Gardening Show

The band’s new music video imagines some awesome television.

TV on the Radio Million Miles

TV on the Radio's "Million Miles." (Photo: MySpace)

Willy Blackmore is TakePart’s Food editor. He has written for The Awl, The New Inquiry, and elsewhere.

Would you watch a gardening show hosted by an environmental activist who occasionally doses the entire crew with something Ecstasy-like and they all take to the wood for some mildly cultish back-to-nature exploration? Unfortunately, no such television programing exists—but this is the premise for a new music video by the band TV on the Radio.

Before the song “Million Miles” kicks in, we see an episode of a garden show on “wild crafting” being shot in a lush hot house. But the young co-host keeps going off the rails, taking things in a decidedly political direction. “This just brings us back again to the point of our world’s ever-narrowing biodiversity,” she says. “It’s recently been reported that as many as 23 percent of the world’s plant species are threated with extinction. Meanwhile, our own species continues to overpopulate, exploit and destroy habitats with zero regard...”

The director yells cut, then after another off-script comment about colony collapse disorder, the show supposedly stops taping, and the young activist wanders off into the woods—where she starts singing in the male voice of TV on the Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe, nature is observed with awe, and the whole mass trip thing takes place.

But there’s a twist! The video (spoiler alert) is really the show, and in the closing shot we see a young boy who has been watching all of this on TV planting seeds from a packet stamped with the girl’s face—an activist gardener in the making.

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