Song: “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” by Twisted Sister
Confession: I love Dee Snider. I love his curly hair and his radio show and the fact that he’s been with his wife forever. Most of all, I love his testimony to the PMRC and the fact that it gave us this, which frankly is so wonderful I should not have had to make the gif myself:
Now it lives on the internet forever, so you know, feel free to thank me and do a badass hair flip, and don’t feel bad about the fact that our hair flips will never live up to this.
ANYHOW. The matter at hand. “We’re Not Gonna Take It” is one of the more well-known songs of the era, as it’s applicable across a number of settings, from birth control commercials (for birth control you shouldn’t actually take, so there’s that…) to sporting events to graduate students getting hyped before teaching. Or something.
The video is famous for Mark Metcalf’s basic reprisal of his Niedermeyer character from Animal House. Niederdad rips his kid, asks him what he wants to do with his life, and then flips his lid when the kid says he wants to rock, possibly because he’s a jerk but also possibly because his kid’s voice changed between being excused from dinner and going to his room.
And then the kid spins around and turns into Dee Snider, and that’s when the real trouble begins. Because while this looks like a blueprint for the “squares getting in the way of our basic right to rock” genre of video, it’s more of a story of a father’s difficulty with coming to terms with the fact that his son is a wizard.
It’s unclear whether the other children are also wizards or if the main kid transforms them with his wizard powers. I could see it going either way, like maybe the kid who just wanted to rock was Dad’s last chance at a non-wizard son and now everyone’s just embracing their wizardness. Or the wizard kid is like, you know what’s more fun than this? Everything, but especially being a wizard who wears football pads.
Anyhow, they don’t break the news gently to Dad. In fact, it goes something like this:
Dee: knock knock
Dad: who’s there?
Dad: Dee who?
Dee: deez nuts ps I’m a wizard
And Mom’s like, hon, I told you when we got married we had a good chance of having wizard children, why are you getting upset now?
So then the wizards decide to take their act on the road, Partridge family-style, and the second greatest thing ever happens:
This is interspersed with shots of the sons asking their dad to love them for the wizards they are, and the dad being really scared of them because listen, if you didn’t grow up with magic, it’s more than a little unsettling. He probably thought the spoon bending thing was an accident.
Things take a turn for the Niederdad here. He sort of loses it. He realizes not only has he fathered immortal, magical beings, but he’s been paying a mortgage on a house made of foam.
But the sons have had it with hiding their true wizard selves and they are not going to take it any longer.
Niederdad seems like he’s going to come around, but then he falls out of the house instead, probably figuring since it’s foam, he might as well. Maybe it is all bad a dream he can wake up from. We close with a shot of the wizard mom hovering over him, probably getting ready to explain that the sooner he accepts his sons as wizards, the sooner they can cast a spell to transform the house into brick and cement and really drive up the property values in the neighborhood, which would mean they could walk around like this: