The Continuous Multiplicities Of "Money For Nothing"

“’Money for Nothing’ was a much bigger hit than anything that Dire Straits had done before; that is, Knopfler made himself into a successful rock star by way of a song about people resenting rock stars’ success. He also abandoned his own opposition to making music videos, so the song was marketed with an MTV video in which computer-animated characters disparaged MTV videos — expressing what had previously been Knopfler’s actual point of view — which won Video of the Year and helped make the song No. 1. And then, yes, alongside Knopfler’s grumbling, working-man’s-persona anti-MTV, anti-rock-star lyrics, there was another voice singing the video network’s actual marketing slogan, and that voice belonged to, of all people, Sting. So. If you’re looking for some moment when art and commerce, integrity and ‘selling out,’ class solidarity and class envy, performer and spectator, content and advertisement, and assorted other tensions all collapsed into a lucrative and critic-proof singularity*, you could do worse.”