So the real video for “Problem” came out just now, and it’s truly just a slightly more complex version of the lyric video.
The concepts of duality and DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) induced in the inner-most workings of the entertainment industry reign over all other symbolism in this video. The stripes are once again present, and there are maybe like two frames of any color other than black and white being used.
I think the thing that differs most from the lyric video and this music video is the amplification of sexuality. Ariana and Iggy both appear to be heavily behaving as one would in “Beta mode”. Beta programming is a type of monarch programming that removes all personal, internal values, morals, and ideas about sex altogether, and creates a whole new persona that can be triggered by any number of things. Most common are animal prints and cats such as Beyonce’s “Kitty Kat” and Katy Perry’s ad for her perfume- which is also cat-themed. This new persona becomes the go-to identity to trigger when producing music videos or performing, and often for sex itself; alas, I digress.
Anyway, back to the video. The man who does the chorus bears a golden ring with a cat’s head on it. Ariana whispers into his ear and puts her hand on his shoulder seductively at a couple points:
Another thing that popped out at me was the way they continue to display multiples in different forms. For example, at a few points, Ariana and Iggy are surrounded by multicolour silhouettes of themselves, making it appear as though there are numerous copies of them. They also display Iggy in a trio a couple times, which also represents multiples within an individual.
Ariana is shown multiple times spinning around on a big, black and white-striped disk. This, I believe, is the setting and evidence for her dissociation. Spinning is a standard torture process in monarch programming in order to disorientate the victim. In combination with drugs and violently creative abuse, dissociation becomes easier and easier for them to escape the repeated pain, as it becomes a natural mental reflex. This spinning is usually symbolised as the person spinning in circles or being spun, carousels, or spinning objects or images (like the giant black and white hypno-ray backdrop). Due to the depth of field the converging lines create, it resembles a tunnel of sorts. She wears all white, and her shoes are off for some reason- possibly because she feels more comfortable and less pressure within the sanctuary of her mind. She sings that she has her “head in the clouds” and has “no weight on her shoulders”.
There are a final couple of things I’m going to acknowledge in this article, and one of them is the fact that there’s also a black contortionist with a “black” and white checkerboard applied to the whole surface of his skin. Also, Ariana is even more hyper-sexualised in this official video than the lyric video. I can’t tell you how many flashes of things like her ass and her waist or her legs are shown, but…
I guess that’s just standard for the music biz these days. Hmph, shame.