Lorde is about to ascend beyond the boundaries of the old flesh. She will soon grow astounding new bodily features previously unseen by humanity. Her upcoming art, like the art of Crimes Of The Future’s Saul Tenser, will be shocking to look upon, pushing the boundaries of performance into strange territories.
At least, this is the only explanation we have for why Lorde announced at a Washington D.C. show last night that she’d spent the earlier part of yesterday swimming around in the Potomac.
In a video posted on Twitter last night by @whyets, Lorde took a break between songs to chat directly with the audience. After talking about what a weird time it’s been to come of age during the last few years, she says “I was thinking today ... I was lying in the Potomac River.”
The crowd cheers but there’s an appropriately uneasy current beneath it. “I love getting to swim in water where I’m playing,” Lorde continues as the audience makes a noise that can only be summed up as a kind of disapproving worry. “It makes me feel like I know you a bit better somehow.”
Someone’s voice cuts through: “Don’t swim in the river!”
Swimming in the Potomac has, as the WTOP News’ Neal Augenstein writes, been banned since “the early 1970s because of the city’s aging combined sewer system, which routinely discharged 2 billion gallons of combined sewage and stormwater each year into the Potomac and Anacostia rivers, as well as Rock Creek.” This seems to be a fair rule, considering that an official website post about reassessing the river’s water quality says that “safety can change day-by-day depending on rain, temperature, and other factors.”
In the best case—which depends on where she swam in the Potomac, if she managed to avoid “algae blooms ... and trash,” made sure not to swallow any water, didn’t have cuts on her body, and washed right after she got out—Lorde will be perfectly fine. Otherwise, she may accomplish the goal we predicted above and find herself transforming into the world’s first post-human pop star.
If so, we will all benefit. Imagine, after all, what strange beauty will arise from songs sung with three throats and a mouth filled with millions of tiny prehensile tongues.
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