If you go to a regional museum in New Zealand, chances are there’ll be an old manual telephone switchboard on display. The “Paradigm” video makes use of such a switchboard. It’s obvious that Victoria is in a such museum (MOTAT, I’m guessing) as she operates the old switchboard, but we’ll just ignore the display case on the wall behind her.
More important is how she’s connecting calls without using a headset to hear which numbers the callers want. Maybe she’s just randomly connecting people. At one point she totally neglects her operator duties and pulls out her guitar.
The song is all about communication. The other band members (one in a workshop, the other in a butcher shop) each have old hand-crank phones and seem to be puzzled by who they’re getting connected with.
We also see a contemporary couple chatting on the phone, each lying on their beds like teens. The guy is even talking on a wired landline phone, which now almost seems as old-fashioned as the antique telephony in the museum.
But yet no matter whether it’s made wood, Bakelite, metal or glass, people have been using technology to communicate for decades now. Let’s just be grateful that technology today isn’t interrupted by a guitar-playing telephone operator.
Best bit: the male caller’s “I see dumb people” t-shirt – so 2000s.
Director: Nic Finlayson
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision
Next… guitars and the real girl.