Nothing exists out of context. Simple as that. Evaluating without… being aware of its context is a useless game.

Is that burger a great burger because of the meat and the way it was cooked and the pretzel bun and what kind of cheese and the specific type of mustard the chef chose to bring it all together?

Or is it great because you were really hungry?

Philosophy 101 reductions aside, context allows us to play in a world bigger and more complex than black and white. It’s the dichotomy and juxtaposition that turns something boring into something interesting.

Want to attract female attention? Be a rough and tumble biker with a pink belt or a perfumed dandy with an ugly scar on your face from a fight. Confound and confuse to attract attention.

Today’s example: Radiohead’s new video for Lotus Flower, a video that is nothing but Thom Yorke dancing by himself in a bowler.

Here’s a guy who made a whole movie where he shows how painful it is to be a famous musician… dancing. No special effects, no computer enhancements, no distracting anything (well, maybe the hat). And he’s not dancing ironically. He almost seems to be enjoying himself.

If Lady Gaga did this, we’d yawn. But when one of the indie-est of bands, the kind who like to release videos in which they aren’t really in them, release something like this, it’s bound to attract attention.

Because of the context we place on Thom and Radiohead. Without that context, its a nothing video. With that context, the web world will talk about it all day. Which is good because their new album is coming out today (or tomorrow, depending on who you know online).