Whip It

LANE: Hello ma’am, I see you’re eyeing the Whip-o-Matic, nice choice! This baby’s right off the truck, and let me tell you, if you’re looking for something to fulfill all your whipping needs, you’ve come to the right place because as Devo says – if a problem comes along you must whip it, as long as you whip it with a Whip-o-Matic!

“Whip It”, a 1980 new wave song by rock band Devo, from their album Freedom of Choice. The lyrics, at first glance nonsensical, are a mocking collection of motivational cliches, in a satire on American optimism. The inspiration was apparently communist propaganda posters and the 1973 satirical novel Gravity’s Rainbow, by Thomas Pynchon. The music video plays with the idea that “Whip It” has sexual overtones.

Praised for its originality, and seen as a cornerstone of the new wave musical movement, “Whip It” was the band’s most successful song by far. It reached #14 in the US, and was most popular in Canada and New Zealand, at #11.

The cynical view of optimism revealed by “Whip It” that Lane gives voice to chimes in perfectly with Rory’s reading of Candide.

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