After an innocuous beginning documenting the honey harvesting process, the honey itself is followed (Slacker style) into a supermarket, then a den of iniquity where it is used as a prop for a porn film, and finally a teen skater’s bedroom where the empty bear-shaped squeeze-bottle is fashioned into a bong. Waste not, want not. The first thing we notice in this parody of educational television is the detached monotone voice-over of a young girl overlaid with a relaxing Bossanova soundtrack. Perhaps this style of audio hypnotism is used in actual Sesame Street segments to lull children into a receptive state, and here it is effective in demonstrating a filmmaker’s power to use sound and image to very different effects. In this case, the deadpan soundtrack attempts an illusion. It assures us that what is happening on the screen is right and good and under control. What takes place on the screen will naturally be offensive to some. However, the sequences that might create feelings of alarm or discomfort in viewers are not reinforced by a soundtrack that bathes the viewer in realism and closely matches the visuals. This imagery speaks for itself and the viewer is invited to participate as a non-judgmental observer. Film theorists who are intrigued by this technique might be put off by Lincoln’s choice to devote such a large percentage of the screen time to close-ups of the porn actress’ sweet a*s as it is smeared with honey and then wiped clean.
The final segment featuring the creative teenage pot smokers does seem a bit rushed as a result, but I’m sure that many others will have no problem with this decision. I do find fault with the decision to add a hardcore punk track to the end credits. The film is sufficiently subversive as it stands and the jarring intrusion of fast music only makes it feel like Lincoln is retelling the punch-line after we’ve already got the joke.