What is meant by ‘whole’?
If we can meaningfully talk about “One” by Metallica as a phenomenon then it can be either for entertainment or for disseminating a message, but not both. If, on the other hand, “One” is reducible to a bundle of smaller parts then it is not a whole in a meaningful sense.
This is a discrimination between two concepts of whole which are derivative of two different methodologies: (1) to be whole yet reducible to the pieces of which it is constituted, and (2) to be whole that is distinct from its parts, which implies singularity. Commentaries A and B discuss the video “One” as a whole in the latter sense.
Lack of clarity
The different commentaries concerning “One” are evidence of the unique understandings of “One” that each person has, if you need evidence. But it also demonstrates a lack of clarity in the work of Metallica. The ambiguity that overshadows “One” lends it to diverse conceptualizations (entertainment or anti-war politics). This is unfortunate and common among bands today.
If you consider yourself an artist, then hold your artworks to a higher standard; if you consider yourself a politician, then hold your political work to a higher standard; if you consider yourself a businessman then hold your business work to a higher standard. The lack of clarity in Metallica’s work exhibits a failure in this regard. A lack of clarity in someone’s work is ultimately their failure to be responsible for the other person as the viewer, reader, spectator, etc.
“One” by Metallica: entertainment or anti-war? The question has not been raised in an effort to come to a definitive answer for anyone. Rather, the question has provided an opportunity for the reader and author to come to their own answer, and then after the fact, to reflect on their justifications for their answers and the methods by which they arrived at their answers.
Significance of the whole, for man
In this series of articles, much attention has been given to the conceptualizations of “One” and the implications that follow. This is because, as it was stated in the Preface to these articles, this is an attempt to go beyond a common understanding of a music video in order to apperceive the video properly and concretely. A proper understanding of a video concerns what the video is for man; as a thing dependent on him. Concretely understood, a video stands within a system of relation that allow for its differentiation and its intelligibility based on these differences.
These differences arise within language and present for us the video. Language is that within which a video not only becomes, but becomes meaningful.