I haven’t been able to blog for the past two/three months as I am now back in college, spending my days loathing all of my professors for being uberly under-qualified (none of them have doctorates in English or otherwise). But that is not the issue I wish to address here. Nay, that does not even bother me as much as this: the controversial “rape” messages surrounding Robin Thicke’s summer extravaganza “Blurred Lines”.
I was so bothered by this that I couldn’t sleep last night for almost an hour just thinking about what I would type out when I awoke in the morning. I even wrote a rage-filled message to my friend Apple just yesterday because I felt like no one would listen to what I had to say about the song seeing as all of my female friends in college are quite feministic.
I have only recently gotten into the song “Blurred Lines”. It must have been this past weekend. That may sound like shocking news but I like to let music – that is, pop music that seems to play on repeat EVERYWHERE – simmer down a little before I really grab hold onto it. This past Wednesday, I read a post shared by one of my friends: HERE. I don’t know if you’ve been living under a rock but the issue of rape and consensual sex has been recently raised by countless number of people all over the world. I could name a few examples but that is not my point. My point is, my whole good-vibes about “Blurred Lines” vanished from the moment I read this. I was disgusted to even listen to the song, not because I was disgusted by the so-called “message” of the song, but by the fact that my obsession hadn’t run its full course and I felt betrayed by the world for ruining my moment.
Since I love making bullet points and lists because it just easily maps everything out for me, I am now going to run you through the reasons why I am not okay with this complete ruination of my cloud-nine moment with “Blurred Lines”:
1) I already had a preconceived notion of what’s been going around, that no one should listen to “Blurred Lines” because of its pro-rape message so I knew going in to my obsession, not to take heed to the lyrics (also, I have never watched the music video of the song itself but rather have relied on the song’s debut performance on The Voice and The Graham Norton Show so you can tell we had a little bit of history). NOT in the sense that I already knew the lyrics and therefore chose to ignore what could possibly be “implied” (I have put that in quotations because this is an issue I have with MANY MANY things in the world) but in the sense that in my mind, I kept mumbling the words and distorting them so I honestly didn’t know the words by choice. So that’s one thing ruined.
2) Secondly, this “implication” maddens me to the depths of hell’s fury; after all, assuming makes an ass of you and me. Do you honestly think someone in their right mind would purposefully and knowingly write a song about rape? And for that matter, someone like Robin Thicke who has a beautiful son with his even more gorgeous wife Paula Patton? If we want to blame the composers of this song for anything it’s that they speak of promiscuity and nothing else. All other “rape” “implications” have been projections made by individuals who are completely disappointed by the crappy thing we call society. The closest thing to an implication of rape would be a mere Freudian slip and, ladies and gentlemen, psychology is not 100% just like astronomy is horse shit.
3) We are currently studying the Wife of Bath’s Tale from “The Canterbury Tales” by Chaucer and today we came across a passage that totally fueled my argument. This is in her prologue where she says: “He spak more harm than herte may bithinke/And therwithal he knew of mo proverbes/Than in this world ther growen gras or herbes.” This is the part of the prologue where the wife of Bath’s 5th husband reads out of his Book of Wicked Wives in order to somehow tame his lecherous wife. The point is, I don’t understand why people have to dwell so much on the negative, so very much, to the point that they almost fetishize the horrible deeds done by horrible men and women. Yes, I said fetishize. I understand that some people need the shock, that some people will never get the message without a little punch but what does that say about the world that we dwell on such miserable topics? Someone I know who is an avid animal lover keeps sharing morbid pictures of physically abused pets on Facebook that I sometimes wonder if she likes the pain. Yes, you are trying to help but that is why we have freewill. I can’t stand people who complain and complain and do nothing to change their situation when they know they have a choice. Like my pops who complains about how much food my mom gives him for lunch: JUST CONTROL YOUR PORTIONS DAMMIT!
4) There’s the whole misogyny of it all, or rather anti-misogyny. Why is it that when a man sings about sex and whatnot that there is this whole shit storm of feminists that follow close behind like a cloud of locusts? Why is it okay for women to sing about promiscuity and it being translated into female empowerment? Isn’t sexism twofold? Have feminists forgotten about their very own demeaning stance on men? Sure you may say feminism is about equality of sexes but I’m just implying that it isn’t. Am I wrong to “imply” such a thing? I don’t see why not.
5) In that case, combining my points made in 2 and 4, let’s analyze any song that comes to mind. Let’s start with the obvious ones. Selena Gomez’s “Come And Get It” is a sultry song about a woman writhing in the agony of waiting for her lover to ‘come and get it’ and could also be about an ‘easy-target’ sort of woman who is telling any and all men that she is an open house. Rihanna’s “Rude Boy” is obviously about being in an abusive relationship and enjoying it. Where’s the harm in that if she likes it right? One Direction’s “Live While We’re Young” is about a group of young men seeking out potential sexual partners while they are still rampant and potent, obviously about gang rape. Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend” is about a man who wants to ‘swag’ on you. No need for any further explanation. Taylor Swift’s “22” is about a girl who craves company to point where she desires to meet someone she doesn’t know but she “bets you want to”. She is blatantly considering a life of promiscuity with anyone she doesn’t know, duh! Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” is about an insecure woman who has just had the only sexual experience she will ever have in her life, possibly by the friendly and extremely creepy old guy living next door, and wants him to desperately do her again. I could go on but I think I’ve scarred most of you enough. Now you know how I feel, now you know how upsetting it is to have a great song ruined just because of some “implications”.
6) The last point I am going to make is that “Blurred Lines” is not some piece of exquisite propagandist poetry which we can compare to Yeats or Browning or Plath. It is just a song that a bunch of people wrote to make millions and millions of dollars, but besides this, it is just a song that a bunch of people wrote for the enjoyment of certain individuals (obviously excluding hardcore feminists). More than this, we should concern ourselves with songs such as “Same Love” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, “Daylight” by Maroon 5 and “There’s No Going Back” by Sick Puppies to name a few contemporary ones. Why do such, I hate to say it but, useless songs come under the radar of people who work for important causes against societal problems? You’re just taking the easy way out and projecting your hatred onto something so dismal. Don’t create controversy over a peace of steaming poop.
Protecting the next generation of music lovers and individuals is important but “shielding” them from these types of songs isn’t going to get you anywhere. In fact, shielding anyone from any music can only ultimately be achieved if you pour hot metal into their ears because these are organs that we possess to perceive the world and to exercise free will. We must find both the pros and the cons to everything in life not only to keep our minds sharp but to also keep the light going. If we only focus on the cons, how can we improve? After all, doesn’t improvement entail a positivity towards a better future? So, come on folks, sit back, relax and enjoy “Blurred Lines” just because you enjoy it.