So, the couple of songs I can’t stop car dancing to this summer are Blurred Lines (Robin Thicke) and Get Lucky (Daft Punk)–oh, and Treasure (Bruno Mars). Because they all sound like Chic and Michael Jackson had a baby, and that baby makes me want to bounce.
If you keep up with such things, you know that Blurred Lines has created a controversy. Several have accused the song of having rape-y lyrics, and the video has outraged a good many as objectifying women. While I don’t find the lyrics at all rape-y, I find the video so blatantly try-hard that I can’t do much more than roll my eyes at it.
Here’s the thing: Yes, the video clearly objectifies women, if only because you could replace the women with inflatible dolls and get the same result. But the video so clearly objectifies women that it comes all the way back around to being not about women at all. It’s not even sexy. It’s…dumb. Dumb in that it is so contrived that it doesn’t speak to anything at all. Why spend your anger on it when there are so many other truly vile videos out there?
Robin Thicke would like you to believe that his song is empowering to women, and that it is a feminist movement of its own because he tells the woman he addresses in the lyrics, “That man is not your maker.” God bless him. I’ll bet he thinks telling the oppressed, “You should not be oppressed,” is a revolution. I feel like his feminist movement is on par with the Chick-Fil-A cows’ Eat Mor Chiken campaign. Why spend your anger on him when there are so many truly vile musicians out there?
I’m not giving Thicke a free pass by any means. He’s that slick, good looking guy who has always gotten the girl, who tells the girls he can’t get that he didn’t really want them anyway. He’s kind of a hack, but a hack with enough talent that you can overlook him–notice I didn’t say forgive him. He’s not even worth forgiving. He’s barely worth noticing. He’s not harmless because he cannot harm. He’s harmless because he’s gormless.
Let’s be more offended by Justin Timberlake’s song Mirrors–because he only thinks his woman is worthwhile because she reflects him back to himself, and oh holy hell is THAT not offensive?! “I love you because there is not enough of you to cast a shadow on the awesomeness that is me.” “I love you because you are blank.” “I love you because you exist only within the confines of how great you make me feel about myself.” Those are some messages girls could do without.
But pop music isn’t supposed to be serious. That’s why there is a market for Mumford & Sons and Ed Sheerhan.
Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and sometimes a good dance beat is just a good dance beat.