Reason Why I no Longer want to Live in This World Number 11,316: Entertainment has become awful. The lowest common denominator seems to be the target audience of every aspect of pop culture. When I go to a movie, people in the audience are cell-phoning and talking to the big people on the screen. Pop music is either an auto-tuned diva or an electronic backbeat accompanied by grunts and profanity. Now some song called "Blurred Lines," has been top of the charts all summer. Curious about the popularity, I made an investigation.
I had never heard of this song before, and I couldn't understand a syllable of the lyrics, so I looked them up on this newfangled Interweb. The lyrics, if you can call them such, express a fundamental disrespect for women in general, romanticize adultery in particular, and the underlying theme is that just because you want to sleep with someone, by golly, you should be able to no matter their relationship status. And the way to get a good girl is to talk to her like you're both in junior high school. Respect? Rapport? Geddouddahere. Call her a b***h and brag about your sexual prowess. That'll win her over every time.
The creaky geezers on the Today Show have been flogging this 'earworm' to death, because, you know, Matt Laurer and Al Roker are hip and with it. I imagine them shaking their calcified hips to the admittedly-catchy retro rhythm just before bedtime and right after their bowl of Fiber One, and Matt singing to his lady to back that fine a** up to him. In my mind's-eye madness, I further see Matt's lady packing her bag to go stay with Oprah for a few days. And wow--even as I write this, Robin Thicke is on the Today show. The geriatric Bad Girls of television, Hoda and Kathy Lee, are hanging on the edge of the stage. Blurred Lines, indeed. These two have blurred the line between decency and common sense.
When asked about the controversy, Thicke replied he just wanted to make a funny song to get people on the dance floor. He says the song respects women because the line "That man ain't your maker" is a feminist line. No it isn't--it's a come-on line. Even back in the winsome 80's horny guys were saying "That man ain't your husband, girl. He don't own you." And many women, especially those in relationships that were going through a rough patch, fell for it.
I have never been a chap who hung out in clubs or bars (even though I've performed in more than I can count) and never even considered a relationship with someone you would meet in a club or bar. I am, I've realized in my own middle-age--a prude. I've never had any interest in sex as recreation or just-for-fun. The most intimate physical interaction possible between man and woman should be an affirmation of love. Anything less seems to me too much trouble, not to mention a depressing waste of time and energy. However, another reason I've always felt I was born in the wrong place and time is that at fifty-something, I have encountered very few people who share this attitude. Most guys I know would have sex with a hole in the wall if they thought nobody was looking.
People go to bars and clubs to drink and get laid, so probably Robin Thicke is preaching to an already-converted choir. Perhaps no more than a funny dance song, harmless, except all my life I've heard people derive their life's philosophy from pop songs. In fact, as a person who makes his precarious living in show business, my personal favorite is "If you ever get annoyed, look at me I'm self-employed. I love to work at nothing all day." So will 'good girls' invite aggressive sexual overtures, and will testosterone-fueled men approach attached women with promises of mind-blowing sex with their titanic tool? Judging from the popularity of this song--Yes. This song has tapped into the zeitgeist.
When famous people advocate a thing, it makes it okay for us to do it too. The rise of Buddhism in this country owes in large part the high-profile Hollywood Buddhists, and fashion styles are quite often spearheaded by celebrities. But aggressive sexual advances toward another guy's woman isn't a passing spiritual trend. It's an affront to decency. Some lines aren't meant to be blurred, like the line between organ meats and ice cream. You're either committed to someone or you're not, and if you're not, it's time to get out of the relationship. A lesson I learned in my youth is that actions have consequences. Accountability is important and we have to accept the consequences of our actions. If some jerk were to speak to my beautiful woman like the guy in Blurred Lines, I would rip his trachea out.
Then make him sit through Madama Butterfly a few times.