Monday, August 26, 2013

Robin Thicke Is a Huge D***, & The Mystery of TwerkBoxing

The front page of nearly every internet “news”site was about Miley Cyrus twerking and singing with Robin Thicke at the 30th Annual MTV VMA Awards. So Newsflash: Young woman singer showed her ass at an MTV award show. The only things that’s newsworthy about this is that MTV actually played music. This is the only article about the VMA Awards and Miley Cyrus that you need to read: Let Me Explain Why Miley Cyrus’ VMA Performance Was Our Top Stroy This Morning. On to a more honed point...

Yes, Miley Cyrus did a provocative performance at an award show. It was a bit garrish, gaudy, definitely not classy, but how is that different from pretty much every other music video that has a woman in it (Yes, music videos still exist)? What do you expect from a woman who made a video of herself twerking in a unicorn costume, and then went on to make a slightly racially offensive video that was supposed to be an homage to her newly found beloved “black culture”? Let’s put things in perspective: Miley Cyrus is only 21. Given that she lived a very privileged life and my experience with spoiled rich girls, I’d wager she’s emotionally only 17-18. Sorry, underage reader, but teenagers are idiots. I know, because I was once a teenager, and I was a damn moron, as were all my friends. It’s just the way it is. She made some pretty bad choices trying to emulate something that she admired. I am not excusing her terrible video, or her words or actions. However, she is receiving a lot of negative press from all angles, from the “legitimate” news sites to opinion blogs. Even some feminist sites are participating in the gratuitous slut-shaming. Aside from a few jokes, the ridiculous slut-shaming is well un-deserved. Now on to her duet partner…

Robin Thicke has a pretty successful singing career. I first seeing him overseas on a channel that actually plays music. He was singing over a jazzed up version of Betthoven’s 5th. The song was campy, but dude had skills. I thought, “Man, Shaggy got some skills after he put down the joints and stopped talking to that great dane.” At 36, he’s had 6 full-length albums, most of which were pretty well done. He had a formula, they had some pretty good production, and they sold pretty well. This year though, he made a song and album called “Blurred Lines”, which was a HIT! (Not linking the video. Google it.) It’s the song of the summer! You cannot escape it! You will fart out the tune if you eat enough beans and glitter. It’s at the top of the charts, and critics love it. Why is it so popular? well the production was inspired by Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up”. Thicke personally stated this months ago. Oh, also there are a bunch of women in the video who are bare naked but for flesh-tone coloured g-strings. That always sells.

There have been a few articles about this video and song, which pretty much complains about the burden of sexual consent. “Ooh these blurred lines! Why can’t I just take what i want?” Because that would be rape. That’s why. “Oh, but I’m such a good guy, so I’m going to respect you saying no...BUT THESE BLURRED LINES!!!” The song is essentially about attempted rape and BS “nice guy syndrome”. The video hits that point hard. All the dudes are clothed, and all the women are not. Don’t get me wrong; I love seeing nude women, but come one! how about some parity here? Of what is Thicke ashamed? He can inflate a bunch of balloons announcing his physical prowess. F***in’ show and prove for the ladies! Objectify yourself.

Thicke tries to defend the song and video by stating that the director was a woman, and all the male performers are married with children, so it’s totally ok, right? Except in an interview, he actually said that it was a pleasure to degrade women, you know, to show how ridiculous it is. Who better than a feminist to do something sexist? Right, like how the NAACP puts on a live production of “Birth of a Nation”, just to show how ridiculous racism is. Or how Texas makes mockery of sexism by making oppressive reproductive rights laws...ohhhh…

Well, just to see if he could get everyone to hate him, Robin Thicke sued the Marvin Gaye estate to establish that “Blurred Lines” didn’t sound anything like “Got to Give It Up”. He stated that he has nothing but respect for the Gaye family and Marvin Gaye’s work, but he needed to protect himself, even though he said that the song was inspired by Gaye’s hit from the 1970s. So remember kids: If you really love your musical idols, copy their songs, and then sue the f*** out of them.

So to be clear, Miley Cyrus, a 21-year old who makes bad decisions, does what everyone is expected to do at an award performance: do some outrageously provocative stuff. For that, she gets front page slut-shaming criticism. Meanwhile, her live performance partner makes a song about attempted rape, admits to wanting to degrade women in the video, takes the production from one of his idols, and finally sues the idol, yet his part in the performance is hardly mention, but for that weird Beetlejuice suit. His next song should be named “Double Standard”.

Robin Thicke is a huge d***.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Russian to Judgement: Gay Jesse Owens.

I’ve been seeing a lot of twitter trends regarding boycotting all things Russian, including the Winter Olympics, primarily because of their new anti-gay law, which essentially makes it illegal to be gay. It’s similar to the proposed Uganda law, except without the murder clause. Just so you know, their laws are not much unlike the Briggs Initiative or any of the hate campaigns Anita Bryant ran throughout the 1970s, so we ‘Mericans don’t really have any place to look down on anyone.

The power of the boycott can be strong, as long as it is targeted properly. I love Dan Savage, but the idea of boycotting Stolichnaya vodka is kind of silly. For one, it isn’t even made in Russia anymore. It’s made in Latvia. Also, Stoli is a private company, not a state-run one. Successfully boycotting Stolichnaya would do nothing more than put a private firm out of business. Had the CEO of Stoli said something bigoted, then yes, not financially supporting their products would definitely be something I’d do, but the CEO himself wrote an open letter to everyone, emphasising his company’s fervent support of LGBT rights and efforts. He even went so far as to donate money to an unspecified group in Russia that is fighting for LGBT rights.

Boycotting the Olympics JUST might hit Russia where it hurts. They have already established that they will enforce the law for everyone, including visitors. The only way, however, that a boycott of the Olympics would work is if over half of the nations that attend and participate in the Olympics withdrew their support. I highly doubt that would happen. Nations can’t even agree on whether the USA is the den of Satan or actually the Great Satan! How would we get a huge percentage of nations to agree to walk away? Even the IOC strongly suggested that participants follow the laws of Russia, and essentially hop off the plane and into the closet. I think that kind of sucks, but I also think there’s a better way to handle this whole thing.

For spectators, perhaps turning off the TV or not travelling to Russia for the games might put a dent in profits. A statement is a statement. I highly doubt it would hurt Russia too much, since not many countries seem to want to boycott. Besides, boycotting the Olympics would mean boycotting any sponsor as well, so you’d basically have to starve yourself and go naked in a forest during Olympic season, since EVERYONE sponsors the Olympics

Here’s a thought: Remember 1936? Probably not, because old people think that the internet is the devil, so they’re not reading this. Well in 1936, Berlin was the Olympic host. Adolf Hitler thought that the games would be a triumph of the Aryans, showing how superior they are to everyone else. Jesse Owens won 4 gold medals and broke (I believe) 2 world records in Berlin, completely punching a gaping hole in the Hitler’s idea of Aryan racial superiority. As he walked back to his dorm, which was right in the path of Hitler’s viewing booth, he didn’t flip off Hitler; he waved at him, and Adolf waved back, albeit begrudgingly. It wasn’t until he got back the the US that he got snubbed by a head of state. First FDR, and then Truman after him.

We need a gay Jesse Owens. I’m sure there is a plethora of LGBT athletes. They should play their hearts out. They should break records. They should win more gold than any other athlete, regardless of country of origin. If they should pass by Putin, they should just wave. When they get back home, they should flaunt their winnings, and seeing that it is 2013, I’m sure they’ll not get snubbed by their own heads of state. That would send a message to Putin more than one or two countries boycotting the Olympics.

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