Why does it seem the longer we live, the crasser the world around us becomes? Language degrades into cursing every other word and sportsmanship on the basketball court, gridiron and baseball diamond become all about who can be the loudest, and not who is really the best team player.
The greatest crevasse in the modern world of crass is found in the entertainment business. Decades ago, we had quieter movies and songs and other Art that challenged our thinking and emotion; while today, we are “bonked” over the head with obviousness and bad taste and the resurrection of outright misogyny masquerading as a music video. Nothing is left to imagination. It’s all obvious, bad taste.
We need look no further for evidence of this modern lack of class and subtlety and human civility than the “Bare Bouncing Boobies” video for Robin Thicke’s smash summer hit, “Blurred Lines” — that you may, or may not, be able to watch on YouTube unless you confirm you’re older than 13-years-old.
Are we really so fascinated by “following the bouncing boobies” that we get a thrill watching beautiful topless women prancing around a video? And yes, unfortunately, these women are actually… prancing.
Must we have to have the crassness of it all spelled out for us? The Thicke “bonk” answer is also, “yes” as evidenced in the balloon words tirelessly taped to the video wall.
Let’s flashback 27 years to 1986 for a looksee at Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love” video that set young male hearts afire and led to the female rediscovery of the “Little Black Dress” as a fashion icon and music video accessory:
When that Palmer video hit MTV, people were astounded how sexy a music video could be with just synchronized swaying, makeup, and guitars and dresses.
It didn’t matter the women weren’t really musicians — the only thing that mattered was that they were the stars of the video, while Robert remained the star of the song — a perfect mix of subtle sensuality and authentic talent.
A lot of guys I knew admired Robert Palmer. He was “the coolest guy in show business” because he knew how to move and groove a song surrounded by immense icons of beauty. He set a music video standard of excellence that has endured almost 30 years — until Robin Thicke came afoot with a pale imitation.
I wonder if there is the same sort of admiration and reverence for Robin Thicke today? Is he perceived as an iconic pillar or merely the next faux-talent to be pilloried in the common consciousness as soon as his 15 minutes are faded?
What will the next 27 years bring us in the entertaining realm of the non-subtle crassness? Full-on sexual penetration in the mainstream media as the ordinary matter of the day?
Then what will the next 27 years bring? Torture? Live murder in the public square?
Are we expanding our morality as a society, or are we slowly making the indiscriminate turn in a never-ending circle that leads us straight back to the hangman’s noose on display as both behavioristic codicil and cruel entertainment in the cobblestone streets?