Sex and the media

I’m sure that by now almost everyone on the planet has seen or at least knows about the Robin Thicke/Miley Cyrus show/fiasco at the VMAs the other. There’s been a lot of backlash against both singers as a result. Personally, I don’t get it.

Did anyone really expect anything else? 1) This is MTV, the network that glorifies pregnant teenagers, and 2) These are two popular performers who work in an already sexualized media.

Personally, the whole show ran counter to my taste, and I couldn’t really care less about Cyrus, Thicke, or their music. But I understand that there’s a big portion of the country that does. I understand that in their private lives, Thicke and Cyrus are probably less than larger-than-life, and that everything they do and say in public is part of a carefully planned persona.

Because in the media, image is tantamount. And guess what? Sex sells. It always has, and it always will. People are sexual creatures, and that has always been a part of our mythology, our art, our literature, our music, and our film. And when it comes to pop entertainment, I expect it to be rife with stupidity and nonsense, because that’s the best way to pander to the broadest audience.

So what to do if you’re offended by all the sex in media? There’s a pretty simple answer: don’t be a part of it! I rarely, if EVER, preach about “personal responsibility” but this time I think it’s very appropriate. You think Miley Cyrus is out of control and a bad influence? Then don’t watch her and don’t buy her music, period.

I’ve never, ever understood how people can be so vehemently outraged by something that they willingly and voluntarily watched. YOU changed the channel to MTV, or YOU clicked the youtube link to watch the performance. End of story. MTV didn’t put a gun to your head to make you watch it; Thicke and Cyrus didn’t threaten your family if you didn’t see their performance. If something offends you, change the god damned channel or radio station.

And folks, if you’re worried about the kids, fine. I understand that. Children are impressionable, and should probably be outside climbing a tree instead of watching Miley grind all over Robin. I’m with you on that one. But here I’m going to have to blame the parents. I know that parents can’t control anything their teen sees and does once they leave the house…but you can put filters on your computer to block websites, lock channels you don’t want your kids to see, and maybe, just maybe, don’t shower them with iPods, iPhones, and iPads so that they’re constantly inundated by media. Oh, and while you’re at it, you can also teach them to value things like education, reading, and achievement instead of twerking and swag.

But please, enough with the outrage. It’s a big machine, one that you do not have to take part in. If you’re outraged over stuff like this, you have nobody to blame but yourself for watching it, and for perpetuating awareness of it with all of your rage. You can’t fight sex. People–especially those young, hormone filled teens–are always going to be fascinated by it. If you find it distasteful, that’s your opinion and I definitely respect that. Hell, I’m with you on that. But tastes change. What’s distasteful to one person is desirable to another person. There are more important things in life than being upset at characters on a screen that are laughing all the way to the bank. Take that rage and channel it into something useful, please.


2 thoughts on “Sex and the media

  1. Well said! I am not sorry that I didn’t see it. What caught my eye was on MSN when I went to check my email, the look on the faces of Will Smith’s family- they were subjected to that up close- probably have nightmares now.

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