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Blurred Lines, Clear Karma (You Know You Want It)

I believe in Karma.  I believe that what you put out into the world, good or bad, comes back to you. That's why I'm not surprised at the recent turn of events in the lawsuit about Robin Thicke's 2013 summer anthem, "Blurred Lines."

"Blurred Lines" re-created the same dilemma that any free-thinking and music-loving feminist faces:  Loving the beat and the melody, but hating the words and, in this case, the video.  Sure, we've all seen videos where women were nothing but sexual foils to the male artists in the video, but there was something creepy about the video, especially the topless version.  Sure, Robert Palmer's "Addicted to Love" video made the women in it look like vacuous dolls, but this video made the women in it look like vacuous inflatable sex dolls.  I'm not a big Robin Thicke fan, but somehow I expected more from the "Lost Without You" crooner.  Before, he sang songs about loving women, while "Blurred Lines" smacked of undertones of grooming a woman for sexual exploitation like a privileged college frat boy rapist would.  The graffiti in the video that read, "Robin Thicke has a big d***" was juvenile and over the top.  Clearly no one cared about the sexism in the song and the effect it might have on young people.  Sexism sells.

In their depositions in the copyright infringement suit against the children of Marvin Gaye, both Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams admitted that Thicke did not contribute to writing the song.  Thicke admitted he lied about helping to write the song in order to sell more records.  He also admitted he didn't do a single interview sober in the aftermath of "Blurred Lines" and the MTV Video Awards twerking incident with the tasteless and boundary-lacking Miley Cyrus.

Here's where Karma comes in.

"Blurred Lines" led to a media blitz, a twerking scandal, and a picture with Thicke's hand planted firmly in the crack of the ass of a woman not his wife.  His wife, the stunningly beautiful Paula Patton (notice Thicke didn't have her running around topless in the video in front of Pharrell and T.I.), leaves him, and despite doing an album in her honor and naming it for her, the album fails and he fails to get her back.  He disrespected women and lost the woman he respected.  Karma.

Pharrell also got a bit of a Karma bite back.  The song for which he was nominated for an Oscar, "Happy," loses to "Let It Go."  It isn't often that a music artist gets nominated for an Oscar.  Is it a coincidence that he lost in the wake of all the "Blurred Lines" fallout?  I don't think so.

Sure, you can put your art out there and not take responsibility for it.  You can pass it off as just expression and, well, art.  Just because you don't take responsibility for your work doesn't mean that Karma won't hold you responsible in some form or another.  And maybe, just maybe, Thicke's behavior was a cry for help for his drug and alcohol dependence issues.  Maybe he really wanted what Karma was handing out.

Blurred lines, clear Karma. 

You know you want it.


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