time to change the way we view music and the arts

Self explanatory?

There are some things in life that seem like “no-brainers.” Things that shouldn’t, by population majority standards, require any thinking in order to draw an expected conclusion. Of course, with every supposed rule, there is an exception. Maybe the obvious isn’t so obvious and it comes off as condescending to assume someone outside of yourself should automatically know what’s what.

Let’s play a game of word association -or in this case, it’s not really a word. work with me here.


okay, what was the first thing that came to your mind?
Here’s where I say maybe it’s a “no brainer” and maybe it’s not.

Sex and Masochism.

Rihanna’s newest video, which I’ll only post here so people know what I’m talking about, features “sexually charged imagery” as described by Matsukas. With that kind of forewarned design, it isn’t surprising that the harsher end of the critic spectrum clamped down and banned the video in at least 11 countries and YouTube has put an 18+ restriction on the video since it’s web premiere on the 1st.

Melina Matsukas, the director to Dance-Pop artist Rihanna’s newest music video, would be of the camp that the one association should definitely be above others and has a certain “No, REALLY?” air about that camp.

“I mean, the song is called ‘S&M’! So I think that the imagery follows suit with what the song is. I wouldn’t play down the imagery for a song that’s so strong. It makes sense to develop it further and really take it there. So if they don’t want to play it, [fans] can watch it somewhere else.”

While, as a director, Matsukas has a certain vision in mind and certain objective for the reaction she wants to evoke, and while the awareness of the song’s title does match with the video’s depicted imagery, I simply see these kinds of ‘artistic’ choices for lyric construction and song message as another tally in the count of pop-music moves that absolutely lack decorum. Sure, I could spur up an entire debate if I was forced to defend both sides, as to how interpretation and Rihanna’s unspoken or spoken motives for the song/video might be considered dignified or justified, rather. Having no opportunity to have an in-depth, one on one talk with Rihanna though, all we’re left with is what the press chooses to release and our own intake of face value. That said, I only pause to wonder how much fodder this new creation of the pop-world makes; subsequently ‘helping’ to perpetuate the “lower taste/value” stigma of not only pop-song writing but the rest of the associated elements to a pop artist. These connected pieces continue to tread alongside other styles or musical perceptions that (in lieu of material like this) almost undeniably display a more broadly appreciated panache.

Lack of ability to devote endless time and energy to fully comprehend another’s purposes and intentions unfortunately makes the argument of “If you could just take the time to understand where it’s coming from” much less effective. That’s often times why analysis of a very specific subject matter is usually by default, limited to those intentionally looking for it.

Thing is, I’m wanting to eventually earn a Ph.D. but I’m defeating my own eventual possible future with the reality of most doctoral writing…. If I’m grossly misconceiving the higher ups of higher education, feel free to call me out.

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