A recent highly explicit music video from rappers Pharrell and T.I. Williams of their hit song, “Blurred Lines,” is a not-so-subtle endorsement of rape, and the backlash against the video, even from secular critics, has been swift.
This kind of music, says Ann Powers at NPR, “creates a space” where things like ethical codes and laws “seem to give way,” where “exploring desire [and] sensuality” are okay—even if they’re forbidden. “Blurred lines can lead to exciting new places,” she writes, “But sometimes we need to draw them, for ourselves, again.”
I couldn’t have said it better. But if history is any lesson, entertainment erases the lines we’ve drawn, changes our values, and way of life. And the idea that exploring desire and sensuality justify blurring lines has been deeply embedded in academia for a long time. Entertainment plus education is a powerful cultural force. The toxic spiral only stops when we’re willing to redraw lines. For thePointRadio.org, I’m John Stonestreet.