Blurred Lines

June 11, 2013 

Megan Richardson was so mad she could spit. The source of her anger was Scott Sloan and his unabashed enthusiasm for "naked young girls."

Scott is the midday host on 50,000 watt powerhouse WLW — throughout the years Cincinnati's most listened-to radio station.

I was in Cincinnati last weekend for our grandson William's high school graduation.

William, an Eagle Scout, is headed for Ohio University in the fall where he has entered an ROTC program in preparation for extended military service following college. When he rose with other similarly pledged classmates during formal commencement ceremonies to indicate his commitment, I was filled with pride. It wasn't that long ago I carried him on my shoulders as he laughed and pulled my hair.

Joining daughter Colleen and son-in-law Lindsey Pyron (William's mom and dad) with us in Cincinnati for William's happy occasion were our three other daughters — Laurie from Nashville, Candace of Detroit and Susan from right here in Oakhurst — all of the preceding accompanied by their own families.

It was the first time in six years all of us were together. Eleven grandchildren aside, I was the only non-Republican in the bunch. Spirited political discussion is never excluded from our conversations, but we truly love each other. The joy of reunion always takes unchallenged precedence over all else whenever and wherever we meet.

WLW is owned by Clear Channel, a media giant offering extraordinary conservative programming, including syndication rights to Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin and others of that ilk. In fact, WLW's primary coverage area, a combination of Southern Ohio, Eastern Indiana and Northern Kentucky counties, is about as conservative an area as you'd ever hope to find this side of Ho Chi Mien City. That's why Scott Sloan's live interview with Megan Richardson of the "International Womens' Council" struck me as hugely entertaining and spectacularly unique.

It also illustrated a particularly pertinent point. Against every principled position — An opposite usually exists. For genuinely sharp focus on any subject, we are decidely dulled without debate. In the search for truth, black and white sometimes join and merge to gray. Clarity often waits only behind blurred lines.

And it was "Blurred Lines" that was driving Richardson nuttier than a pound of pecans on Sloan's WLW show.

"Blurred Lines" is an R&B/Hip-Hop smash here and overseas. Robin Thicke (Alan's kid) is the recording artist, accompanied by American rapper T.I. and singer/producer Pharrell. It is No. 1 in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland and the Netherlands and listed among the Top Ten in Belgium, Denmark, France, Portugal, Switzerland and here in the states. But in Megan's view it's not the song that's wrong — It's that "disgusting video."

In the visual presentation we see Thicke, T.I. and Pharrell casually standing around appearing almost oblivious to topless models Emily Ratajkowski, Jessi M'Bengue and Ell Evans prancing about in wild, provocative frolic — Almost ignored by the targets of their seduction. You almost get the impression the guys would rather be at a ballpark. Since the topless part of the piece and certain suspect gestures violate YouTube's terms of service, they keep taking it down, then someone puts it back up. Make no mistake. This is for mature viewers only. Ask your teen.

Richardson's talking points were the usual "we're all going to hell in a hand basket" rap, mixed with outrage at Sloan's insistence that she's completely missing the fact that "lurred Lines" graphically presents an excellent "learning opportunity" to teach his own daughter about reactionary rhetoric, exploitive sex and media manipulation. While I initially suspected Scott was brilliantly baiting Megan, I eventually came to conclude he was honestly being truthful in his general assessment and summary dismissal of Ms. Richardson's novice naivete.

My own perspective is that both the song and video are pretty cool, though admittedly hotter than your average bare. The "Blurred Lines" video was produced and directed by Diane Martel.

Watching kids go hungry is obscene.

As is ignorance, intolerance, stupidity and war.

Not bouncy breasts.

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