Sunday, September 12, 2010

To All Those Who "Love the Way It Hurts"

Dear "Catchy" Eminem Song,

It seems to be the "song of the summer." Eminem "Love the Way You Lie Feat. Rihanna" has been atop the Top 40 Countdown and blaring from people's cars. However, have you ever really stopped to listen to what he is saying or watch the video? I have many problems with the so called "reformed" Eminem and although I don't really care how many times he calls Elton John a day to talk about his deep seeded issues or discuss the problems in Pakistan, Eminem's social commentary has moved from the gay community and onto the women and domestic violence. When does a song stop being just a song? More importantly, watch for yourself and see (If you need a clue, it's right about the time Eminem says he's going to trap his woman in the house before she leaves him again and BURN it down):

I don't know what is worse: The fact that Eminem uses Megan Fox (a clearly sexualized symbol used by the male community and seen on many posters on boys (and girls) walls) and "that" guy from Lost to depict a couple struggling with domestic abuse, trust issues, anger, or depression or the fact that all of these SERIOUS problems can be solved by the fact that the girl secretly loves it and it all can be solved by CRAZY, BOTTLE BREAKING SEX against a wall?

What is "visual culture" now if we look at it through this particular music video? Who has the power? and more specifically, who is watching whom? People all over the world suffering from these exact issues are not empower that Eminem and Rihanna have made a song that clearly categorizes their problems into neat, sexually attractive problems. People suffering from domestic abuse and sever anger issues in relationships are the victims of a culture that has depicted their problems as so easily solvable. Just "fuck it out" as I believe Eminem would say or simply "watch me burn because I like the way it hurts."

Eminem presents culture with a new way to look at the power struggle of between the victim and the abuser because he throws the entire system into chaos. No one has power in this music video. The abuser cannot live without the girl (and he's willing to break some bottles over people's heads to prove it) and the girl likes the abuse and loves the way it "burns." Where's the power? What is power in a relationship that is clearly bent on the possession of it? Eminem, the magical lyricster of Detroit, take power out of the equation completely because even the viewer of this video cannot find the power within it for they too are then seeing a mirror into their own life or the life of someone they know of. The issue of domestic violence is the ultimate "7 Degrees of Separation" and not something to be into a lyrical ballad sung by tweens around the world who could possibly suffer the same fate one day.....

....But hey, remember, Rihanna,the girl who was also beat by her boyfriend Chris Brown, sums up the major problem with the misogyny present in this video: She likes it.