Scandal, Sex & Syria…..Really???

controversy sex and syria

By Kenneth Justice

~Over the past couple weeks the various NEWS rags have been publishing numerous articles on singer Miley Cyrus and her allegedly ‘sexually scandalous’ MTV performance and singer Robin Thicke’s new ‘controversial’ music video which features nude women dancing all around him suggestively.

Really??? This is what connotes ‘scandal’ and ‘controversy’ in Western Culture these days? Since when did it become unusual to see singers, entertainers, and performers using sexually explicit lyrics, dance moves, or outright nudity to gain popularity for themselves and their music?

What am I missing? Why are NEWS sources like Huffington Post, BBC News, and others using terms like ‘scandalous’ and ‘controversial’ to describe what has become totally commonplace in our culture?

Let’s be honest; Huffington Post and BBC News are using those tag lines for the exact same reasons that performers like Robin Thicke and Miley Cyrus use sex and nudity; to get noticed! It’s all about exposure. A sad truth that many of us know about the journalism business is that is just isn’t very profitable. Many journalists refer to journalism as a ‘rich dude’s hobby’. Owning a newspaper just isn’t as profitable as you might think. UK’s The Guardian, the New York Post, the Times of London are all MAJOR newspapers that LOSE money.

Thus, if you are the editor running a major NEWS rag the temptation to use salacious headlines like ‘scandalous’ and ‘controversial’ is pretty big since you know that you’re just not getting enough readers who are willing to spend their money to help you pay for the monthly electric bill.

What also strikes me as odd is the regular people, men and women like you and me….who get shocked when someone like Miley dances suggestively on television or someone like Robin Thicke hires women to dance nude for him. Inevitably, various conservative religious groups will release press statements of outrage regarding the ‘shocking behavior’ by celebrities…. (Remember Janet Jackson?) The day after the VMA Miley Cryus performance a local Christian radio host here in my city spent 15 minutes ranting against what she did.

Why are people surprised when things like that happen? Where are you living…..next to a penguin in Antarctica?

In every major city across the United States and Europe there are strip clubs where women dance naked for suburban men (married and single men, atheist and Christian) so why does it shock you when celebrities leak sex tapes (like Kim Kardashian or Paris Hilton) or doing something nutty on a live show? Hasn’t this become normal for our culture? Aren’t our countries driven by things of a sexual nature?

Can anything really shock us anymore? I mean consider the fact that two of the United States congressmen who were the most vocal anti-war protesters of my lifetime, Barack Obama and John Kerry, are now the very two men leading the charge to go to war against Syria!

I’ll tell you what would shock me; if the United States stopped meddling in the civil wars of other countries! Now that would be shocking, wouldn’t it?

I’d also be shocked if us bloggers who dedicate so much time to offering our readers quality material….somehow were reimbursed for all our effort, now that would be shocking!

But let’s continue to be honest, our culture doesn’t value the written word the way we value other commodities and products. People are happy to blow tons of money on cable and satellite TV bills but spend money on newspapers or blogs…..never!

It makes me sad that reality TV shows which so often seem rather dull, dimwitted, intellectually deficient and any other adjective you want to include…..are the place where you can make money. But blogging, writing about important issues, creating a positive arena for stimulating conversation…..there just isn’t any money in it.

Is it just me, or are our values out of whack in Western Culture? Have we placed an emphasis on the wrong things? I sure think so and more often than not it is discouraging. It is sad that that journalism and media our trending in the wrong direction; they are moving further and further down a slope toward irrelevance.

There is no relevancy for my life to read an article about Kim Kardashian, I simply don’t give a damn about whether or not her farts smell like honey. No offense to her, but the reality that I live in is very disconnected from anything to do with her. Yet she is the substance that drives a tremendous amount of media and journalism.

I really need another coffee.

Kenneth



Categories: Culture & Society

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29 replies

  1. clear perspective! Namaste. . . .

  2. I definitely share your opinion. But what can we do about it….?
    Thanks for this wonderful post!

  3. I couldn’t care less either! LOL! I thought the exact same thing when the scandal broke over MC. Who cares? She’s been in a downward spiral for a long time just like every other Disney actress. Who could have predicted this? EVERYONE! Let’s move on… – the wifey

  4. Oh oh oh… how about a reality TV show about blogging!!!
    BTW, I totally want to be living next to a penguin in Antarctica. It sounds lovely.

  5. I value your words. As I go out into the day it is like a devotional. I am reminded to pay attention and support the positive things in my day. If I somehow get distracted by really negative things (which I do) I am reminded that If I give them value they will thrive in me and others.
    My 23 year old and I went to an anti Syrian bombing rally last Friday. She held a banner that read NO WAR IN SYRIA OBAMA LIES. She campaigned hard for her president. This was a moment of truth. I really hope he heard her.

    • President Obama has let many of his supporters down. Perhaps it was a lesson the younger generations needed to learn; no one man (or woman) is really going to turn things around….at least no “politician”…..

      Sure, someone who is NOT a politician (like a Gandhi) could bring major positive change…..but the very definition of “politician” in our society does not embody the qualities and principles that Gandhi stood for

    • There are so many many issues out there President Obama was bound to disappoint everyone at some point or other. This is not to say that I support his position on Syria. But do any of us expect a President to not disappoint us at some point? If President Obama never made a decision that disappointed me, then he would be…me. And I even disappoint myself.
      We may be acting like spoiled children to turn against him this quickly. Oppose him, yes. I oppose a lot of stuff he has done; Syria is not my biggest problem with him. But let’s be a bit more mature in our expectations. We are not in a sort of liberal Democrat imitation tea party: if you don’t do it my way I’ll take my marbles and go home.
      Sorry for the rant. Politics is in serious trouble here. We’ve got to hold things together.

    • Carroll,

      I can’t disagree with what you’ve said, but I suspect the reason that this Syria issue has so many people upset (myself included) is that we’re not debating whether to mandate healthcare, or to give money to banks, or other civil issues…….we’re listening to Obama tell us we need to get involved in yet another civil war!

      It’s flabbergasting to say the least. And while you’re totally correct that we can’t expect to always agree with the President…….on the issue of War and launching weapons at another country; I have higher expectations for Obama on this issue then others

    • Well, you’re right, this is a higher level issue than most of the others, though I am relieved to some extent that he is asking for more limited intervention than I first thought he was going to. Still, I am also opposed to military action to any extent for oh so many reasons.
      I do tend to give President Obama the benefit of the doubt, assuming that he is privy to information I am not and has reasons for his position that I don’t know. I don’t mean that I am willing to write him a blank check; I still think it is wrong. We contact our senators and congressmen to oppose his request. But I am not ready to throw him to the wolves; in this case they do look remarkably like real wolves.
      It would be a global sized irony if Putin comes out looking like a peace-maker.

  6. Our literacy is in serious danger of extinction – it’s too bad not enough people care to put it on the endangered species list.

  7. Maybe if you had nude pictures on your blog…. Just sayin’

  8. Wow, what a scandalous and controversial post! Lol jk. Ya, its sad how many people feed into the whole Miley Cyrus thing, to me she is just another whore (pardon my language) born out of the pop music machine. It is grotesque, morbid, and sad though that our culture has become stagnant to these kind of things to where its just another news article for most.

  9. Everyone is selling something these days. What money cannot buy is character. Your post is deeper than what it appears to be about, i.e. sex, lies and videotapes. It is about a demise of people who continue to sink deeper into the abyss. Is there no way out of what they have created and continue to create? Someone throw them a lifeline!

  10. I always thought living my own life was enough. Watching other people live theirs is on par with watching my fridge keep food cold. Both are extremely boring. I don’t get it. I agree, that the US should sometimes keep its nose out of the business of others.

  11. I agree with the general sentiment but I have to admit to having my own disgust with the cyrus performance. I gave up on the VMAs a long time ago because first – MTV quit showing music videos a long time ago as far as I’m concerned so their having an awards show is really ridiculous; second – I really tired of the shock value stuff because to me that’s not entertainment. As far as Ms. Cyrus is concerned though I did watch a video of just that segment and it was quite frankly disgusting. It is controversial because people are talking about it so much and having very different opinions about it so it’s fair to call it such and to have such headlines. As to whether or not anyone, magazines/newspapers included, should be talking about it for that long is another conversation. I do generally agree also that we spend far too much time discussing those things though. I have my opinions on the VMAs but I say what I need to and then move on – if nothing else because I don’t want to give them more attention than they deserve. I still say I don’t know what the exact answer to Syria is because the number of non-combatants who are stuck in the middle is something to be concerned about but intervening, at least this time, I think will be a bad idea. I’m not sure what the political push is for intervening is this time but I’m sure there’s some ulterior motives for it and I’m not in favor.

    • I was on the fence for awhile, but I’ve finally jumped off and realized that I just don’t want to get involved in another country’s civil war. Hey, I think we would all support Obama if he said we were going to send hospital workers by the thousands to care for any of the injured or sick…..but no more troops please, we’ve all had our fill of that.

    • it’s interesting you should say that because i think i was on that same train of thought – send help in terms of medical help or whatever but no more troops; don’t add to the violence. i totally agree with that. maybe it’s time to show a different side.

  12. I can only say AMEN AMEN – 100% in agreement with everything you say here. Syria certainly doesn’t need any more bombs or shells. This isn’t a civil war with goodies and baddies and the cavalry to the rescue – thank God our British parliament for once has used its common sense.

  13. How ironic the people who are surprised/shocked add just as much vulgarity and idiocy as those who initiate such foolishness. In fact, to me the question should be,why are such no talent ass clowns like Robin Thicke&Mily Cyrus even famous to begin with?

  14. LOL ok the irony is I wrote a blog about the whole Miley thing the day after it happened (because my daughter asked me to) I didn’t actually SEE it, but I heard enough about it that made me ask, why is this news?

    Well because the corporate sponsors of the major media want to make money…and sex and mindlessness sells…ask kim kardashian cuz she is the PEFECT blend of the two…

    I enjoyed reading this, not because I am vain and like my thoughts echoed, but because it lets me know I’m not alone out here.

    Thanks 🙂

  15. I’m amazed by people who get upset when:
    Politicians lie, actors take drugs, strip, make fools of themselves, there are wars in the middle east. I could go on, nothing surprises me. There is nothing happening now that hasn’t happened before. We just get to hear about it sooner, definitely time for another cup of coffee.

  16. AMEN. great post! I’m glad to know I’m not the only one with a similar thought process on the matter.

  17. Spot on KJ!! I’ve stopped watching the boob tube – pun intended, and cancelled newspapers. Most are out of touch with reality and what I am truly interested in. Thanks for the follow.

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