Letter to the editor: Robin Thicke article embarrasses reader

Are we a such a rube outpost of a city that a salivating report on the quality and quantity of T&A in the latest Robin Thicke video passes editorial muster [“Thicke knows that sex sells”, August 15-22]? Mike Usinger gives a groaning account of how awesome the tits are in the video and how horny he seems to have been made by said tits. He does provide a glib, perfunctory, and, frankly, backhanded mention of how “Bikini Kill fans are wondering where everything went terribly wrong in the world,” a line that he obviously hopes will inoculate him against charges of sexism. Indeed, Usinger doubles down on this lame strategy with a stunningly disingenuous “joke” about how it’s “the ladies” who are filling up on the eye candy.

The song’s lyrics are the definition of douchery, and the video is just another in a long line that uses women’s bodies to sell its product. But having Usinger’s lip-smacking appraisal take up a third of a page in an arts and culture weekly of a major North American city is just embarrassing.

> Peter MacRaild / Vancouver

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Rhetorical Question Answerer

Aug 20, 2013 at 7:27pm

"Are we a such a rube outpost of a city"

Yes.

Former GS Fan

Aug 20, 2013 at 7:36pm

I actually gagged when I started reading that editorial. Closed the paper, didn't read further.

It made me feel gross all over.

Forest

Aug 20, 2013 at 10:26pm

And coming up next, for your continued T&A pleasure, an "article" on the new Victoria Secret store, here in Vancouver to teach all 12 year old girls what's what in the world of patriarchy.

Thank you

Aug 21, 2013 at 12:14am

What a waste of space that "editorial" was.

Alan Layton

Aug 21, 2013 at 8:23am

It just shows that Usinger is a guy with a healthy drive. Any het male who would get offended by it is a just a weenie. Anyone who I've talked to who has seen it (male or female) didn't find it to be any worse than an average music video during the entire history of music vids, that goes back to the 1980's. Go down to the beach and you'll see women strutting around with only a couple of square inches more fabric than the models in the vid. Thicke, and his co-producer wife, just saved us the trouble of undressing the models in our minds. Lol. Lighten up, it's summer and there's skin everywhere.

boris moris

Aug 21, 2013 at 9:30am

There are so many up tight people in this city. No one forces you to read or look at articles, reviews and videos do they? Judging by the tone of numerous scathing comments directed at Usinger and the explicit Blurred Lines unrated version video....

www.vevo.com/watch/robin-thicke/blurred-lines-unrated-version/USUV71300526

...it's obvious that more Vancouverites need to put the brakes on their junk food and right wing xian hypocrisy addictions and get a lot more of this: O==3

Peter MacRaild

Aug 21, 2013 at 11:28am

I know length s an issue, but the the editing my letter received leaves it sounding stilted and incoherent. My original letter, for the people:

"I'm not sure how tenure at a weekly like the Straight works, but is Mike Usinger really a good enough writer to represent a paper that aspires to be some sort of reflection of a city of nearly 2.5 million people? Are we a such a rube-outpost of a city that a salivating report on the quality and quantity of T&A in the latest Robin Thicke video passes editorial muster? Let's leave aside the fact that Robin Thicke is a bland cipher/hack and that the only interesting thing about his song "Blurred Lines" are the accusations of it being "rapey". Maybe it's a slow week and the time has come to address the Robin Thicke phenomenon. Fine. But Usinger's treatment of the song and video is to give a groaning account of how awesome the tits are in the video, how horny he seems to have been made by said tits, and, you know, TITS (they're great). He does provide a glib, perfunctory and, frankly, backhanded mention of how "Bikini Kill fans [is this code for "shrill feminists?] are wondering where everything went terribly wrong in the world", a line that he obviously hopes will inoculate him against charges of sexism. Indeed, Usinger doubles down on this lame strategy by closing with a stunningly disingenuous "joke" about how it's really "the ladies" who are filling up on the eye candy. Usinger seems to be saying, "Hey, hey, it's the ladies lookin' at ladies, get it? Subversive? Queer? Am I right?" The song's lyrics are the very definition of douchery, and the video is just another in a long line that uses women's bodies to sell its product - it is what it is. But having Usinger's lip-smacking appraisal of the video take up a half-page in an arts and culture weekly of a major North American city is just embarrassing."

The Longer Version

Aug 21, 2013 at 11:45am

is even better.

Charlie Smith

Aug 21, 2013 at 11:53am

Peter,
The letter was trimmed so we could have room for other letters in the print edition. You wrote that Mike's article took up a half-page. That's not true. It actually only took up 30 percent of the page, which is why I edited your letter to read "a third of a page".

Charlie Smith

Mike Usinger

Aug 21, 2013 at 12:27pm

Peter,
"I know length's an issue". Heh.

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