I've had enough of music videos. Back in the day, whenever that was, I used to truly enjoy them. The songs I liked were danceable and fun, or soulful and moving, or inspiring and challenging. The videos were artful, interesting, and at times really incredible.
Madonna broke new ground with sexuality and imagery and even videography techniques which boggled the mind. It was off-putting at times but still somehow remarkable and she evolved, she changed; her videos became more spiritual and artistic over time.
But now I've see two videos in which Lady Gaga is poisoning her "boyfriend" or some other male character and it just smacks of bad values and frightening imagery. Not hating on the Gaga in particular of course; I can't stomach any hip-hop videos at all any more and Mary J. Blige is the only one in my humble opinion who still presents some kind of message of hope in her music and in the images she chooses to grace us with.
Miley Cyrus, who my son has taken to calling "The Dictator" as she has seemingly taken over the known universe, has denied that she is truly a role model for young people. She claims it's not her responsibility, but ours, to view or not to view, to emulate or not, to share in the glory of a teenager in booty shorts or not.
Perhaps I'm being a touch idealistic but even the songs on the radio are, for the most part, so full of "a-a-a-a-a-a-alcohol" and "shake-your-money-maker" that I can't let my sons listen to them in the car.
This issue of responsibility has been debated over and over again for decades. Do pop icons have a responsibility to our youth, and to us as an audience or do they not? The old cliche that "sex sells" seems to be the driving force behind many a scantily-clad puff group parading as musicians these days. They want us to watch, to pay, to give them the lavish lifestyle and fame they so crave. Or maybe they just don't want to have to get up and go to work every day. Which is difficult. And challenging. And exhausting.
Finally, at the ripe old age of almost forty-one, I must say that, yes, I believe they do have a responsibility to us, to the young folks watching.