No Apologies Needed

8 Jan


Please watch this music video if you haven’t. I want you to watch it before you read what I have to say.

And of course, as you all should know, I love Shia, but my frustration has little to do with him.

This video that you just watched, in case you were unable to tell, is interpretive dance. The job of the dancers, Shia and Maddie, is to give a message to the audience of the emotions that fill the story line. It is the job of the audience to interpret it, and because we all have different perceptions and realities, each interpretation with be undoubtedly different.

But Sia, the creator of the video, just apologized for it. To me, that is an abomination; you should never apologize for art. If you need to apologize for something, apologize for the underlying emotions, apologize for your story, apologize that you had no control over how life played out, but under no circumstances should someone apologize for art.

She apologized because of the pedophilia tones that some who watched this video perceived. Here is a Rolling Stones article detailing a little bit about the apology and complaints.

What bothers me most about all of this is that I don’t see anything that even whispers pedophilia or child molestion/abuse. I see personality. I see a joking, teasing child and a curious, wary adult. I see a strong man looking for escape, and a young girl not yet clouded by the fog of adulthood. At no point do I see anything perverse.

This screams to how our society sees men, and how our innocence is so lost that the only thing we can see in an interaction between a girl and a man or a man and a woman is one of sexual regard. Had Shia been played by a woman, no one would have thought twice.

And if it is the dancers in question, I can’t begin to imagine that these two people had anything more than a professional interaction.

Was Sia correct in apologizing for her video and casting choices? At which point did you see pedophilia, if you saw any at all? What do you think this says about you, and our culture?

4 Responses to “No Apologies Needed”

  1. L at 8:58 pm #

    I didn’t see anything bad about that video either.

    Alas, I tend to agree: no need to apologize for art. As an artist (watercolor, music and dance) I tend to agree that art shouldn’t be apologized for. As the saying goes beauty is in the eye (ear) of the beholder. It’s up for interpretation and is highly subjective. That’s what’s so great about art.

    I think some people honestly look for something to be offended by. That’s what’s truly perverse IMO.

  2. buddy71 at 9:50 pm #

    i see nothing about pedophilia
    i saw this video on a tv show and just thought it was very strange

  3. thecuriousbum at 9:51 pm #

    We all have our voices now thanks to some internet thing or another … however, I didn’t see anything either. It would be like calling me a pedo for hugging my niece and nephew.

    Btw, I wanted to pass along a blog award to you if you want to participate. Info’s on my latest blog :)

  4. April at 2:34 am #

    I don’t think she should have apologized for it. It is art and that is sort of one of the cardinal rules of being an artist: not everyone will always “get” it, but you can’t let that take away from it.

    That said… it felt awkward. Maybe it was the lack of clothing and close, personal contact. Maybe it was the cage; don’t judge me (lol) but it made it feel like they were in a relationship, to me.

    I’m not sure what that says about our culture other than we’re American. Our families don’t all sleep in the same bedroom like they do in some other cultures. We’re still pretty convinced that nakedness = sex. The last few decades, be it the state of our culture or just my personal age, everyone has seemed obsessed with sex. I remember watching a movie something like a dozen years ago with my ex where a grandfather was trying to tell his grandson that EVERYTHING we do in life that isn’t sex was just passing time until the next time we could have sex again. (My ex whole heartedly agreed and I’m totally shocked we’re not still together…not.) But it has seemed that way to a lot of other people around me. I don’t fully “get” that either, but it might explain why people see sex where there is none or even why I expect there to be sex even where there isn’t/wasn’t intended to be.

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