Blurred Lines and Wrecking Ball: or, Songs I shouldn’t like

Miley Cyrus...with added clothing

Miley Cyrus…with added clothing

I have a confession: Over the past couple of days my internal soundtrack has gone like this: Blurred Lines, Blurred Lines, Wrecking Ball, Wrecking Ball, Blurred Lines. Just now, I realised I was a hair’s breadth away from humming “hey hey hey…hey hey hey” as I walked through the office, and last night as I got on my train home it took me a good few minutes before I cottoned on to the fact I was mouthing “all you ever did was bre-a-a-k me” while striding down the platform. Hammers not included. Go ahead, judge me (you already ARE?! Oh.)

Because that’s the thing. Late as I am on the commentary on the most-debated song of the season, Blurred Lines, Miley Cyrus’s newly divisive antics have achieved the same effect as the controversy over Thicke’s misogynistic masterpiece. Namely, that I’ve listened to them, watched the videos open-mouthed and disbelieving, cheered the parodies, and heard each tune far more times than I would have without the fanfare they’re received.

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‘Tube Crush’: a harmless bit of fun? Sorry, but I don’t think so

Londoners commuting

Surely this is the 'Tube crush' they're referring to, right?

If you count yourself among the substantial portion of Londoners that uses the Tube to get to work every day, you’ll be familiar with the endlessly-frustrating, somewhat soporific routine of wait, push on, breathe in, stop, stop, stop…push off – but if you’re like me and your journey begins at the far, far edges of a line (the Northern), you’ll be one of the blessed few who manage to get a seat, in which case you’ll have to insert ‘scramble, park yourself, arrange bags around feet, put on iPod, get out book, open Metro, look down or up, and studiously refuse to make eye contact with anyone else for the rest of the judderingly long journey’ to the above list. But, even for us lucky seat-hermits, every now and again, something happens that makes us look up from our slumber, and (thank goodness, not a pregnant woman, guy on crutches, or wobbly elderly person, the three people for whom you still have to give up your seat, quite rightly, but you know…) the appearance of a delectably good-looking man in your carriage is the happy visual treat new blog TubeCrush has decided to capitalise upon in its near-daily posts.

TubeCrush has a simple conceit; people take photographs of good-looking guys on the London Underground and Overground (and one assumes, general train) networks, send them in, the blog author writes a suitably witty comment and bored, or especially discerning, people can rate them if they feel such a need. A quick scroll through the photographs reveals a tongue-in-cheek, gently funny collection of posts, which seems an entirely harmless amusement to liven up the dreary A-to-B time that is a fact of life for the many travelling across London.

But is it harmless? Imagine the sexes were reversed. A blog which specialised in men taking cameraphone shots of women without their knowledge, posting them online, making objectifying comments, and then allowing anyone to rate the images?
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