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msilverstar

a Dom fan's view of his sexy video

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Aug. 14th, 2010 | 06:24 pm
mood: thoughtful
music: Eminem - Love The Way You Lie ft. Rihanna

By popular demand (three is popular!), what I think about Dominic Monaghan's music video, Love the Way You Lie. It involves lots of half-naked Dom kissing and fighting with Megan Fox, while Eminem raps and Rihanna sings. It's meant to present an anti-family-violence message.

I was open-minded at first, and I do like looking at Dom. But when I started looking at it more closely and surfing people's responses, I began to have fairly strong opinions.

As a consciousness-raising anti-abuse video, it's not very successful. It concentrates too much on the cycle of violence within the relationship and has no escape, just a burning house. It would have been a lot better with a helpline number such as 1-866-331-9474 (National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline), and a link to the National Domestic Abuse Hotline.

The good parts: Dom, and bringing up domestic violence


The bad parts: wrong and mixed messages about domestic violence

  • Dom and Megan Fox look pretty hot with the romance, sex, and fighting. It's not real violence, which is horrible and ugly.

  • Most domestic abusers are men, who generally hold the physical, financial, and cultural power in relationships. Though both men and women fight, men do more damage (over 80% of convicted abusers are men). The video makes the man and woman nearly equal in battering.

  • People who recognize Dom as Merry from LotR or Charlie are Lost are predisposed to like him and excuse his actions.

  • Dom's acting Eminem's relationship with his ex-wife (though the director says he meant a more generic couple).

  • Rhianna's chorus includes, like the way it hurts and love the way you lie. Not exactly liberating.

  • Eminem's lyrics end: If she ever tries to fucking leave again / I'mma tie her to the bed / And set the house on fire, and the video has a burning building towards the end. Maybe they meant to indicate it would all end badly, they should split up right away? If so, it fails to work.

  • The video starts and ends with the couple sleeping peacefully all cuddled up together: huh?

More views: A Domestic Violence Expert Weighs In On Eminem's New Music Video. A couple of other analyses, both somewhat positive, at Little Pink Book and Reappropriate.

All the intentions were good and worthwhile. All the people involved are young and may not have known much about the topic. It certainly got attention (the biggest YouTube music video so far) and I hope that the audience learns from it, I just worry they won't.

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Comments {12}

Any further questions? Ask the shrimp!

(no subject)

from: txvoodoo
date: Aug. 15th, 2010 04:38 am (UTC)
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"The video starts and ends with the couple sleeping peacefully all cuddled up together: huh?"

As someone who's been through this, that actually ran true to me. It's talking about the cycle, and how you DO keep going back (until hopefully you don't). Another friend who's been through this talked about showing the good times - it's what people don't realize - those are the times that people in abusive relationships used to justify staying through the bad times.

In other words, it's honest. It's not healthy, it's not a tutorial of how to get out, but as a chronicle, it's honest.

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Lotripper

(no subject)

from: msilverstar
date: Aug. 15th, 2010 04:50 am (UTC)
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I didn't know you had been through it, and it's inspiring that you can have such a good relationship with your husband, as per your twitters.

The video didn't even give a phone number, and that just frustrates the hell out of me. I want everyone to escape as soon as they possibly can.

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Any further questions? Ask the shrimp!

(no subject)

from: txvoodoo
date: Aug. 15th, 2010 05:09 am (UTC)
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Yeah, it was 1st husband, not the current. (I got out)

I agree, there shoulda been a tag, voiceover, something.

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amusing musing

(no subject)

from: sandelwood
date: Aug. 15th, 2010 05:49 am (UTC)
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I also think it all rang true.

Re: The burning house, and the ending lyrics. It all basically implies the vicious cycle. If you don't end it, it will destroy you and everything around you, hence the burning house, and the fire engulfing them both. If that's not a clear-cut message to get out of that sort of relationship, then I don't know what kind of brick a person needs to get hit with.

Not to be a naysayer of good causes, but I don't think it's necessary to post a number either. The music is supposed to be the message here. Eminem is famous for not sugarcoating anything, and the several of his other songs on this album are all about empowerment and helping oneself out of shitty places. No one blatantly pointed the way out for him, he had to learn from his own mistakes. Multiple times.

Besides that, everyone knows how to dial 911. They will help anyone in such a situation, even if it isn't imminently life threatening (domestic violence is on a hairtrigger in that direction anyway), and the police will put them in touch with groups and shelters. But one has to take initiative and help oneself. That's the hardest part.

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Lotripper

(no subject)

from: msilverstar
date: Aug. 15th, 2010 06:16 am (UTC)
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I was distressed that the #1 retweet at one point was:

"just gunna stand there & watch me burn. but thats alright bcos i like the way it hurts.. oh really rihanna? why is chris your ex then? LOL."

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amusing musing

(no subject)

from: sandelwood
date: Aug. 15th, 2010 06:38 am (UTC)
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I think people who said that missed the point entirely, and/or have never experienced that kind of relationship and thus have no idea what they're talking about. No one ever expects it to happen to them, that they'd be that person. I think Rihanna would probably tell them that herself.

I've had friends who I've watched stay in abusive relationships, despite asking for my advice, and get defensive when I've told them the obvious: to get out of it. These people are utterly blinded by their love. They aren't reasonable. Much like that lyric. It takes getting away for them to see how stupid they were.

Keep in mind, none of this was supposed to be pretty. Yes, the actors certainly were. But I have no trouble entirely separating that from the ugliness of the point they were making. Maybe had they hired ugly actors, people wouldn't have had such trouble with the supposed "glamorization" of it. Then again, Dom isn't exactly most people's idea of pretty, so anyone just now discovering that he looks hot with his shirt off needs to square with that, separately from the point of the vid. Blame Megan for glamour. Then again, anyone can be abused or an abuser, pretty or ugly or in between, so...

I dunno. I don't understand why people have such an issue with it, or problems understanding. To me, it was pretty cut and dry.

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Jean

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from: water_vole
date: Aug. 15th, 2010 06:17 am (UTC)
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I watched it and wondered too what it was supposed to be saying - best I got out of it was maybe that they love each other with a fiery passion that is sexy and yet ultimately doomed? I didn't think the sexiness of Dom (undeniable!) was enough to make up for the mixed message and make me want to see it again. But that's just me.

BTW, got your comment and have re-posted my post.

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Lotripper

(no subject)

from: msilverstar
date: Aug. 15th, 2010 06:28 am (UTC)
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I've watched it quite a few times to write this post, and I know enough about domestic violence for it not to be a new concept. But I am a fangirl, and I like that kind of soft porn more than explicit visual porn, so I'll probably watch it again.

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loreley_se

(no subject)

from: loreley_se
date: Aug. 15th, 2010 07:47 am (UTC)
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Ok I didn't know it was meant to be a message against domestic violence...I just saw it (and the song) tell the story of a deeply dysfunctional relationship. Which, I guess, is the point, I'm not sure it comes across that it is actually bad...it looks so slick and sexy that it is more like a movie, not showing how horrible things will be in RL. Uh, am I making sense?

BTW Was Charlie such a positive character in Lost? I never watched it after the first couple of episodes...I thought he came across as a weak (though not violent) character. And he was badass in Flash Forward but too few people have seen that :-(

In shallow news, Eminem looks in great shape.

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Lotripper

(no subject)

from: msilverstar
date: Aug. 16th, 2010 04:48 am (UTC)
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they kept saying that there was a message, but it's not exactly aimed at us.

Charlie in Lost became a fan favorite, yeah, even when he got weird (very weird!), he got back to being sweet fairly quickly. Plus, Charlie had the very best death scene in the whole damn series :-)

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eff_reality

(no subject)

from: eff_reality
date: Aug. 15th, 2010 12:13 pm (UTC)
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My biggest problem with it—or really my only problem with it—was, like you said, the fact that it didn't seem to be violent *enough.* I'm not sure I would have even made the connection with domestic violence from the images alone, just, as someone said above, a highly dysfunctional relationship. But I'm sure that's the fault of censorship and not the artists involved. I doubt any of them could have gone where they *really* wanted to for a very, very mainstream video meant to air on MTV. The days of "Smack My Bitch Up" are over, I think.

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Still learning to be me

(no subject)

from: canciona
date: Aug. 15th, 2010 09:14 pm (UTC)
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I have to agree with txvoodoo here, although I've never been through it myself: I don't think it was supposed to be a PSA, but an honest chronicle (excellent description) of the cycle of violence that both artists obviously understand from their own experiences. I can understand the desire to see resources like a hotline number appearing, but at the same time, it rubs me the wrong way to have an expectation of a public service message attached in order for an honest portrayal of an abusive situation to be acceptable (whether the medium is a video, a movie, a TV show or a novel; to me, this smacks of something too close to censorship for me to support). Not every story is an after school special, and I really think the option to add or not add a reference to hotline numbers or other help references should be entirely up to the artists involved. Just my opinion.

Also, the point about how it showed both partners being abusive and how most convicted abusers are men: yes, this is true. It's also true that men are far less likely to come forward or press charges (or even admit) when they're physically abused by women, and to suggest that it doesn't happen or that it's not realistic to me just continues to propagate the stereotype that all abusers are men/any man who could be abused by a woman must be a wimp (to put it nicely)/etc. I actually really liked that it showed both partners being abusive, because it bucks that trend.

I don't know that it's without its faults, and I think a lot of people are taking it the wrong way (either "hey, this is hot" or "they're obviously trying to glorify/justify domestic abuse") - but I also think it's making people talk and think about it, which is usually a good thing.

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