The video for "Love the Way You Lie" is pretty much everything I love in a music video: fire, sex, Dominic Monaghan, relationship violence, trashy!Megan Fox, All-American-Boy!Eminem (standing in the Amber Waves of Grain no less), and Rihanna's gorgeous little sneer.
I don't know if I've talked about it here before, but the year I was 18, I was on the receiving end of a lot of violence, from others, and eventually from myself. Now that I think about it, music videos have articulated what that was like for me more completely and accurately than any other medium. (See Bad Romance.) A collection of images more than anything else, with a plot that's kind of pantomimed, not actually that complicated at all, and a song. Kind of like how I mentioned my experience with violence at the beginning of this paragraph - it's relevant to the topic at hand, and thus worth mentioning, but attempting to elaborate wouldn't be nearly as accurate or... eloquent I guess, as just throwing it out there as a simple fact, something that happened, something that made this particular bit of media relevant to my interests.
Now that I've said that there's no way to elaborate on it, I'm going to elaborate on it. Rihanna's lines in this song are about enjoying the pain a bit, and that's something that I experienced and have always felt guilty about, and then guilty about feeling guilty. When I was being abused (ugh, I hate that word, can anyone else think of a better word? Aside from "victimized?") I was depressed. I attempted suicide multiple times that year. I felt about as worthwhile and beautiful as a piece of used, soggy toilet paper, and yet. The world seemed much more vibrant to me then than it does now. I was so much more creative when I was suffering and maladjusted. I remember having such vivid dreams, writing all the time; poetry and short stories and 15 page free-writes that were so much funnier and sadder and more eloquent than anything I write these days, when I write at all. The beauty of my mom's flowers reduced me to tears at least 4 times that I remember. This was also the year that I learned to associate sex with violence, real violence, not the play of BDSM. That's where the real guilt kicks in because the sex-violence association is a major problem, or at least it causes major problems in our society. I hate that I've become part of that problem. (And it affected my play. That year made me much more of a sub than I was, but it also made me less trustworthy as a sub.) On the other hand, I'm a hedonist and a humanist and I don't think anyone including me should feel guilty for the way they feel. Feeling guilt over kinks and knee-jerk emotional reactions makes me part of yet another problem. But anyway, Rihanna's lines. There's an admission of enjoyment there, but an accusation against the perpetrator at the same time. Everything that happened to me, I let happen to me. I am absolutely certain that I was as much a part of the problem as my abuser. (I NEED ANOTHER WORD.) But I do not believe in blaming the victim at all, not even a little bit. When confronted with this situation as it applies to others, I don't have even the slightest emotional undercurrent of victim-blame. So that's a nice paradox.
I'm gonna end here and hit post before I lose my nerve.