Copyright © 2003-2011, Aishah Schwartz. Permission granted to circulate among private individuals, groups, or in not-for-profit publications in full text and subject title. All other rights reserved.

May 14, 2014

Happy Video Postscript by Aishah Schwartz

Part One
Happy Videos: More Than One Message?
An American Muslim's View 


With the onslaught of media attention focusing on the viral reproduction of the Pharrell Williams 'Happy' video has been trumped by the villainous kidnapping of roughly 300 young girls in Nigeria by a group erroneously associating themselves to anything related to the teachings of Islam.

The world has rightfully moved on, but beyond the scope of deadlines and word count limitations, I wanted to add a postscript to my previously published article for, "Happy Videos: More Than One Message?"

Most of us know well that life has a way of packaging itself at times, in ways that appeal to our senses vs. our common sense, thus the saying, "beware of the wolf in sheep's clothes".

Follow the money trail

From the "Blurred Lines" Wiki Page: "Blurred Lines is a song recorded by American recording artist Robin Thicke for his 2013 album of the same name. The song features guest vocals from American rapper T.I. and American singer and producer Pharrell Williams; all three share writing credits on the song, while production was done by Pharrell." – Famous recording artists pooling their talents.

Pharrell Williams not only co-performed beside Robin Thicke in the infamous "Blurred Lines" video objectifying women and promoting a culture of rape, he also co-wrote and produced.

Translation: $$$.

UK Protests

Along came the UK backlash about the video's lyrics objectifying women and promoting a culture of rape, which was expressed loudly in the media; thank goodness someone was paying attention!

Furthermore, "Blurred Lines" is also now responsible for the infamously forgettable images of Miley Cyrus rubbing her protruded behind up against the groin of Robin Thicke, in a performance of the song broadcast live on TV and watched by millions; yes, including Muslims.

Translation: Translation: $$$.

Ellen DeGeneres 

On November 21, 2013, eight months after the Blurred Lines release and subsequent backlash, the renown, openly homosexual ('married' to another woman), U.S. TV talk show host, Ellen Degeneres, welcomed Pharrell Williams as a guest to debut his new single, 'Happy'.

Ellen Degeneres is the same person who momentarily "broke" Twitter by sharing a selfie from the March 12, 2014 Oscars that wildly shattered a Twitter record with nearly 3.5 million retweets! (A record previously held by a photo of President Obama hugging his wife, with over 775,000 re-tweets; suffice it to say that shattered is an understatement.)

Suffice it to say, an appearance to promote your work on The Ellen Show is gold, the 'Happy' video subsequently goes viral and is wildly reproduced.

When Williams reappeared on The Ellen Show April 9, 2014, he, naturally, lavishly applauded the host for being the first to help promote 'Happy'.

One hand washes the other.

Everyone loves Williams, everyone loves Ellen, $$$ all-around; everyone's 'Happy'.


In the same April 9 interview, leading up to the introduction of his new CD titled, GIRLS, Williams went to great lengths in expressing how much he loves and appreciates the female gender.

Translation: capping "Blurred Lines" damage control.

The mainstream music industry is about one thing and one thing only: Money ($$$); and whatever it takes to make it.

That is the wolf in sheep's clothing.

Again, to be clear, not only did Pharrell Williams sing Blurred Lines, he co-wrote the song's lyrics and produced the video for it.

There is nothing blurry about Williams' connection to Blurred Lines.

The Point? 

Williams' back-tracking to produce a CD, allegedly glorifying his love and appreciation for the female gender, appears honorable on its face; but from the perspective of the mainstream music industry, it is pure marketing genius.

Translation: $$$.

No Blurred Lines

With the success gained for 'Happy' in his first appearance on The Ellen Show, the subsequent April 9 invitation to promote the new GIRLS CD was surely considered a landslide.

Bolstered by his expressed seemingly boundless appreciation to Ellen for her, you could almost hear the drum roll as Williams proceeded to declare his unabashed support (to Ellens' head-bobbing approval), of homosexual marriage.

One hand washes the other; with special thanks to members of the Muslim community at-large.

Is this the culture of happiness Muslims should be encouraging others to support?

The Muslim community is over 2 billion strong. We have to be smarter, wiser, and more inventive.

Muslims, from parents, teachers, and Imams, need to be more in tune with the youth, but not by sacrificing principles or attempting to redefine the teachings of our religion.

Woe to those claiming Islam as their faith while attempting to convince themselves or others, whether overtly or not, that what is prohibited becomes permissible simply because we live in the 21st century.

The road to happiness is a straight path; Muslims know this well.

To be tolerant and understanding regarding the homosexual community is one thing; sexual harassment of women, rape, and same sex marriage are another.

No blurred lines.

Copyright © 2014

Permission is granted to circulate among private individuals and groups, to post on Internet sites and to publish in full text and subject title in not-for-profit publications. Contact author for all other rights, which are reserved.

Aishah Schwartz, an American Muslim revert to Islam since April 2002, is founder and director of the 2006 established, internationally-based, Muslimah Writers Alliance (MWA), and a retired nearly 20-year career litigation legal assistant. Ms. Schwartz is also a published freelance non-fiction writer and photo journalist whose aim is to counter misconceptions regarding the Islamic faith and members of the Muslim community. As a woman traveling in the Middle East, Ms. Schwartz's role as a civil and human rights activist has focused on the rights of Muslim women and the plight of the Palestinian people affected by the Israeli imposed illegal embargo on Gaza. She has also been reporting on revolutions in the Middle East as a Demotix photojournalist since January 2011.

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