The controversy over whether Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” is inappropriate appropriation of Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give it Up,” has naturally brought Gaye’s iconic song back into the public eye (the Robin Thicke song and its attitudes towards women has also created some negative responses, particularly on some English university campuses where it has been banned by student unions, “Blurred Lines: The Most Controversial Song of the Decade," The Guardian, 11/13/13). But it’s not only “Got to Give it Up.” There’s “Sexual Healing,” “Stubborn Kind of Fellow,” “Hitch Hike” and “What’s Going On,” among others. And they prove that Marvin Gaye is the sexiest man or woman who has ever lived. The sexuality makes even the most dyed-in-the wool heterosexual male want to melt into Gaye’s arms. The fact that he died an untimely death at the hands of his father makes him all the more desirable. People always want what they can’t have and in the “Got to Give it Up” video Gaye is vibrating to such an extent that there’s an almost Orphic effect. Remember how Orpheus was not supposed to look back. Maybe our longing is exacerbated because of the fact that Gaye calls to us from the underworld of unfulfilled desire. The fact that the Gaye saga involves a reversal of the classic Oedipus myth only increases the mystique. But seeing Gaye strutting his stuff, any vengeful or competitive feelings his father might have had seem almost understandable. Anyone would be jealous of such a creature.
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