February 2nd, 2019

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OK we have to talk about that article, & the song that prompted it

Every couple years someone new seems to realise that the Ghost of the Robot song "Dangerous" was written about Michelle Trachtenberg. Now normally I'm happy to ignore whatever ignorant remarks are sparked & wait for the stupidity to blow over, but this time the article seems to have gained some traction (yay clickbaity headlines!), so I've decided to say a thing.


Yes, the song is about Michelle Trachtenberg (not for). No, the song is not about James Marsters crushing on/hitting on/being in any way inappropriate with a 15-year-old girl.

Firstly, Michelle was 17-18 when the song was written. Secondly, & infinitely more importantly, the song is about her crushing on him.

It is in no way an 'ode' or a 'love song' to an underage girl. It is about an underage girl having a crush on an older guy & him being flattered & embarrassed by it.

While I'll be the first to admit that I find several of the lyrics problematic at best, I also understand that the highly dramatised lyrics are angsty & dramatic for exactly that effect (read all the lyrics below, not just the ones I've cherry-picked to support my argument). What I find more problematic is reading an article that compares James Marsters writing a song, to serial predator R Kelly abusing very young girls; that is as abhorrent as it is absurd!

If you want to get up in arms about older men abusing young girls, please shout it from the freakin' rooftops, those predators deserve it! But to attack someone for writing a song & then comparing it to the actions of actual paedophiles?! Just... how even?!

And to those who are bringing up his relationship with his, admittedly, much younger wife? They've been happily married for 8 years, together for 14 (read the adorable story of how they got together here). To be crude about it: If he was a predator, comparable to R Kelly & the like, wouldn't she be too old for him now? Hell, wouldn't she have been too old for him when he married her?!

Movements like #MeToo & #TimesUp (of which James & his wife are huge supporters) send an incredibly powerful message to those in power who would abuse it, but that message is diminished when it's used to decry the completely incomparable & relatively innocent actions of the above.

I understand that you want your website to get those all too important clicks, but tearing down a man who's done nothing wrong to do so? Is that really what you want your website to be, or to stand for?

*gets down off high horse*

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Here is my cherry-picking of the lyrics:

"You're a pretty little girl, got a thing for me"

Got a thing for me. Pretty straightforward. Not, got a thing for you, as many people have apparently chosen to interpret (which, how even?!).

"But I have to look down
When you talk to me"

Those who read these lyrics from the angle of 'a predator wrote this' will likely interpret them to mean he has to look down at the young girl child, but factually Michelle is 1.71 m tall & James is 1.75 m tall, he'd never have to look down to speak with her. He's obviously talking about lowering his head in embarrassment over the fact a young girl has a crush & is flirting with him.

"'Cause you're dangerous
And you don't even know it"

Again, if you incorrectly interpret these lyrics as having been written by a predator, they're gross in a very victim-blamey way. However if you read them as being written by a man embarrassed about a young girls crush on him (see above), then you'll realise that the 'danger' in the situation is exactly the problem with the aforementioned article: that people will think he's in to or has abused an underage girl. The danger is in his perfectly innocent reactions being misinterpreted as encouragement instead of a gentle let down.

"And here's a little taste of irony
You'll be a too-hot baby, too good for me"

Again, gentle let down. In no way what-so-ever encouraging of a young girl crushing on a much older man, or inviting more than that, as a predator would do.

"So set me down and leave me be"

A little gentle let down, a little 'stop flirting with me.'

I'd hasten to add that Michelle is an incredibly articulate & outspoken young woman, who has had naught to say about the song, & only good things about James. Were there even so much as a hint of impropriety on James' part, I highly doubt that would be the case.

/end rant