Written by Caroline Tuohy
(Beware: this entire article is littered with aussie-isms.)
As we say in Australia, Your Mate Robin attempted to release his album here. Clearly, unbeknownst to Thicke, we have a douche lord limit. Not much of this wide brown land is hospitable and as such, the green bits are already littered with politicians, athletes, and reality television “stars” that quite happily keep the rest of us up to our necks in cringe-y, shitty behavior. So when Thicke came along with his piss poor (and somewhat creepy as all hell) attempt at wooing back his estranged wife, us Aussies gave it a resounding “Nah."
Back when Robin was still, I don’t know what you’d call it, working? Anyway, back when Robin wore the beetlejuice suit with Miley and released that rape anthem and felt up that youngster in the elevator, his wife Paula (surprise surprise) left him. I'm personally of the belief that a lot of people prefer delusion to reality when they’re married to (any) celebrity, but Paula Patton (who is a huge babe as well as having her feet firmly planted in the world the rest of us inhabit, too) up and left Thicke and it was glorious. Cue Thicke’s latest tragic offering “Paula".
“Paula” has been described as “humiliating for everyone involved” and “one of the creepiest albums ever made.”
The album itself sold 54 copies in its first week in Australia. That’s right, 54. Five tens plus four singles. The total revenue from the sale of Thickes album in Australia would be less then you’d spend on a big night out in Melbourne (Melbourne-ites, amirite?), or, as one of my girlfriends said, he sold less albums than the number of men she’d had sex with, FACT. But here is where my curiosity is piqued: why did Thicke sell such a dismal number of albums? And what can we take away from this result?
Plenty of weird, and creepy guys have been successful (I'm looking at you R. Kelly). Plenty of guys have done atrocious things and made a comeback (Chris Brown) and there are plenty of shit albums that’s still sell copies (anything that has Simon Cowles' fingers in it, anything produced by a marketing team, anything released by Ace of Base, as a start). Have we (finally) reached the point where a thirty-something non-descript white man suffering an acute case of relevancy deprivation disorder can no longer be marketed, no matter how big or saturating the machine is? Are we, as consumers, quite simply, done?
Cos lets be honest here, who exactly IS Robin Thicke? According to Wikipedia he’s been around for ages and has done bits and pieces here and there: Oprah, some American Idol sang one of his songs and he’s done his best to trade off the Thicke name (can we all agree right now that Alan Thicke had a touch of the creepy when he was the dad on Growing Pains? And he really scraped the bottom when he hosted that Aerobics championships back in the 80’s).
But he seemed to just always be the guy who wrote that song for the other performer who made it excellent. It wasn’t until he co-performed Blurred Lines with Midas Pharell Williams that we (and by we, I mean us Australians*) heard of him. And we cared. The song got air time and we tuned in to the MTV music awards like the rest of y’all and had around about the same perceptions of it. But here is where the Aussies break off from the rest of the pack: be Australian and do something dickish, we’re fine. Be from anywhere else, do something dickish, we have a problem. Be from anywhere else, do something dickish AND try to sell it to us? No deal.
We don’t tend to forgive the way that the yanks do. We also get real cringe-y when someone gets overt about feelings. And because we also have much of our own shit going on: crap politicians, weird weather and our own music scene, we don’t really give a rat's if you come at us with a ham fisted attempt at emotionally dragging your wife back into your life. We have enough man babies who need a nappy change on this side of the Pacific, thanks very much. As my mum would say, Robin Thicke needs a swift kick up the bum back to where he came from.
I had a moment of national pride when someone told me about the resounding “piss off” that Thicke got from the Australian public. Its nice to know that a sexist, lame, fame-whore twat can't find traction in a nation known globally for less than illustrious reasons (I'm not including Vegemite, cos Vegemite is what the Gods spread on their toast too. My yank boyfriend can argue all he likes, but the truth is the truth). We do have a boundary when it comes to settling for rubbish.
Dear Robin Thicke:
Rack off, you wanker.
Australia (except for those 54 people who bought Paula. You can rack off, too.)
*you’ve got to remember that pre-internet, you had to be pretty big to be heard of in Australia. Even in the internet age, we still don’t get half the shit America does. Australia is the land that Netflix forgot and there is still stuff we can't watch on youtube.