Condom Style

     Warning: If you’re easily offended, stop reading right now. You’re almost certain to be offended by this.
     If you’re still with me, prepare to be appalled.
     Maybe I’m a little warped. Maybe I’m a lot warped, but I find almost every aspect of this story hysterically funny. And almost every aspect of my reaction is likely to offend someone.
     I can’t win by reporting this. But I can’t help myself. So here goes:
     Remember Psy, the K-Pop star who hit it big in the U. S. with “Gangnam Style?” If you’re not familiar with this cultural phenomenon, check out the video.
     Am I getting a few offended people? Note the sexuality. Note the silliness. Note the women as playthings.
     It’s hilarious.
     Now note, if you’re looking at YouTube, that there are hundreds of parodies of “Gangnam Style.” And one of them is called “Condom Style.”
     More of you (who aren’t reading this) should be appropriately offended. The video features a rapper named Cassidy (one of the stars of the film “Rhyme and Punishment”) going on about the importance of using condoms for all the sex that apparently is being forced on him.
     Check out the video.
     Yeah, he’s saying “stroke ’em, condom style.” Responsible behavior never sounded so dirty.
     If you’re having trouble catching all the lyrics, you can read them online to enhance your pleasure. Apparently, it’s not easy being an irresistible male.
     This may explain (but probably doesn’t) why Cassidy spends much of the video rapping by himself on top of a freakishly long moving truck. I think it’s because he’s trying to escape women.
     What’s not explained is why, in the video, he and his pals are walking through crowds handing out condoms. I guess it’s a public service.
     But public service probably wasn’t Cassidy’s original intent.
     Cassidy, after releasing the song, publicly announced that it got him a huge endorsement deal with condom-maker Trojan. This was dutifully reported on a bunch of websites but may or may not be true. I’m betting on not true, but I don’t know. (Some people can now be offended by the state of journalistic fact-checking in modern America.)
     What apparently is true is that the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, apparently inspired by the song’s profound and serious message, decided to team up with Cassidy to create the music video.
     Really. They even put out a press release.
     Have you guessed what’s coming next?
     Yes, there’s a lawsuit – by someone who was offended.
     The plaintiff, according to the complaint in Los Angeles Superior Court, is a devout Muslim who was minding his own business at a shopping mall one day when a rapper handed him some condoms (which were not Trojans) and shook his hand.
     This wouldn’t have been so bad, but the meeting was included without permission in the music video and, according to the lawsuit, this implied that the plaintiff “supports the use of contraceptives and promiscuous sexual intercourse … [though] as part of his devout religious beliefs, plaintiff is adamantly against promiscuous sexual intercourse and the use of contraceptives when engaging in sexual intercourse.”
     Outrageous, right?
     Well, maybe …
     Normally, I’d be sympathetic to a plaintiff whose life and reputation have been ruined by a false portrayal, but here’s a challenge for you: Go back to the video and find the plaintiff who is wearing a Muslim prayer cap. I’ll wait while you go do it …
     Are you back? Did you find him?
     He appears at minute 2:16 of the video and is gone by 2:20.
     Yes, it’s litigation over three seconds of infamy.
     I’ll let you decide what should offend you about this.

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