|If I May Be Serious for a Moment
||[May. 2nd, 2011|07:13 am]
In the wake of the revelation that Osama bin Laden was shot in the head and killed on Sunday, there is a widespread trend that I find disturbing. It’s palpable on both sides of the country’s fractured political spectrum and has gone, from what I can see, completely unmentioned.|
The fact that bin Laden’s killing has been equated with justice rubs me the wrong way. I was always taught to believe, primarily by my favorite superheroes, that justice was served by apprehending a villain, confronting him with his crimes and then instituting punishment, i.e. a trial. Now, I know this isn’t a comic book, and when faced with the decision of murdering evil or allowing it to escape, I understand what needs to happen. But shooting someone in the head is never justice; it’s vengeance.
While I was sitting with my friends, just after the President finished making his statement, I expressed mild disappointment that we couldn’t capture him alive to actually bring him to justice. Immediately, one expressed indignation, saying that we would then have to spend SO much money keeping him safe. I’m sorry, but just because something is costly or inconvenient doesn’t make it wrong. Another said, “well he definitely deserved [to die].” Says us? America is all about serving real justice - trials, due process, juries. Now, I know that Osama has no right to a trial and I doubt anyone could find an impartial jury in this country, but I’m never comfortable when someone pronounces someone deserving of death because I learned my morality through comics.
Dancing in the streets because someone got shot in the head is a rather morbid practice. We haven’t won any war; we haven’t solved the original problem. Bin Laden has been on the run and in hiding for ten years; his leadership role was practically non-existent. All this has done is allowed us to feel better because someone who slighted us; someone we are extremely angry at; someone we hate has been killed. That is the very definition of revenge.
What makes Batman so compelling is his refusal to simply kill the Joker. The justice system is flawed (especially in Gotham City), but it’s the only system we’ve got. Crime fighters like Batman and Superman’s (I’d list more but at this point it’s very hard to find characters who haven’t purposely killed before) refusal to just slaughter evil-doers is what makes them heroes. Heroes don’t take revenge, nor do they celebrate death.
Just remember as you high five each other and dance in the streets that your behavior is a reflection on the darker side of humanity.
"An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind."
||[Apr. 23rd, 2011|03:53 am]
|||||Biko - Bloc Party||]|
One of the things that sucks about being an atheist is how we are depicted in fiction. In most cases, atheists are just completely shit upon and portrayed in a way that makes us look like idiots or terrible people.
Usually, a character who is atheist holds that belief because he is "mad at God." Think of Mel Gibson's character in Signs. His wife died and he loses faith, but really he is actually pissed off because he feels she shouldn't have been taken. The reality is, atheists aren't mad at any god because we don't believe in them.
The path that most atheists go down starts with a questioning of faith. Many devoutly religious people will begin investigating the tenets of their religion out of sheer curiosity or, ironically enough, because they want to defend their faith from attacks by atheists. There's a period that follows the questioning in which the atheist will strip away previous ways of thinking they once held. An example would be going from believing you didn't get that job because "it wasn't meant to be" to actually thinking about how you performed on the interview or whether or not you were qualified. The fact of the matter is, the atheist will cease to believe that his wife's passing *should* or *shouldn't* have happened; it just happened.
A lot of atheists in fiction are portrayed as being close minded because they've closed themselves off to the possibility that there *could* be something out there. This presupposes that atheism is an active process; that atheists must consciously force themselves not to see significance in every day events. In reality, atheists aren't closed off to the idea that there could be a higher power; we just don't give a shit if there is and don't spend any time thinking about it.
So many times, by the end of the story, the atheist has "seen the light" and begun to believe that there is something out there. This is usually based on a mindset that an atheist wouldn't actually have. Again, I point to Signs in which Gibson's character reignites his faith after a convenient interpretation of his wife's last words. This is because he's not actually an atheist - being mad at God doesn't make you an atheist because God is still in the equation. But people like this are shown as fictional examples of what atheists are actually like.
Atheists are also shown to be cold, logical people who get no joy out of life because we view everything as a math equation. Supposedly, we see no magic in the world. Look, my mother died on December 8 (12/8); my locker number in high school was 64 (64+64=128); the address of the building I currently work in is 82-01 (an anagram for 1208). I am fully capable of recognizing this as kind of weird, but I don't chalk it up to a higher power (and really, what would it even mean if it WAS the result of some deity?); I am in fact MORE impressed by the statistical improbability of these things happening than if it was some sort of secret message from the universe. I'm an atheist but I can still think with my gut and go on my feelings. I'm not like Dr. Brennan from Bones.
One of the reasons I stopped watching My Name is Earl was an episode in the first season that pissed me off. For those who don't know, the show is about a white trash ex-thief who, after winning $10,000 on a scratch off is promptly hit by a car. After misinterpreting a speech from Carson Daly, he forms a rudimentary understanding of karma and decides he must repent for all of the bad things he's done. I enjoyed the show until an episode aired in which Earl chose to abandon the list briefly to have fun - karma ended up attacking him with a series of ailments (bee stings, darts to the arm) until he took up his mission again. To me, they took a perfectly good show about a guy doing the right thing and had to add supernatural bullshit for no reason. I stopped watching after that.
Having faith is always rewarded in fiction and being skeptical is always punished. Every movie in which some magical entity will attack the world, or someone has been possessed by a demon always has someone who doesn't believe it's actually happening. This person is always portrayed as being a fool, but in reality that is the reasonable response to have! If someone bursts into a room and tells me that they saw a werewolf, I'm going to have some questions. Like: Are you under any influence right now? How dark was it? Could you possibly be hallucinating? And I think most people would be skeptical in a similar fashion. But in a movie I would be the bad guy for not believing the person with the outlandish claim.
Even in the recent Sherlock Holmes movie, Holmes ends up reenacting a religious ceremony and it's ONLY THEN that he is able to solve the mystery (even though THIS MAKES ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE...but I forgive the movie because RDJ is so cool). Sherlock Fucking Holmes...the master of logic. Even he can not escape the negative stigma attached with atheism.
This has gone on much longer than I've intended and I don't think I've even scratched the surface of the point I wanted to make, but I'm tired. So talk amongst yourselves (all both of you who are reading this) and maybe you'll make a more coherent argument.
|In Defense of Sucker Punch
||[Mar. 27th, 2011|02:29 am]
|||||She's an Actress? - Park Ave.||]|
I saw the movie Sucker Punch at midnight on Thursday night at an Imax theater. I enjoyed myself thoroughly. However, I am disheartened by the frankly nasty reviews that I have read since seeing it.
I am not disappointed because I want people to think the way I do - other people's opinions have no bearing on whether or not I will admit that I loved the movie. What bothers me is that Sucker Punch is a film that takes risks, is original and atypical of most of the shit Hollywood spews out.
A couple of days ago I saw a commercial for a movie called (I think) Friends with Benefits starring Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis. It became apparent that the movie shares the exact same plot as No Strings Attached with Natalie Portman and Ashton Kucher. (Here's something weird: Kunis and Portman starred together in Black Swan and then presumably signed on to appear in the exact same movie afterward. Also, Kunis and Kucher were both in That 70s Show, which also starred Topher Grace who appeared in a Marvel Comics based movie [Spider-man 3] and Portman will appear in Thor this summer, another Marvel Comics film. I forgot where I was going with this.)
The reason why we have to deal with getting essentially the same movie twice in the same year (which, themselves, are both watered-down bastardizations of When Harry Met Sally) is because, when Hollywood does take a risk on something like Sucker Punch, since it doesn't conform to immediate expectations of big budget films, it is panned by critics and audiences and makes little profit, thus making the studios regret the decision and elect to pump out more of the same.
I'm glad I spent $18.00 to see Sucker Punch. I feel that I am part of the solution and not part of the problem. James Marsden is going to appear in a movie in which he interacts with a computer generated Easter bunny. The Smurfs has been adapted for no other reason than its brand-name recognition. There has been a very serious attempt at making a movie based on Monopoly (yes, the board game) for years. All of these movies will make more money than Sucker Punch will. And that makes me very, very sad.
I could get into a diatribe about why Sucker Punch is a good movie, but that's not my intention. Whether you like it or not, you must recognize what it represents apart from itself. Yes, in a perfect world, movies would exist in a vacuum and our opinions of them would not be affected by others. In a perfect world each movie should be analyzed completely on its own. This is not a perfect world and now numerous scripts that can't be easily defined and filmmakers who have a unique vision will be denied.
||[Jan. 3rd, 2011|06:00 pm]
I stumbled upon Janelle Monáe's ArchAndroid album while reading a "Best of 2010" list. I can't get enough of it. It's full of earworms and while it's about four songs too long (ending a lengthy album with slow songs does not create a falling action; it only creates boredom), it's still quite good. |
Apparently, it's a concept album about an android named Cindi Mayweather who falls in love with a human (I think) and then goes back in time to save her android contemporaries from a Big Brother type organization that is suppressing freedom and love (or something). She's said in interviews that the whole thing is meant to be a metaphor; the android population representing oppressed minorities.
I don't buy concept albums. That's not to say I don't purchase them; I mean I don't accept their basic premise. Most concept albums are ambiguous and it's generally impossible to understand the story without reading about it somewhere. The rare ones that are comprehensible without outside assistance are usually so ham handed that they suck. (Sorry Who fans, Tommy falls into this category.)
In ArchAndroid, aside from the title and various peppering of the words android and metropolis, there's barely an indication this is meant to be a story. If I had not read about its content, I would not have known and most likely would never have known.
Case in point: the band Coheed and Cambria's entire oeuvre supposedly tells the story of two lovers (Coheed and Cambria) whose story takes place during the Armory Wars, a science fiction story involving a collection of planets blah blah blah who gives a shit? I like the songs on their albums and I purposely avoid following the story because A) I think it's ridiculous and B) It would involve purchasing comic books written by the lead singer which also seems ridiculous.
Concept albums are nice in theory, because it makes the artist seem really smart. But, to me, it really means that the artist thinks I'm dumb and so creatively bankrupt that I can't create my own imagery to their songs.
The most disappointing thing about music is finding out a song you really enjoy actually means something else entirely. Music is an especially unique art form. A movie tells a concrete story, with very little room for one's own imagination. A book allows for imagination, but only to fill in the blanks of what the author is feeding you. A song is special because it can set up a jumping point for your mind to work. The best love songs (or break up songs for that matter) are the ones that are ambiguous but feel specific. You can't do that in a movie or a book.
With a concept album, the artist ends up telling you what everything means, removing you from the equation. I imagine the type of person who would make a concept album is an egotistical fuck. Moreso than the usual kind of egotistical fuck who imagines what they have to say is good enough to be heard by millions. With a concept album, the artist imagines that their interpretation of the song is the best and therefore it must be shoved down your throat.
A little background on me: I write songs. In the past three years I've written 150 songs or so. A lot of them suck, but some are pretty good. One of the things I hate being asked when I play a song for someone is "what's it about?" Not because I think the person shouldn't be asking it, but because it removes the listener from the process in a way. I'm much more interested in what other people think the song is about. To me, once the song is out in the ether, it's now "ours." Perhaps that sounds corny and lame, but I feel uncomfortable telling someone that "no, your interpretation of this song is incorrect." All I know is what I was thinking and feeling at the time I wrote it and what images and emotions I hoped to elicit from the listener.
My favorite kind of album is one with recurring imagery or "arc words." Something akin to Bright Eyes' Fevers and Mirrors or MF Doom's Mm...Food. I don't really like albums with "characters." If you wanted to tell a story, write a damn book or make a damn movie. Imagining a story and then shoehorning it into music removes my ability to interpret the song for myself, finding things that are relevant to my own feelings and merging myself with the art...which is why I fucking like music in the first place.
||[Dec. 13th, 2010|12:37 am]
Next year, Warner Bros. will be releasing a movie based on a superhero named Green Lantern. This is a big deal to me, because Green Lantern is my favorite superhero and has been since I was twelve years old.|
“Green Lantern” is not like most superheroes like Superman or Wonder Woman, since many characters have held and currently hold the title of GL. In the interest of brevity, I’ll explain it thusly: Green Lanterns are an intergalactic peace keeping force. There are 3600 sectors of the universe, each with two officers. Earth is in sector 2814.
The Green Lantern’s weapon is a ring which, in the most simplest explanation, can make/do anything the wielder wants it to. It can make a giant green boxing glove and smash you with it; it can scan your immediate area for carbon monoxide. The ring must be recharged by a lantern shaped battery - hence the name.
However, this is the second version of a Green Lantern. This is where things can get confusing if you don’t know much about comic books, so try to bear with me. The first Green Lantern was Alan Scott, created in 1940. His ring was a magical artifact from ancient times. A talking green lantern (not to be confused with Green Lantern officers. This is literally a talking lamp) instructed him to carve a ring from its surface to have access to its power at all times. He made a loudly colored costume (red, purple and green) and began fighting crime because that’s what you did in the ‘40s.
Unfortunately for Mr. Scott, his comic didn’t do well and got cancelled.
The concept was revived in the ‘50s with the science fiction explanation that is still the norm to this day. This new Green Lantern was named Hal Jordan. However, Alan Scott is still around and due to the magic properties of his ring has barely aged since World War 2.
Most average people who don’t read comics but like superheroes know Green Lantern from the Justice League cartoon; this GL is John Stewart - an African-American. He is also an officer of the Green Lantern Corps, but is not THE Green Lantern (if that makes sense). In short: John is a GL, but when you pick up a Green Lantern comic, the main character is Hal Jordan.
Hal Jordan will be the main character in the new movie, since he is the “official” Green Lantern currently. The movie probably isn’t going to do that well for reasons I just realized while taking a shit.
You know what we don’t need? Another superhero movie about a young white guy. I must choke back my fanboy inclinations and admit that having Hal Jordan be the main character of the movie, even though he IS the proper choice canonically, is stupid. Because it’s boring. It would be nice to have a superhero movie with a black male protagonist who isn’t all “I have GOT tuh get me ONE UH DEEZ!” and is just a reasonable person. We elected Obama; we’re ready for it. Someone who ISN’T Will Smith.
But, I’m not naive. I know middle Americans (a.k.a. Real Americans) don’t want to see a movie about a darkie (who isn’t Will Smith).
You know what I like to see in movies about superheroes? A lot of bureaucracy. The Green Lantern Corps are basically cops of the universe. They have rules, orders, assignments - they report to the Guardians of the Universe...when Hal Jordan first receives his ring he has to go to the planet Oa for training. Imagine if, when Peter Parker discovered his powers in Spider-Man, he had to take a time out to go learn how to use them properly. It kind of takes the wonder and excitement out of it. A space trooper who has to file reports and can be suspended by his bosses is a concept that can work in a comic book or novel, but in a movie it might seem a little dull.
The better choice would be Alan Scott. The magic ring has no rule book, no training required. We don’t have to take time-out from the main plot for the main character to go to another planet. Aliens are cool and everything, but that sort of scope will probably end up making any Earth based sequence that comes after it seem...a little dull. Alan Scott is easier to relate to, easier to comprehend and an all around simpler story, which is always good for a movie.
It’s sort of like how, in the original Star Wars trilogy, Jedi and Lightsabers are really interesting and novel because there aren’t many of them. When Luke uses his Lightsaber to its full effect in Return of the Jedi it’s really fucking cool. Then you watch the new trilogy and you find out the Jedi were dispatched on boring missions by a council of assholes who sit around saying stupid shit. You see four year-old kids training with mini Lightsabers and huge battles where there are literally dozens of people using Lightsabers and it makes the whole concept seem...a little dull.
Too often, we get caught up with things that are cool and exciting in theory. In theory, seeing an epic battle between robot armies, clones and Jedi knights would be a lot more interesting than watching just two people fight, very slowly. But when Vader chops Luke’s hand off, it’s way more compelling than anything from episodes 1, 2, or 3.
It’s not our fault, I guess. Theories are often compelling. Like “cutting taxes helps the deficit” or “eliminating earmarks means we’re serious about the economy” or “electing a black president won’t cause a huge racial divide, we’re past that.” We should remember that, no matter how cool ideas seem to be, we should remember to vet them properly because god dammit I want there to be a Green Lantern 2!
|What Would Sherlock Do?
||[Oct. 29th, 2010|11:53 pm]
A lot of people believe in god. Plenty of people believe in Jesus. I’m not really down with either of those guys, however I do believe in Sherlock Holmes.|
We know, according to the texts, that a man named Sherlock Holmes DEFINITELY lived in the late 19th century. He was a brilliant consulting detective (an occupation he himself invented) who, partnered with Dr. John Watson, solved many mysteries. The texts were compiled by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle from the case notes kept by Watson. Some people think that the collected stories of Sherlock Holmes are all fiction written by Doyle himself, but that’s false. I will prove that the only explanation is that Holmes and Watson were real people.
The idea that one man, on his own, could not only create such detailed characters but also the complex mysteries that Holmes is known for is ridiculous. There is no way that someone could make these stories up out of thin air. Therefore, it’s only possible that they actually happened.
Some skeptics might raise some questions they think prove the impossibility of Holmes being real, but they just haven’t seen the light and accepted the truth. I sincerely hope that one day they come to accept that he actually lived because once you do, it thoroughly enriches your life.
Some skeptics ask “If Sherlock Holmes was real, why doesn’t he make appearances in any other documents aside from the ones provided by Doyle?” In the Sherlock Holmes stories, Watson makes it clear that many of the true identities of the clients and perpetrators were changed to protect them. This is why we can’t look up documents in British archives related to his cases. This is made very clear if you read the Holmes stories.
The truth is, Holmes is responsible for modern forensic science. Before him, police procedure was to take witness statements and influence confessions from suspects. Holmes was the first person in history to ever objectively assess physical evidence in order to solve a crime. I would ask the skeptic, if Holmes didn’t create forensic science: who did? If you claim that Holmes never existed than the burden of proof is on you to convince me that he never lived.
Some might say that the fact that Holmes’ mysteries almost always end with him solving the mystery show that he is actually a fictional character. They claim that the deductions he made were only correct as often as they were because the “plot” needed him to be right, otherwise there wouldn’t be a compelling story. Sherlock Holmes was the world’s greatest detective. That he was always right makes him more credible, not less.
Holmes operated out of 221B Baker Street in London, England. This is stated multiple time in the texts. Today, 221B Baker Street is the site of a museum that preserves Holmes’ residence as it was in the late 1800s to early 1900s. Why would they create a museum for Holmes if he was just a fictional character? There are millions of fictional characters who don’t have museums. Why would Holmes be the exception?
If Sherlock Holmes wasn’t real, how can we accept the lessons about logic and deductive reasoning he taught us? If you say you don’t believe Holmes was real, then you are saying logic and science are not real. How can you be logical without accepting the teachings of Sherlock Holmes?
||[Oct. 26th, 2010|08:54 pm]
This is an important video, but not for any reason that has to do with the video or the music. The song itself is quite catchy (although the theme of the video seems to have been ripped off from de Blob).
Due to my peculiar and useless gift I am aware that Will Smith has gone on record saying his box office success is owed to his supposed ability to anticipate trends of popular culture. I don't remember exactly when and where I read this, so I can't point to a particular source. It certainly seems self-indulgent and overly self-congratulatory and somewhat hard to believe (he did choose to appear in The Legend of Bagger Vance, after all), but his track record does seem to speak for itself.
Smith is undoubtedly one of the most consistent hollywood stars. Earlier this year, while appearing on Oprah with his wife, he explained that the two of them had decided to increase their brand as a family. Which is to say, he wants to pimp out his children as if they are products to be associated with his family name. I'm not exaggerating this at all; he didn't use the exact terminology - and I would dig through the youtube video of the interview to quote him exactly, but I can't stand watching him, or his wife, do anything that isn't related to fiction (and in the case of his wife, anything relating to reality either).
After watching him and his wife insist that they wanted to "increase their brand" (I'm actually pretty sure he used that exact phrase) I am now convinced that the Smith parents are either out of their mind, evil or both. Any parents who let their son appear in a remake of The Karate Kid that doesn't even have karate in it has to be some combination of crazy or dastardly. (Seriously, how do you call the movie "The KARATE Kid" and show Jackie Chan telling him he will teach him kung-fu in the trailer?)
But, crazy/evil or not, Willy was right. That movie made money. Even though we're living in the willenium he's willing to share the spotlight with his children. (Only the children he's had with Jada - the son he has from his first marriage's only real exposure in pop culture was appearing in Smith's shitty "Just the Two of Us" video. He doesn't even have a wikipedia page!)
Now, everyone knows about Justin Bieber. Now he's become almost a parody of himself, but at first he was a novelty act. He was a sideshow freak of an entertainer. Will Smith knows which way the wind blows and seeing the young Bieber, he came up with a plan. He decided to out-Bieber Justin Bieber.
What does everyone know about Justin Bieber? 1) He's young 2) He has crazy hair. What is the TITLE of young Willow Smith's song? "Whip My HAIR" Willow Smith is YOUNGER than Bieber and has CRAZIER HAIR than Bieber. She has specifically been tailored to be more Bieber than Bieber. And knowing Will Smith, I have no doubt in my mind that this was his diabolical plan. He is an evil mastermind.
||[Oct. 23rd, 2010|10:07 pm]
One thing people need to become more comfortable with is not being certain. It's taken me twenty-four years to come to this point. When I was seventeen, I felt that I needed to come down on a particular side of any debate immediately. This is a visceral reaction; it's not rooted in the rational, but instead in the emotional part of the mind. When I ask you, is abortion wrong? you are allowed to say "I'm not sure," or "I have no idea," or even "I have no opinion."|
This brings me to reality television. Reality TV is also visceral. Extreme personalities prosper on reality shows because A) they are easy to understand and B) they elicit emotional responses within us. In the past ten years, reality shows as a concept have become thoroughly ingrained in our cultural consciousness. In the nineties, however, reality television was in its infancy with such shows as Real World, Road Rules and Cops. Originally, the outlandishly crazy people were the minority. Most people on the Real World were average and by extension, boring. Now that we understand reality television better, obnoxious personalities are not only the majority - they are everything. This has been illustrated perfectly by shows like Jersey Shore.
Whether you watch the show or not, you probably have an opinion about the cast of the Jersey Shore. The two opinions available seem to be that they are over exposed morons underserving of attention or legitimately entertaining people, albeit something of a guilty pleasure. In America, there seems to be a fervor for coming down one either side of two warring camps. People seem to ignore the fact that there are two other options available (I don't care and, most importantly, both are true).
In the current political climate, if you are in favor of the current administration you are depicted as a pompous ultra liberal elitist and if you are against the administration you are depicted as a rage filled, anti-intellectual, bible-thumping hick. (The Tea Party was originally a subversion of this, appealing to moderates who felt they weren't represented by either of the major parties. However, the Republicans, anxious to shake off their image as out of touch war mongering old white guys, co-opted the movement instead targeting it toward those with, arguably, latent racist objections to Obama. But I don't really want to get into politics too much right now.)
The media (ominous echo) is implicit in this over simplification of views. When 24 hour news channels arose, people imagined that more and better access to news would be the outcome. However, the opposite has come true. In an effort to consistently fill time, news organizations began covering things that would have been either ignored or given only passing mention previously. This Non-News eventually made people develop a taste for it, to the point where real news became boring. The result is a typical scenario such as this:
Crazy politician said this today. (11 AM)
People react to what crazy politicians said. (12 PM)
Crazy politician apologizes. (2 PM)
Pundits weigh in on crazy politician (4 - 6 PM)
Meanwhile, real things are happening such as bills being passed, developments in oversea conflicts, etc. But the news castors are wasting time on non-issues and non-events and reactions to these examples of non-news.
Similar to reality television, in this system of non-news, bombastic individuals thrive (Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, Keith Olbermann, Glenn Beck) while more rational people (Wolf Blitzer, Anderson Cooper, CNN in general) are ignored. (Fox News consistently beats CNN in the ratings.)
Pop culture shares a symbiotic relationship with reality. It both comments on reality and creates reality. When people see things on television, they imagine that this is how people in the world are. As a result, they begin imitating the things they've seen; people begin imitating them and so on. So, people watching loud pundits, reporting non-news about non-issues changes the population. The Situation has no doubt inspired people to begin 'GTL Sessions' (Gym-Tan-Laundry) thus perpetuating and sustaining the idea that this is how people act, just like watching Tea Partiers say that Obama is responsible for the bailouts, Obamacare is evil, or the stimulus didn't work perpetuates these ideas while also sustaining them.
The Tea Party candidates that have exploded on the scene this year are nothing more than the Snookis of politics. They offer visceral, relatable personalities that appeal to people who don't want to think. People eat this shit up because they feel the need to come down on a side: for or against Obama. However, they miss the other options (again, I don't care and I agree with him on some things and disagree with others.)
It is perfectly reasonable to not have a strong position on an issue. Most of the time we don't have all of the information needed to make an informed decision - either because we don't give a shit enough to look for it or we don't have time to keep up with it. That is understandable. Wading through the bullshit is hard and after a long day of work, I don't want to dig through figures to see who is actually right about the bailout. But, I also don't paint signs and shout at rallies because I heard a couple of loud people say things that appealed to my anger. We must resist the urge let people elicit a knee-jerk reaction from us. If you don't know everything about a particular issue it's okay; you don't work in the government. Don't take to the streets based on something you heard someone say. If you inform yourself and THEN feel "mad as hell" by all means, go forth. Otherwise, sit down and get ready for t-shirt time.
||[Sep. 28th, 2010|08:55 pm]
In light of the fact that smash sensation Ke$ha's song Tik Tok recently became the seventh best selling song in digital history (source: Wikipedia), I thought I would take a deeper look at the song itself.|
Tik Tok by Ke$ha
Clearly, the purposeful misspelling of tick tock is a reference to the problems with the American education system. Right off the bat, Ke$ha provides stinging social commentary.
Wake up in the morning feeling like P Diddy
P.Diddy, as we all know, is African-American; she is telling us that she is empathetic to the trials that black people have to go through on a daily basis.
Grab my glasses, I'm out the door, I'm gonna hit this city
Corrective lenses are often used to treat myopia, which is the inability to focus on more than one thing at a time. "I'm gonna hit this city" is clearly about the terrorist attacks on 9/11. America's inability to see that we weren't as invincible as we thought we were resulted in many, many horrible deaths.
Before I leave, brush my teeth with a bottle of Jack
In the 19th century, many drugs that are demonized today were thought to have legitimate curative effects. Brushing one's teeth with whiskey probably wouldn't have seemed too outlandish. Ke$ha definitely feels it's worth noting how far we've come as a society.
'Cause when I leave for the night, I ain't coming back
The world is a dangerous place and it's very possible that when you exit your home it may be the last time. Accepting that as a reality can be frightening, but being paralyzed by the fear is not healthy. Ke$ha embraces that she might not live through the night, but does not allow those dark thoughts to hold her back.
I'm talking pedicure on our toes, toes
Everybody knows that "pedicure" is slang for protesting. Being on one's toes at a rally makes being struck in the face with a can of tear gas or arrested by the police a lot less likely.
Trying on all our clothes, clothes
America, as a country, wears many hats. We try to police the world, be a partner to many countries, setting universal policy. Ke$ha believes America wears far too many hats. Clearly she is an isolationist.
Boys blowing up our phones, phones
Cell phones are often used as a triggering device for homemade explosives.
Drop-topping, playing our favorite CDs
Dropping one's top is a euphemism for exposing one's breasts in public, which can lead to sexual encounters with strange men that result in Cervical Diseases (CDs).
Pulling up to the parties
"Pulling up" is a little known phrase used to snorting cocaine...
Trying to get a little bit tipsy
"Tipsy" is a southern California slang term used to represent regret after drug binges.
Don't stop, make it pop
DJ, blow my speakers up
She is daring Mahmoud AhmaDineJad (see what she did there?) to attack the Politicians of Washington (her "speakers") with bombs.
Tonight, I'mma fight
'Til we see the sunlight
The most perfect martial arts philosophies originated in China and Japan, the East, where the sun rises.
Tick tock on the clock
But the party don't stop, no
The ticking clock here is her heart, and despite the harsh world, she continues to live.
Ain't got a care in world, but got plenty of beer
Ain't got no money in my pocket, but I'm already here
This, by far, is the most scathing indictment of the Tea Party movement that I've ever heard.
And now, the dudes are lining up cause they hear we got swagger
But we kick em to the curb unless they look like Mick Jagger
Ke$ha only wants politicians who are experienced. While she is not racist and clearly does not agree with the Tea Baggers, she sees Obama as an inexperienced leader, popular only because of his good looks.
I'm talking about everybody getting crunk, crunk
Boys tryin' to touch my junk, junk
Gonna smack him if he getting too drunk, drunk
It's surprising that, as a young person, Ke$ha would be so strongly against alcohol abuse, but these lyrics definitely illustrate her hatred of men who overindulge.
Now, now, we go until they kick us out, out
Or the police shut us down, down
Police shut us down, down
Po-po shut us
Again, Ke$ha extols the virtues of activism in a responsible democracy.
DJ, you build me up
You break me down
My heart, it pounds
Yeah, you got me
With my hands up
You got me now
You got that sound
Yeah, you got me
DJ, as we know, is Ahmadinejad. She feels trapped by Iran's possession of nuclear weapons.
Now, the party don't start 'til I walk in
Ke$ha is an interesting political animal. She is staunchly against America's military involvement in other countries, but she is far from Liberal. She's a Moderate/Republican and she feels that what the Republican party needs is the energy of her youthful generation.
||most recent entries