Sunday, April 30, 2006

Girl, You have no faith in Jack White

A lot of people are saying Jack White sold out because of his new Coca-Cola Advertisement:

It's not selling out because White didn't compromise anything. The song in the commercial is one of the best Jack White songs I've ever heard. Granted, there's no Meg, and it isn't the "classic White Stripes sound", but it's still amazing. White should use horns more often.
I know that I panned the latest White Stripes album (Get Behind Me Satan) because of it's excursion from the normal sound of the Stripes. But that wasn't because of the fact that they tried something different, but more because they didn't do it well. Most of the songs from Get Behind Me Satan were carelessly written, and could have sounded better if White spent a little more time on them. The song from this Coke ad (note: I don't know it's source says "What Goes Around Comes Around" another "Love is the Truth") would fit perfectly on GBMS, and has a quality of writing that compares with their older stuff. In other words, if most of the songs on GBMS were of the quality and caliber of this coke ad song, then I would not have said anything bad about the album.

For my full review of Get Behind Me Satan from the Hofstra Chronicle click here

The commercial itself is amazing as well. It looks like it was directed by Michel Gondry, but it isn''s actually Nagi Noda, whom I can't find any other credits for. It doesn’t matter....the video looks like it could be a White Stripes video. Exactly their style.

It should be said further that along time ago White said that he wanted to do a commercial for Coke. He said it's the thing he loves most in the world. He even based the colors of the White Stripes "uniform" off of the famous Coke design. So it isn't as some claim... Coke offered White a lot of money to sell, he asked them to do it. He wanted to.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Myspace: Friend of Police

There's an article in Newsweek this week about the police using Myspace to get information on criminals and those suspected of committing crimes. I don’t have a link currently, but I’m sure there is one.

This article disturbs me. One of the incidents described in the article is about the police checking the profiles of all the friends of one kid to see if they were at his party, and possibly caused some damage (including sexually abusing the girl). Isn't there a Right to Privacy infringement here somewhere?

This also reminds me of when colleges were using to crack down on underage drinking. If they saw you holding a beer on campus in one of your pics, they gave you a reprimand.

I was slow to come onto Myspace (and Facebook) because I didn’t like what these sites did. They more or less set up a database where any person can come and find all your information and everything about you. Now I don’t mean rapists or murders or anyone like that, I mean the government. These sites seem like the first step to a dystopian sci-fi movie. Everyone is registered here, and all their info is here, and can be accessed at the click of a mouse. I’m really shocked that in this post-9/11 world people let their guards down for this. How did we go from not having listed phone numbers to filling out surveys and writing blogs describing everything about you? Honestly, this is friggen disturbing.

Then again, I guess I’m a hypocrite, cause I bought into it just as much as everyone else. I’m on Myspace finally (after saying no for like a year and a half) and I’m on Facebook (I’ve been there for almost 2 years) and I’m even on Friendster (joined that around 3 and a half years ago...haven’t checked it since). Both Friendster and Facebook were done kinda out of peer-pressure from my Nonsense Humor Magazine cohorts, but Myspace I joined on my own...why? Because I liked the self-expression option. One could express themselves in anyway possible on Myspace. Either through writing like I do, or through distracting backgrounds, slow loading pictures, horrible layouts, and loud songs. Any option you choose, you’re still expressing yourself and being an individual...the complete opposite of an Orwellian society were everyone’s the same.

Or are we just made to think that? I noticed that most peoples profiles do look the same because they’re built by the same profile builders. Maybe that’s just coincidence. Maybe.

That's why I like writing...whether it be blogs, or the extravagant amount of surveys that I fill out (my friends know what I’m talking about). The first amendment is one of our most important amendments, because it allows us to say what we want, whether that be our opinion, or the facts. It allows us to criticize our government. Criticize authority. Say what we want. If the government ever tries to take that away, tries to suppress our rights and freedoms, then we use the only amendment that’s more important than the first amendment: the second amendment. We follow what John Locke suggested in his Second Treatise on Government and we overthrow our government by force (though this is a measure you take only when all else fails), because the government is based on us. We are in a Social Contract with our government where we allow it to rule us in return for its protection and limits on its power. When they break that, we have the right to break our side of the contract. As Alan Moore wrote in his graphic novel V for Vendetta: "People shouldn’t fear their governments, governments should fear its people."

But I’m getting off topic here.

Yeah, sometimes the way the police or the government or formal authority is using databases like Myspace and Facebook makes me feel like I’m in a Ridley Scott movie (or commercial). But as much as I don’t like everyone in the world possibly knowing everything about me, I also like bragging. Speaking of which: Ladies, I’m single, in two honor societies, and graduating in May with degrees in TWO majors. C'mon, you know you like it. lol

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Freedom of Speech infringements are no laughing matter.

Comedy Central would rather let Carlos Mencia make fun of retarded people than let Trey Parker and Matt Stone make a statement about censorship by showing a cartoon image of Muhammad. I guess they figure that the disabled can't work a bomb.

But seriously:

Anyone who saw this weeks South Park knows that Comedy Central censored them. Some think that the screen that proclaimed the networks refusal to show an image of Muhammad was part of the show, but it wasn’ was really Comedy Central censoring them. Here's an article:

Comedy Central censors South Park

There's something in the article itself that bugs me. Specifically, this quote:

"A frequent 'South Park' critic, William Donohue of the anti-defamation group Catholic League, called on Parker and Stone to resign out of principle for being censored.

'The ultimate hypocrite is not Comedy Central that's their decision not to show the image of Muhammad or not it's Parker and Stone,' he said. 'Like little whores, they'll sit there and grab the bucks. They'll sit there and they'll whine and they'll take their shot at Jesus. That's their stock in trade.' "

There are so many things wrong with this statement. First off, grammar. Secondly, There's no surprise that a "frequent critic" of South Park is calling for Parker and Stone's resignation, but look at his reasons. Because they were censored, he thinks they should resign. What kind of logic is that? If someone above you doesn’t like what you do, you should resign? If I say something bad about the government I should leave the country? No I should strive for change. If I believe what I’m saying I should try to change it. If I’m the only one, then I'll fail, and that’s that, but c’mon, look at this guys logic. He's saying I shouldn’t say anything that would upset people...I should forfeit my freedom of speech. What a dipshit.

Thirdly, I love how he somehow started talking about how Parker and Stone get money for making the show. and Fourthly, did he completely misunderstand the Jesus reference? Did he even see the show? (that’s a rhetorical question, I know the answer is no).

Honestly, some people just make me want to hit them. Hard.

If Comedy Central was afraid of the response from Fundamentalist Muslims if they showed the image, then should be even more worried about how people like myself and other fans of the Bill of Rights are going to react. Freedom of Speech is a guarantee, and Comedy Central has no right infringing upon it. In the end though, Parker and Stone got the last laugh...the image of Muhammad did get aired...The cartoon Muhammad from the earlier Superfriends parody episode appears in the intro to the show. Look really close at the group shot.

Also, boycott Mission Impossible: 3. Tom Cruise is another asshole that’s trying to stop free speech. He doesn’t want the episode of South Park that makes fun of Scientology to air anymore, and its rumored that he successfully got Comedy Central to pull it from rotation. Boycott his new movie then. It'll probably suck anyway.

Mission Impossible: 3 opens May 5th. As Carsi said, be on the look out for Cruise and Katie Holmes to have their child that same week. The wedding will be around the opening of his next movie, and the divorce the one after that.

Monday, April 3, 2006

Dr Strangelove or: How I learned to write a paper comparing it to Lysistrata

I have a paper comparing Lysistrata to Dr Strangelove and Wag the Dog due tomorrow, and I’m having a really hard time writing it. I know what I want to say...I just can’t put it onto paper.

For all that don’t know Lysistrata is an ancient Greek comedy from Aristophanes. It’s a genius satire of war. The women of Athens, Sparta and the other city states are fed up with The Peloponnesian War. They decide to end it by withholding sex from their husbands and lovers until the men stop the fighting. They tease the men by dressing in masquerade and then refusing intercourse and force them to live with their painful erections and blue balls until the war ends. In the end, there is a (if my Greek terms are correct) Gamos, or ritual orgy scene, as all is reconciled and everyone’s happy. Basically a perfect example of 'make love not war'

These same satirical elements are seen in a modern war satire like Dr Strangelove. In that, the men (there is only one woman in the movie, and she’s a playboy centerfold turned into a secretary sex object) replace their sexual desires with notions of war. There’s sexual imagery all around Strangelove. The opening scene with the refueling of the plane is purely a symbol of intercourse. The long phallus like fueling pump going into the orifice on the lower plane...and then they’re moving, and shaking, and well, it looks like they’re fucking. What else: All of the powerful men have displaced sexual urges...Ripper, Turidson, Strangelove, The Russian Ambassador, hell even Mandrake have oral fixations. They’re all either smoking a cigar, cigarettes or chewing gum. Ripper's cigar is like an erect phallus to him. After he is defeated look how limp it goes. Also Ripper is worried of the Russians corrupting and stealing his 'natural bodily fluids'. He explains that he came to this conclusion while making love. And since then he doesn’t give his 'essence' to anybody (because that’s what the Russians want) other words, his going to war (to 'preserve our bodily fluids') is because of his impotence. (ironic due to his namesake Jack the Ripper destroyed female genitals, while he’s trying to preserve stuff from that area).

Further, there’s an allegory of war is like love many symbols everywhere throughout the movie...the planes are infiltrating Russian airspace...if even only one gets through, then the Doomsday Machine will kick in, and that’s the end of the world (producing no babies that way, but it will in the plan the men have at the end...i’ll get to that later). In the survival kits, the soldiers are given condoms (as well as lipstick and stockings)...when the code to attack comes in, they’re interrupted from doing things like reading Playboy. On the inner door of their safe that keeps their secret codes there are pictures of naked women. The bombs are named "Hi There!" and "Dear John". The bomb doors won’t let anyone through, and when they finally do, Slim Pickens rides that bomb all the way down...feeling the power between his it’s a swollen phallic symbol.

Turgidson’s (George C. Scott) got a great line, when he’s talking to Tracy Reed, who plays his secretary. He’s going to the War Room, but she wants him to stay and have sex and he says "You just start your countdown and old Bucky will be back before you say BLASTOFF". Of course the sexual metaphors are all over that. Though the best part is the end when the men are more interested in the 10 to 1 ratio of women to men as they try to repopulate the world. Then they get worried that the Russians will try and steal their mine space (the place that will allow them to have sex with these women) and they almost start another war fighting over the idea that the Russians can steal the mine space. The desire for sex leads to war. Basically the 'make love not war' thing is turned on its head and now its War is like making love, but making love the old fashion way gets less people killed.

Then there’s Wag the Dog. One of my favorite satires...I don’t know if it fits well into this at all. Both Lysistrata and Wag the Dog discuss how war can be controlled by people. How it is insanity that can be fabricated by men. Basically the main points I’m going to use from Wag the Dog is the line "Why do people go to war?" "To ensure their way of life" (this is from a conversation between De Niro’s character and William H Macy’s). Basically War is used to keep the status some way, the women of Lysistrata were both trying to keep the status quo and trying to change it. While they did claim that they wanted to control the money for wars, they really just wanted their lovers and husbands to be home and not be killed anymore. The whole controlling the money thing was just politics...kinda like what was also happening in Wag the Dog.

There...this kinda if I could only make five pages out of this.

Sunday, April 2, 2006

Wham! Bam thank you ma'am

I don't know why, but right now I want one of those "Choose Life" shirts that George Michaels wears in the video for "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" by Wham!. I don’t care if you call me gay, that shirt is cool.

I really should do my research on this, because I have no clue what that shirt was for. I highly doubt it was an anti-abortion statement. At least it doesn’t make sense for George Michaels to be making one. Maybe it was anti-suicide? Does anyone know?

Either way the shirt was cool. Plus, the song rules. Fuck you, I think the song is one of the best pop songs ever written.

Great, now its stuck in my head. At least its easier to get out than their Christmas hit: "Last Christmas". 'Last Christmas/I gave you my heart...'....shit.