The Federalist: Feminism or Sexism?
See, this is how the restrictive modern radio/music format and the narrowminded moneymaking music outfits limit young folk to blind consumption. The media’s textual orgasms over these performances are creepy and revisionist.
Helen Reddy’s “I Am Woman” dominated the charts in late ‘72, became the Equal Rights Amendment anthem [The amendment passed both houses of Congress that year, and moved to the State legislatures for approval], and won the Grammy. Her speech, where she thanked God ... “SHE made it possible” ... resonated in culture for years afterwards. Heard it on the radio lately? Nope. Unknown now, among young people. Arguably bigger than Beyonce at the time and with huge impact on the cultural and political landscape.
Beyonce adopts “Feminist” as a marketing tactic, not as an actual philosophy. Pole dancers in the background? This is the old patriarchal “even if they haven’t got power, women run the world through controlling men’s sexual desire” routine, repackaged as something admirable. There were elderly Congressmen spouting this on Capitol Hill, once upon a time, with a whole lot less subtlety. Women of the time threw it back with beautiful invective, followed by “male chauvinist pig!” And a bit of creative oinking.
You’re being played, fans. Post-ERA, pre-AIDS, with birth control pills freely available ... sexual liberation was well-practiced throughout the ‘70’s. Better than today in some ways. This is not something Beyonce has suddenly gifted the world with.
And the whole Sofia Vergara thing is just not funny.
Stars of the past lived feminism, maintained a largely consistent message throughout those tumultuous years - years when it was threatening to a career to do so. Today, it’s all artless performance to a crowd of young people who will seemingly accept anything with special effects accompaniment.
[As an aside, whenever I think of that song, that era, I can’t help but hear Bella Abzug in my head. Walk the walk instead of just talking the talk, Queen Bey, and I’ll listen.]
A&E cancelled “Longmire”. Boy, am I p-ssed.
Deleted the A&E app from each of my devices. They’re going to shop it around ... it certainly seems like the former “Arts and Entertainment” channel is more focused on grungy ‘reality’ shows than anything of worth anymore. If noone picks it up, I say KICKSTARTER.
The camera work, the editing were both stellar this year. Some edgy, very edgy ... they made some daring choices. Always worth it, IMHO. Gotta push the envelope.
Italian Ways: The Bianchina’s good fortune.
A tinycar for the discerning collector. Audrey Hepburn drove one around Paris.
NY Times: Richard Attenborough, Actor, Director and Giant of British Film, Dies at 90.
RIP, good sir. You will be sorely missed.
NPR: Viewer Beware - Watching Reality TV Can Impact Real-Life Behavior.
Youtube: Automata (2014) Official Trailer.
Intriguing. Some of the dialog here is less than inspiring, suspending my enthusiasm.
NY Times: Real-Life Illness in a Virtual World.
(Raises hand.) I’m one of those folks. The 90’s fave, ‘shaky cam’ technique makes me puke. Plain and simple. Remember the movie, “Breaking the Waves”? I made five minutes before bailing out and sitting in my car, listening to music and hoping my head and stomach would stop roiling, waiting for everyone else to finish the movie. I just can’t do VR until this effect is fixed.
A Conversation On Cool: Redford, Newman.
They look skeptical. [heh]
RenewCancelTV: Longmire Season 4 Renewal News By September? Craig Johnson Confident.
Good God, they’d better renew. Half of NM’s gonna hunt down A&E’s executives like they’re David Ridges [in-joke].
Dazed: The weirdest film you’ll see this month, or year.
This sounds pretty darned cool to me.
Guardian.UK: Christopher Plummer - ‘Who the hell wants to be happy all the time?’
Interviewer: Hello Christopher. I think there’s a delay on the line so we’ll have to try not to interrupt one another.
Messy Nessy Chic: Into the Woodstock Crowd, 1969.
I think what’s hard to express is that this is how kids dressed back then, walking around on the streets. This is not isolated to Woodstock. You see that long hair and beards are not the majority look ... mostly just hair a bit too long, and some sort of facial hair. Truly long hair on men was still a major cultural statement, drawing looks and ire from even average citizens. The nudity was pretty much Woodstock and rarely elsewhere - though there were a subset of guys who could grow the long hair, go shirtless with hiphugger jeans and tire sandals, and affect Robert Plant. Every town had at least four, with attendant preteens drooling over them. The other thing is to watch the videos of Woodstock. The audiences were rather staid; you would almost say unemotional. A few dancing with glee, but the majority stone-faced, just sitting. Looking at other concerts of the era, even shorter ones, same thing.
An irony I’ve missed all this time - for Hendrix’ Star Spangled Banner, the crowd had dwindled to less than 1/10 of its size ... the “single greatest moment of the ‘60’s” was missed by over 90% of attendees, in order to go home and dry off.
Once again, the Hartley quote is applicable: “The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.”
BBC: Downton Abbey to be less miserable in series five.
Thank goodness. All the bad news made me dread it last year. Funny thing - I always saw the series as a Bates biography. He is, after all, the very first character you see in the first episode, in a very long set of establishing shots. Yet they went from a below-stairs drama to upstairs drama. I miss O’Brien terribly. They left that plot line lying like a live fish flapping on a dry slab. But I digress.
OpenCulture: Watch the First Episode of Osamu Tezuka’s Astro Boy.
“The whole story plays out as if Mary Shelley and Fritz Lang collaborated to make Dumbo. Tezuka throws in a lot of wacky slapstick comedy, which just barely takes the edge off the story’s Dickensian melodrama, which relentlessly mines all those primal fears you thought you got over. In short, it’s brilliant.” Tezuka was a genius. Period.
The Airship: Why Writers Should Read the Classics.
“The classics are able to achieve this timeless quality because they are not descriptive; they are introspective. They are not focused on the world in which human emotions exist, but on human emotions themselves.” Yes, yes, YES.
I recently viewed the movie Renoir. European pacing, slice-of-life, no real conclusion. I admired the film for what it was ... they gave me room to imagine the character’s inner lives, without specifically depicting it. It’s all the things the actresses/actors don’t say. The negative space gives your mind room to fill in the blanks, instead of having CGI and sound effects limit your imagination’s range.
Too many modern novels overdescribe [just for the sake of describing] to the extent of dust textures in a bedroom [snore]. Is the texture of dust important? Rarely. A good lesson is Dickens’ description of Miss Havisham’s cake-room in Great Expectations. Just about everything has symbolic meaning. An adjective applied to one aspect, overshadows every other. Tableaus beautifully, succinctly, vividly created in one’s mind. When students read this, ask them to describe the room (without the book). You’ll be astonished at how similar the descriptions are. Dickens knew his business.
My personal fear has been to study and analyze classics I love too closely. It would be like putting your life partner under a magnifying glass, purposely looking for hidden springs and levers, putting a Post-It on every tiny flaw. It might affect the character of my love. So I tend to analyze books in in my B-list.
Kind of creepy, how many folks are trying to boost their brands with Robin Williams’ death.
It’s been bad before, but this is the worst I’ve seen. Too many pious articles with no direct input, branders continuing to try to clamber higher in their scores on the backs of a tragedy.
The actions on Twitter towards his daughter, make me sick inside.
Here’s what I think: I think we all ought to pick a day ... perhaps the day of his funeral. We all go find the tallest thing we can, stand on it, and and take a photo of ourselves with “O Captain, My Captain” as the caption. Flood the social media airwaves.
I invite someone with more followers than I to make the idea popular. Take the idea whole, I don’t care. Something like this needs to be done. Come up with something better! This just rolled out of my head. We, the core of the internet, need to make this right for his memory, for his daughter.
Youtube: Mortdecai (2015) - Official Teaser Trailer.
Um ... feels like a one-trick pony. I think I’d rather catch Bean shorts.
fxguide: The VFX of Guardians of the Galaxy.
Spoilers, methinks. But cool stuff within.
... And now we’ve lost Lauren Bacall too.
For most of my adult life, I’ve been a ‘brunette man’, but Lauren was always AOK by me.
Robin Williams apparently committed suicide today.
Shazbot. Apparently he’d been battling depression for a while.
Later: Cracked, Why Funny People Kill Themselves. Having worked around show business in NYC [A/V and Industrial Theatre share resources with Broadway and Television], I have to agree with this assessment - even though I balk at the portrayal of great artists as having psychological issues. The comedians I have been friends with, all had particular foibles that made their lives difficult. Writing skits, interestingly enough, seemed to tame the savage mind. The process of writing seemed to add needed stability and outlet.
Even later: You know, as I cross the many social media channels, there’s something very appropriate about having Robin Williams virtually eulogized by ever-moving animated gifs.
Paris Review: The Professor and the Siren.
“... Lampedusa gives his immortal heroine the body of a fish from the waist down; in this he is following the more familiar northern folklore tradition of fish-tailed mermaids; of Mélusine, seal women or selkies; and of water spirits, called undines by the alchemist and philosopher Paracelsus. But both species share the special charm of an irresistible voice.” Reminds me, if you’ve not seen Ondine (with Colin Farrell et al), you should.
Thoughts on personal branding, Charo, and Q Scores.
Long story to set this up.
I ran across a version of Malagueña on Spotify, played by María del Rosario Mercedes Pilar Martínez Molina Baeza, a student of Segovia’s. Sounds impressive on its face, right?
Wait. You’ll recognize her more readily under her stage name, Charo. The Segovia link probably surprised you - it surprised me. As did her playing (on this version). And after perusing her Wikipedia entry (the 1970’s), I became acquainted with her Q Score.
This, of course, brought Technorati, Klout, personal branding to mind.
The story for Charo is that because of ill-advised overexposure, her recognition factor is as high as Clint Eastwood’s, but her popularity factor is in the single digits.
Everyone knows you, not many care about what’s going on with you. No ability to generate any buzz, except through sensationalism ... which requires ever-greater levels of personal exposure, allying with strategic larger brands, or creation of false personas.
Personal branders, beware. This is a metric you may not be paying attention to. One can expose themselves quite thoroughly, score well on the social media measurement charts, link all the trending subjects, and have no popularity. Oh, you can have ‘influence’ — you talk to a lot of people — but do you really have ‘likeability’? It’s that polarity thing I keep railing about. I’ve tested Klout over and over, and it has no method for judging a positive thread vs. a negative thread ... the same failing Technorati suffered from. Numbers without context, that blow up into a fantasy.
So, to put it gently — counter to Klout or other measurement services — perhaps less recognition and greater likeability should be the general goal ... ?
My opinion. Take it or leave it. I’ll sign off on a totally ironic note ... sounds like folks should start blogs rather than social media empires.
Neil Young, Sugar Mountain.
Art of VFX: Marvel’s Phase 1 & 2 – A Look Back.
Globe and Mail.CA: Cultural nostalgia is a human experience.
“As we mature, we learn to rationalize our pop cultural passions. We make intellectual arguments for the legitimacy of our tastes, we defend our positions as objectively unassailable, we resist the experiences of other generations as somehow less worthy or enlightened than our own. But what it boils down to is this: We just can’t help it.” Generously guilty as charged.
Rolling Stone: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Movie Review.
“Should the Guardians take on the Avengers? Hell, yeah!” I’ll go to the theater for this one, man.