The Chronicles of a Witty Observer

Archive for March, 2011

Public Enemy #1: What You Need to Know About Rebecca Black

Know thine enemy, fellow readers, know thine enemy.

‘ARK Music Factory’ is an independent record label out in LA (aren’t they all in LA?) that will literally take any tween girl who’s daddy is rich enough to shell out the money, and writer her a song, record it as a purchasable single, and design/film a music video starring her. They call themselves an ‘indie’ music label, yet they seem to be anything but. In the past month alone, nearly ten of these rich-tweens-born-of-rich-daddies have found and exploited ARK for its resources. The music videos are posted to a youtube account.

From what I gather, this company took itself seriously, and never intended for any of these young girls to rocket to stardom with their first single. The song and music video was meant to be the start of a portfolio so the clients could later build a career or get into a good music university like Julliard or the Boston Conservatory. Realistic, yes? I can understand this idea.

Then this little runt came around:

Wednesday Addams’ Long Lost Twin?

This little girl is Rebecca Black, aged 13. She’s anorexic-thin, has a Lea Michele hairstyle, is a self-proclaimed sufferer of the worst disease since the bubonic plague (aka ‘Bieber Fever‘) and has all the personality of a High School Musical extra. In the past fortnight her single ‘Friday’ produced by ARK went from 400 youtube hits to over 40,000,000.

I think, for once, the hits have it right. Not because this song is catchy, interesting, or that Black has any hint of natural talent. It’s because the song is awful, poorly-conceived all-around, and Black has NO hint of any natural talent. The comments and reviews, professional and not, say it all. It’s official: Black and her ‘Friday’ song is a joke. A joke straight out of hell.

I would link you to the video itself, but it’s easy enough to find, and I will in no way endorse adding more hits to this disaster that cannot possibly be construed as ‘music.’ I also won’t go into the cavity-forming lyrics, which literally go through the days of the week and what order they come in akin to a Barney the Dinosaur number before talking about the TWEEN singer’s longing to ‘party’. I won’t describe the cheesy-as-cheddar music video, complete with classic 90’s MV cliches and mediocre directorial effort (and thirteen-year-olds drivings cars?). I would comment on Black’s god-awful singing voice, but the entire thing is so auto-tuned you can’t even tell what she sounds like. I have to convince myself no one sings like that naturally. It has to be computer synthesizers and tuning. All of it.

So what, may I ask, is the point of begging and crying like a spoiled brat until Daddy shells out 2 grand for an ‘original’ song when it isn’t even your natural voice on the audio track, your original lyrics, or by any means your own design?

Say it with me, people: FAME.

Congratulations, you get a cookie.

Once upon a time, music was an art form unto itself. It was to the ear as painting was to the eye. In the earliest days, musicians literally kept cultures alive through the songs, stories, and dances of their people. Later, musicians were some of the most revered people in society, trained for the sole purpose of entertaining nobility and royalty alike. In the first half of the 20th century, hell, the first three-fourths 0f the 20th century, musicians were celebrities for a reason. Not just any half-wit with a bank account could make it. Talent was key. The art was still art. Lyrics were poems, and melodies were the medium used to convey poetry to people. Songs gave courage to freedom-fighters, identity to lost souls, and voices to entire generations.

Now, they tell us that Sunday follows Saturday, and are tools used to get quasi-attractive, upper-class preteen girls a shot at bringing in more money than they already need.

The meaning of music is dying. And what it’s being replaced with looks more suitable as the DVD cover of an independent teen horror flick.

Mean Girls 3: Freddy vs. Lohan

I am literally insulted and offended just watching the damn music video, then seeing how much fame is following this girl around inside of a month. Because good or bad, fame is fame. Chicago taught us that.

In what warped universe is this monstrosity acceptable? And before you say ‘this one,’ let me just say I’m just as pissed at ARK for letting this happen as I am at Black for existing. This is abuse of the original purpose of ARK’ Music Factory.

No, this is a comedy. An unintentional farce. It has to be, and this is the only way I can see this abomination fitting into the realm of music with a purpose. After all,  comedic musicians can be quite big too, and some are even witty, like Weird Al Yankovic or Richard Cheese. But alas, something about this tells me this is 110% serious music video with serious intent. If there were credits after the video, the vocal lessons were provided by Helen Keller.

Music itself changes all the time, and I can accept that. We had Amadeus Mozart, Louis Armstrong, The Beetles, Led Zeppelin, Green Day, Spice Girls, Green Day (again), and Lady Gaga. But what all of the aforementioned have in common is their music has/had a goal, even if it’s just to entertain or shock.

The goal of ‘Friday’ is solely for getting a face out there. That’s it. I see no other reason but to associate Rebecca Black’s face with something, good or bad, so she can get on TV. Oh, and the small satisfaction in getting off a good Helen Keller joke (see above).

And she did all of the above. Mission accomplished, okay?  So, to my dear Rebecca Black: I’m sure you’re a spoiled, self-interested, shallow person in real life, but for our sakes, please shut up, stop ripping apart a millenia-old art form, and go back to middle school before lunch period ends.

 

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To my Humble Readers…

First, to everyone who reads this even on a semi-regular basis or once in awhile, I thank you for taking the time to read my posts. The hits have significantly increased over the past month, and while I’m not sure why, I know they can’t ALL be spam-hits…right?

That does mean a lot to me, so thank you.

Second, because I know some of the average-40+ hits-per-day have to be real people who either stumble on or semi-regularly read my blogging adventures, I’d like to know what YOU want to see my write/rant about. Feel free to leave comments anywhere on the blog, and I’ll take your requests into consideration. These suggestions may include topics you want to see me discuss, movies and/or books you want me to review, or something of the like. I want to know I’m actually interesting you guys with my stuff. What better way than to actually get your comments/advice and use them to improve the site?

Thirdly, thank you again! I won’t post for the rest of this weekend as I have a lot of work to do, but next week I’ll be back for sure!

Lovingly Yours, Me.


Why I’m Not Married (You know, other than the fact I’m barely 22)

Ah, feminism! No, strike that.

Ah, women who claim to be feminists but clearly don’t know what they’re talking about!

People tend to see feminism in three different ways, from my experience. You have those who think feminism involves a bunch of angry butch lesbians yelling at state capitol buildings. You have the wiley career women who ‘don’t need a man to be happy. In fact, men are scum.’

Then you have me, who’s pretty average but simply likes the belief that women are equal to (NOT greater) than men. And I find that a pretty simple-but-blunt belief to have. It all comes down to one word for me: choices. Give women choices. Every choice a man has to make and every possible option he has should be the same for a lady. Just because our junk is different doesn’t mean we need to be stuck under a veil and made to pop out babies to feel important. Options, opportunities, whatever you call it, THAT is where I consider the root of my feminist beliefs. Plain as day.

So naturally, when I came upon a certain article by Tracy McMillain of Huffingtonpost.com that literally justifies why some thirtysomething women are unmarried by insulting them, I get a little miffed.

The gist of the article is that naturally, every woman WANTS to get married. But sometimes she can’t seem to figure out why she isn’t. Its plagued her night and day, and what it comes down to is: IT’S YOUR OWN DAMN FAULT! It’s not guys. It’s not your career. It’s not the fact that marriage just may not interest you, or that you’re a lesbian and are, sadly, legally not allowed…

IT’S BECAUSE YOU SUCK!

Literally, click on the link and read the article. You’ll find that our dear friend Tracy McMillian reasons that YOU (yes, YOU, behind the guy with the big nose) are not married (even though you obviously want to be, because you’re a single woman in your thirties) because:

A-You’re a Bitch
B-You’re Shallow
C-You’re a Slut
D-You’re a Liar
E-You’re Selfish
F-You’re Not Good Enough.

Each perfectly logical explanation more insulting than the last. I supposed this is supposed to pass for quirky-yet-wise irony. You know, because this dame says herself that she’s been married/divorced three times and therefore is perfectly qualified in giving marital advice.

Before I even begin my angry go-around, let me just say that my impression from this woman is yes, she considers herself a feminist. Her writing oozes ‘girl power’ in tones that went out when the Spice Girls broke up. She’s attempting to give woman-to-woman advice, so maybe her intentions aren’t all that shitty. But she still makes her case sound like it belongs in a Cosmo column from 1956, and it ultimately insults women way more than it answers their questions.

So, shall I break this down into categories and rip each section a new one individually? As my Improv Professor used to say: Yes! Lets! (Theater joke that probably went 10 feet over your head).

A- You’re a bitch.
McMillian’s delightful little way of saying ‘you’re angry, and men want to marry nice women.’

The way she expresses it in the article is that being ‘angry’ means being politically opinionated and openly expressing any sort of dissatisfaction you may have. She even sites Kim Kardashian as a GOOD example of the type of woman men want to marry (despite the fact it was a comparison made totally out of thin air and made no sense no matter how many times I read it).

Yeah, she’s not angry at all. She’s the one.

This demented little piece of advice straight from Betty Crocker quite frankly makes me MORE angry. Basically, don’t have a loud mouth, don’t have dislikes, and don’t let on that you’re a good debater until AFTER the wedding. If you dare say ANYTHING bad, no man will want to get within fifty feet of you or your big mouth. I guess the whole thing went to shit the minute I realized that THIS is what she means by ‘you’re a bitch.’ Men like quite, submissive bimbos who don’t get politically active or have strong opinions at all.  I’m sure that’s why Michelle Obama’s not marri–OH WAIT A SECOND!

B-You’re Shallow.
Yeah, some women are shallow. Some women hold out for the handsome rich guy that only exists in Lifetime Movies. And they never find him. Some women do have highly unrealistic images in their mind that prvent them from giving real men a shot. I could ALMOST get behind this one…

…if it weren’t for the fact that shallowness is encoded into women’s DNA, so there’s a biological basis behind it.

There’s a very WELL KNOWN (TRACY!) study where women of different ethnicity, social standing, and appearance were given articles of clothing that were sweated in (ew) by men of the same variation of categories. It was seen that overwhelmingly, women said that the clothing that corresponded with their male equivalent in every way was best-smelling.

It’s basically an evolutionary trait that dates back thousands of years with the human race, developed for the purpose of sexual selection. It’s seen in many other species too. And McMillian is blaming women for that one too.

C-You’re a Slut.
Aka- ‘You sleep around and that fucks your judgment.’

The thing is, she uses science to back up THIS ONE, by claiming it’s all because of a hormone called oxytocin. If women sleep around too much, they’re going to lose focus of the whole marriage part.

Calling a woman who has lots of sex a ‘slut’ is enough to piss me off.  Assuming that all women would prefer getting married to being a free lover makes me want to drop kick this lady.

I myself express less of an interest in marriage and would prefer living a free-love lifestyle (if that’s the way I was heading), or even just living with a partner without having to take the vows. It’s a strange idea to many, not at all traditionalist. But I guess it makes me a slut, because commitment isn’t the first thing that pops into my mind when I fuck somebody.

D-You’re  a Liar.
Here, McMillian is saying you don’t want to scare guys off (I guess you’re not a bitch anymore) so you lie and say you don’t mind waiting as long as the partner needs to come around.

I’m not even touching this one. I could go on for pages on how ridiculously assumptive and Jennifer-Aniston-movie-ish this is.

Or Jim Carrey-ish. Take your pick.

E- You’re Selfish.

“If you’re not married, chances are you think a lot about you.”

That was VERBATIM! I am not kidding. Where do you get off saying that, Ms. McMillian? Is marriage the automatic transformation of a selfish bitch into a generous, subservient woman? Is it SUPPOSED to be and I just didn’t get the memo?

Seriously, she’s beginning to make marriage out to be this be-all end-all event that is meant to change free-loving hippie scum into Stepford Wives!  In fact, I’m not even going to argue this. I’m just going to post what TRACY MCMILLIAN says and let you kick her ass yourself:

“A good wife, even a halfway decent one, does not spend most of her day thinking about herself. She has too much s**t to do, especially after having kids. This is why you see a lot of celebrity women getting husbands after they adopt. The kids put the woman on notice: Bitch, hello! It’s not all about you anymore! After a year or two of thinking about someone other than herself, suddenly, Brad Pitt or Harrison Ford comes along and decides to significantly other her. Which is also to say — if what you really want is a baby, go get you one. Your husband will be along shortly. Motherhood has a way of weeding out the lotharios.”

So far, ladies, if you’re not married, you’re a self-absorbed sex-crazed shrew. If you ARE married, then you’re having kids (duh) and finally a functioning member of society. Oh boy, I can’t fucking wait for the last one…

F-You’re Not Good Enough.

There you have it, ladies. You’re not married yet because YOU’RE NOT GOOD ENOUGH.

I know I could go in depth, but again, I don’t believe I will. In fact, I can sum up this whole thing with two words.

FUCK. YOU.

Tracy McMillian, no matter what you say, you are clearly not a feminist. Your ideas are warped and should be launched into space like Sputnik and never heard of again. You’re presumptive and extremely lacking in any idea that women have a CHOICE nowadays to not get married and have children. You’re saying that if you’re not married, something if very wrong with you and you should change yourself, get rid of all your political opinions (and sex partners) and woman-up to being a wife.

Because being a wife is what every woman dreams of.

Forgive me for not living in a Disney movie, Ms. McMillian, but your insults simply make me laugh in the end. Oh yeah, they make me angry too. Because I’m a bitch. Which means I’ll never get married.

Pity me, then. My life is over.