Sunday, November 28, 2010

Lint licker

You're such a [expletive] [expletive], you [expletive] [expletive]!

No, that isn't actually a cohesive sentence.  Although I bet if you gave me enough time I'd find something colourful enough to fill those voids..

I recently got to a bit of thinking - all inspired by minor things I've heard within my family, or what have you.  Specifically, I'll reference something of interest to me: Glee.  It's pretty funny, although the writers have really dropped the ball recently (I would launch into how much I hate that they've made a certain annoying character so central and that it would be more appropriate to call the show 'Kurt's Adventures plus His Friends', or perhaps 'Glee: the Show About Very Special Lessons' but that's a whole 'nother story) and I think it's the music that keeps it fresh and keeps me tuned in.  Anyways, I digress; point is, I usually watch it with my family, and whenever a risque joke comes up my mom or dad usually do the slow turning glance at me as if to make me feel even more uncomfortable.  To use an example there was the time that Brittany and Santana were making out on Brittany's bed - woah, if you don't watch the show you'll certainly be going WTF? - and Santana says something about how she's getting tired of all the 'scissoring.'  This prompted my mother to scoff and my dad to say "everyone on this show is lesbian."

When was it that censorship in the media became so lax?  I can remember the day where the use of the work 'fuck' automatically ensured an R rating; now you can safely use it a handful of times in a PG film, in addition to flashing a bum or showing a bit of blood.  The media has become exceedingly liberal; MuchMusic, for example, is the first instance in my mind where I've heard the use of 'shit' aside from HBO; in fact good old channel seventeen is now showing uncensored episodes of Jackass at 4:00pm on weekdays.  (it's beyond an awkward situation where you happen to be watching an episode and the parents start slowly trickling in, home from work and stopping to glance at the TV when Johnny Knoxville and the gang decide to have their semen tested for quality.  This did happen.  Last Tuesday)

Perhaps censorship has become so relaxed because parents have.  No parent wants their child witnessing a movie bloodfest sprinkled with gracious nudity and sex scenes (I'm lookin at you, Watchmen) or playing a video game where the prime objective is to assassinate terrorists - but the fact of the matter is, kids witness or play these things anyways because parents let it happen.  Perhaps the censorship boards have decided to completely disregard boundaries as if to punish parents for their lack of discipline.  You don't care what your kid watches?  Then here, here's some boobs at 5:00pm on cable.

Is it marketing's fault?  I've read online that Glee sometimes gets flack for their raciness at times - prime example, look at that who GQ scandal (which by the way: what the hell.  Do children even read GQ?  No.  So let Dianna Agron take off her clothes).  But: I've NEVER seen Glee as being a family show to begin with - this is the show with teen pregnancy and blink-and-you'll-miss-them lines about racism and sexism and sex; with careless sex as a pressure on teenagers.  Yes, the fact that it's about teenagers almost automatically installs some sense of family familiarity, but I've always appreciated the show for its adult humour.  So then, to the problem of marketing: they don't market it as a satire, but rather as "look, we're a musical!"  Even then, for something like Glee, the marketing of being a musical is integral to its success commercially; it then again boils down to parental stupidity.

To parents, then, I say: you know that censorship has become liberal and that even 'family-friendly' shows border being inappropriate, so control your kids (or yourselves for that matter) accordingly.  Censorship has long been rapidly heading toward becoming obsolete, as previously mentioned by the amount that the MPAA lets into a low rated movie or by the liberal attitude channels like MuchMusic exhibits.

We're living in a world where ignorance simply won't do anymore.  In that sense, I see the breaking down of censorship's walls to be nearly refreshing; we can't lie to ourselves that an audience really does want to see blood and guts and nudity and swearing, and we know that these things exist in the world, so why not just show the world for what it is.  Maybe this is all because I'm old enough that I can watch and buy whatever the hell I want, and maybe my freedom in what I choose to expose myself to is influencing me to say 'shame on you!' throughout this entire thing.  I wasn't aiming at a formulated answer - I never do; it's just something to think about.  Isn't that the point?

Now fuck off.

Friday, November 26, 2010


Last day of class is on Monday! Conveniently, however, I have the following due: a Shakespeare paper worth 20%, a Science Fiction paper worth 40%, on top of a 20% midterm in Cell Biology.  It's safe to say that I'm heading straight towards exploding, since I have much to do but little time to do so, what with the whole commuter thing (you really have no motivation to do work at all when you get home past 9pm) and with the fact that I still have a job (therefore taking half of my weekend).  I get frustrated in not knowing which order to focus my time in, considering I know that if I take a bit too much time on one thing, the last thing of focus will get the least attention and will probably yield the worst result.

So I'm going to complain for the sake of complaining, not for answers - because there aren't any.  I get that every single class has its own agenda, but does it really make sense for every class to make their final culmination before exams on the same day?  Maybe it's just my luck having those three classes ending on the same day, that could be it.  Maybe professors put too much stock in students, believing them to start that big essay weeks before it was even close to being due.  I think if everyone was capable of that I wouldn't have to groan at the constant stream of facebook statuses bitching about exams or so much work or what have you.  (I escape participating in that annoyance by posting here on my blog where I figure the only people reading are the ones who probably care enough to hear it)

Specializing my complaint: to a certain biology prof, what the fuck?  Is this test necessary?  This is our third massive test - out of four, for a half year course.  All are all-inclusive, meaning I unfortunately can't throw out the useless crap I crammed in my mind for the first two.  This professor is expecting far too much of us, or rather, far too much work from a student body who is far LESS interested.  That class is (was) enjoyable for the reason that people starting snapping back at her to the point where she'd make snide comments about how everyone doesn't like her or that she's a bitch, and while we do agree, I couldn't help but resent her more because of her smugness about it.  (the class was also enjoyable for the people I was with and I'd be lying if I said I DIDN'T pick up BIO207 to keep the good times going on through the year - because I certainly did)

I pretty much feel like exploding come Monday.  I wish I could let off steam, but when I actually did, it turned out a bit sloppy (if not successful?).  My only motivation flashing in my brain is that in less than 96 hours (including sleep) I'll be free of all this, at least until exams kick in.  The 96 hours to come, though, will be a tough one.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

It's Levi-O-sa, not Levio-SA

It baffles me to discover that some people - including my sister, SHAME ON YOU - have never read Harry Potter.  It's strange to hear that people only four or five years older than my generation - or even people the same age as me, for that matter - look at Harry Potter as childish, or stupid.

To be perfectly honest, Harry Potter has pretty much been my entire life.

I remember getting Chamber of Secrets from my aunt for Christmas in 1999.  I remember looking at the cover and trying to read a few pages before I decided it was stupid; I'd never heard of Harry Potter before and I simply wasn't interested.  (maybe the fact that it wasn't the first book deterred me from trying it out?) It wasn't until a year later that I happened upon Sorcerer's Stone that I decided to sit down and give it time.  Of course, I was hooked instantly, and I sped through the first three books in a flash.  Since then I've been buying each of the books the moment they were released, and the speed in which I'd finish each book quickly lowered despite the page count increasing.  For the record: 1. Harry and Hermione belong together, goddamnit, and 2. Nineteen Years Later disgusts me and I was very tempted to rip the pages out and just remain ignorant to them for the rest of my life.  Aside from those few missteps - and perhaps aside from the fact the books had to come to an end - I have no complaints, and I say to JK Rowling: you done good.

Of course, the movies are a different story, and I think I've seen all of them except for Prisoner of Azkaban on opening night.  I appreciate them as an entirely different medium that the books; I'm not one to leave the theaters with my nose in the air, complaining about how much the director cut out or how off a character's appearance or portrayal was.  Mind you, I still do note these things, but they don't bother me; picturing something different is inevitable since we imagined the world of Harry Potter differently in our minds.. and yeah, I do point out that they cut things out like Peeves or the Dursleys' goodbye, but I don't let that govern my feelings for the movies.  I love them all the same.

Shifting gears slightly: here is my half-assed review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part I), which I had the pleasure to see last night as soon as humanly possible for me.

I thought it was good.  Maybe pretty good.  Great?  No.  Amazing?  Not exactly?  OMG BEST HP MOVIE EVAR!!!!  Nowhere near.  (Order of the Phoenix holds that title.  Gorgeous movie)

Here's my reasoning.  (I realize I need to explain myself to pretty much the entire world) I was thoroughly entertained; by the end of it, it felt very short (reasons later); and when it hit the great notes, it hit them HARD.  The Seven Potters sequence was perfect; the Ministry invasion made me squirm in stress; Godric's Hollow made my skin crawl and I cowered quite a bit; and the Malfoy Manor finale was pretty much exactly how I imagined it, if not even better and more intense.  I felt close to wanting to shed a tear for our recently deceased [spoiler alert], but it never really hit me since I never overly liked the character.  Oh, and the animated Three Brothers tale was pretty damn impressive.  ...and oh, same with the locket stuff.

But the thing is: while there was a lot happening, it was a whole lot of nothing.  I never liked the camping-relocation deal they did in the book, and given that the book was split into two books, I knew that it was inevitable that the majority of the movie would be the great wilderness adventures.  I found myself wanting the camping stuff to wrap up, and it didn't help that a whole lot of the conflict was Ron-Hermione heavy.  (Although the movie was a bit of a dream for an ignorant H/Hr shipper) Another thing I didn't appreciate was the fact that the movie felt tailored for book readers; my sister, the shameful family association I have who hasn't read the book, admitted she was pretty confused by the end of the movie, and I see her point.  The movie relied on far too much remembrance of the previous movies to recall characters or plots or specific details (not a personal problem but I can't help but imagine my parents watching it), and significant details were rushed and easy to miss.  Even I didn't exactly hear Ron when he told Dobby to take Ollivander and Luna to Shell Cottage; of course I knew because I was looking out for it and anticipating it.

The final thing that bothered me - and maybe my bigger bother - was the fact that I couldn't get past the knowledge of knowing that the ONLY reason this movie exists is to set up the second half.  Plots began but weren't resolved; things like Bellatrix's hair landing on Hermione's jacket were clear things to set up the motions of the second film.  I get that plots couldn't get resolved since the book was split; I just felt that this movie was a bit of a cash grab, and that it merely (and only) sets the stage for Part II.

That being said, though, I'm itching for July.  I can't hardly wait.  I know, though, that I WILL cry when the last movie is over - this major part of my life will all be coming to a close.  And so I look to July 15th equal parts excruciating (Crucio!) anticipation and remorse.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Ch-ch-changes, or: A note about blogs

As I've said before, I feel that the internet (especially things like Facebook, or in this case, blogs) is a slippery slope: it takes little for people to realize that they've shared far too much and that what they've shared is now visible by, technically, the entire world.  In that sense, that's where my argument deviates away from things like Facebook (where you can set privacy settings) and specifically zeroes in on blogs (where, in my case, it isn't exactly accessible by the entire world but rather is only read through referencing links that I myself have provided).  Despite having a much smaller audience, the fact of the matter remains: a personal piece of information willingly posted is still on the World Wide Web, and even though it isn't accessible to strangers (to mine or anyone's knowledge), it CAN be simply because it's there.

Now, I don't completely frown upon the sharing of information - I've pretty much said everything there is to say on my Facebook profile (my paranoia is nulled by the knowledge of there being privacy settings).  When considering blogs, I do realize that it's an outlet - perhaps even a therapeutic one - and that the word "blog" is pretty much a fancy term for "public online diary."  As I previously said, I don't frown upon getting personal; it merely comes down to a person's own discretion and their comfortability with their audience gaining personal insight, however deep it may be.

That being said, I'm not overly comfortable with it; I know my own discretion and line.  I'm not sure if you've noticed - if you haven't, bonus! - but a certain "infamous" blog post has ceased to exist, mainly because it was hanging over me like a black cloud and I was never fully comfortable with getting really, really personal (or at least by my standards).  That, plus a few more reasons (ah! too personal), caused me to hit the Delete button and even go back and re-read my previous entries and edit them with a Personal Filter switched on.  I was never too bad about that until recently.

On that note: I've noticed a LOT has changed since I started this.  Even the style of my writing has somehow matured - to be honest I look at my earliest posts and I hate hate hate the way that they're written.  Can't do much about that; can't restart everything since I've put so much into creating and writing and distributing (you'd be surprised at how affective just the one link on my FB profile is).

Perhaps the biggest difference - and one that relates to the first half of this glob of text making everything cohesive - is the shift in topic.  My blog has gone from a ridiculous satire peppered with occasional Matt branded outbursts or rants (still humourous) to something resembling what my diary would look like if I had one (I don't).  I've gone from talking about the idiots on Wheel of Fortune and Katy Perry's boobs to [topics deleted].

(In all reality, though, it really hasn't.  My last two posts were about Ke$h(it) and things I hate.  I guess what I really mean is the concentration of personal seriousness has increased in the more recent postings on my blog, and while it may not have been overly evident, it glared at me in the face)

And to that I vow a change.  I vow to edit my posts before I post them - not only skimming for over personal sharing, but for a nod of approval in the way I've written it (I never proofread my posts hence spelling mistakes or, in my case, horrible writing style).  The biggest of all: I plan to get back to the ridiculousness - I noticed I missed a prime opportunity for commenting on those Glee GQ pictures - but I plan to maintain an overall sense of professionalism and maturity.

All that being said: pop culture / daily life, let's start getting outlandish so that Matt can comment on you.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

More things I hate

Many things in this world bother me to the point of absolute frustration.  Here's a few more:
  • I really hate pedestrians.  Pedestrians are so goddamn stupid.  Just because you have the right of way doesn't mean you have the right to stop in the middle of the sidewalk at the end of my driveway when I was clearly going to start reversing and stare at me as if I was driving with the intent to mow you down; you also don't have the right to walk down the middle of an isle in a dark parking lot with absolutely no lighting and then curse at me when I suddenly have to swerve and slam on my breaks when I notice your stupid movement without any warning.  Have you noticed that when you "wrong" a pedestrian, they stand there and just stare at you, mouth hanging open?  Well get the fuck out of my way before I actually hit you, please and thanks.
  • I hate overachievers.  Take, for example, some kid in my Science Fiction course, who, today, raised his hand more than ten times and got to the point where my professor stopped his sentence, looked at him, and said "I NEED TO FINISH THIS."  Not to mention after class, things such as "I hate that guy" and "I want to stab him in the head" were overheard.
  • Not so much a clear cut "I hate ____", but rather a mini-rant at something that really bothers me.  I'm deeply bothered when it comes to the disrespecting of people's interests.  Now, in a relationship of any kind (friendship, familial - but mostly friendship since you can't choose your family), there's obviously common shared interests which drew you to the person in the first place (in addition to everything else that can possibly be shared in common with someone).  That being said, you're not contractually forced to like everything the other person does: in that sense, there's a mutual understanding to respect each other's interests.  For example, I don't watch hockey, but the person I'm thinking of doesn't particularly like Lady Gaga - that doesn't mean we hate each other and it doesn't mean we trash each other's investment in such interest (by the way I hope YOU don't mind I've used you as an example for that hahaha).  I don't appreciate when interests are forced onto me, so I don't force interests on others.  Sure, it works sometimes: you can suggest something or mention something you saw or heard; if the other person likes it then they like it.  If they don't, they don't, and we're at a respectful agreement.  When the line is crossed and a person's interests are disrespected.. that's when I'm not so happy.
  • Look, a second bullet for the same topic!  No, I'm not commenting on how some people might hate, say, Gaga (again) when I love her.  I don't care.  The instance that really sparked my fuse happened last night, so here's where I'll launch another "I hate ____": I hate when I'm told by someone to "chill out" because "it's just a movie" - gee, thanks, I had no idea Hogwarts and Harry Potter didn't exist.  NO WAY, now my heart is broken (by the way, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is what this specifically pertains to - I saw a commercial and noted how excited I was to see it and bummed that I'm without company to see it opening night and got the aforementioned response).  God forbid I grew up with something my whole life and that I show a level of excitement for a temporary, two and a half hour escape from this stressful world I'm living in now.  While I've long tolerated the indifference I get when I mention a trivia fact about something I like - I don't anymore - I won't stand for the instance where the fact that I like and enjoy something is looked at in a negative light.
  • I REALLY hate a certain professor.  Please don't scream at us when the class average is 54% - there's clearly fault in your "teaching methods."
  • In truth, I hate holidays; maybe more specifically, I hate the build up to holidays and how much I personally buy into them.  Take, for example, Christmas; I love the anticipation to Christmas Day, the commercials on TV and the decorations and the lights on every house down the street.  I hate that come Christmas Day you open two or three boxes and bam, "Christmas" is done by 9a.m., and it's just another run of the mill family dinner where conflict is bound to arise.
I hate many more things, but not enough to keep going.  I've given you enough hatred!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Tik tok, there goes your fifteen minutes

Try to tell me that this is not a sign of what's wrong with the world (or, at least, the music business): Bad Romance never reached number 1 because it was blocked by Tik Tok.  Tik Tok also lasted in the number 1 position for - get ready - nine weeks.  Flash forward to today, where We R Who We R only just debuted at the number 1 position, being only the 17th song in history to do so on the Billboard Hot 100.

(Before I go on, I realize there's already a few things to clear up in just my opening statements - shockingly all Gaga related: no, I'm not being biased to Lady Gaga.  I'm sorry, but even if you hate BOTH Lady Gaga and Ke$ha, you'd realize that Bad Romance is a FAR superior song, and I don't care what anybody says against that, it's that blatant.  Also, when I refer to stats and position numbers, I'm referring to the Billboard Hot 100, which I'd hazard is one of the most reputable charts there is, and it's certainly the one with the most weight and prestige.  Sure, Bad Romance might've hit number 1 on Kiss 92.5's Hot 3 countdown or Muchmusic's Top 30, but who gives a shit about those?)

In all reality, the reason why I love Lady Gaga so much is because the woman can sing.  There's no denying that - in fact I believe that her live show is persuasive enough to turn haters or indifferent minds into believers or even fans (I've witnessed this personally).  Yes, it's a truth that some of her songs do rely on autotune and the likes, but the fact of the matter is she doesn't use it as a crutch.  Unlike Ke$ha.

This rant isn't solely aimed at Ke$ha alone, but it just so happens that she is the embodiment of everything that's wrong with pop culture these days.  I remember the days where being famous meant having some sort of measurable talent, but now we're swarmed with lowlifes who get our money because we're lulled into thinking what they present is worth something.  The same can be said outside of the music industry: people like Paris Hilton, famous for nothing, or people like the cast of Jersey Shore, who are getting more money per club appearance than someone meaningful to society like a teacher or nurse makes in a year.

Again, yes, I'm a bit of a hypocrite (that seems to be a running theme with everything I post here - I take a stance and then can support the opposition).  I have Ke$ha on my iPod; I watch Jersey Shore.  I take these as nothing more than face value entertainment, and I can say that I'm in no way supporting Ke$ha's music career as all the songs of hers I have are illegal.  So as I said - brainless entertainment.  From brainless entertainers.  To be perfectly honest, though, I wouldn't be missing anything without these things in my life - another sign that their presence is really unnecessary.  I watch or listen to that type of "garbage" as just that - garbage, or popcorn entertainment.  If I want something more meaningful, I'll switch the station or even talk myself out of the digital age and open a book.

I can see a faint light ahead: Ke$ha actually shows some level of vocal capability in her newest song Cannibal, where she revisits the "ooh-ooo-oh-ooo-oh-oooh" from her first song Tik Tok (you'll have to get past the growls, the grunts, and the lyrics such as "I am cannibal!" or "now that I'm famous, you're up my anus."  Can't believe I typed that.  Who the fuck writes that?).  Mind you, that could just be the autotune singing.

When it comes down to it, though, I think the only people/singers that deserve to be famous are those who are capable of giving us the real deal in real life.  Think: how was someone like Ke$ha discovered if she literally can't sing live?  You surely must exhibit some sort of talent before being ushered into a studio where you can mask your lack of talent behind computers.  That's why I'm a firm believer of why a person's live capability of talent should be a measure of their success.  That's also why I'm a fan of Lady Gaga; she goes as far to have an acoustic version of EVERY song, and if you strip down the computer effects and you get raw talent.

I'll just sit around and wait until people like Ke$ha fizzle out.  I don't give it long; but then again, you never know.  I'm looking at the same society that puts a garbage song like We R Who We R straight to the top of a chart based on sales.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Free falling

First, let me say again that the internet, specifically blogs and other personal outlets of the sort, are all slippery slopes; too easy is it for us to quickly lose our censors, to get too personal for our own goods.  In this respect, I'm a hypocrite: I'm sure I've divulged personal things here - none all too personal, of course - and likely the few sentences I have planned in my mind might overstep my hypocritical boundaries.

I'm on cloud nine.  It definitely helps that I think I aced the test I wrote but two hours ago - thank god for CAUUCA and UGUAGUA (read them aloud.  That's how we study around here at UTM).  But seriously, I think I've fallen.  Hard.  Like down two flights of stairs hard.

Stopping there; the point about this was that I'm obscenely happy.  The forthcoming week looks like a good one.