Sunday, December 6, 2009

This song gets me so pissed off...

Alright - there is this song i hear on the indy stations in NYC - WFUV, KEXP in NY (91.5) - and it absolutely fucking drives me crazy. TO the point of Obsession.

Please listen to the song first - I've already colored your perception a bit. Please make sure you listen to the refrain.

Brooklyn Brooklyn Take Me In by the Avrett Brothers

Now that you've heard it -  WTF?

When is Brooklyn assumed to be some warm hearth, with some spiced cider, all chillin on the coffee table? What the hell are they talking about? I mean yes, Brooklyn is full of people that are generous, funny, and gregarious - but I don't get it!

I think this song, in general, is indicative of the changing of brooklyn's neighborhoods and the boro in general. It's becoming filled with peeps who like urban farming, country music, pulled pork, beards and skinny jeans. Microbrews and the IFC channel. They know what mumblecore is.

It's almost like i'm offended that people think of brooklyn like this. There are poor people here, striving, getting priced out of their neighborhoods, just so (people like myself) can have space and live next to their jobs and drink expensive coffee.

NYC is always going to change, and I am not a sentimental person. I just think its scary that two different groups of people can interpret a place so differently. Barack Obama likened himself to a Rorschach test at one point - I wonder if Brooklyn can be interpreted the same way.

Brooklyn (We Go Hard) (Ft. Santogold) - Jay-Z

Famous Breakups - Blonde to Brown, and vice versa

This is my attempt to reduce cheating by men on their spouses to one simple issue: that being hair color.

Tiger Woods has a beautiful blonde wife.

Who is he cheating on her with?

Brown haired women.

Men are seemingly this simple.

Further, I think women know this: hence the popularity of brunnettes getting blond streaks, and vice versa. This search automatically popped up in google when i started typing in blonde.

Maybe some women think that this will keep a man from straying? It's hard to be reductionist here, but if you are a celebrity gossip mongerer, I am sure you will find this pattern all over the place.

SVU - getting the crimes/neighborhoods wrong

I stopped watching SVU a while ago, because the writing just got too bad. I watched it late last week, and I now know why it pissed me off so much.

They keep having crimes committed in neighborhoods in NYC where they would never happen. It's almost like they paint entire neighborhoods with the craven acts of NYC's criminals.

I'm not going to go through the story, but one scene involved a pimp straight out of "i'm gonna git you sucka" telling the detectives about a former prostitute that he used to hustle....IN MIDTOWN.

In Midtown.

Granted, there are probably tons of high priced call girls who go all over midtown to ply their craft, in addition to their pimps, if that still exists.  But that they found this pimp somewhere near the Starbucks at 48th and 8th - that's a stretch.

Further - they found a naked body in a vacant lot - Also in Midtown.

I know procedurals suck, but this is just mind numbing. From a NYC tourism perspective tho - and a larger NYC image perspective as well - is it better to paint bad neighborhoods as bad, or is it better to paint the whole city as crime filled? I wonder if the Mayor's offices PR people have contacted the producers of this show and asked them this very question.

I imagine that a conversation would go something like this:

NYC: "You know, you can't have all of the sex crimes happening in hi - crime areas ... it paints negative stereotypes of certain neighborhoods that we are working hard to change."

SVU: "Well are you saying that we can have someone getting raped in a vacant lot in Midtown as well as find a hard core pimp on a street corner there as well?"

NYC:  "Hmm...I think that's OK, given the amount of police that we saturate Midtown with, especially around the Theater district and Times Square.  Further, it is good to keep some elements of a 'Scary, crime filled NY' in areas where it doesn't really exist. If the image of NYC gets too soft, then people won't feel as compelled to come here without a sense of danger or adventure"

SVU: "whatever you want. Sure!"

NYC: "and make sure Mareska beats up more male perps. Everyone likes that."

Sex Rehab with Dr. Drew. Commercials for "for the love of Ray J"

I am a big fan of Sex Rehab with Dr. Drew. I think it is a great show that highlights an issue that is more problematic given our sex-obsessed media and the ease of transmission of porn via the Internet. One of humanity's paramount impulsivities (sex and the continuation of our specific genetic code/species) is now engendered easy access to false titillation. It also stars tragic D-list celebrities who are used to trading their celebrity for sex with people easily wowed with celebrity. They also struggle with real issues such as childhood rape, abuse, and abandonment. And it is all the more compelling as they try to spin a tragic addiction into possibly a more tragic reinvention in Hollywood.

The only thing that is gross is that the commercials are sprinkled with promos for another VH1 show "For the Love of Ray J".  This show is about a singer whose only really claim to fame is that he is Brandi's brother and that he had sex with Kim Kardashian on an incredibly staged porn tape that made them both instant celebrities.

I think the producers should think about how they come off to me, because my opinion is so very important and can turn the tide against their network in a moment :-).

But seriously - "ray J" is really about insecure women/fame seeking women looking to get close to celebrity at any cost. Via sex and sexuality - basically the same issues that the Sex Rehab is trying to combat. And it is not about women - it also may teach men that women like to be treated this way.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Rocky IV, Anti-Intellectualism, Sarah Palin

While on the treadmill some time ago, the screen flashed "put your hands on the heart rate handle monitor or use a telemetry strap!".

I quickly put my hands on the the handles, as I always do what a screen tells me to do. I then pictured whatever the fuck a telemetry strap is, and I automatically thought of Rocky IV, and Ivan Drago training to give Rocky a Russkie-beat down.

This is an actual telemetry strap:

Anyway, I started thinking of how Rocky trained - carrying logs up a mountain, pulling an oxen sled, and I thought - wow, uh, did we run out of treadmills here in the US? Were Rocky's knees so shot that he couldn't run on a treadmill?

I posit this: Rocky's rejection of modern training methods combined with metaphors of defeating the Evil Empire is a nascent acorn in the rise of anti-intellectualism in the US. The movie evokes images of Rocky "getting back to what got him there in the first place" namely, "conventional" training methods, a la Rocky I.

He doesn't need telemetry straps; he doesn't his BMI, he doesn't need to measure the size, girth and weight of his BMs; he just needs some meat to hit and Paulie on a sled. I interpret this creative move on the part of Mr. Stallone (who wrote Rocky - remember that) as an evocation of the protestant work ethic - just work hard knowing what you know, and you're reward is in Heaven (or Adrian). This ethic plays out in Rocky IV as well., and is contrasted by the Olympic/Equinox gym that Ivan Drago trains in.

In his preference for the old style training methods, he is rejecting advances in sport science. Since he is not a scientist at all (save whatever he is taking now, I guess, to keep him youthful), you can infer that he is rejecting science, and exterior logical thought altogether in the context of the movie. Further, if you also accept the portrayal of scientific thought as cold and rational, Rocky's actions also paint him as impulsive - he knows what he needs to do to win and survive in the ring. Boxing is gladatorial and fast - and he is relying on old timey methods to make sure he will triumph in the ring. Science and computers are fast, but not when it comes to the training of the human spirit. If you accept all that, you are left with the derivative metaphors of:

preference for old training methods (rejection of science) + Ivan drago with a telemetry strap (science) = the rise of anti-intellectualism and cult of Sarah Palin.

Read this blog post by Matt Taibbi for the Sarah Palin reference that I am bringing up here. He really brings the anti-intellectualism thing home to roost. He actually recognizes (rightfully) that Sarah Palin is an incredibly gifted politician who knows what gets her base going.

I hope a producer in Russia makes a movie about a russian boxer who beats up an american soon - that country is in dire need of some positive metaphors.