Archive for October, 2010

If Nothing Else, Sinatra is “The Man”

One of the things Strangelove talked about last week in lecture was the internet and piracy. Now I’m not the type of person to get red in the face over pirated media, because generally I feel that people have the ability to make their own decisions. If they want to “steal” music then they should be allowed to do so. Personally however, I do  not support the illegal downloading of music. Not because it is illegal, but more because I feel, despite what Dr. Strangelove says, it still hurts and effects people in the music business.

Sure Justin Bieber will get beyond rich whether you purchase his CD from iTunes or download it from Limewire or the like. But I feel the “small people”, the ones who make average lower-middle class money, the ones you’ve never heard of, when we steal music those are the people affected. For example I cannot remember what the person’s name was, but a girl in class the other day said that her father is in the music business, and his company has recently had to do some downsizing because of the slow business. Music, as strangelove said, is a business where you’re either super rich, or you just don’t survive. Without sounding too Marxist, I feel as though the music business should maybe move towards a system where more than just the band/singer on the front of the disc makes all the money. For example instead of downsizing a music company maybe knock Justin’s earnings down from ridiculous amounts to something a bit more reasonable. I’m not saying he still can’t be rich, but I mean does anyone really need the amount of money some of these people have? Maybe spread the wealth a little? And I understand it’s easy for me to say this now, but as soon as I get discovered on YouTube I might be thinking something completely different, but for now this is how I feel.

Any who, now in a completely new direction I would like to offer five songs, that you can pay for or steal, I don’t really mind, as long as you’re listening to them. This, believe it or not, relates  to the course because Strangelove starts his classes with random, awesome, but still usually really random music. So, because it’s reading week, and I have nothing else to write about, here is my random five song playlist:

5) “Crooked Teeth” by Death Cab For Cutie:

I like this song because it’s a perfect mix of lyrics, vocals, and instrumental. I love Death Cab lyrics, generally they take a little while to fully comprehend, but when they are fully understood it makes the song so much better. Even if you do not ever fully comprehend the lyrics you’ve got to admit the song is pretty catchy.

4) “I Can’t Stay” by The Killers:

Now I know what you’re thinking, and no, this is not going to be a playlist of only American rock/alternative/indie music. It just happens that the first two songs on the list can be classified that way.

I really like “I Can’t Stay” because it is unlike a lot of the typical music it shares a genre with. The Killers have always been a band with great instrumental value. They’re great not so much for their lyrics, (read the “music and lyrics” section) but more for the way their music sounds. The Killers do what musicians should, they make ORIGINAL music, stuff that sounds like no one else. Plus the fact that they use more than the conventional rock instruments in their music is just an added bonus, one that really makes the music much more interesting. I mean when was the last time you heard a horn solo in modern rock music?

3) “La Bomba Explosiva” By Ele Project:

Don’t judge me, we all have that one song… Anyways I have no idea what the lyrics mean, nor do I even really know how I came across this song. But the fact of the matter is that it’s there, and it’s great. The woman singing the song just sounds so intense, and although I do not know what the English lyrics translate into,  I’m sure it’s something I would not want my Grandmother reading.

I particularly love it when songs of this genre (techno? Electronica? I don’t really know) sort of rewind and then start back up, it’s hard to explain listen to the part at 2:10 until 2:20, you think the song is over, but it isn’t, it’s only just beginning…

2) “Sideways” by Dierks Bentley:

If you’re going out to have a good time, preferably with beer, backwards baseball caps, and plaid, you’ve got to be playing this great country hit. It just makes you want to get your cowboy boots over to the tavern and order a brew with some buddies. Now I am very picky about what type of country music I listen to. Everything has to be perfect for it to be on my iPod, and this song is the essence, in my opinion, of what a good country song sounds like.

1) “This Town” By Frank Sinatra:

Do you hear that? That’s the sound of every man in a hundred foot radius of you running to their closets to find their favourite suit. Sinatra is the man, that’s all there is to it. His songs, especially this one, can make anyone feel classy and good about themselves. You cannot help but raise one eyebrow and grin just a little, or the sly bad ass look as I like to call it,  when you first hear Sinatra break into “This Town”.

So those are the random songs I would play if I was Strangelove, or any professor looking to start a lecture with a bit of music. Now obviously it is impossible to touch on every genre in my library (4249 songs, but you know, it’s not the size that counts) so don’t think that I don’t listen to some of the genres not mentioned here. For instance rap or hip hop, and classical (don;t get me started about “Clair De Lune”), I’m a big fan of those genres and many more, there just is not enough time to write about all of them.

For now, those are some songs I feel you might want to give a quick listen to. And whether you choose to buy them or illegally download them is completely up to you, but I personally bought every song on this list. And I feel I helped the “little guy” in doing so.

Man, that was so ten minutes ago, God get with the times!

SO I haven’t written one of these in a while because of mid-terms, therefore I am going to need to write a bunch of them in a small period of time. Which probably means the next few are going to be even worse than the ones previous to this one. Because chances are they’re going to be all done at once and I’m going to get bored and eventually lose focus and finally rush through them. Anyways, in one of Dr. Strangelove’s lectures last week (I believe it was Tuesday the 12th of October) Strangelove mentioned about how scarves make a man seem more “manly”. And while I’m not here to debate this fact, I would like to put forth my own opinions on what fashions make a man look more “manly”, most of which seem to be out of style in today’s society. But first! the logic behind this blog, and how it relates to the class. The simple answer is that it relates to the class because apparently a lot of students write about Strangelove’s taste in fashion and the tee-shirts he wears, so this is simply my blog on fashion. And if you need a more concrete reasoning, it’s that fashion, similar to new media, is constantly changing. Whether it’s for the better or worse is purely up to the masses, I am merely stating my opinion, that fashion, and society in general, is becoming less “manly” and more “feminine”. Frederick Nietzsche, and most communication elites in his time, described the masses and their “arts” as feminine from day one. I do not necessarily agree with them whole heartedly, but I will say that men’s fashion has maybe taking a small step in that direction. See what I did there? Yeah, that just happened.

Mustache:

Since the dawn of man, facial hair has been something that defines genders (for the most part… I mean every now and again there’s an exception). Mustaches are something men can do that women can’t, it is part of what being a man is all about. I’m not really sure why after the 1980’s people decided mustaches were no longer “the thing” but I would argue that we need to bring them back. Mustaches are cool because, as any episode of COPS will tell you, all good authority figures have mustaches. Plus up until the 80’s and early ninety’s all the movie stars in action packed films had mustaches:

need I say more?

However mustaches are also for those who think is cool to be bad, the “bad asses” of society. It used to be that motorcycles just wouldn’t start unless the driver had a mustache, now a days however that’s clearly not the case.

The Pocket Watch:

The pocket watch was the chains of modern fashion. The only difference is they were for people of sophistication, not people who enjoy having added weight added to their nether regions. Pocket watches were cool and fashionable because it just added that small touch to a man’s jacket or sport coat. Not only that, but they were also very practical. Pocket watches made life for that guy on the bus, or in the grocery store, you know the one who never knows what time it is. Yet is constantly obsessed with knowing what time it is… You know the guy. Anyways it made his life easy, because with a pocket watch he was able to see the people around  him who would for sure know what time it was. He did not have to ask everyone on the bus, he simply had to only look for the guy with the chain hanging out of his pocket. Because it is after all very hard to spot people wearing wrist watches, especially in the winter time when long sleeves are generally the “in” fashion. Or you know, just buy a watch!… sorry I went off there, but some people just really get to me.  I feel that because the removal of the pocket watch created the emergence of the “do you have the time?” guy, the world would be a much less annoying place if we would just bring back the pocket watch.

The Monocle:

believe is or not it was once fashionable to have a round piece of glass defying gravity on your face. Thank god the trend came about before the automobile, because there’s just something about having a piece of glass in only one of your eyes, that i personally believe would impair ones ability to drive. So obviously if we (society) was going to attempt to bring monocles back “in” that is something we would have to consider. Also I would like to mention that I find it pretty funny that the man who invented the monocle was a German by the name of Baron Philip Von Stosch.

he knows what's up

As of recent there has been some hope for the monocle to come back into fashion. Old Spice the deodorant company has recently produced a series of online YouTube (I know it’s getting exciting because all of a sudden this blog seems even more relevant to the course than before) commercials and video responses. In one of the responses the Old Spice spokesman does a “monocle smile” at the end of his video. Essentially all he does is hold up a monocle and grin, but hey its the most fame the monocle has seen in a very, very, very long time.

The reason I feel monocles need to make their triumphant return to fashion is similar to the reason pocket watches should come back. They are just all around classy. Plus they give men a very dubious look. It’s a look that tells others that the wearer may not look tough, but he knows guys that are certainly tough, and those guys really like him.

rolling up your sleeves while wearing a suit:

I would like to start this paragraph by sharing something I came across while researching this topic. I find it extremely depressing that this exists, just saying. Anyways, moving along, the eighties were a glorious time (or so I’m told). A time when fashions were just so awesome. The eighties were a time where having your elbows covered while wearing a blazer was just CRAZY! Oh and did I mention pastels? Now, I was born in ’91 so I really have very little credibility when it comes to the 80’s But I will tell you this, I am a fairly large person, who gets a little warm from time to time. So when it comes to wearing suits I understand that they are often similar to saunas. By rolling up the sleeves on a suit it would allow a person of my nature to stay cool and look cool at the same time. Also suits of this fashion are generally some form of pastel colour, and therefore would not attract the sun light, and again make for cooler conditions.

notice the lack of sweat

So I feel that we should bring back the bare armed suit look, because not only does it make men look better, but it also arguably makes them smell better.

Realistically there are probably thousands of mens fashions that could be brought back and argued to make men more “manly”. For example the loin cloth, that things probably due to make a glorious return to style. Or the beaver pelt hat, I can only see good coming from that. But for now those are the few styles I feel should come back. Its purely my opinion, and it’s purely MY blog, so don’t bother arguing with me.

… And to answer your question pertaining to the picture used in the rolled up suit paragraph. Yes that is Duran Duran, and yes they are the greatest band ever.

Smoking kills… Your reputation

Those of you who do the readings for New Media will understand that this week’s reading discussed the effect of YouTube on political elections, in both the US and Canada. Strangelove mentions how YouTube and the internet opens up an entire new realm of political discussion. Political debates and discussions are no longer only reserved for television where they can be monitored and are forced to follow the proper political codes of conduct. With the internet, and now YouTube discussions can be as simplistic or complex as the producer chooses. Should a politician wish to make a simple video using very basic vernacular so as to connect with his/her less-educated audience, he/she has the ability to do so.  YouTube is the medium that allows him/her (from this point on let’s just assume I’m referring to both genders when I say “he” or “his” this whole “his/hers” and “he/she” thing is getting annoying… I have no issue with women in politics) to broadcast his message to his entire targeted audience. Personally I see this aspect of YouTube in politics as a good thing because generally politics is seen as reserved for the educated and the elite. And the problem with that is that the uneducated still are allowed to vote, and they make up a large percentage of the population. However, they are making uneducated decisions, and possibly not realizing who or what they’re voting for. YouTube makes it possible for candidates to speak with his or her audience face-to-face, in their language.

Some would argue with me (because that’s generally just what people do these days) that politicians have always gone out into the world and spoken face to face with their population. For example Barak Obama went to multiple small towns on his campaign tour and did small speeches in the town hall, or similar public places, and some would argue that that qualifies as face-to-face. I have a couple problems with that though. One being that those speeches or debates were still written in political language. A language that a large part of the population does not understand or comprehend. Therefore I would argue that these smaller scaled speeches are not face-to-face, or at least not as face-to-face as YouTube can allow. Also say one of the audience members at one of these speeches has a question, if he or she is not educated they are more than likely not going ask said question out of fear of embarrassment. YouTube however allows anyone to post a video, in an anonymous fashion, which takes care of the embarrassment factor, and let’s be honest talking to a computer monitor is much easier than talking to an entire crowd. YouTube also makes it possible for questioners to post their video in their own language, and by doing so will generally prompt responses with similar language, be it complex or laymen. Whereas a lot of people would find it rather embarrassing to use simple language or slang in front of a crowd that is generally considered to be educated and professional. Now, I’ll admit that obviously it is naive to think that every political candidate is going to have the ability to reply to every video post he or she receives asking questions. There simply is not enough time. But YouTube allows a politician to at least see what people are talking about, and then make one or two videos that attempt to reply to all of the questions. Plus even if the actual politician does not respond to your video post, chances are if it’s a good question, someone will reply to it. So this is how I feel YouTube is helping the political process. This is the positive effects I can potentially see in YouTube and politics. Unfortunately, as with everything, for every positive, there is always a negative.

The way I see it, YouTube has the potential to do terrible things to the political system as well. Watching YouTube lists a few examples of politicians in the US who lost their campaign because something they did, that was supposed to be “off the record” ended up on YouTube and dramatically changed their voters’ opinion of them. The book mentions how in today’s politics, just about everything a candidate does is seen by millions. Personally I feel this is wrong. In my opinion, politics is meant to be about what the public majority feels is the best way for their country/community to move forward. The masses decide how they want to live. However, I feel YouTube, and its’ ability to broadcast a politicians life during a campaign, is greatly clouding the decisions of the public. I feel this way because politics is essentially coming down to who gets caught making a mistake on camera, and who does not. This is not fair really because with amateur video it is very easy to hide a camera, and manipulate someone (even someone as bright as a politician) into making a mistake. For example, God knows how many pictures there are of Barak Obama smoking a cigarette, or of politicians saying outrageously dumb things, without realizing they were on camera. My point here is that whether Obama smokes or not has absolutely nothing to do with whether he will make a good president or not, but it certainly does hurt his image. And as for those politicians who get caught talking really stupidly, I feel that for the most part they are talking about something that has little to no relevance to politics. If everyone was constantly being watched or videotaped, the large majority of people would get caught making a mistake. It is part of being human, making mistakes is what we do. Voters minds and opinions are being clouded by these videos and pictures, and making decisions based on mistakes, rather than what each candidate is about. Certain politicians could have changed the world by making it a better place for all, but because there are images of them smoking or saying something stupid, they will never get the chance. For the most part this is YouTube and the amateur video’s fault.

So that’s how I feel about YouTube and politics. And this is the conclusion to my post. And you just read this sentence even though it is only here to make my concluding paragraph seem a little longer, and in the process made you waste a few seconds of your day; seconds that you will never get back. Sorry if I just ruined your day.

Extinction of the newspaper: The new breed of internet.

This is our video documentary: