Sunday, January 31, 2010

Pa pa party er'y day

Ladies and gentleman, batten down the hatches, take cover, prepare yourselves... POP CULTURE COMETH.

This evening, beginning at 8pm, as you may or may not know, the Grammy's will begin. Thanks to modern technology, I will be watching it via live stream, aaaaaaaaand ...


check back in at eight to see all the nasty things I'll have typed about the red carpet.

I mean... all of the "constructive criticism" and "professional advice" I'll want to pass on to those charming celebs.


6:58 Colbie Callat accepts her first Grammy to an audience of ten. She's just saying those are tears of happiness.

7:39 "Sorry I grabbed your chest hair" ... who the fuck is this man hosting on the carpet? Stephen something? From now on lets refer to him by his true identity... CLOSET CASE.

7:42 Quentin Tarantino & Snoop Dogg pose on the red carpet. What is this madness?

7:45 Heidi Klum & Seal. Heidi is wearing a sparkly wetsuit. Yes that is funnier on more than one level.

7:48 Dear Jennifer Hudson, Thos are boobs. Those are bangs. Thanks for pointing them out.

7:57 Akon. I hear you're played on the radio. You're a big fan of Gaga. You raise money via song for your own charity. Song is called Africa. Kind of nice. I'll stop judging now.


Not to worry. It has been found. Commercials and all.

~ 8:30 Taylor Swift accepts some country something. "I can't thank my label enough for letting me write all of my own songs" HA. B: "somewhere there is a canadian indie musician crying"

It's all just a barrel of laughs over here.

8:34 Beyonce is employing her talents in hair-ography. It's like she and Glee are just nodding back and forth, so much love between them. Your move Glee, your move.

8:42 Pink - this could end badly. Reconsider. NOW. You are not wearing enough clothing to go all Cirque du FREAK on us... Ok so you pulled it off. That was actually kind of really amazing.

8:48 Dear Grammys, you had the opportunity to pick a group that deserved "best new artist" and what do you do?! you pick a COUNTRY BAND?! i realize the rest of them weren't exactly "new" but you could have at least given it to someone good... (Zac Brown band... congrats, im sure you're nice people with some musical integrity. I just really like MGMT)

9:11 "Am I cool now?" Yes, Stephen, you most definitely are. B & I's reaction to his winning best comedy album - screaming YES! with a fist pump. Also hes now up for best acceptance speech of the evening: thanking Jesus that sincerely deserves much recognition.

9:23 Jamie Foxx performs and I would like to direct your attention to Rihanna's face - less than impressed with apathetic half-asses claps. Preach it sista.

9:41 Showing clips of Bon Jovi performing when he was younger may not be the build up he's looking for...
And if you aren't follow Jian Ghomeshi on twitter already, you should be. The man is on FIYAH tonight!

~ 10:10  Mos Def & Placido Domingo introduce together and it is A-DOR-A-BLE! So cute how they genuinely like being on stage toghether, and then take a moment to actually introduce themselves. Their handshake also up for best moment of the night.

10:34 From my update trend so far you can probably guess the commercial cycle. Thanks for the reminder why I don't have cable CBS.

10:36 Someone who isn't famous is on stage! Woah! Quick - stick T. Swift on to boost ratings again! Oh wait - he mentioned someone famous (Neil Young). Reason to listen/watch again.

10:48 Beyonce SHUT DOWN best female vocal. If this were a wrestling match (and I seriously think we would all be much more entertained if it were) she would have gone all Million Dollar Baby on us. Question though - the more grammys she accepts the more or less sincere her speeches become?

11:42 Tucked in bed, and thoroughly bored with the Grammy's. Try harder next year eh.


Now that we've all had time to breath, lets recap the big events of the night.

Biggest Slap in the Face: Kings of Leon won record of the year, proving there is indeed a Grammy man out there with a sense of justice. Or irony.

Most Enthusiastic: Beyonce. No lie. Every time the cameras moved to her she looked genuinely pleased with everything. EVERYTHING.

Most Apathetic: Rihanna. She was just not impressed. The hand claps said it all.

Best Dressed: Solange Knowles son. He came as Beyonce and Jay-Z's accessory, obviously rounding out the perfect couple outfit with his sheer adorableness.

Monday, January 25, 2010

deep in the cell of my heart I will feel glad to go

I know I promised a super dorky post on political philosophy. I would go so far as to say that even thinking about doing so counts as super dorky. This isn't exactly what I was originally going to write about, (in my head it was a lot more brilliant) but it is indeed a post on political philosophy. Brace yourself.

Socrates is famously known for saying "All that I know is that I know nothing" The opening line to K'Naan's "Take a Minute" is "Any man who knows a thing, knows he knows not a damn damn thing at all."

At the beginning of Watchmen we see "who will watch the watchmen" spray painted on a wall. Plato, in the Republic, asks "who will guard the guardians?"

The band name "Alice is chains" can be seen as a vague reference to Rousseau's well known line "Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains."

Just three examples of how political philosophy has permeated culture today (though that last one might be a stretch...) My question is HOW? It's like these old boring men haunt our day to day to measure our choices and actions to see how we compare to their theories. Does pop culture even recognize that they've sucked these lines in and made them so generic that to find their true meaning you have to read these unbelievably dense "discourses"? Do they even have meaning any more?

I guess since these political philosophers are still around today, in some form or another, they must have done something right. Maybe even said something worth thinking about.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

It's happening now, and it's always been like this

The New York Times Magazine Fashion and Style blog makes me so very happy.

Right now they're doing a really neat series - "The Nifty 50" where they showcase fifty very nifty people indeed. From musicians to coffee connoisseurs, they just do a brief write up of who they are and what makes them awesome. Some of these names you've heard before, others maybe not at all, but its all good, because by the end you definitely want to know more.

Some of my favourites have been on Annie Baker, Gabourey Sidibe, James Freeman, and Girl Talk.

They have been pretty heavy handed with the American model/actor interviews, but that is easily forgiven when they are so well written. I mean, there isn't a word or format choice I would want to see changed, which is crazy because I am the most critical person I know.

They have more to say than just how cool fifty people are though, check them out here for posts on latest lines from classic designers, or whats happening in the interior design world. It may sound like a housewife's wet dream, but in all reality, this shit is awesome and relevant and a part of everyday culture that isn't always looked at in such a critical and interesting way.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Hey Mama Rock Me. (T&S Series #11)

WOAH! Another mix!

Ok, so maybe not that surprising. At all. Though some of the tracks might be... This is just a mix of eight of the most played songs on my iTunes right now. A nice little melange of old and new favourites.

Monday, January 11, 2010

even knowledge that's sound can get watered down, truth can get sucked out the car window

One of today's posts on The New York Times Style and Design Blog was on the so-called "new face" of Starbucks.  It talked about, and described, three locations of the newly renovated Starbucks, and how they are trying to fit more in to the community they're located in, upon finding that their mass cookie cutter approach was no longer garnering it success.

Before I go any further I should say that I am not a fan of Starbucks. I enjoy one of their drinks (their seasonal peppermint mocha, thank you for asking), but it is rare for me to indulge. I think they are the Wal-Mart of coffee, and no matter how expensive they are, or strange their cup sizes, it cannot hide that it is one of the greatest examples of capitalist manipulation of coffee producers. I much prefer my local coffee shop, or at least a Bridgehead.

So back to the article. I appreciate their effort to assimilate in to a community, it is important in older sections of cities to maintain the "heritage look", and I really don't like the silver box look seen in many cities. However, no matter how much it changes it's appearance, or how hard it tries to get consumers to buy in to the lifestyle they promote, that will never change their business practices and the bottom line of the company. As the article mentions, it does kind of feel like "corporate trickery" and I think that it can definitely mislead less critically minded individuals.

It's entertaining to me that Starbucks feels it needs to do this in the first place. If people don't like it as the green mermaid giant that it is, and passing off as a local coffee shop is one of the few ways it can sell itself, that sends me a striking statement. I know that people I talk to, at home and at school, are recognizing more and more the need to support local business, and try to do so as much as possible. I personally make an effort to do so. It may just be the people I know, but if this becomes more of a socio-economic movement, I'm happy to predict that Starbucks is going to be shit out of luck. They are going to have to do a hell of a lot more than just give their stores face lifts to get back the customers they're losing. I suggest they start with fair trade coffee and work from there. Or close altogether. Both work.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

desire is hunger is the fire i breathe.

I was going to post about a couple of things this week, but every time I sat down to actually write, I got bored, and that is most definitely a sign that those posts shouldn't be published.

Instead I'm going to make a list. Easy, succinct, and while they are somewhat overdone, they remain mildly amusing (I said mildly!)

1.) Been listening to a lot of Patti Smith lately. May just be a phase.
2.) Sore throat. Tea is not acting as the cure it usually is. On to clementines. GO GO VITAMIN C!
3.) I am motivated this semester! By which I mean I have done nothing to contribute to my education this week but buy textbooks and scan online newspaper headlines. Strong start, I know.
4.) Just realized my New Year's resolution is more of a goal than anything. Should jump on that.
5.) I make a pretty mean vegetarian chili.
6.) This is actually pretty boring. Thanks for suffering through and reading it. For some strange reason I feel obligated to post on here now that I know people actually read this. If anything that should encourage more interesting content. Alas, no.