Tag Archives: Media

Musical History

Last night, I tuned into a show called “The 7 Ages of Rock” on VH1 Classic. I caught the end of “The Stadium Rock” age and watched the entire “Grunge” age. When it was over, I had to ask myself one question: are there any group of people more full of shit than musicians and their lackey journalists?

At the end of the Stadium Rock hour, the topic was about U2 and the Zoo T.V tour. It was pretty spectacular for its time, I’ll give it that, but when the interviewees (various rock journalists and musicians) start verbalizing their delusions of grandeur I become too stunned by the idiocy to keep my mouth shut.

“Zoo T.V not only wanted to change the way people experience concerts, but also wanted to change the way people view the world”

Gag me.

Has rock music EVER changed the world? Has music in general ever really, truly changed the world? Sure, it made people feel intense emotions and caused great inspirations, but changed the world? Good grief. No song ever shut off the gas at Auschwitz. A good riff never stopped the mass oppression in the Soviet Bloc. A well written chorus that inspired a hippie to stop bathing didn’t keep a genocidal maniac from exterminating his Emmanuel Goldsteins.

At one point, it talked about how the Zoo T.V stage was set up with a giant television that could pick up local television stations and had satellite capability. They used the satellite feed to bring in live footage of the current conflict in Sarajevo. The man speaking to Bono from the hell hole du jour in that part of the world was talking about how civilians are being bombarded with artillery and they have nowhere to go. How thought-provoking and inspirational. Except for the fifty thousand people who paid hard-earned money to be ENTERTAINED. If it were me in that audience, I would want to know why Bono felt it necessary to plunge me into more soul crushing despair. People paid damn good money to watch them play music and sing for their enjoyment. This is a moment of release; escapism from the monotony of everyday life that is already filled with the minutia of worry and wonder. Now the poor audience has eastern Europe to worry about. Thanks U2!

Then we get to the Grunge era. After fifteen minutes, it became apparent that the writers and producers of this documentary had it out for Reagan. Each show had constant jabs to the point where if you were from Mars you would think Reagan created a dystopian America and nobody noticed unless you listened to rock music.

Talk about biting that hand that feeds.

Lines like “Reagan’s fabled land of opportunity” stands in stark contrast to the hundreds of millions of dollars that non-musicians are spending so that young talented music makers can live lives beyond their wildest dreams.

Despite numerous urges to throw the remote at the screen, I was pleasantly surprised by a couple of aspects. Like how down to earth the remaining members of Nirvana are. One would think with all of the attention and “what was, and could have been” accolades over the years that they would walk around like ghostly legends. One part that stands out is when the narrator (Dennis Hopper) talking about how the members of Nirvana were drawn together by the trials and tribulations of growing up as a part of Generation X. Then it cuts to Chris Novaselic talking about how him and Kurt shared the same experiences such as a broken home and personal turmoil. It always amuses me when journalists try to take people’s personal issues and demons and foist them unto society.

The end of the Grunge era was actually pretty moving. Admittedly, I’ve never been a fan of Nirvana and haven’t listened to a lot of their music outside mainstream radio. So when they played the last song on the Unplugged album titled Where Did You Sleep Last Night, I was actually enthralled by the emotion.

However, it didn’t change my world…

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Becoming What We Hate

I remember during the mid to late Bush years, America bashing was a cottage industry within the elite. Since a lot of small-minded Americans were programmed by “the elite” to believe that “the elite” were crowned “the elite” because of their superior intellect (see a pattern?), many average Joe’s started thinking it actually mattered. I did my best to remind them that most of the world gets their images of America through what they see from Hollywood and the media based in New York and Washington. Just like most Americans view France as a culture based around kissing pretty fiances underneath the Eiffel Tower and Italians all look like Sicilians. Nobody produces shows about 98% of the citizenry who live, work and go home to their families to live humble lives. Jersey Shore is more entertaining…somehow. But as the years go by, I’m noticing that Americans are capitulating their own negative stereotypes.

In continuation of yesterday’s post about American culture, In Mala Fide linked to this article from M4 Monologue about how America is viewed through the filter of Hollywood at home and abroad.

“The last movie I ever saw on the Big Screen was the American made “The Hangover”. It convinced me forever that there is nothing in common with me and America, or, the America as portrayed by their Hollywood, and that I never want to watch a movie at the cinema again.”

My best friend was begging me for months to see this movie. He finally brought it over and although it was probably one of the better comedies I’ve seen in a while, that’s not saying much. It’s like eating bad Mexican and praising it because it was better than a Twinkie that’s been dropped in a litter box.

None of the characters were likeable, in fact, they were utterly repugnant. Worse, the movie opened with some “joke” about one of the leading characters being banned from within 500 meters (or something) from a High School for lewd behaviour. This was a” joke”. In other words, one of the main comedic characters was a pedophile.

Coupled with the fact that South Park brought this type of shock humor to the forefront ten years ago. I don’t understand the cognitive dissonance American society has with this kind of humor. It’s viewed as such a taboo and serious subject to the point where we put men in jail for YEARS and then put them on a sexual offender list for LIFE (remember To Catch A Predator?), yet it sure is popular comedic fodder.

I don’t want to spoil the movie for you. It’s not funny. I wanted to laugh. In fact I thought the title sounded like it could be good since I love to drink and talk to drinkers. The fella who was banned from being near a children’s school also made a “joke” about masturbating a baby. There was a moral to the movie. The “hero” dumped his wife who fucked some guy on her car bonnet, and took up with a stripper who left her newborn child with him while he was drunk and on a rampage. That was another “joke” in the movie.

When distilled down like this, you realize why you didn’t laugh when you watched the movie. The problem is that they didn’t even bother to project any sort of reality. No one can seriously relate to waking up amidst a disaster created by three guys and a drunken black-out. No one even comes close to finding a tiger in their bathroom and a happy, bubbly baby under the sink. There is satire and then there is implausibility. The gap between the two in The Hangover is of Grand Canyon sized proportions.

If I were an Arab I could only watch American movies and think: “White women are sluts and deserve all they get. White men are walkovers and deserve to be annihilated.”

I’m a white mid-westerner and think this sometimes. Some days it’s hard to bear with our people who act like grazing cows that are more than happy to spend their lives chewing the cultural cud.

The thing is: Americans may like their society to be portrayed as a morally bankrupt, money obsessed, disaster zone of competing civil rights and victims, heroes and victors but can you at least make it clear that this is Americans you are portraying and not White people in general? Your movies are sickening and portray my girls as sluts and my boy as the deserving beneficiary of a beating. Sort your shit out Yanks.

This whole piece has references to “Jew controlled Hollywood”. I’m not going to jump up and call it anti-Semitic, but the whole “Jews control this or that” has never been an effective argument to me. However, he is right in his observation of the way Americans are portrayed by their own entertainment outlets. Very rarely are common American traits ever presented in a positive light. I’ve mentioned the movie Crash on this blog before and it is a good example here too. This movie is a perfect example of how Americans will gladly pay and be entertained by their own demonization. Crash won Best Picture and made hundreds of millions of dollars at the box office. How could a country as racist as was portrayed in the movie let that happen?

As it is you come across in your movies like you are living the last days of Sodom and Gomorrah.

As our forms of entertainment mirror our culture, sometimes I wonder.

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Media Bias Deus Ex Machina

…and then everyone found out that the mass media really has become a propaganda arm of the leftist movement through the release of conversations on a  listserv comprised of several hundred liberal journalists, as well as like-minded professors and activists.

The end.

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