Tag Archives: culture

Dare I Say It? The BENEFITS of Watching Lady Gaga

Weird. Fabulous. Intelligent. Weird. Gay Rights Advocate. Fashionista. Did I say weird? Lady Gaga is many things to so many people. Her most recent song, “Bad Romance”, has an absolutely insane video to accompany it. I would say you’d be wasting your time watching it because it makes absolutely no sense, but watch it anyway. It’s like a train wreck… you just can’t look away:

I’m not really sure what this song could possibly contribute to culture and society. Other than the fact that it mentions love and has a catchy beat, there’s not much else going for it. I suppose it makes you appreciate what people like Lady Gaga do for our culture and the music industry. They shake it up a bit. And they also make you appreciate having normal size pupils, but I digress.

I’ve decided that the best thing to come from this video are the awesome parodies!

Bad Romance? No, dude. Bros unite. Give it up for “Rad Bromance”…

And then meet Lord Gaga and Lady Gaga. Hilarious representation of the weirdness in the original music video:

I don’t think anyone is aware of what Lady Gaga’s original music video was supposed to convey. Maybe thousands of years in the future when we all have metallic beards we’ll know. For now, the parodies that spawned from it are worth the confusion and eye sores Lady Gaga has given me. What do you think?

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I Saw New Moon. Then I Read This..

After months of ignoring the impending drama that we love and know as New Moon, I actually went to see the movie on opening night. Totally uncharacteristic of me, but in my defense it was not my idea. My friends bought tickets beforehand, and happened to have an extra one.

What?! I had been jonesing for a girls night, so I went.

A girl dressed up like a werewolf was in front of me in line. Many more females walked by with huge tubs of popcorn, clutching blankets emblazoned with Robert Pattinson’s face. And when I finally found a seat in in the theater, I was surprised by the age of many of the attendees (read: middle-aged women). For the majority of the movie, I made snide remarks to my friends about the cheesiness and awkwardness that is so prevalent in the Twilight series. Lines like “You can trust me. I would never hurt you” did not tug at my heart strings like the director had intended, I suppose. Maybe because I’d heard them in 34,902,834,983 other movies, as well…

It wasn’t all horrible, because I can appreciate some man candy every now and then. Fortunately, this movie could just as aptly be named A Showcase of Half-Naked Adolescent Males – cut off jean shorts never looked so good, I tell you. My friend and I argued over how many packs Taylor Lautner has obtained in his abdominal region:

Excellent fan poster borrowed from shockya.com

Amazing fan poster borrowed from shockya.com

Just look at him! He makes Robert Pattinson look like a pasty, skinny, uptight hobo with a vitamin D deficiency. Eating every two hours, working out for four hours a day… Lautner’s going to be a sex symbol and he’s not even legal yet! Yes, he is only 17. And on an unrelated note,  originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan! I love it when good things come out of Michigan.

This also reminds me of the Jimmy Kimmel Show last Friday. Audience members had the opportunity to ask Kristen, Taylor, and Robert questions.  Somewhere between an audience member’s obvious stalking incident and another audience member’s marriage proposal, a woman questionably over the age of 30 (so she really has no excuse for her behavior) asked Taylor Lautner to take off his shirt and give it to her. Lautner was predictably astonished. Her reasoning? “You do it [take off your shirt] all the time in the movie…” FOR SHAME, middle-aged woman obsessed with Twilight! Someone please tell her to stop harrassing 17-year-old boys. And while you’re at it, break the news that vampires don’t exist. She’ll be crushed.

Anyway, after wasting 2.5 hours of my life, I went home and pondered where the hell society was headed. The movie didn’t do much for me in terms of thinking or even stretching the limits of my imagination. The gratuitous shirtless scenes (aka the entire movie) were reminiscent, as Jimmy Kimmel so eloquently put it, of “Chippendale vampires”. What could I get out of the movie, if anything?

I found an article entitled 7 Popular Chick Flicks That Secretly Hate Women. And I loved every word of it, although became a bit saddened that some of my favorite romantic comedies were featured on the list. Now I won’t be able to think of them as fondly. But I was overjoyed with the dead-on Twilight criticism. As the author, Erica Cantin, says, “This entire movie [Twilight] is one black-eyed-teen away from being a PSA from 1989.”

So maybe the movie will have some intellectual and cultural value after all…

Why We Love Snuggies.

They are ugly, soft, unflattering, overpriced, and nearly pointless. Yes, I’m talking about Snuggies. In 2008, we first saw the coming of the Snuggie. This wearable blanket with sleeves captured the hearts and wallets of viewers all over America. But how?

It started with the infamous infomercial. What makes the entire situation even more bizarre is that it wasn’t intentionally funny! They were in earnest. We took their infomercial to a whole new level – we the American public churned out countless parodies, which could only be expected. Even comedic icons like Jay Leno, Ellen DeGeneres, and Jon Stewart joined in the fun.

But the joke doesn’t stop there. The Snuggie has practically become a CULT ICON. Amazing, I know. Imagine the possibilities… others have! Snuggie usage has expanded to more than at-home money savings. Check out some more ways you can stay warm and look lumpy:

Do you feel like going to the bar? Are you too lazy to put on a real outfit?  Go out in your Snuggie! Because if you’re going to get inebriated, you might as well stay warm and cozy. And post the resulting ridiculousness on … an entire website and group devoted to Snuggie Pub Crawls, of course!

Does your beloved pet get cold too? Instead of buying a tacky Christmas sweater that he probably will not enjoy wearing, simply stick a Snuggie for Dogs on him!

Or let’s say you’re at home watching television in your Snuggie and that amorous feeling comes over you and your similarly attired significant other. What better (or more convenient) way to get it on than through Snuggie Sutra? …I kid you not.

If you’re against the idea of following the mainstream but love the idea of Snuggies in general, there’s a few spinoffs on Snuggie popularity. Rebels against mainstream culture might buy spinoff items like the Toasty Wrap and the Kozy Wrap. “What?! It’s not a Snuggie, I swear…”

But nothing beats a Snuggie. I know I never want to reach for the remote and feel cold for even an instant. Who cares that they’ve received hundreds of consumer complaints AND a failed rating from the Better Business Bureau? (source: Wikipedia).

Either way, the fact glaringly remains: we LOVE our Snuggies!

Pole Dancing Classes: A Change of Heart?

Pole dancing classes are growing more and more popular. These classes take place in a studio, presumably with poles (which I hope they disinfect regularly). Enter females who are there to rock their favorite pair of going out heels and perform mind-boggling stripper moves in front of other girls with similar personality qualities (or for their boyfriends after the class is over). Oh, the glory – doing what strippers do in clubs without receiving money for it! In that respect, it seems like an internship for university credit – you get the experience, but you’re paying FOR it instead of getting paid (Hello, I could use those $1 bills! Laundry’s killing me).

Let’s re-cap: You are half-naked… exercising in heels… and paying MONEY for it. Sounds like a nightmare I had last week. (This isn’t the case in all classes, but still.) The whole concept of pole dancing classes seemed a bit silly to me. This is why I never thought I’d see the day when I myself would A) watch a pole dancing routine and B) then consider the activity an art form.

Seriously, I now think pole dancing belongs in the Olympics. And some people would agree with me! Namely an association called World Pole Dance Sport & Fitness. They even have a slogan. And if you promise not to laugh, I’ll tell you what it is. PROMISE? …They are “Opening closed minds.”

But having Pole Dancing in the Olympics wouldn’t be THAT crazy. There’s already a World Pole Dancing Competition. And it’s not your average half-naked woman who takes part in it. You have to have some serious strength and flexibility. Check out the video below! I apologize for the horrible video quality, but my mouth dropped (and I’m guessing she had the same effect on all of the guys in the front row!)

How the hell is she not falling off right now? How can she hold herself on the pole with just her armpit? MAD skillz, that’s how.

And just think of the impact on at-home pole sales after pole dancing is an acceptable Olympic sport. It won’t be just your weird kinky neighbor that has one in the middle of the living room. We’ll probably see those annoying online TV advertisements for The Magic Bullet, followed by the Complete Pole Dancing Kit, and then your standard male enhancement commercial. To help you visualize this phenomenon, I FOUND one amazing pole dancing commercial!

All jokes aside, this type of pole dancing obviously requires dedication, talent, and strength. I apologize for underestimating its exercise and aesthetic value! Now the first step toward legitimacy would be to put more clothes on… then maybe people will take it seriously because they will actually be able to concentrate on the physical finesse it takes to perform those moves, rather than… other things. What do you think?

Tyler Oakley’s Audience of 47,000

The implications of social media, like YouTube, never fail to amaze me. Check out some of Tyler Oakley’s videos below, and read on:

I interviewed Tyler Oakley for MSU Catalyst recently. MSU Catalyst is a student-run online publication devoted to publicizing the cool stuff that Michigan State students are doing with their lives. It’s supposed to offer resources, information, and inspiration other Spartans. Anyway, back to Tyler Oakley. Can you imagine reaching 47,000 people (and the number is growing as we speak) everyday? Just to update them on your life? Me either.

Click here to read the interview. Let me know what you think!

Google Wave = “Social Media on Crack”

Are you stressed about your major lack of Google Wave? Still no invitation in your inbox?

Well I feel like I’ve been living under a rock. Google Wave just appeared out of nowhere! Okay, so its been around since May… Shocking, really, since I still have no real idea what it is or what it’s capable of doing. So I decided to write a blog post about it. I’ve heard The Wave described as everything from “social media on crack” to “a faster, real-time version of a wiki or online document collaboration”. The Google initiative combines email, instant messaging, videos, Google maps, and more.

Feeling Left Out…

So why am I not Google Waving it up right now, you might ask? Well, erm… I wasn’t invited. But in my defense, they only invited a few people. Okay fine, around 100,000, although that number has been steadily growing. All personal sentiments aside, I think that’s a pretty stupid move. Who are the 100,000 people going to start a Wave with if none of their friends got an invite? You obviously can’t Wave all by your lonesome.

Join the Party

If you’d rather be Google Waving it up right now, you can request an invitation.  Or you can buy one off of eBay for $80-100. But that’s a little like paying for your friends, isn’t it? Or sleeping your way through the judging panel. Plus, why pay for something that’s FREE? If it was me, I would go straight through Google. Or hopefully a good friend will pass on an invitation! Here’s to hoping. If you end up going through Google, the form you have to fill out feels a little like a college application. Think of all of the generic, fake heartfelt things you wrote on your college application and apply that towards new developing technology…

I Heard It Stinks, Anyway

India’s Infotech points out nine inherent flaws in Google Wave – and why it’s NOT the next killer app. Thank you Infotech for making me feel SO much better about Google Wave! And for still not having the stupid app. I’ve also heard that its utter “chaos” and may make your “head explode”. For now, I choose to ignore the trend. I think I’ll just live vicariously through Samuel L. Jackson’s Pulp Fiction version of Google Wave:

Can’t Get Enough of Excellence.

We thrive on excellence. We suck in the achievements of others. We live vicariously through their sexual conquests. It’s like drinking adrenaline through a straw. It’s like having success on tap. And I do not condone this. But it does make me consider how we measure excellence – and why our culture glorifies it so.

James Bond. Suave. Excellence.

James Bond. Suave. Excellence.

I like James Bond, because he’s suave and smooth and he’s the secret agent that everyone wants to be… or wants to kill. But either way, he has all of the answers. He always knows what to say (Um… is um, not a part of his suave vocabulary). He KNOWS what he’s doing with his life. He doesn’t get emotionally connected – he hooks up with whoever, whenever. And who cares? In the time it takes to pop in another James Bond movie, the screenwriters will have erased and rewritten all of his previous emotional attachments.

It’s also reminiscent of the characters in Ayn Rand books. I admire their excellence, impeccable morals, and untouchable values. I like that they do not apologize for anything, but rather, they have the courage and morals to stand up for what they KNOW that they are good at. They are damn good at what they do and they don’t care about what society dictates is acceptable.

Howard Roark. An Upstanding Gentlemen from the Fountainhead

Howard Roark exemplifies architectural excellence in the Fountainhead.

Why did I write an entire post on excellence and its place in our society and culture? To be honest, I had some free time. But more importantly, our ideals play a huge role in what we like. I rent James Bond movies and buy Ayn Rand books to reinforce ideals that have, but I will never become or achieve. The best in my field? Great thing to aspire towards, but I don’t even know what my future holds. I am not as clearly defined or as emotionally unattached as the characters of excellence I idealize. Our culture cultivates excellence so that we can be continually disappointed in ourselves. So that we can look at magazines and know that we will never be as perfectly airbrushed as the model so seductively posed on the cover. So that we will consume and desire more, and think about ourselves and reality less. It’s humanly impossible not to ever feel guilty. It’s impossible to avoid rejection. And who would want to? Now that I think about it, we would be nothing without the highs and lows that help to define us – the daily nuances that the characters of such “excellence” we so long for have never experienced, or probably would not appreciate.

What kind of excellence do you consume? Why?