Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Things that make me laugh

I don’t think I ever stopped laughing during fight club. It was my second time to watch fight club so i got all of the humor in it. The movie offers a non-stop satirical action and overzealous man comedy. The contrast between the two main characters is just unreal. I just think that this movie holds the formula to dirty masculine satirical humor. One of the funniest lines in the movie for me was when the Narrator said to Tyler "I wanted to destroy something beautiful." It was a gross moment but I think it was put there to show the idioticness of violence.

A movie that I have referenced once before that complete went over the top is Austin Powers. Austin Powers is clearly poking fun of Austin Powers but it is able to not go too outlandish. I loved fat bastard and mini-me. It is one of my generations best contributions to film I think. They kept making them and I think the humor kept up in all of them. You had to have watched bond films to understand the comedy.

I think an essential part of fight club is that you must watch it twice to get all of the comedy. This is very rare in movies. Other movies have other required movies you must watch to understand them like Austin Powers and the Bond films. The first one that really pops up in my head is the scary movie series. I was not a fan but their comedy was really based off of all the latest headline scary moves. The most iconic one of them must have been Scream or I know what You did Last Summer.

When I was around 13 my friends and I made a spoof of scream. I watched it just the other day and I couldn’t help but laugh. I guess this was just something of the time. They still try to make spoofs like the new Dance Movie. I think that most of the funny parts just get shown in the previews.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The first rule of fight club is that FIGHT CLUB IS AWSOME!!!!!!!!!

I watched Fight club when i was a freshman in high school. The difference between me now and then is night and day. I did not like Fight Club when I first saw it, but I really missed out on all of the little things I loved about it. The only thing I took from it the first time was there was a man with a split personality that liked to make soap from human body fat. The movie is so much more than that though. I found the movie this time to be funny, poetic and completely insane. It just really took me by surprise how much I like it.The movie was filled with comedy. The one main character jests between his split personalities like two sport commentators. They even make reference to the film at least once. The movie is spliced with little porn clips. The movie I think though is better the second time through because you get the joke. When you understand that he is two people you can enjoy the movie in a different way. I think not liking it the first time I saw it was what made it so good. My low expectations were exceeded!I think that the main character is really cool. Tyler is cool and suave but the narrator is witty. They are great contrast to each other. It is like the girlfriend said "Dr. Jeckle and Mr. Asshole". The narrators commentary really adds to the contrast with Tyler. The narrator is just so necrotic that it is funny. I think some of the values of Tyler are suppose to be making fun of bad guys with stupid philosophies. Tyler's philosophy is unclear and calls into question "is there actually a point to all of this." It makes me wonder was he just trying to contrast every characteristic of the Narrator or was he truly methodical with his planning. Either way this movie is going to leave you thinking and that is a very good thing.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tarantino's Legacy

Quinton Tarantino revolutionized the film industry by introducing different aspects of film that have never been explored. He gave us story lines told that were told not in the traditional continuous style. He was very interested in going from the past to present to the future and long dialog scenes. His style had shots that made the room seem humungous and he loves the dialog in-between. He wonders what the bad guys talk about when they are not being criminals. Unfortunately he is also in love with excessive profanity not because it is real but because it is an exaggeration.

His ideas sparked a movement around the turn of the century. The most notable examples of this are: his own films like Pulp Fiction. It is not one of my personal favorites but it has a great dance scene that brought back John Travolta’s career. And also has one of the funniest lines that you could ever use in guess who "Does he look like a Bitch!" But the movie has a story line that is told from multiple perspectives. The vulgarities in the movie are off the chain. But it goes down as a very notable movie in my book.

I believe that his trends are still around with the television series Lost. Half the show is flashbacks. Something that is even more messed up is sometimes they are in each other’s flashbacks. But now the series has seen fit not to just flash back but to actually go back in time.

Another movie that was told from multiple perspectives was Sin City. I think that how both of the directors use time is similar and their excessive use of gore. The movie was a big hit. I heard they were going to make a sequel but I haven’t seen anything at comingsoon.net so I will not get my hopes up.

I think that Tarantino has had a profound effect in film I personally have not seen many of these films because I was very young while his movie revolution was going on and his films are geared for adults.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Hip and Square

Hip Square

1.Twilight 1. Harry Potter

2. Organic 2. High Yield

3. Going Green 3. Littering

4. Competency 4. Style

5. Pre-Med 5. Philosophy

6. The Daily Show 6. Cross Fire

7. Old SNL 7. Mad TV

8. Vintage 8. Impersonations

9. The Common Good 9. Individualism

10. Facebook 10. MySpace

11. Texting 11. Email

12.Riding a Bike 12. Driving

13. Cooking 13. Eating out

14. Target 14. Wal-Mart

15.Blue Ray 15. DVD

The going green movement has brought on large amount of change. The change is a change in ideology. We as Americans are much more focused on the individual but by placing personal needs above the collective. We have come to realize that if we are going to have a world for future generations we must think about the collective good. Such a shift has been placed on the individual level by stating that one person’s actions affect the other. So for us to make a difference we must work as individuals for the collective good. This is a very important shift one that has many different repercussions. One of the first areas we see this is the conservation of fossil fuels. People have switched from two-ton pickups to the Toyota Prius. Many in the city have begun ridding the bike to work instead of driving. When people go to the grocery store they buy organic and locally grown products to help support local farmers and not poison their children. I don’t think that we have seen the end of the social change from going green.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Paris is Burning is a documentary that highlights the drag culture of the New York Balls. The documentary is ground breaking. I liked that it picked such a controversial subject as drag queens to highlight. The style of the documentary reminds me of The Office and Drop Dead Gorgeous.

The Office imitates the documentary style of television series. They have fixed camera angles, refer to the camera crew and have interviews. The style of film is worked into the comedy. The writers base the show around the premise of documentary style and try to build characters off of that idea. For example Michael Scott is constantly aware of the camera and is constantly pursuing the audience to think of him in a certain way. He likes to make himself appear to be a good boss, caring friend and a responsible adult, but in all reality he is probably one of the most useless people on the face of the planet. I love the show for their documentary style. I think it adds character and wit to the premise of the show.

Drop Dead Gorgeous is a hilarious mockumentary about a high school beauty pageant. The story is really funny because they are doing the filming like a documentary but they are also trying to poke fun at the northern white trash stereotype. I think the movie’s biggest laugh is when the mom gets her hand melted around a beer can. The highlight of this film I think is the importance people place on being beautiful. It tries to show that beautiful is really ugly and vice versa.

Another aspect of Paris is Burning that I really do like is that it is right up in your face. You have no room to try to sidestep the issues of the day. By placing a face and background to drag queens it forces people to face their stereotypes of others. Another documentary film-maker that tries to do this is Michael Moore. I don’t really like all of his movies but he is attempting to do what few will. He is questioning the status quo and challenging individuals to look past the media and dig for the truth. I am not saying he is an advocator of truth but he has inspired me more than once to check the facts. Another that is challenging this is Morgan Spurlock. The movie Super Size Me challenged my views on fast food and the harmful effects of it. In just a month he was at risk of organ failure from just eating McDonald’s food.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Walking the plank (runway)

Drag is something that I have had some experience with. I was an actor at Subiaco Academy where there was no girls. I was cast a majority of the time as a girl. I had to study mannerisms, tone, makeup and their clothing. I also had to play about three different races of women. It is not an easy job to fit into the cloths or naturally pull feminine mannerisms off. I had to practice for about a month to master walking in high heels.I have a lot of respect for what the drag queens were pursuing.

They are some of the few individuals that know exactly what they want and are going after it with everything they have. How rare is that?

As college students we try every day to figure out what we want, who we want to be and how to make it happen. It takes some of us many years to decide and I personally change my mind quite frequently. They know what they want and have most of society telling them that they can’t have it and won’t be accepted. They have a lot more guts than most people do. As soon as many people are reprimanded by society they will just give up. What the drag queens are doing is brave. Though there is not as much opposition as there once was, many still disapprove of drag queens. Plus the rejection by their family and sometimes even the drag community must alienate them to an unimaginable extreme.

An aspect of the drag culture that is especially intriguing is the balls. Paris is Burning did a great job in highlighting exactly what a balls are. The individuals have to get up and parade their best in front of the only social acceptable place they may know. They can be met with a number of apprehensive people. This is like walking the plank for some. One the interviewers had not walked yet and was very nervous about it. The sheer process of it all takes massive amounts of time and effort. Another one of the people worked on sewing a tank top for an hour. It was said in the film that some people don’t have enough money to spend on food and cloths so they chose their garb. That is true devotion.

I believe that the drag, gay, and transvestite culture has had a profound effect on society. One of my favorite comedies growing up was Will & Grace. I grew with more acceptance of the gay culture than my family ever did. I hope that the next generation will treasure all that the gay culture has done in pop culture and someday they can study in history books and it not be looked down upon.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Oh yes! Satire!

Robocop reminded us of what satire is. The director Paul Verhoeven showed us the dangers of letting ideas go too far. Reganomics was supposed to allow the free market to flourish and to squash the rise in big government. The idea was interesting and paved with good intentions, but as the movie displayed, it could become dangerous very quickly. There have been a few satirical works that have come to criticize ideas that could lead to our demise. I will go over a good few and try to relate them to the issues they each pertain to.

The news is a little over the top and people know it. As John Stewart said on CNN's "Crossfire" "This is not news, it is theater!" Robocop did make fun of the news and how it had just become another useless form of media. The Onion is a great source of satire. They are poking fun at social norms and really focus on the problems that mainstream society is overlooking. Hayley Sebourn has a good example in her blog. Other great sources of satire if you are a news junkie is "The Daily Show" and the "Colbert Report." They are comedic geniuses. I do think that John Stewart knows his stuff. He has been on a kick here lately telling other news stations to cut the theatrics and just give us the unbiased news. His greatest moment is on "Crossfire" when he was begging "Stop! You are hurting America!"

Another great satire is from Paul Verhoeven is Starship Troopers. This movie is great and reminds me a lot of the book 1984 in that it shows the dangers of blind nationalism. The movie is a little less clear for some than Robocop but I think if they examine it the satire is there. One of the most comedic scenes is a movie that is quite similar to our WW2 films where the narrator is saying "Everyone is doing their part!" and the kids are killing cockroaches. The movie's message is hidden under a B action film just like Robocop. Starship Troopers calls into question the logic of a constant warring nation.

"Family Guy "is one of my favorite shows in the entire planet. The show is filled with satire and many vast exaggerations. The TV show has characters portraying different walks of life so that it can cover multiple issues. I think a good example would be the episode when Peter's dad is forced to retire. The episode does battle with issues of ageism, religious fundamentalism and the generational gap. I would encourage it as a good intro into "Family Guy."

We can never take ourselves too seriously. I think the events that occurred after 9/11 have shown us that. The best example is the Patriot Act. Almost everyone was in favor of it, but during that time we went too far and now there are many comedy shows saying that. A good movie would be Team America. I think that satirical films remind us that we must look past the good intentions and see the consequences of our actions.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Paul Verhoeven is Robocool

Robocop is a B class action film that cannot be fully appreciated without the knowledge of the deeply imbedded satire which inhabits the film. I really think there should be an intro like in citizen cane telling about the real point of the film. If not it becomes misinterpreted by many as just a regular action flick. I really think there is a danger of the film not being noticed if there is not some kind of warning or alert.

The movie is a little awkward for me because it is a slow motion action film. I know that the trend now is very fast motion action but it seems lacking in the action area. It remains me of slow horror films, I’m the guy screaming "Run, Run, Why are you not running?". There was two or three times during the last part of the film I think they could have killed Robocop like six times.

With the knowledge of what the film is mocking it will bring endless laughs. I think the board game won me over. I think this film does a great job of showing how the free market is just as corrupt as the government. I believe that anytime you a small number of people in power over a great many and they have the free range to manipulate the system to their benefit they will end up being corrupt. This again is one of the hazards of an individual based society. I wonder what we are going to try next since we cant trust the g0verment, organized religions or corporations to rule. The movie highlights the problems that were arising in the late 80's. Good examples are the news, TV sitcoms and gentrification. I think that I can truly appreciate more of the films that the director does knowing that his work is satirical.

The movie showed potential in the area of cool, it is more a classical manor. The good cops are virtuously good and he bad are hell spawn bad. The characters themselves are not what is cool about the movie. The only really cool person is the director. That is because this movie has depth. It is a satirical work of art as is Starship Troopers. The director is bold to go against the cultural norm of the day. I applauds his works.

Monday, April 6, 2009

An Ending is just a Beginning

Saturday Night Fever is a very weird movie, for me at least. The movie was not plot heavy, it was as Donna says "slice of life." It was common for that time, but I have very rarely experienced this type of story. I think the ending played into what cool is. It poses questions like: Can cool be sustained? Does cool change with scenery? and Can someone be cool and un-cool all at the same time? These are all great questions, and I think the truth can be answered through different films, music and other vessels of pop culture.

One band that has always kind of kept up with what is cool is Aerosmith. The band began like many eighties bands, in women’s clothing. They were high pitched and constantly singing about all of their sex-capades-- most notably, "Love in an Elevator." However, they were a band that does not necessarily change their style but adapts its music to the changing times. One example is during the 80s or 90s they did a song with a rap group. The song did well but it was the first of its kind. They were trying to be ground breaking with their music. They have also put out hits during the 90s and 2000s. One of my favorites is "I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing." They, I believe, answered the question on whether cool can be sustained. I think that it can, it just must adapt to the times and context of cool. So the next logical question is: Does cool change with the scenery?.

The answer can I think be captured best by a movie we watched in class, Easy Rider. The two main characters are thought of as cool every where they go. Some people don’t like them because they are the bearer of the changing times. This is best shown in the southern dinner scene. They are made to feel uncomfortable by everyone in the dinner except for the young girls. They are perceived as an unknown by both men and women, but women see that as cool while the men see it as threatening. So cool is subject to point of view more than scenery. So were the characters cool and un-cool at the same time?

That question I think is best answered by Saturday Night Fever. The answer is yes. A person can bee cool and un-cool at the same time. The main character was a looser when he went home but a star on the dance floor. He was both things at the same time. This leads me to the conclusion that cool is completely subjective. The level of cool depends on how many people agree you are cool. One of the best examples is Bob Dylan. Many, like me, would say he is cool. Others would protest and say he was a crappy singer that had a knack for song writing. Cool is very perplexing.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

In defense of Female Teen Pop

Dyer’s article “In Defense of Disco” has some very good points. Generations can be a little heavy handed on different eras of music. I grew up thinking that almost all 80’s music sucked. But that was just because it was the consensus of my age group when I was young. Today some of the most listened to songs on my iPod are “Walk like an Egyptian,” “I run,” and “Sweet Child of Mine.” So times and opinions change, and people grow to appreciate things they once criticized.

So the music I am going to defend is the girl/teen pop movement that started around 1994 and lasted until at least 2003. Artist I am going to be talking about in particular are The Spice Girls and Brittney Spears. The fame may be short lived but it does not make their achievements any less important. I don’t see a valid argument for them not being cool either.

The Spice Girls came across America like a mad rush and they were gone just about as fast. They were some of the first all-girl vocal groups to counter the main boy bands at the time like N’Sync and The Backstreet Boys. They hit a wide audience of girls because they were advertised as a very diverse group. Each of the members was clearly defined in personality, so almost every small girl could relate. There song “Wannabe” hit number one in 31 countries. They were the most successful band out of Brittan since the Beatles. The group broke up in 2000 but they had a comeback tour in 2007 which ended prematurely in 2008. Their movie Spice World was a big hit all over the world. This band may come under a lot of criticism but no one can say that they had no musical value.

Britney Spears has been criticized and been called talentless multiple times. Many people doubt her musical talents and that she ever was cool. I am here to tell you that she must have been cool to sell 32 million albums in the US alone and is estimated to have sold 82 million worldwide. Spears is ranked as the eighth best selling female recording artist in the United States. Her first big start was as the opening act for N’Sync and The Backstreet Boys. She topped the charts in 1998 with “Baby One More Time.” She is still very prevalent today with her new album Circus. Her songs are not as popular as they once were, but she is still a very popular figure in pop culture.

The girl/teen pop movement that happened around 2000 was as valid as Disco, Emo, or Punk. Each of them hold their own context and have an entire culture about them. I was not a fan of this movement, but I can appreciate all the things that came from their contributions to music. Brittney brought back Madonna and led the way for such artist as Lady Gaga and Pink. I have listened to Brittney’s new album and find it decent. I think that the girl/teen pop movement made great contributions to music.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Shaft breeds spoofs not followers

Shaft was the first of its kind, but the movement it started has spread into a multi-genre of film. And this genre is completely distinct from the mainstream of film. These films have developed away from normal films with all black casts and their own sort of film culture. Some of these films include Undercover Brother, Brown Sugar, and Baby Boy. The African American film genre is biased towards their own culture. From the hood to family trouble, the culture in the film is definite. It could be divided up in to movies about the inner city, family life and inter-racial strife. The inner city movies are those that try to capture the culture of what that life is like. Family life is more of a recent development, especially in comedy with actors such as Tyler Perry. Racial strife would be movies like Guess Who.

A film that reminded me of Shaft was Undercover Brother. It was a spoof of the Bond films, but the cool that he was trying to impersonate was defiantly that of Shaft. The "brother" as they would put it was a man that could woo any woman. Undercover Brother was a man that was ahead of all the rest. He was so smooth that criminals could not touch him. They exaggerate this also. Like I said, it was a play off of the Bond series, but it was still really funny. Hidden throughout the movie is African American cultural references: the “pick” of black power, the parachute pants, and the enormous gold chain.

Baby Boy is not a movie that reflects the cool of Shaft, but is one that reflects the iconic cool of the urban culture. The main character reflects a common contradiction to cool. He had two children, both were by different mothers, and he still lived with his mom. He could not be considered cool. When faced with the loss of his home and the little control he had over the women in his life, he found out that the power never really mattered. His personal journey leads him to what many would describe as him “becoming a man.” He had to kill a rival man that abused his kid and wife. He finally gets a home of his own and a job. Throughout the movie he is made out to seem cool but the movie is written to direct the attention to him taking responsibility for the people in his life.

In the African American film genre the definition of cool changes because of the difference in culture. What Shaft did was pave the way for black film to take on its own essence. If you look over the vast history of black film you can see it move more distant from the norms in predominantly white film.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Who is that sex machine? Shaft!

What is there to say about Shaft other than he is FREAKING AWSOME! His character is similar to the noir private eyes. His persona is one of two worlds. He is a part of the white and black cultures of New York. His identity is one that is full of the slang of the Harlem slums and the coined wit of the civil rights movements. He does not conform to the white society and suck up. No, He is his own man.

Shaft displays a multiple numbers of cool. He transcends race to interact all races. Shafts prize people are those that everyone interacts with everyday. His values seem to be those of any good man the only difference is in the means that he accomplishes them with. His methods are very noir; by this I mean that his means are a little more rough and dirty. The police cannot go and do the same things with such ease. He is not on the wrong side of the law but he is doing all the things the law can’t do such as move easily throughout Harlem.

Now his sex appeal with the ladies and even the men in one case is completely macho man. He asserts dominance over anyone one in his vicinity with such tools as wits, charm or physical violence. Shaft never has to try with the ladies; he can even catch criminals while seducing them. His competency is another factor that his presence gives off. The style of cloths he wears is 70’s fabulous. I only wish I could pull off the dark brown leather trench coat. That and a brown turtle neck with a leather gun holster.

Shaft is one of those films that I really will never forget. The entire movie was iconic. From the funky intro to the last phone call to the police the movie would be one referenced in film for the next 40 years. The language in it reminded me of a west side story. The language is not fluent but choppy and repetitive. But the roughness of the movie makes for a more memorable movie.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Cultural Comentary

Easy Rider was a movie that was made to capture a moment in time. The movie fully captivated all the aspects that were happening with America at the time. The late sixties had an amazing movement that started in the west and was sweeping across America. There are few films that that are capable of capturing what is happening in the world. A few movies that come to mind are Dazed and Confused, The Graduate, and The Dead Poet’s Society.

Dazed and Confused was a movie about high school in 1976. The movie was trying to capture the counterculture and the main culture and one youth’s decision about both. One of the side stories was about the youth’s immergence into the high school scene. One character in particular is representative of the drug counterculture. He like to smoke weed and rock out. He was one of the “cool” kids. This film did a good job of bringing up the issues such as hazing, drinking, and drug use. The movie demonstrated how peer pressure was the main drive in the drug and drinking culture of the day. The culture of the day for youth was rebellion cool, and this movie does a great job demonstrating it.

The Graduate is a movie that was made only a few months after Easy Rider and was released before it because of complication with the film making process. The movie showed another side of a problem of the culture that was happening in the U.S. around the late sixties. The Graduate was a tale of a man that had recently graduated from college and was unsure of which direction his life was going. His problems are further perplexed by the sexual tension that looms over his neighbor’s wife. He ends up sleeping with Mrs. Robinson and then falling in love with her daughter. So many of the college youth were lost; they went to college thinking it was the only logical step they had. “What was the next step?” The movie also demonstrates the sexual tension of the house wife during the late sixties. It is an indication of the watch parties that would be taking place in America.

The Dead Poets Society is a land mark film in my book because it brought into question whether schools should inspire boys to think on their own. In the most prestigious academic academies they believe that the process of education was not about teaching students to think on their own, but to believe what they tell them. The teacher played by Robin Williams sees this issue and tries to rebel against the culture of the education system and was looked at as a trouble starter. The rebellion that he starts in his students is one that demonstrates a type of cool talked about in Easy Rider.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Fight Freedom with Fear

Easy Rider is a movie that captured what was happening in America in the late sixties. "It was the best of times and it was the worst of times," Dickens would say. The youth of America were questioning the world they were coming into. Drugs in America were on the rise and it was allowing people to escape to an alternate reality. The youth wanted something more and sex, drugs and Rock and Roll was the answer. With such bands as Bob Dylan and The Grateful Dead coming around youth wanted more from life and politics. People saw injustice and also a problem with traditional life. All of these ideas were culminating when Easy Rider came out. The movie was able to capture all that was occurring at the time and pack it into the movie.

At the beginning of the film the Wyatt and Billy are buying, transporting and selling cocaine. They are beating the capitalist society at its own game. To them it is just a means to an end, the quick way of making their dreams come true. The drug deals went well and they receive an enormous sum of cash and they are then free to go find America.The first place they come to is a small farm where a large mixed family was living off the land in a very traditional way. To them this is a sort of utopia. They are in a place of acceptance where some can live without having to rely on the main stream of society. They are in a sense what the commune wanted to be. The farm was a symbol of what some of the things they went looking for in America.

The next place they come to is commune. They are lead there by the hitch hiker they pick up on the road. He is quite the groovy individual. He is very smart and does not expect people to just do things for him. The commune is a place of acceptance and a collage of ideas. There are people reading Mao and another doing Ti Chi. The mime troop is suppose to be representative of the Diggers. They are the collage of what was coming out of San Francisco at this time.

After they leave the commune they come to a town were a parade is happening where they try to participate and get arrested. In the Jail they run into George. He is a Southern layer with a drinking problem. George decides to join up with them on their trip to New Orleans. He is my favorite character. George's view is the closest to the embodiment of what their trip was really about. They were the embodiment of freedom at this time. People were scared of what they represented. He warns them one night that if they are not careful that some one upon seeing this freedom may kill them because it causes people to question whether they are free. That same night George is killed by those very people.

After this point the movie starts to spiral down quickly. The peak of the movie I believe centered on George's speech. The everyday American Ideal at this time was that people were all free. People celebrated their freedom after the war. But when people that were the embodiment of change come threw it leads them to realize that they were only living a partial reality. It is no different today. If a person never escapes their own known reality by experiencing another culture or someone else’s form of reality they never really have a validation of their own reality. When people go through their entire life without having their way of life questioned as soon as it is they become frightened. They become cultural imperialist and xenophobes. This fear causes some atrocious things to happen. It lead to the end of the main characters and to their easy ridden.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Texas (This is for all those that hate and don't Appreciate)

Texas is one of the most culturaly stereotyped places in America, and for a good duration of time this sterotype was considered cool. Childeren across America wanted nothing more than to be an American cowboy fighting outlaws in the west or to become a Texas Ranger. Texas is just one of those places that screams cool (unless you are one of those Texas haters that hates all Texans because of our outlandish love for the Great State of TEXAS!) lol The culture alone is a sterotype that I have experienced in many differnt films. The first is one of my all time favorite kids' movies.

Tall Tale's main ficticious charecter is Pecos Bill.He and this movie retell a folk tail that originated in Texas. He was supposedly raised by cyotes and could lasso a tornado. He was the leading moral charecter in the movie that motivated a protagonist to stand up for what was right. His charecter is wearing an over exaggerated hat and all the other fixins of a Texan. He frequenlty mentions Texas and all the things that have happend there. He promotes the steortypical culture of Texas. Pecos' portrayal is a coment on a the cultural cool of Texas.

Second is Dallas, a T.V. show from the late seventies through early ninties that is a great example of a Texas stereotype. The charecters all had an overly drawn out accent and exaggerated cowboy hats. This show was popular here in American but was more popular over in Asia. Texas became a place to go whenever you wanted to go to America. If you dont believe me, ask an international student which state is more known in over seas countries, Texas or Arkansas. The T.V. show was a great example of a stapel of cultural cool.

One of the more recent examples is Walker Texas Ranger. I lived in Dallas during all the years that Walker was on, and I only wish it was that interesting. The show made the town of Dallas seem a lot more exciting than it was. Chuck Norris will probably never be parted from Texas. They drew every little detail of Texas out: from the cowboy boots to the trucks that we all apparently drove. It is true that Texas Rangers have a standard issue horse, badge, boots and cowboy hat, but they don't always wear them. It amazes me that the show was so popular; I personaly loved it as a kid, but I can't stand to watch a single episode now (especialy the Chuck Norris sung intro).

The last cultural staple of Texas is the the Dallas Cowboys, yep the football team. Have you ever noticed all the attention that the team gets? When you think football, one of the top teams you will come to is the Cowboys. When you think Cowboys, you think Texas. The Dallas Cowboys have the most known cheer leaders (They even have their own TV show), emblems and names. When you come to Texas what do you expect to see? You expect to see Cowboys weither it be the Dallas Cowboys or men out wearing chaps.
Texas is one of the most publicised states in the nation. When people hear Texas, icons fly through their minds. That is because Texas has an overwelming cultural capital. They were once one of the most culturaly cool places in America, and that title alone grants it respect.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

We are lall truely M.A.D. Would you like a cup of tea?

My cultures (specifically my age group) began with a kick—the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of Mutually Assured Destruction mentality! Our child hood was filled with President Bill Clinton and drudge music. Metallica and Snoop Dog was played on high with an enormous increase in the White urbanization. “It was the best of times and the worst of times” as Dickens would say. The technology bubble was on the edge of bursting, and with the final pop it gave the economy its first surplus in years. Business was booming and foreign affairs were on the up and up.

Walking up and down the streets you would see the increase of the restoration of historic buildings. The youth would be wearing predominately black cloths. The white youth was obsessed with not caring because that what was cool. There was a rise in the nerd culture. The comic book obsession went through the roof. Being smart became a little more socially acceptable. With child television shows like Smart Guy and Daria, children got the impression that smart was cool.

The year 2000 brought about another big scare: THE END OF THE WORLD. Y2K hit and Nostradamus predicted that the end of the world. The computers were going to shut down and anarchy was going to run rampant. After that we believed as Americans they were safe as long as our computers keep working.

Until the day that New York was filled with smoke. The eyes of the world turned to New York and they were afraid for their lives, their children’s lives, and their national security. The fear led to President George W. Bush taking control of America's safety. In a day The Department of Homeland security was created and the Patriot Act was passed. We went to war with Afghanistan because the Taliban ruled there and their leader was Osama Bin Laden. The war on terror spread to Iraq.

America became obsessed with the thought of the troops and how bad that president Bush was. The lyrics of songs were filled with hate for the President— Muse, System of A Down and Green Day to name a few. In the beginning it was a social taboo to disagree with the war. Artists like the Dixie Chicks were hurt by their comments showing their disapproval of Bush. The war had affected all forms of culture.

Today there is a new leader that embodies “change,” President Obama. America is wanting out of the war. People everywhere are in love with change. Rap and R&B songs are filled with compliments to the new president and he in his first hundred days is portrayed as a president of the people. Ever since the Twin Towers fell, the presidency has had a major effect on pop culture.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Love is ignorance

In Jules et Jim, I saw something that was new to what I thought of cool. I did not believe that love had any place in the movie. But I did see something that held a deep resemblance to cool: ignorance. When the Jules and Jim fell in love they became ignorant of everything. They rose above their social situation. They were no longer a German and a Frenchman; they were two friends in love. In F. John's first presentation, he told us that the slaves were the original cool. This was due to the fact that they could rise above their situation. I believe that Jules and Jim found that in love with women and with each other. Their love brought on ignorance and that in turn bread bliss which made them transcendent cool. The bliss of love is shown in a few of my more favorite films; Moulin Rouge and The Girl Next Door.

Moulin Rouge is a fabulous musical. The music and choreography was superb and the choice of stars made the film a success in my eyes. The most important aspect was the storyline. The leading man, Christian, is a writer that falls in love with a prostitute, Satine. But Satine has a wealthy duke after her. Satine is forced to go along and entertain him but she retains feeling for Christian. Because Satine and Christian fall in love, they seem to transcend the situation they are in. They become more than a whore and a writer; they are two lovers and the world appears to be theirs. But that ignorance leads to the demise of the characters and eventually the rich man catches on that he is coming second. The movie ends on a sad note but it demonstrates that love is disillusioning.

The girl next door gets written off as a raunchy guy movie. The storyline is based
around the assumption that all teenagers think about is porn--not a story line you would think could teach you something about love. The main character is a successful young high schooler that has no time to be just that a high schooler. He meets the girl next door. She is a beautiful girl that is fascinated by the way the boy looks at her. He views her as a an attractive young woman and not the porn actress she was. They fall in love and he shows her what it is like not to be objectified all the time; in turn, she shows him what high school is all about. The both transcend the rolls that they are in. This causes them trouble, but in the end, it is the only thing that pulls them through. The bliss, the moment they experience, is something to be found and not made. They learn by being in love and they gain the ability to transcend.

Love is a fickle thing, but no matter what, it has the ability to lift you out of your situation. This bliss gives you the ability to properly assess your situation and gives you an edge in life. Love may not be cool, but love is bliss; bliss is ignorance, and ignorance leads one to transcend and become cool.