Simone says there's a popular indie rock band called the "Accordion Connection, you know, that one with all the guys on stage at once, and one of them has a drum? You know who I mean". Anyway, this is an unrelated blog of bitchin' YouTube videos.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
The Riots of Spring
Sooo, like, yesterday was the first day of spring. I was going to do a whole post about the world premiere Igor Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" with the Russian Ballet in Paris in 1913 but I referenced it while conversing with dear Gaby a few days ago and she laughed at me. The young people these days. I guess basically all you need to know is that it blew people's minds so thorougly, they were forced to riot. Too much dissonance, man.
Seeing as this month it's the 70th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, I thought we all could use a little refresher course about the number one threat to individualism, religion, and general way-of-life: That's right, good old fashioned Communism.
In other news, I hear there's now a Chanel boutique in Red Square. Victory is ours!!!
I was going to just post this handy-dandy video I found on feministing.com and have that be it, but then I realized it was international women's day (okay, it's tommorow) and decided to go all-out.
Inspired by film strips such as this, artist Martha Rosler created a video called "Semiotics of the Kitchen" (1975), in which she stands behind a kitchen table covered in various cooking utensils. She recites the alphabet, holding a kitchen implement up to the camera to illustrate each letter: A for apron, B for bowl, C for chopper, etc... The best part is when she gets to K for knife. You can see a little clip of the video here. Or, here's a really crappy version somebody recorded with the video camera on their cel phone or something:
From the semiotics of the kitchen we move on to the semiotics of fear: ie, the way girls are expected to live their lives: afraid of men and wanton acts of lust and passion. Especially in Inglewood, California, in the early-1960s. At least, that's according to this film strip, aptly titled "GIRLS BEWARE":
This film was produced by Sid Davis, who made a large number of "educational" films such as this one in the 1950s and 60s. Apparently, his first film was financed with a loan by John Wayne, and was called "The Dangerous Stranger." This guy was a real asshole. His most infamous film is the companion reel to "Girls Beware", entitled, you guessed it, "Boys Beware," which is about how being gay is a sickness, and gay men are always trying to seduce young boys. Let's watch:
Of course, Sid Davis was not the only guy making film-strip propoganda. Coronet Films was a huge producer of education films in the 50s and 60s. Coronet was actually started by David Smart, founder of Esquire magazine. A lot of their films were about science, the meat industry, stuff like that, but they also loved to make those social guidance films, including this one, which perhaps should be re-titled something like "Jenny is a dirty slut":
And now for one of my all-time favorites, "Psychological Differences Between the Sexes." This one really takes up a scientific tone to convince the viewer that being sexist is natural and right. From the first scene where we learn that men are just naturally physically stronger, and that women love to nurture and worry, to the following scene, in which we learn that women are passive-agressive when it comes to telling their friends that they smell bad, to the scene after that in which we find out that Jane's boyfriend is gay, this film is a virtual cornucopia of outmoded views on gender that continue to permeate our culture. What I'm trying to say is, it's easy to connect the dots from film strips such as this to "Men are From Mars, Women are from Venus," to the current bullshit about women "opting out," to denying women plan B over the counter, to the current "controversy" over the HPV vaccine. Happy Women's Day!
Songs to Ruin a Karaoke Birthday Party By, part II
So this afternoon I was in forevs 21, because, like, um... sometimes you have the afternoon off and you're near union square and you're too tired to think but too lazy to get on the train back to brooklyn... anyway, so i step into forever 21, prepared for the barrage of "crunk" or "recent, horrible beyonce songs" or "pussycat-dolls-esque" music they usually play at a volume one might conservatively call "earsplitting," but to my surprise, I was met with this:
THE BLOW? IN FOREVER 21?! My ears must be deceiving me, or so I thought... I was in there for a solid 20 minutes, and I must have stumbled upon the few minutes or so a day that they play the "indie rock," because their playlist sounded like woxy.com about 2 months ago. WEIRD!!!
Anyway, watching that Blow video (obviously) made me think of our bad karaoke list. I would like to state for the record that I, Simone L. Meltesen, am of the mind that if a person chooses to have a karaoke birthday party, said person has already ruined their birthday party, simply by virtue of it being karaoke. But I digress. Gaby and I have been keeping a running list of terrible karaoke songs, and here are a few more:
Tom Jones "She's a lady"
Did people actually sleep with tom jones? Like, people found him attractive, right? What the hell was going on in the 70s? Anyway, that was terrible. Nice trousers, man.
Electric Light orchestra, commonly referred to as "ELO", with "Mr. Blue Sky"
First off, the song is called "Mr. Blue Sky," which sounds like something a retarded 3 year old would come up with. Second of all, how many guys are there in this band? like, 10? jesus christ. Third of all, this song is like the gayest thing ever. Nice prancing with your upright bass, man.