We are all born superstars

February 19, 2011 § 3 Comments

by MIRANDA

No matter what anyone says, no matter the valid criticisms of the problematic aspects of her persona and her music, at the end of the day, this is why I love Lady Gaga. This, right here:

Indeed: Just love yourself and you’re set.

MTV: Torn between being relevant, and being a toolbag.

August 8, 2010 § 2 Comments

by ELENA

MTV seems to be confused, or having an identity crisis. On one hand, programs such as the reality series If You Really Knew Me and Teen Mom are tackling sensitive issues such as the stresses of being in high school, and the challenges of being a teenage parent. On the other, they are responsible for the drunken shenanigans of the Jersey Shore cast and the “fame” of Mr. Ryan Leslie, member of Real World: New Orleans, who loves making homophobic remarks on camera, and on his Twitter page.

I was impressed by If You Really Knew Me, because I have gone through the Challenge Day retreat that the MTV cameras are documenting, and I think that it’s great that such an awesome organization is getting more publicity. One of the things that was discussed at my Challenge Day was the pressure for many teenage boys to deliberately harass other people, in order to prove that they were “manly” enough. We also did exercises to show how hurtful bullying/name calling/teasing were, and that ridiculing someone based on their appearance, sexual orientation, etc was wrong.

Perhaps the Challenge Day people should host a retreat for the casts of the Jersey Shore and Real World NOLA. The fact that MTV decided to cast such a cruel bigot as Ryan (most likely for his “shock value”), and has done little to hold him accountable for his actions makes me sick. Did producers really think that by having Ryan on the show, that people like me (young college students) would watch in droves? Are advertisers really okay with selling their products during this trainwreck of a show?

Here’s some suggestions for MTV to increase viewership:

1. In the words of the great troubadour Justin Timberlake, PLAY MORE DAMN VIDEOS.
2. When not doing number 1, promote shows such as If You Really Knew Me, True Life, Teen Mom, and other programming that does not include fist pumping, drunken shenanigans, or total assholes all living together in one McMansion
3. Perhaps take a page from Current, and promote viewer created content. Young people + cameras + subjects they are passionate about = content that would be vastly superior to Date My Mom.

I wonder if MTV fears that if they promote more non-shitty programming, they will lose viewers/revenue. Honestly, losing the viewership of total and complete douchenozzles in favor of gaining the viewership of people like me (who have a disposable income that could be spent on advertisers *cough unsubtle hint cough cough*) is no tragedy.

Also, why the crap is MTV doing a US remake of Skins? Is this really necessary? [Answer: because they think it will make them money, and no.]

Ode to Reginka

June 21, 2010 § 2 Comments

Image: Regina Spektor, smiling broadly.

Friends: Regina Spektor! She is just so delightful! And her music is like when you wake up slicked in sweat on a hot summer morning in your stuffy, un-air-conditioned, fourth floor walk-up apartment and open the window and a cold rush of breeze floods in and you feel alive again. Also, she played a benefit concert for Planned Parenthood. Hearts.

Regina’s music is weird. Seriously, it is strange. She is well-known for her odd and original sound play; she often exaggerates her glottal stop, slurs her words, and switches rapidly between a near-whisper and loudly belted notes. This matters because, as has been said about Lady Gaga, I think a woman’s willingness to be strange — and shamelessly so — is a profoundly feminist act in a culture that prefers its ladies to act like robots.

I also have a feminist (and aesthetic) appreciation for Regina’s musical whimsy. Her work has a strong trend of poking fun at sex, love, and gendered interactions. Below, a selection and explanation of my favorite Spektor lyrics.

« Read the rest of this entry »

THESE LADIES

February 5, 2010 § Leave a comment

ARE HOT.

Because their little ditty encompasses pro-life, anti-bullshittery sentiments. And because, well, they’re raging grandmas, and that is always hot. So sit back, relax, and let these ladies’ voices TAKE YOU HIGHER.

On a serious note, though, it is fucked up that the Super Bowl will be airing anti-choice ads from that stuuuuuupppidd right-wing group Focus on the Family. Whack. Although, the Super Bowl ads don’t exactly have the best track record when it comes to equality…

It’s just sad that people would get outraged at Janet Jackson’s publicity-stunt nip slip, yet be okay with millions of children (and adults!) being taught an anti-choice message. Priorities?!?!

Boston Teens Report on Songs That Glorify Unhealthy Relationships

December 3, 2009 § 3 Comments

I love this.

Supported by the Boston Public Health Commission, a panel of teenagers released a nutritional label-style list of popular songs with “unhealthy relationship ingredients.”

The “Sound Relationships Nutrition Label” was developed by 14 teens after they attended a seven-week commission-sponsored institute on healthy relationship promotion and teen dating violence prevention. During the seven-week program, teens were also taught to evaluate music based on themes of power, control, equality and gender roles.

The teens then developed their list after analyzing songs from Billboard’s “Hot 100″ chart.

…Shaquilla Terry, 15, of Boston, a teen panel member, said it was important for listeners to go beyond the songs’ beats and listen to the lyrics.

The commission says its program aims to teach teens how to evaluate popular media, and help parents talk to teens about healthy relationships. Commission officials also said the label invites consumers to become song lyric nutritionists by helping them identify positive and negative messages about relationships in songs.

“We aren’t telling people what they should or should not be listening to,” Barbara Ferrer, the commission’s executive director, said in a statement. “We are giving them a tool that will help them make an informed choice about what they put in their bodies.”

In addition to the label, the commission also plans to released a lesson plan for teachers.

Jack Perricone, chair of the songwriting department at the Berklee College of Music, said pop songs generally allow listeners to get away from the bad news of the day. But he said pop music, by its very nature, is very repetitive, and sometimes if songs have negative messages, those repetitive messages can get inside teens’ heads.

Badass!

So which songs made the cut? The top ten unhealthy songs were:

1. Break Up – Mario
2. Blame It – Jamie Foxx
3. Paparazzi – Lady GaGa
4. You’re a Jerk – New Boyz
5. Baby By Me – 50 Cent
6. Best I Ever – Drake
7. One More Pain – Ludacris
8. Be On Your – Flow Rida
9. Hotel Room Service – Pitbull
10. Bad Romance – Lady GaGa

And the top ten healthiest?

1. One Time – Justin Bieber
2. Miss Independent – Ne-Yo
3. Replay – Iyaz
4. Say Hay – Michael Franti
5. Knock You Down – Keri Hilson
6. Only You Can Love Me This Way – Keith Urban
7. Her Diamonds – Rob Thomas
8. I’m Yours – Jason Mraz
9. Fallin For You – Colbie Caillat
10. Meet Me Halfway – Black Eye Peas

Via Feministing Community.

Off-topic

April 20, 2009 § Leave a comment

But so totally necessary: Women’s Glib (minus Shira, plus Amanda) performing In The Jungle at a community open mic night.

Bottom row, left to right, is Phoebe, Katie, Zoe, Ruth, and Silvia; I’m at the top left and friend of the blog Amanda is at the top right.

Thanks to Barry for the video!

M.I.A. is more than a little badass

February 9, 2009 § 11 Comments

If you didn’t catch the Grammys last night, watch this clip of M.I.A. singing what might be the catchiest tune of my entire life (save, of course, this one)…


(If you’re having trouble viewing the video, click here for another clip.)

She’s nine months pregnant! In fact, her due date was yesterday. Not only is performing while pregnant an incredible physical feat, it’s also socially gutsy. In a culture that finds pregnant women (and breastfeeding mothers) repulsive unless they’re barefoot and cooking up some pie, it’s delightful to see M.I.A. ignoring the sexist bullshit and taking the stage with her usual force.

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