Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Katy Perry: The Good or the Bad Kind of Provocative?

No matter how you see her, you can tell she's some kind of provocative, but what exactly is she provoking? Is she spreading social messages and provoking controversy, or is she trying to feed the dirty minds of the oversexed American population? It's hard to tell.

Best known for her 2008 song "I Kissed a Girl" that was wildly popular not only for it's catchy tune but for it's deviant social message about experimentation, Katy Perry went onto creating more pop hits like "Hot and Cold," "Waking up in Vegas," and the two most recent and most ubiquitous, "California Gurls" and "Teenage Dream."

I'm not sure what to think about her. She balances on the line between sexy and disgusting, and it's actually not that thin of a line. She just doesn't have very good balance. The most interesting thing about this chick is that she is the daughter of two pastors and she started out singing Gospel music. Her first album was Christian Rock. Mmhmm.

Her "California Gurls" music video is definitely the most disgusting music video I have ever seen. I have watched twice, and I can't stand to ever watch it again.

First of all, what does Candy Land have to do with California? This is just icky in so many ways. I think this is so not sexy, but if you look at the long line of comments that are just as gross as the video from guys expressing their approval of this. People think this is a great video.

Message: "It doesn't matter what the song is about. If I roll around naked on a cotton candy cloud, people will love it!" Thank you, Katy, for that valuable message that has unfortunately been proved true.

She also guest starred on Sesame Street to sing "Hot n Cold" with Elmo. That playdate was cut short because her mommy apparently let her dress herself that day. Her appearance was banned for her inappropriate outfit.

This also grosses me out. Elmo and Katy Perry's breasts should never share a spotlight. Never. You don't wear something like that to play dress up with Elmo. That's what you wear to play dress-down.

I don't get her. What's her deal? Is she trying to pull a Lady Gaga and shock the public into paying attention, or is she trying to draw eyes to her boobs and keep them there? We'll see where she goes with this, but if you look at the contrast between "California Gurls" and the also recent "Teenage Dream" video, it's hard to tell what exactly she's going for.

If she didn't do things like these, though, she wouldn't be any fun. I wouldn't be talking about her right now if she hadn't shocked me with her disgusting videos. I hope that's the kind of attention she's sure she wants.


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Lizzie McGuire or Hannah Montana?

We are in the era of Hannah Montana. You already know this. You probably hate her and her show. I know I do. However, when I was the age of today's Hannah Montana fans, I was obsessed with the show Lizzie McGuire, who very similarly to Hannah, was a teenage girl with one female best friend and one male best friend who faced a life lesson in every episode. I like Lizzie McGuire better, but is that because it's a better show, or do I just like it because it was part of my childhood?

The major difference between the two is that Lizzie is normal, but tries to be cool. Miley is a rock star who tries to be normal. Besides this, the shows follow a similar pattern.

Both have the central dynamic of three best friends, one a girl and one a boy. Both have a main character obsessed with her own image, moving up the social ladder, following trends, and boys. The female best friend is annoying and even more myopic and conformist than the main character. Both have an eccentric father, although Lizzie has two eccentric parents. Both have an annoying brother. Both Miley and Lizzie face problems with boys, parents, friends, clothes, school, bullies, morals, and every other cliche you can think of.

Pretty similar, right? When you look at them side-by-side, it comes down to one critical element. The foil best friends.

In Lizzie McGuire, her female best friend is ditsy and myopic, concerned with conforming to be popular. Her male best friend, Gordo, is a foil to Miranda. He is a nerd and made fun of in school, and the voice of reason. He offers a practical perspective on anything Lizzie and Miranda are considering. He tells Lizzie she doesn't need to be popular to be happy. He is his own person, rare quality to find in a Disney Channel character. Lizzie never listens to him and makes mistakes in every episode, but in the end, she admits he was right all along. Oliver in Hannah Montana is just an extension of the female best friend Lily, who he has an obnoxiously, unnecessarily mushy relationship with. Also, have you seen his hair?

By the way, the Lizzie McGuire movie was really cute. For a movie based off a Disney Channel show, they did a good job with it. Miley doesn't make things cute.



I was looking through one of my old journals, which were more just lists of my favorite things than diary entries, and I found a list from 2003 where I say that my favorite music is Play. I don't know how I forgot about them.

Play is a girl pop group that did a lot of covers of old pop songs (as most teen girl groups did) like "Hopelessly Devoted" and "Kids in America," but they're best known for "Us Against the World." While I was looking them up, I found out that they're actually from Sweden. Cool.

I love that there's a ninja crisis in this. Haha. That song brought back so many memories. I used to blast that song. It was in "Lizzie McGuire," which was my favorite TV show at the time. I still know the words. ^_^

They had another song that I remember thinking was really cool. The more edgy "I Must not Chase the Boys" sounds a lot darker than "Us Against the World." I clearly remembered the part of the video where the girl is in the room with chalkboard walls covered in "I must not chase the boys" written over and over.

I liked this song, and even though I remembered how the tune went, I didn't remember the lyrics like "I wanna give in to the woman in me." When I heard that today, I was like...well then. The things that go over your head when you're 10.

Like all former pop groups in their category, Play is dead and forgotten. Play, A*Teens, No Secrets...their memories are locked up in childhood notebooks like mine. I like to think about today's music, who will be remembered, and who will drift into obscurity. Lady Gaga is the present day Madonna or Cyndi Lauper, Katy Perry is to 2009 what Britney Spears was to 1999, and Ke$ha...she'll be remembered for the dollar sign in her name.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Easy A, Belly Dancers, Refrigerators with Feet

I saw Easy A yesterday, which I thought was pretty hilarious. I posted the trailer a while ago but it's about an "anonymous" high school girl who starts to get recognition when rumors spread that she lost her virginity to a college guy. When other guys find out she's lying, she fakes having sex with them so they can tell people and get recognition. She goes along with her new image and pretends so well that she is the most infamous person in school, who everyone thinks actually sells sex for money. Amanda Bynes and Cam Gigadent (evil vampire James from Twilight) play over-emotional super-Christians.

This clip is of the weekend when she supposedly hooked up with the college guy, but she narrates "That didn't happen. This is what I really did that weekend." I was cracking up.

Then a few scenes later, her phone rings and her ringtone is this song this song.

I also danced with a belly dancer at a Greek restaurant on Saturday, very awkwardly and I'm still pretty embarrassed. I don't know why I did that.

Another thing: What do you think about a refrigerator with a foot underneath that comes out and kicks the door closed if you forget to close it? I had a dream about that, but I accidentally got kicked by the foot.

Instead of ending with my refrigerator dream, I'll bookend it with another clip from the movie. It doesn't show the whole thing, but it is so funny when she fakes sex with the gay dude. His grunting XD


Sunday, September 12, 2010

High School Relationships: My Input

A few people have asked me lately exactly why I hate guys so much. I want to clear this up. I do not hate guys in general. What I do hate is the way they behave in the context of high school relationships, just as I hate girls in the same context. When people are just people, they are who they are, good, bad, whatever. People in relationships totally change who they are. They get all emotional lovey-dovey, dependent, obsessive, neglectful of other things in their life like friends. They're stupid and blind-sided, and I really believe that.

When you're an adult, usually you date to find someone cool to hang out with for the rest of your life. When you're a teenager, you do it for fun. Of course, this isn't saying that adults don't do it for fun. They do, all the time, but the difference between an adult and a teenager is practice vs. experimentation. High school relationships are about experimentation when people are still figuring out who they are. If they haven't figured out who they are, letting someone else in is playing with fire. When kids try to light fire to unknown chemicals, there's a pretty good chance it's going to blow up in their face.

Three things get mixed together in teenage relationships: Emotions, peer pressure, and thoughts about sex. Everyone wants to connect to someone, everyone feels like there are certain things they need to do to be socially normal, and to some degree, everyone thinks about sex. The volatile chemicals of these awesome teen years. Mix them together, light a match, and see what happens.

I think wanting to connect to someone is a big part of it. A lot of people don't have good friends, and they like the commitment of a relationship to give them some assurance or guarantee that someone will always be there to make them feel like they matter. Teenagers are babies when it comes to dealing with emotions. Quoting Zac Efron in 17 Again, "When you're young everything feels like the end of the world, but it's not. It's just the beginning." Emotions get tangled in a complicated web, and since these relationships are destined to end as everyone is subconsciously using everyone in their own experiments, the emotional strings attached get cut and people fall.

I think everybody needs to realize that they are going to get hurt. They can decide whether or not it's worth it, but they need to expect it to end. They make the decision to put their emotions on the front line, but they need to realize that the front line takes the first hits. When babies (dirty babies?) play with fire, they're sure to get burned. If they think they're adult enough to handle the flames, they still must remember that once they've thrown fuel to the fire, it's harder to put out.


Friday, September 10, 2010

Hey, loverboy

I've been using saying "oh loverboy" and "comere loverboy" a lot lately to freak out my friend's brother, and I knew I got it from somewhere, but I couldn't remember where.

This is where I got it. Dirty Dancing.

I love this scene. She talks to him in the same condescending tone that he used with her when he was teaching her how to dance.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Childhood Toys (Part One?)

When I finished writing this, I realized that this doesn't even scratch the surface of childhood toys. Most of the things you play with as a kid aren't even toys at all, they're adventures straight out of your imagination. I stuck mostly to toys for which I could find pictures and specific comments about, but there are so many more toys. Play-doh, bubble wrap, coloring books, Colorforms, Fisher Price Kitchen, Easy Bake Oven, Waffle Blocks, Lite Brite (the list goes on) did not make it to the already long list.

Then there are the non-toy aspects of childhood which are even more fun to remember like hiding in a dark closet with a flashlight making shadow puppets, imaginary friends, playing house, playing tag, playing dress-up. I could talk about these things forever. This is likely the first of an installment of posts about childhood, the one subject I feel that I have an authority to talk about. Sit'n Spin: The idea for this article spun off a sudden memory flashback of one simple toy: the Sit and Spin. This thing is amazing. For a three year old, it's like the teacups at Disney that you can operate yourself. It was even more fun to stand on it and spin. I loved that thing even after I had well exceeded the target age range, but I would play with one of those if I had one now. I spin around in my desk chair all the time.

It was even more fun with two people. These kids have the right idea.

Fisher Price Doll House: My grandma recently returned it to me from her garage where it has laid dormant for 10 years in all it's in it's worn, torn, and rainbow-sticker ornamented glory. Guess what I did when she gave it back? I furnished the rooms and put the family in the living room to watch TV. I still remember the names of all the dolls (most named for the kids on Barney because those were the only names I knew, except for one that I called Anadudadaka to distinguish her from her identical twin sister, Jane). I loved to load the family into their little pink jeep and drive them around.

Polly Pocket: This was Polly when her house could literally fit in your pocket. Her house would come in a pocket-size case that you folded open, and Polly and friends were less than an inch tall. Their feet had little circles that fit into circular holes all over her house. I'm actually preferable to the new Polly Pocket with the stretchy clothes. I borrowed my sister's in fourth grade and my friends and I would play at recess. Funny thing is we would joke about being too old for it, using the excuse that it was my five-year-old sister's toy.

Furby: Talking fluffy robot that looks like a Gremlin. It comes with a Furbish dictionary that helps you decode it's language, and supposedly if you played with it enough, it would gradually learn English. Interesting little things. I got one from my uncle for Christmas when I was seven. It was a combination of cute, scary, and intriguing.

Tamagotchi: Adorable little virtual pet that you hatch, take care of, and grow. When I was five or six, my cousin gave me her old one. My mom said she didn't want me to have it because I wouldn't take care of it, it would die, and I would cry. I told her I would take care of it. It died. I cried. What a shock.

Push Pop and Ring Pop: Not toys, but perhaps the best lollipops ever. I used to love after you licked a Push Pop enough at the top, it would form a sharp point. I used to try to only lick around the middle to make it look like an hourglass, but I was never successful. The new Push Pops have springs in them, so you don't have to push them, but before that, you had to stick your finger in the barrel and push it up yourself. Your fingers would always get sticky. Awesome stuff.

The other candy love of my childhood is the Ring Pop. This is a lollipop you wear like a ring. My mom always said they look more like pacifiers, and when they're in your mouth, they do. I remember this exact commercial for them and thought it was so cool at the end when the girl had one on every finger.

Cardboard Boxes: There are so many things a kid can do with a cardboard box. I, like just about any little girl, liked to play house, so I would draw on windows and hide out in there. Having a cardboard box big enough to hide inside is one of the memories of childhood that makes life seem a little less serious.

Now, for what is in my opinion the best childhood game there is...

Forts: Taking those blankets, those pillows, those chairs, and the back of the couch and creating the most insane, kick-ass, epic fort there ever was. Hiding inside and feeling like no one can get you. Hanging out there all day with a coloring book. Designating separate rooms and moving your dolls into them. Spreading out on the floor with a million pillows. Turning off the lights, bringing in a flashlight, and chilling in the dark. Awesome. Also, I wish I had a bed like this. My cousins had bunk beds and I thought those were the coolest things ever. We used to jump off the top onto the floor over and over and over. Like I said, the list of things I could talk about is never ending.


Sunday, September 5, 2010

Save the Rainforest, guys.

I watched this, fell out of my chair laughing, rewound it, and watched it again. It's from Superstar, a really stupid but really hilarious SNL skit turned movie where this girl is an incredibly awkward catholic high school reject who wants to be a superstar.

Also, this song has been stuck in my head since I watched Uptown Girls and heard it in the opening credits. I like how it sounds. ^_^

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Thoughts and Movies

This post is a mess, but I don't have the attention span today to write anything long. Also, if you read the second point, it really doesn't matter if I do or not.

**"Sometimes we don't do things we want to do so that others won't know we want to do them." I saw it in someone's Facebook status. It's a quote from some movie called The Villiage that I never saw, but I think it speaks volumes.

**I care way too much about things. I have such strong opinions about absolutely everything. To me, everything matters, but if everything matters, relatively, does that also mean nothing matters? Nothing really matters unless you make it matter, but by that logic, everyone could save themselves pain by brushing off everything as inconsequential and live knowing that 100 years after they're dead, not a single person will remember them. I don't want to think like that, so I pretend that what we're doing right now actually is important.

**Who decides if a movie is good or bad, or if a song is good or bad, or a TV show, or a book? I see a lot of movies that I think are painfully boring that have an A on Rotten Tomatoes, and I see a lot of movies that are really cute and entertaining but get below 50%. People complain about Twilight, but it's just some lighthearted fun. People complain about Justin Bieber, The Jonas Brothers, NSync. I love the Jonas Brothers, and I love NSync. They make me happy. Who decides if something is good or bad? People who don't know how to be happy with little things?

**Mona Lisa Smile is a great movie. I don't care if critics say it's unoriginal. If you ask me, it's brilliant. Julia Roberts is awesome as an art professor who goes to an all-girls college in the 1950s and won't accept that the girls have no goals besides getting married.

Julia Roberts, Kirsten Dunst, Julia Styles, and Maggie Gyllenhaal.

**Uptown Girls is also really cute. I don't care what critics say about this one, either. Oh, and guess who the pretty guy with the guitar is.

If you don't know, it's Dr. Chase from House. I think I'll end with this picture.