ADELE HAS BLESSED US WITH HER RETURN

Around midnight last night I had a heart attack.

My queen, Adele, has released the music video for her single “Hello”. It is amazing, to say the very least. It has garnered over 48,000,000 views in the last two days! It is a masterpiece, directed by my favourite director on the planet: Xavier Dolan. It’s no wonder the visuals match the song itself so perfectly.

I honestly cannot form words at the moment, but here it is:

Watch it and weep with joy.

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Is Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” Feminist?

So by now most of you have seen Nicki Minaj’s music video Anaconda. Reactions I’ve heard to the video were predominantly shock, disgust and offense. I’m not even a Barb but I love it, and I’ll tell you why.

nicki-minaj-reveals-anaconda-art

 

Anaconda made me realise how much of an empowering feminist Nicki really is. Don’t see it? Let me break it down.

The song samples Sir Mix-A-Lot’s Grammy Award-winning song Baby Got Back. That song itself is pretty exploitative and talks about how he’s only into chicks with plump posteriors and that his “Anaconda don’t want none unless you got buns, hun”. The song is rooted in booty politics, which discuss the idea that women’s bodies are mere pleasure for the male gaze.

 

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Think of Anaconda as a satire parody of Baby Got Back, because Nicki included butt-slapping, gyrating and booty-hopping, all of which were in the original video, but does it almost to tease the male gaze. How is she teasing you ask? Well, that cocktail bar scene stands out for me. Where she’s wearing a revealing maid’s outfit, spraying whipped cream on her boobies, twerking, licking the cream seductively and finally a banana appears. She takes the banana, makes it seem like she’s going to eat it alluringly (like most cliché woman-eats-a-banana-and-makes-a-guy-hard gags), but instead she rips the banana in two, cuts it up into little pieces, and throws it over her shoulder. Now people, if that doesn’t strike you as a powerful statement then I don’t know what does. She’s basically taking the male gaze and literally chopping it up and tossing it. She does the same thing in her song Lookin Ass, which I thought was genius. She literally grabs machine guns and destroys the male gaze.

 

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Then Drake shows up. What was his purpose in the video? He sits there, having a good time while Nicki gives him a show-stopping, blood-pumping lap dance. So for a while we think he’s got the upper hand. But look closely. Drake is a prop. He doesn’t drop any bars, his clothes are pretty low-key and there’s never attention to his face. He’s just there to have Nicki’s bum up all in his grill. What gives it 500 times more volume is that they didn’t pick just any model off the street for that scene; they casted Drizzy, who’s an established rapper and has probably taken part in booty politics himself.

 

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So Nicki’s getting him all excited, but he can’t get too enthusiastic ‘cause as soon as he tries to touch, Nicki swats his hand and walks away off-screen like a BOSS. She’s in charge, she ain’t havin’ your anaconda and she got buns, hun!

 

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Is Anaconda part of the feminist movement? I think so. Is it flawed? Definitely.  Issues like skinny-shaming are included in the song, but that’s a discussion for another day. Does it make a powerful statement against the way women are portrayed in the media, and more specifically the music industry? Absolutely.

What do you think? Let me know in the comment section.

 

THE FIRE CHALLENGE!

Happy Hump Day,

Ever heard of the condom challenge? Yeah, this is like that but worse.

So there’s a new, hip, challenge that all the kids are doing nowadays!

Lately I’ve been thinking that challenges on YouTube are getting out of hand. I first heard of the Fire Challenge when Shane Dawson mentioned it in his video appropriately titled THE FIRE CHALLENGE. You might be thinking that there is no such thing as a fire challenge. Let me assure you, it’s real.

This is how it goes: an individual douses him or herself in alcohol and then proceeds to set him or herself on fire.

 

Most people that are talking about this topic are saying that people are lighting themselves on fire to gain celebrity. I can see how that could be. It’s just something I would not recommend. There are just too many consequences. Fire burns. That seems like an obvious statement to you, but to some it seems to dwell only at the back of some people’s minds.

So many teens have been burnt badly through attempting this challenge.

I hate to admit it, but my generation is really not proving to be the most intelligent. I mean, I’m not excluding myself but damn, lighting ourselves on fire? Seriously?

Here’s one of the more famous videos of this horrible challenge:

Apparently that kid’s mother, Janie Talley, was arrested and will appear in court in October.

You know what? I’m just going to end the discussion there. This is driving me crazy, I’m afraid I’ll say something stupid. Let me leave you with this video to get the full picture of what’s going on.

As always, stay fresh!

 

 

 

YouTube Culture

Merry Monday!

Alright, so everybody’s been going crazy the past couple of months. By everybody, I mean YouTubers. And what they’ve been going crazy over is the seemingly recent acknowledgement of the of fame and stardom within the  YouTube community and the consequences that follow. Let me break this down.

It all started with SprinkleOfGlitter, aka Louise Watson, who posted a video appropriately entitled “YouTube Culture” in May.

 

Screenshot 2014-07-07 00.43.53

 

This video sparked a YouTube revolution. Okay, maybe not a revolution (yet), but it definitely got a great deal of people that use the platform to voice their opinions on the topic. From the people in comment sections, to smaller YouTubers, even to the major YouTube celebrities like PewDiePie.

 

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What Louise was saying was that after experiencing her subscribers scream at her and go crazy at YouTube conventions and meet-ups, she was overwhelmed. She says that it has come to a point where her own fans scare her. She thinks that there needs to be a better way for famous content creators to interact with their fans in a more stable environment. What’s more important is that she believes that she doesn’t deserve the praise and idolisation from her subscribers. She used idol and role model” as the key word. Louise thinks, and I agree with her, that to idolise someone one needs to acknowledge that person’s life story. She fears that they might not realise that the person they see onscreen is only the version of herself she wants to put out there. In other words, often viewers fall in love with the person that the content creator has decided to portray, not the actual content creator. So when one says Louise is their idol, they really mean Sprinkleofglitter is their idol.

Personally, I agree with every single word she said. I left a lot out, so you really should check out the full video to get the full idea, it’s refreshingly honest.

What struck me the most was the part where she talked about how she found it weird that there were barriers between her and her viewers at this convention. Also, when she heard that a girl queued for 7 hours just to see her, she felt like crying. This was what got me thinking, for the first time, about the authenticity of the “dialogue” atmosphere the YouTube claims to uphold, contrasting to the “monologue” ideology of mainstream media.

Until recently, we’d all accepted the idea that mainstream media, mainly TV, is not a platform where creator and consumer can interact. Because, really, no matter how much I love Amy Poehler I know that there’s zero chance we’ll ever meet. However, I sincerely and shamelessly believe that I will meet Trisha Paytas, The Third Pew and Brandon Berg and that we’ll be the best of friends. Seriously. But the point is, I soon realised, after watching all of Tyler Oakley‘s VidCon vlogs, that YouTube culture really isn’t that different to Hollywood culture.

 

Notice the screaming fans screaming for Tyler's attention. Also BODYGUARDS!

Notice the screaming fans screaming for Tyler’s attention. Also BODYGUARDS!

Granted, Tyler Oakley has over 4 million of subscribers, so fame is inevitable. However, the power that be have constructed an environment where the subscribers are treated as fans and YouTubers who happen to have lots of subscribers are treated as celebrities. Just like the mainstream entertainment industry. Bodyguards, flashing cameras, fangirls begging for the famous person’s attention, signed posters and red carpets.

People aren’t equal within the YouTube community. I’m not sure if they ever were; I got into YouTube relatively recently so I wasn’t there to witness the early days of YouTube but I see where it is today and I’m afraid to say, it looks a lot like the mainstream entertainment industry. There are spaces on YouTube where there is plenty of dialogue. Sadly, this usually only occurs when the YouTuber has below half a million subscribers, maybe even less. It seems that when the subscriber count goes up, comments and tweets stop getting replies.

Louise is really on to something, and I love it. She’s one of the few top YouTubers that seem to care about the divide between viewer and content creator. I respect that. She’s not the only one. Here’s a non-extensive list of other YouTubers that feel the same way (my favourite is TheThirdPew’s, just sayin’).

Don’t worry, I added links so just click on their names to go straight to their “YouTube Culture” videos. I know people of the Interwebs are lazy, I got you.

1. TheThirdPew

2. PewDiePie

3. Mickeleh

4. ChewingSand

5. Vicky (from The Hopeful Family)

 

What’s your take on all this? Comment!

Solange vs. Jay-Z! Wait…Beyoncé Was There?

Happy Thursday!

This blog needs no introduction nor does it need an explanation. There’s elevator video footage TMZ posted on YouTube where Solange beats Jay-Z up.

Yeah, Jay, we know it hurt.

Now most people watched that video and started talking about how crazy Solange is and wondering what Jay-Z said to her to make her go that crazy. For me, what was going through my mind was very different so I’ve compiled a short list of things I was thinking while Solange beat Jay-Z up.

1) Is the elevator going up or down?
2) How many floors does that building have, this video goes on forEVER?
3) Is that big guy holding Solange back a bodyguard?
4) If he is, who’s bodyguard is he?
5) I mean, are they all sharing one bodyguard?
6) If they are, what’s up with that?
7) Also, is Beyoncé choosing to ignore the situation because she’s above it or had the Illuminati spirits taken over momentarily?

I hope some of you shared these thoughts, although I strongly doubt it. Also, for future reference, don’t beat up somebody in an elevator thinking it’s private. Evidently, it’s not.

As always, stay fresh.

Nerds Vs Geeks

Too many people are still unsure of the differences between nerds and geeks. I believe I have a somewhat clear understanding of what sets the two apart.

The video I am raving about this week is one that seems to help clear any confusions surrounding the topic. The video is “Epic Rap Battle: Nerd Vs Geek”. It was posted by Rhett & Link, the co-presenters of the YouTube show Good Mythical Morning. It hilariously places the two stereotyped labels against one another in rap form.

This rap battle tops all other rap battles!

Through the ridiculousness, we are able to see the characteristics of a geek and those of a nerd clearly. Rhett, who played the geek, claimed to have “brains and a personality”. Thus while the geek is intelligent, he/she is more at ease with social interactions and tends to relate with other people that are passionate about the same topics easily. This is not to say that they are exempt from social awkwardness.

Are you a geek or a nerd?

Geeks usually attach themselves to things like authors, television series, comics (for example), that they love and tend to obsess over them.

For example, a geek may love a certain show, let’s say a show like “The Most Popular Girls in School” (a show that is exclusively on YouTube).

The most awesome stop motion show ever!

Now, a typical geek would subscribe to that channel, like every video, watch all the spin offs and behind the scenes, might even buy the merchandise such as t-shirts online, and generally freak out whenever they meet someone who shares their uncontainable love for MPGiS. When they talk about the show, it’s like there is nothing more amazing on the planet. They’ve probably saved multiple wallpapers on their laptop of the cast of MPGiS. They might’ve tweeted the creators, Mark Cope and Carlo Moss, repeatedly and screeched like a banshee when she finally got a retweet from them. This geek might be me. But that’s besides the point. Basically, geeks are more in tune with pop culture and revel in their niches within that culture.

Nerds, on the other hand are the group of individuals of which society seems to have a clear understanding. They are immensely intelligent and, as Link says, “studious”. They are motivated by achieving goals that are more academically oriented. Nerds have a ceaseless hunger for gaining more knowledge and are typically apt at the sciences and math. Nerds are less socially comfortable and might spend their weekends playing Dungeons and Dragons. In fact, all I need to say is Sheldon Cooper and the term ‘nerd’ has been defined.

Here’s a little graph that might help you understand the distinct differences:

geek-vs-nerd

Hopefully, that has cleared up the confusion. Rhett & Link even went into more detail about the distinct differences between Geekdom and Nerddom in their video “Nerd Vs Geek: How To Tell The Difference“. Be sure to watch it as well as the epic rap battle because, well, it’s epic.

As always, stay fresh.

Nkandla Style [Featuring Psy Gangnam Style]

Merry Monday people!

Nkandla Style. Just let that sink in for a little bit. What comes to mind? Are you intrigued by that idea? Do you think it has anything to do with Psy? Are you thinking of the current scandal enveloping our President Jacob Zuma and the recent report that was unveiled recently? If you have not yet seen the video entitled “Nkandla Syle ft. Psy Gangnam Style Official Video” on YouTube, that is what must happen immediately. 

The video was posted by InProgress Entertainment, which is a company that produces applications for BlackBerry, Android and iPhone to promote other businesses through specialised applications and social networking. On the home page of their website, they claim to raise awareness of their clients’ businesses through even the less popular channels of promotion. Their other accounts on other social media networks (such as their Facebook and Twitter accounts) are almost exclusively dedicated to promotional stuff as well as the production of apps, just as their website states. I don’t know, I just found it a bit strange to find such a funny satirical parody on a channel like that which claims to concentrate on business promotions and apps for smartphones. The channel does not have any more parodies on it either, but a random clumping of unrelated videos, which deepens my confusion.  

Nonetheless, the song itself is quite genius. The song lyrics have been completely remade to fit the Nkandla scandal. The singer/songwriter is unknown. The description below the video simply states: “A pissed off South African has taken to a bit of humour to vent his anger…to mock Zuma”. I think I can safely say that he/she is not the only one feeling a little bit of animosity towards the way the President has handled the construction of Nkandla. Many people are angered by the baffling cost of the 246 million Rand homestead of Jacob Zuma, which consist of luxuries such as a fire pool, a chicken coop and a helipad (News 24). The general public do believe fraudulent behaviour has gone down. I mean, how can the President of the Republic of South Africa not know what was going on during the construction of his own house? Surely papers had to be signed? Surely he had to give the thumbs up on some things? 

 

The Zuma homestead, the infamous Nkandla.


Oh well, before we get into a heated discussion on the complex, controversial and constant drama eternally revolving around our government, let’s just enjoy the humour and wit in this beautiful mimicry presented to us on the world wide web.

Leave your comments below!