Copyright, Mashups/Remixes, and Film Majors

A Warning: I'm excessively tired today. I will do my best to work through my tiredness, but if something doesn't quite make sense, that is why. Also I'm cramming a lot into one entry, so this is going to be kind of lengthy. I apologize.

*Disclaimer: I am not a legal expert. I am not a copyright expert. I do not know the details of any given copyright act. If you are reading this looking for legal advice, leave now and ask a real lawyer or a real 3rd year law student.*
Copyright is a complicated and misunderstood beast. People in official positions tend to be hesitant around copyright and people who live their lives or make their livelihoods off of the internet tend to be disdainful of copyright.* People under a certain age or who hold certain political/ideological beliefs tend either to believe that copyright was created for "The Man" to better "The Man" and to screw everyone else (especially creators, whatever their ilk) or think that copyright is one of the last defenses against the world being ruled by hooligans. Obviously there are people who reside in the middle, but their voices tend not to be heard because the people on the extremes are absurdly loud. I'm not going to claim that copyright is perfect. It's not. There are aspects of copyright law that need to be improved to line up with how the world works now as opposed to twenty or even ten years ago. But because of the way a few government-backed commercial entities choose to enforce copyright, the entirety of copyright gets a bad name. But it's not all bad. I recently argued in my thesis, and had previously argued in a paper for the music law class I took in London, that ultimately copyright was created and to a certain still benefits creators of creative works. The issue, at least in my mind, is that people expect to get everything for free or that just by creating something they will earn money. When those things don't happen, they blame copyright because it's a little behind the times (which is the fault of politicians and lobbyists for groups who refuse to catch up with the present) and a fairly easy target. All of this frustrates me because I know that at the heart of copyright is a really good principle namely that a person can make money from something they create and can protect that work from being stolen by someone else (and if they do there will be consequences.) I think that nowadays people forget that because of jerks and idiots. So the next time you curse the name of copyright, think about what copyright helped to create and maybe invest some time in actually learning a bit about copyright outside of what your teachers tell you. You might just surprise yourself.

Some things are best discovered on your own. Some of my favourite pieces of literature, music, film, and television were discovered by mere coincidence and stumbling onto things. To me, mashups and remixes are things you should discover on your own. When placed in a class format, these mediums have a tendency to lose something in translation, something that can't be defined and can't be reattained once they are lost. I understand why some educators might want to incorporate mashups and/or remixes in their class, or at the very least discuss them, but to me there are more important things to talk about, to discuss, to learn. If I've learned anything in the past four years, I've learned that there really does have to be a certain amount of distance between what you're learning and when it happened for you to really understand the implications of that thing. I was trying to say that in class and I may not have gotten my point across as well as I would have liked, but there has to be a certain amount of distance for the true implications of an event to be understood. I love discovering new and exciting things, but I know I can't really analyze them until there's been some time between when I discovered it and when I analyze it. Others may not agree, but to me it's more important to have a solid foundation in what's come before than to spend all your time focusing only on the present. Perspective is an incredibly important thing and it's something that may be taken for granted when you spend all your time online (a medium that lives entirely in the present and never looks back.) So while I understand the arguments presented by Ms. McBride and Mr. Lamb, I don't agree with them.**

Film Majors
Here's a definition of what film studies is from Wikipedia***: Film studies is an academic discipline that deals with various theoretical, historical, and critical approaches to films. It is sometimes subsumed within media studies and is often compared to television studies. Film studies is less concerned with advancing proficiency in film production than it is with exploring the narrative, artistic, cultural, economic, and political implications of the cinema.
Here is a list of schools outside of New York and LA who have film majors:
  • George Mason University****
  • Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Wesleyan University
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • Temple University
  • Boston University
  • Cornell University
  • Yale University
  • American University
  • University of North Carolina School of the Arts
It's unfortunate (but not all that surprising) that UMW doesn't have a film major. The chances of UMW having a film major within the next five to ten years is slim to none. This is sad.***** But that doesn't mean film majors don't exist. They just don't exist here.

*I may or may not be anthropomorphizing copyright right now. And so what if I am? You try writing a 10 page paper and spending countless hours thinking about something and not become a little attached to it.
**I should hasten to add that part of the reason I don't agree with them is that I have very old fashioned views on how education should work. Like 19th century ideas. I blame having to teach myself throughout most of K-12.
***The foremost repository of all knowledge, besides The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy obviously.
****This is where my sister goes. She's a Film and Video major. She got very upset when I told her what Prof. Groom said. This last part of the entry is mostly for her. And a little bit for me.
*****I'm not actually that sad that we don't have a film major. A) The last thing this school needs is more pretentious white people and b) I grew up with three cinephiles, I don't need my campus to be invaded by them.

The Kinks or Tonight's Radio Show

I've written a number of entries in my other academic blog about the Kinks so instead of writing those entries again (in essences) I would suggest you just read those. And now the songs that were (and one that wasn't) played:
  1. You Really Got Me - Kinks*
  2. A Rockin' Roll Fantasy - Misfits
  3. Give The People What They Want - Give The People What They Want
  4. Starstruck - The Village Green Preservation Society
  5. The Village Green Preservation Society - The Village Green Preservation Society
  6. Come Dancing - State of Confusion
  7. A Well Respected Man - Kwyet Kinks EP
  8. David Watts - Something Else By the Kinks
  9. Celluloid Heroes - Everybody's in Showbiz
  10. Victoria - Arthur (Or the Decline of the British Empire)
  11. Picture Book - The Village Green Preservation Society
  12. Shangri-La - Arthur (Or the Decline of the British Empire)
  13. Better Things - Give the People What They Want
That's it until next week where I will be focusing on post-1976 female singer/songwriters.

*Instead of saying who the artist is (because obviously it's the Kinks) I'm giving you the album name which will be handy if you decide to obtain a legal copy of any of these songs. Which I really think you should.


Project Complete

At the moment I'm currently exporting a medium sized movie from iMovies having finished my brief but appropriately summarized argument about the inherent darkness of Bright Young Things. I'm hoping my audience is smart and that the dialogue kind of speaks for itself (which is a large part of why I chose the clips I did.) I would like to thank Prof. Groom for letting me borrow the snowball, I really should get that back to him now. I will update this entry once I have the video uploaded to Vimeo (because YouTube doesn't like things that are longer than 10 minutes) and give some more details and possibly spoil the movie for anyone who hasn't seen it yet.
Update: The "video" will be available to watch in about a half hour as of 4:40pm. I have a class at the point and will provide a link and/or embed the video after that class. I'll also be writing the spoilery bits after my radio show, so expect that update around 9pm (because a girl's gotta eat.)
Here is the actual video essay. It has fairly good picture quality, don't know about audio but I assume it's good. Enjoy!

A video essay on the inherent darkness of Stephen Fry's film "Bright Young Things"

Obviously you can go to the actual website to see a slightly larger version


Progress Continues

I have managed to cut my video down to 11 minutes and 57 seconds, but part of me is worried that I won't have enough time to actually talk. The thing about Vile Bodies and Bright Young Things is that they're very wordy and the dialogue is the most important thing, especially with my argument. Hopefully I'll be able to completely frame my argument in the few short moments where the scenes aren't focused on dialogue in a coherent manner, which if you've ever read this blog or listened to my radio show can be difficult at times. Also, once I post the video and you've watched it, you might notice I included a couple of "cheesy" wipes. The movie actually uses similar wipes, so I feel justified in using them as well. And finally Handbrake will convert .wmv into .mp4 and .mp4 do work in iMovies so I will be able to do my voice over that way. Actually getting in to do that might be tricky, but on the other hand the Pollard media lab does have iMovies and, quite coincidentally, I work and have a key to the Pollard media lab. Very hand, no?

The First Edit or Why Can't My Segment Be 25 Minutes Long?

In an effort to whittle my video segment down to the requisite 10 minutes my argument has changed slightly and I've had to cut out huge swaths of material that I consider vital. If you haven't seen Bright Young Things or read Vile Bodies I suggest you read this entry no further and immediately either read the book or see the movie. I promise you won't be disappointed.
Things I've Had to Cut Because the Segment Can't Be 25 Minutes Long
  • Several party scenes
  • Any explanation as to why Adam doesn't seem to have any money
  • Any and everything having to do with Michael Sheen's character and his story line
  • Most of the Evangelist party including the bit where the title of the book comes from
  • Simon's suicide after being thrown out of the Evangelist party
  • Agatha's day at the motor race aka why she ends up at a mental institution
  • The bartering of Nina between Adam and Ginger at the very end of the movie
  • The Drunken Major and anything having to do with the Drunken Major
  • Adam's short lived reign as Mr. Chatterbox and basically anything having to do with Dan Aykroyd's character
  • World War II (which plays into Adam getting Nina back at the end of the movie)
The worst part of it is, is that even with that amount of cutting I'm still at 12 minutes and 5 seconds. If I have to cut anymore I'm not entirely sure what I'll do. Hence why I'm really hoping Prof. Groom will allow me to be 2 minutes over. For some reason I doubt he will, but I'm really, really, really hoping. Edit: I just got an answer back from Prof. Groom and it's all good. However I still think I'm going to make a director's cut that includes everything.


Copyright Law History in 10 Pages

This entry has little to nothing to do with this class. However I like marking mile stones and some of you might be interested in what I've been doing this weekend. That I can't seem to connect to UMW Blogs, so this will just have to do.
It may have taken two weeks of procrastination and two days of sporadic writing, but by tonight at 11pm I will have written a very brief synopsis of the last 300 years of copyright history. I was ambivalent at the beginning of the project largely because I didn't want to retread history, I wanted to focus on the present, but now that I'm nearly done I'm kind of glad I did it this way. This paper has also reaffirmed over and over again my passion for copyright law and that this whole law school thing is a good idea. This entry has to be short because I have to get back to work, but I just want to say that I'm almost glad Prof. Fickett was so narrow minded about my idea. I have an excellent foundation for when I start taking classes in copyright and intellectual property and can give very bad advice to any friends who might have questions about current copyright practices. I still wish I could have written a magnum opus on the Kinks, but this will do very nicely.


Second Hiccup

I have clipped Bright Young Things. It is, as I remembered it, an absolutely brilliant movie and I will forever love Stephen Fry for a) directing it and b) adding a happy ending for the hero and heroine (the movie is based on a book that had a rather ambiguous ending, but more on that later.) VLC worked a charm and I even managed to cut down a clip on it just by using the record button so I didn't even need to touch the MPEG program Prof. Groom mentioned. However there was and still is one minor problem. Even after cutting down the one 10 minute segment I had to about 4 minutes and then getting rid of quite a lot of other smaller clips that weren't quite as necessary (but are still somewhat important) according to my calculations (which aren't very good) I currently have 15 minutes and 25 seconds of video. The assignment is for 5 to 10 minutes. And I couldn't possibly cut anymore without cutting out vitally important scenes. As you can see, a bit of a bind. However I still need to finish my thesis paper (I know it never goes away) so I'm going to worry about that fact a little later, like Monday afternoon for instance. Still, if you haven't seen Bright Young Things or read Vile Bodies (the book the movie is based on) you really, really should. They are both quite brilliant.


The First Hiccup

So I download VLC player. I pressed the record and I unpressed the record button. Turns out VLC files go directly to the video folder, but there they were. I had recorded three clips from the last episode of the first season of Supernatural. I look at the various sources given to us yesterday trying to figure out what I needed to do next. I download Microsoft Expressions (which is the new version of Windows Encoder) trying to get the video ready to be used in Windows Live Movie Maker. It doesn't work. I download Handbrake and do the same thing, putting it to the setting suggested by Galago. I encode the clip. I try and open it in Window Movie Maker. It doesn't work. I try multiple variations on that, panicking that while I would be able to record the clips I wouldn't be able to string them together. After about twenty minutes of panicking I try something very simple. I put Handbrake back to it's original settings (which is regular), encode the clip and open it Windows Movie Maker. And it works. I stop panicking and realize that despite the scare mongering done by Mr. Rush and Prof. Groom this assignment isn't going to be quite as evil as it could be. Tomorrow I write half of my senior thesis and record clips from Bright Young Things. Now to figure out how to do a voice over on my computer so I don't have to try and fit going to the DuPont lab and do the voice over there into my schedule. And if I can't do the VO on Windows Movie Maker I know what I'm doing between 4 and 5pm and then 6 and 6:30pm on Wednesday.


Web Story Final Draft

So I've parred down the number of erroneous entries and changed the color of the links I edited to make it more obvious what is and isn't part of the story. There is one last thing I'd like to add: All of the locations are places I've been or have heard about enough to know approximately where they are. Once again I couldn't get the screen grab to work so here's the link to the actual page. Enjoy!


Technology and "Friday"

I'm a pop culture junkie. In another life I would have been a history major and would currently be getting ready to go to grad school in cultural studies with an eye to teaching course on popular music.* I read the AV Club religiously and trust them slightly more than I trust anyone else when it comes to what is good and what is not good in the worlds of music, TV, and film.** I treasure the junk of pop culture as much as I treasure the great stuff (like Led Zepplin*** or the Kinks) because I know they both matter and are equally reflective of our current society. It may have seemed like I was focusing inordinately on Rebecca Black's video in class, but to me the phenomenon of "Friday" is no different than any other one hit wonder that has come before. The ease with which such a phenomenon can be created is new and interesting but junk pop culture isn't new. It's always been around, even in the 1800s they had "junk" pop culture. Advances in technology are fascinating and shouldn't be removed from the argument but they, and the culture that surround them, need to be put into historical context before we go ape shit, otherwise we'll get so wrapped up in how amazing we are and forget such gems as I'm Henry the 8th or anything created for the Eurovision Song Contest.
I think what's important to remember isn't that "Friday" was created. It's really not that surprising that a song like that should come into existence, especially now that everything and anything can be auto-tuned to sound semi-decent. I think what's important about "Friday" is the technology behind it. The fact that a song or a music video or an article or anything can be digested by one person and passed along to several dozen people in the blink of an eye is what's important. If we focus too much on the single entity and ignore the broader idea because we're so stunned that someone like Rebecca Black could become a sensation overnight we do ourselves and the technology a disservice. The reason I've refused (until tonight obviously) to listen to "Friday" is because ultimately it's not the song that's important. What's important is that something like that, with anything not just with a song, can happen. Dissemination is the key, not what's being disseminated.
Trashy pop culture is important. 80's hair metal lead to a return to a more basic form of rock music.**** I love trashy pop culture. But sometimes the trash can disguise what's really important and so it's best to remember that trash has been around forever and isn't always what's most important about a particular phenomenon.
This argument isn't fully formed by the way. Unfortunately I would need to do actual research to back up some of what I'm saying and that's simply not going to happen. Again in another lifetime I would be working toward a Ph.D in cultural studies and if you disagree or feel I haven't quite gotten something I welcome your comments. Midway between the first and second paragraph my argument changed so constructive criticism would be welcomed.

*And who knows, that could still happen. Life is weird like that.
**Not so much books because I'm very picky when it comes to books. Even more picky than I am about music and I'm hella picky about music.
***Led Zepplin are awesome, but unless the internet and several genres of music are destroyed permanently a phenomenon like Led Zep or the Beatles will never happen again. But let's not get Nora started on her theory of popular musical division.
****This is currently the only example I can think of. Feel free to come up with your own.


Bitch Session

Everyone, or perhaps more accurately a large percentage of people, have a great many complaints about Mary Washington. They complain about the lack of school spirit and convenient parking. They moan about Seaco and the lack of things to do on the weekend. A small number within the larger percentage complain about rising tuition and how the schools wastes said money on frivolous things (which isn't entirely untrue.) They moan and they bitch and nothing really changes (except for when it comes to old buildings which I'm not at all against.) Some people transfer but an equal number of people stay and complain. I don't really understand it though. Boys complain about the lack of attractive girls and girls complain about the lack of available men. We moan, which is almost our equivalent to school spirit, and stay. And I don't understand.
I'm not saying that I'm absolutely and completely happy with our school. There are things I would change, but most of the them are inconsequential and heavily biased (and so really shouldn't be implemented.) I can't say I'm happy with the direction the school is going in especially when it comes to the kind of students being admitted. On the other hand the things that the student body at large complain about seem so superficial to me that I don't really see the point. It's almost as if we complain about our school because it doesn't exactly resemble what the media portrays as a typical college. But really the things we bitch about are things we knew ahead of time when applying to Mary Wash. Alright, maybe not the parking regulations, but the food, the lack of stuff to do on the weekend, the gender ratios, they were all known factors when we applied here. There's no point in complaining about things we knew ahead of time were going to be part of the experience. It's like when you start dating someone and you want to change who they are and then moan when they refuse to. You knew what you were getting into, so what's the point? That's what I don't understand and that's why I don't complain. I applied and decided to go to Mary Washington knowing what its warts were and accepting those warts for what they are. If you're so unhappy, then don't go here because quite frankly you're ruining it for the rest of us.
I've been trying to put this entry into a coherent argument for a while because it really does bother me the amount of complaining my fellow students do. I understand some of the arguments (tuition hikes) even though I don't necessarily agree with them, but moaning about the lack of school spirit just seems pointless, especially since the school is, sadly enough, known for not having school spirit on the same level as say JMU or Fake College From TV. It's the frivolous complaints that annoy me, not the meaningful ones. The reason it's taken me so long is that I had to weed out my own superficial complaints that no one really wants to read about (and largely would just confirm that I am old and crotchety well before my time). If you don't agree, fine. That's what the first amendment is for.


First Draft Web Story

I'm considering this my first draft largely because there are things I want to add, but this was my original idea and I like it. I just want to flesh it out slightly. I did a screen grab of the whole page (which is kind of crucial for the story to be understood) but you can't read it so I'm just going to give you guys the link. I'd like to add that this is kind of subtle* so here's my hint: chunky green sweaters.
Craig's List DC Missed Connections
I plan on having the second draft up by Thursday (obviously) that will fill in some of the details I have in my mind. Right now though you can fill out our own details. As I said in my original post about this, simple is best and additionally allows you to use your own imagination. And it doesn't involve zombies.

*In a good way, not in a "I'm lazy" way


What I Know I Know

Sometimes you don't always realize how much music you actually know until it's shoved in your face. For instance, I knew Blur's "Song 2" well before I officially got into Blur. I didn't know the song was called "Song 2" but when I heard it all the way through for the first time there was a moment of recognition when the chorus started and I realized "hey I actually do know this song, neat." I've had multiple moments like that and I'm fairly certain all of you have had moments like that as well. In putting together the radio shows for my final project I've realized that while I may consider myself to be very knowledgeable about a small number of genres and basically clueless about everything else I'm actually more knowledgeable about more musical genres than I thought. While I usually turn to my family for a certain amount of input, I've basically been able to cull together the past two themed radio shows on my own. I needed more input for the 70s one, but that was largely because I didn't want to rely heavily on James Taylor and his ilk for the entirety of the show and my parents know a lot about 70s singer/songwriters. But really, I only needed my parents for the names* of artists and then I could pick songs I already knew. As I pointed out on the show last night, I grew up with most if not all of these artists, so I know my stuff. I just don't always know I know.

  1. Lawyers, Guns, and Money - Warren Zevon
  2. Kodachrome - Paul Simon
  3. Thunder Road - Bruce Springsteen
  4. Tell Me Why - Neil Young
  5. Your Song - Elton John
  6. A Case of You - Joni Mitchell
  7. These Days - Jackson Browne
  8. (You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman - Carole King
  9. I Believe (When I Fall In Love It Will Be Forever) - Stevie Wonder
  10. We Gotta Get You a Woman - Todd Rundgren
  11. Solsbury Hill - Peter Gabriel
  12. Political Science - Randy Newman

*Except for Bruce Springsteen where I needed both the name and a song. I don't really like Bruce Springsteen.
**You might be noticing a distinct lack of videos. This because a) I'm trying to get these up as quickly as possible and finding videos isn't a fast process and b) a large percentage of these songs probably don't have proper videos anyway, so why bother.


Web-Based Romanticism

Point of fact: I'm a big soppy romantic. I may come across as a satirical female dog, but in my heart of hearts I'm as romantic as they come.* Another point of fact: I'm not particularly good with visuals. So with our web-based story I'm going to play to my strengths and edit the craig's list page and more specifically I'm going to "write" a big soppy romantic story about missed connections using craig's list.** It's not particularly fancy and not particularly original, but in my opinion when something not original is done really, really well it can still be great. And my goal is by focusing on a simple design with a simple story I'll hopefully be able to create something really great. Or at least very good. :Says something baiting and semi-pointless:
Anywho, that's my web-based story. I have a rough outline in my head based on years of making up little romantic stories in my head and watching way too many rom-coms, but the exacts aren't there and probably won't exist until I sit down and start doing it. That's generally how I work, save for my radio show but that's special. I have nothing else to say...

*I blame Disney, fairytales, and the Beatles. Also, quick thanks to Prof. Groom for giving us so much time on this assignment, though for those people who are actually doing complicated stuff they are probably slightly less grateful.
**Does anyone know if that name is actually capitalized (eg Craig's List)? I'm going with lower case, but I'm really not sure. Suggestions would be helpful (and prove if anyone reads these.)


Senior Thesis/Radio Show Playlist

I swear, I write more blog entries in my head than I actually write on my blog. I come up with great ideas and then stuff happens. Like other homework that's slightly more important (like say a thesis presentation) or relaxing (after said presentation.) This is slightly (but only slightly) more relevant for my other RL* blog where I can go a whole month without updating, but I find it interesting how I do that. I actually had a blog entry made up in my head about my senior thesis/presentation but...stuff. I will say that I starting next week (after the paper part is done) I can devote way more time to all my classes including this one** which is a good thing, especially considering what Prof. Groom is likely to lay on us. I will say this though: My senior presentation went really well and once this paper is done I will*** be completely free to not stress out about how much work I have to do.****
Anyway, while I have written about last week's radio show, I have yet to post a playlist and so will be doing that right now. And a reminder: If you want to listen to this week's show (70's singer/songwriters) be sure to tune into wmcw.umwblogs.org at 7pm on Wednesday. Should be a good show.
  1. Hot Blooded - Foreigner
  2. We're Not Gonna Take It - Twisted Sister
  3. Rock and Roll All Nite - Kiss
  4. Eye of the Tiger - Survivor
  5. The Final Countdown - Europe
  6. Africa - Toto
  7. Livin' on a Prayer - Bon Jovi
  8. Tom Sawyer - Rush
  9. More Than a Feeling - Boston
  10. Don't Stop Believin' - Journey

*Real life or more appropriately non-school blog
**Especially this one. That radio assignment was brutal
***Have four more papers to write and an opera to perform
****This is a lie. See above footnote for why


Random Comments and a Radio Show

I was a ballerina for nine years. Ballerinas have a very specific hairstyle and really any deviation from that hairstyle can cause problems. Ones hair is long, not layered, and does not involve bangs.* The first thing I did when I stopped being a ballerina was cut my hair incredibly short and get bangs. Since then my hairstyle has been a variation on long/short, bangs or no bangs. Usually the no bangs phases are fairly short and I haven't cut my hair nearly as short as I did when I first quite ballet. The wildest thing I've done to my hair is dye it and I'm currently working on backing out of that style decision.** So it should come as no surprise that I've decided to grow out my hair and I got bangs today. And with that I would like to give a warm welcome to the return of my fringe.***
I recently finished reading Neil Gaiman's biography of Douglas Adams and I noticed while reading that the way Mr. Gaiman (and the other authors') formatted their footnotes was the same way I formatted my footnotes in my blog(s). I figured this wasn't a coincidence and that the common source had to be The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Well, I've only found one example of similar footnote formatting but it confirms my suspicions that the way I format my footnotes in my blog(s) is based on the way Douglas Adams formatted footnotes in HHGG. However, I doubt Mr. Adams somehow fitted in six footnotes into one page.
Today was a marathon of student created radio shows on DS106. One of those shows was created by myself, Erin, Alex and Grace. It was a long and ardous process that at times was incredibly hilarious. I will forever remember this class as the class that introduced me to the concept of a manshed and the sisters Cheddar. Those are good things.

Velociraptor's Variety Show

The list is long as to who we need to thank, so I'll start by thanking Prof. Groom for being the first outsider we interviewed and for giving us such great material. I would also like to thank the following people for being interviewed by us and generally being used for our own amusement: Emily (MauveShirt), Matt, Meredith, Adriane, Titus, Grace's friend, Alex's Mom and high school dance teacher, Erin's brother and his friend, and a number of other people who's names I can't remember. We would also like to thank freesound.org and all its users for supplying most of the sounds we used as background as well as a number of YouTube users who's sounds we also used. As with most things in life this was a group effort in more than one way. I hope you guys enjoyed it, god knows some of it was a helluva lot of fun.

*I usually substitute bang for fringe in my head which just shows how insane I am.
**Not that I didn't enjoy having red hair, it's just hard to coordinate red hair with a largely green wardrobe without it looking like I celebrate Christmas all year. Next time I think I'll go for something slightly more neutral.
***This entire paragraph was written for the sole purpose of writing that sentence. Sorry.


Cheesy 80's Rock is Not in My Wheel House

Last night in a rather confused conversation with Prof. Groom (at least from my perspective), he basically ended up dissing me for playing into the stereotype of the kind of music that existed in the 1980s on my radio show this past week. When people think of the 80s, they think of the music my sister associates with the 80s* unless they are specifically tuned into other less popular genres of music. But for me, I don't necessarily associate the 80s with White Snake or Journey. I'm more likely to think of the Talking Heads or Duran Duran, really loud clothing and John Hughes. This is because I grew up not with Toto but with the Talking Heads and the Tom Tom Club.
The point of my themed shows is not only to expand my listeners knowledge of music, but also to a certain extent to expand my own knowledge of music**. Because I grew up with two parents very much attuned to the alternative music scene of the eras in which they lived, some of the more mainstream stuff got pushed to the side or completely ignored and derided. Really, if this were all about me, I should be doing disco instead of singer/songwriters for the 70s because I know about ABBA and not much else when it comes to disco. But for better or worse this isn't all about me, so I'm doing singer/songwriters next week.
I have come up with a new idea though for one of my themed shows. I've always had problems programming female artists into my regular shows, a fact that's bothered me almost from day one, and so for my fourth themed show I'm going to be devoting an entire hour to female singer/songwriters. So while I might play into certain stereotypes, I'd much rather go for an alternative than low hanging fruit most days of the week. Even if that means playing hair metal.

*This is not meant to be a diss to my sister, but fact is she really likes hair metal. And she knows it.
**Except for the Kinks. That show's entirely because I don't get to write about them this semester and I freakin' love them.


Saturday Morning Cartoons

There are shows from one's childhood that, because of the wonders of the internet and DVDs, you can rewatch now. When a person does that, they usually notice things in those shows they didn't notice when they were 6 or 7. I'm not much for nostalgia when it comes to the cartoons I watched on Saturday mornings. I'm more prone to be nostalgic about music from well before I was born and books that I read in elementary school. I've really only recently gotten into television as an artistic medium and even then I'm less likely to look back longingly at what I watched when I was a kid because there so much good TV happening right now that to me there isn't a point to going back and rewatching "Rocko's Modern Life" or "The Adventures of Pete and Pete." I almost prefer keeping those shows as they are in my memory because I feel like rewatching them will somehow ruin them in a weird way.
My sister has no such worries and so recently purchased the little known TV series "ReBoot." ReBoot was a computer generated cartoon that aired on ABC from 1994 to 1996 and was about characters who lived inside a computer. Before last night, when my dad, myself, and my sister watched the first episode, I only had a vague memory of what the show was about. I didn't remember the character's names for the most part (though they came back to me the minute we started watching) I didn't even really remember what the show was about to be honest. All I knew was that the technology the show used to create its animation was way ahead in terms of computer animation at the time and that it was something I watched along with "Animaniacs" and a plethora of other Saturday morning cartoons. The first thing that hit me watching the show last night was how very corny it is, but that's almost to be expected with a kid's cartoon show. But what really stuck out to me, 15 years or so after the fact, were all the computer references. The main villain of the first episode is Megabyte an evil virus who's trying to get into the Super Computer. The non-"sprite" characters, the one's without names basically, are 1's and 0's. Literally, they are in the shape of 1's and 0's. There was a reference to readme files and Main Frame, the city where the show is set, looks like the inside of a computer. I get those references now, but there's no way as a six or seven year old that I would have gotten any of them. The show is as much for kids as it is for computer geeks (at least at a very basic level). And watching that first episode for the first time in fifteen years...it was just kind of strange. Not necessarily a bad kind of strange, but just strange. I don't have a real hankering to now watch all the shows I watched as a kid and watching that one episode didn't really change my perception of the show as a whole, but it also wasn't as horrible as I thought it would be. Just kind of strange.


Project Update

Here is a quick update on my semester project. Very quick actually. Moving on. In bullet points*:
  • Not all cheesy 80's rock comes from the 80's. Some of it comes from the late 70's and might more accurately be categorized under glam rock that happened to influence cheesy 80's rock.
  • The reason I'm referring to this show as cheesy 80's rock is because what I consider to be cheesy 80's rock actually falls into multiple pop/rock/ categories including hair metal, album rock, and stadium rock. Since they all sound the same it's easy to lump them into "cheesy 80's rock" but the fact is that Journey does not equal Twisted Sister no matter how hard you try. And I've tried, trust me.
  • Cheesy 80's rock tends to be longer in terms of song length than music that came before it and music that came after it. Which means that my original idea of asking for song suggestions will not be happening because I already have enough music. This makes me a little sad, but we shall persevere.
More information will be imparted during next week's show. Until then enjoy AV Club user's interpretations of Charlie Sheen as a tiger-blooded warlock. Some of them are really good.

*Bullet points are actually my favourite way of dealing with the fact that I can't always come up with complete sentences/paragraphs. It's a wonder I haven't used these more often to be honest.

Zombies and Other Things

Now that I've given myself a few days to relax and gotten through my mid terms largely intact I'm going to do an entry on my radio group's five minute clip.
Our clip, as you heard in class last Thursday, is about zombies. I would like to point out that our entire show is not about zombies, but instead we are using zombies as kind of a back drop to a more... ordinary (?) talk radio show.* The reason we went for the zombie interviews first was because of all the segment ideas we came up with, the zombie interviews would be the quickest and easiest to do. Initially we wanted the zombie aspect of our show to be more surprising, but since you've all heard it, we're going to embrace the "campy" aspect of zombies and just go for it.**
Ds106 velociraptorsvarietyshow by cydwarning30
The format for the zombie interviews, by the way, will be I ask a question and then a bunch of people answer that question, hence why Prof. Groom's answers/stories just seem to come from nowhere. Right now we have over 10 minutes of zombie interviews and then over the break everyone will be doing other non-zombie interviews and when we get back we'll be putting together probably the most complicated segment. After that it will all be mashed together into one crazy show that is not entirely about zombies.

*I say ordinary, but if someone from my group can come up with a better adjective, that would be good. Because our show isn't really that ordinary to be honest. We just have some less insane segments in it.
**I keep imagining our show as this strange combination of "This American Life," "Monty Python's Flying Circus," and the epilogue of Shaun of the Dead. Also, there's nothing wrong with camp or being campy. At least with camp you don't have to take what you're doing too seriously and can laugh when your teacher talks about his manshed. Because that shits just funny.