Pop Culture Friday–America gets stupid edition

8 Mar

1.  The Harlem Shake by Baauer–Oh lord I’m going to get into this.  Anyway, the Harlem Shake is more of an internet meme than anything else, but the meme propelled the song to the top of the charts and so there we are.  The song itself is basic electronica, reminding me very much of nineties techno music particularly Fatboy Slim and things like that.  The meme is a very simple set-up, one person starts dancing in a group, and then the group suddenly starts dancing in weird costumes and such.  Why this became a thing I don’t know, but it did.  One thing I have to point out is that memes aren’t a new thing, they’re  just the internet version of a fad, the biggest difference is that internet memes are trackable while fads tended to grow and fade undocumented over the years.  In my opinion this one is a little forced and not really all that funny, but plenty of other people evidently disagree.

2.  Calculated in Death by J.D. Robb–There’s like a bazillion of these books, slightly futuristic, slightly mystery, very romance thrillers lite, it’s the sort of book that really doesn’t appeal to me.  Also the name–I know the thing of these books are “Something Something IN DEATH” but calculated in death?  It just makes me think of a poisonous calculator.  Or some awful tag line saying something like “she was calculated in everything, even IN DEATH.”  Can we just take any word and do that to it?  Well if you look at the past books we’ve got Naked in Death, Divided in Death, Vengeance in Death.     What next?  Dying in death, designing in death, cleaning in death, flirting in death…YUCK…  Also there’s 45 books in this series.    That’s a heck of a lot of death right there.

3. Jack the Giant Slayer–It seems that fairy tale adaptations are the new thing that is being shoveled out from the movie factories, big, dumb, and in 3D.  I’m not so fond of the original that I’m fanning myself over the fact that they changed the story (it’s more of a princess rescuing story than a poor farmboy story) .  I think the problem with these is overeliance on CGI, and too little reliance on things like acting and good writing.  For me, seeing a giant CGI world with CGI characters makes the whole thing so flat and boring because any sense of risk is taken away from the film.  Add some forced humor and ur-man fighting, and you’ve got a big dumb pile.

America, though none of these offend me, I know you’re smarter than this.  Right now you’re choosing stuff like the smart kid in the back of the room who won’t pay attention in class.   Is what we are familiar with so much more important than good art that we read the 45th book in a series?  Must we all copy what one guy did online that was mildly funny?  Must we watch a movie that is dipped in cgi to the point that it turns into one long boring screensaver?  C’mon, I know you’re more interesting than that.

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