Pop Culture Friday–The Longest Ride with Royal Prisoners

27 Sep

1.   Lorde, “Royals.”:   Finally, a song that is about not wanting to be rich and famous and whatnot on the pop charts.   I don’t look at the charts for finding what I feel normally, they’re simply not catering to my demographic (though I don’t know exactly what my demographic would be, so good luck to the business world on that one).     I do know that there’s many who do not go for pop music for this very reason, it’s so often juvenile in the sense that the fantasy is all about having stuff.   Having stuff doesn’t make you happy, it’s all a mirage.  Interestingly, this song doesn’t go for the other extreme either–she’s not bragging about being ordinary, she just is able to be content to be ordinary, to be special to one person and that is all.   Lorde is not American, but she is responding to American music, and I find it fascinating that this song is on the same charts that have songs like Roar and Applause both of which are subtler materialistic anthems.  (But Roar is about finding your voice, you might say–the amount of product placement in the video alone will tell you it’s not.)   The minimal production really underscores the simplicity Lorde wants.

2.  Prisoners—Hooo, after all the stupid summer movies this one comes on like a smack to the face.   A grisly story about child abduction, an immensely complex plot (that I would have to understand better before being able to spoil), this movie sort of turns on its head the suburban horror thriller movie that comes up so often.   What is clear is the theme of being run by the monsters of this world will eventually turn you into one too.  While the exploration of this theme is a bit over-complicated and over-the-top, I appreciate this idea being out there.    I know that losing a child is the worst thing a person can have happen to them, but, letting the emotions of such a tragedy lead to violence, however justified, only locks you in your own hell in the end.   It’s terrible Karma, especially when people start jumping to conclusions and harm innocent people.

3.   Nicholas Sparks–The Longest Ride—The one true disappointment on this list.  Call this book the Notebook 2 and you wouldn’t be far off.  Yes the plot is a different excuse to patch together someone’s life (a 90 year old in a car crash) but at the same time it’s oh so much the same.   My problem with it is that it’s so mediocre and predictable, but people who love Sparks love this because it’s exactly what you’d expect.   I also find his stories to be a little manipulative, candying over difficulty in favor of sentiment.   I simply don’t find these works to be all that honest.   However, this is from someone who is not a Sparks fan at all, so I can’t say I’m the best one to check on for this one.

Well, America, you’ve really outdone yourself this time!   Even the Sparks book is somewhat inevitable, and I do admit there’s a certain fuzzy feelingness that some people are attracted to.  Maybe they read it after watching Prisoners–one time where I can see this security blanket of a book being really necessary.

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