PotAYto/PotAWto. Twitter/Twatter.

Has it really come down to this? Have we officially become so attention-starved, so bored with our lives that we have to post every single thought that pops into our heads?

Are we really so lonely?

Friendster, MySpace, and Facebook have all but completely robbed us of our need to communicate with one another in real time and space. But now, we have Twitter. This new tool allows us to share whatever we’re thinking – no matter the banality of it.

Just had a sandwich you liked? Broke a nail? Bought a new shoe lace? Then send a “tweet” to one of your followers! These insipid fellow slaves of ‘hip, new, and pointless’ will gladly listen. Why? Because they’ve got nothing better to do – just like YOU! AND they know that you’ll listen to their mundane thoughts too!

And it’s all in real time! Yay!

The people usually drawn to this kind of thing are those who lack real people skills. They include those who insist on texting you instead of phoning you. (This is possibly because they KNOW that you just may answer the phone.) They also include those who have to be in the know. They need to feel like they are a part of everything that’s going on.

Seriously. How old are the people who actually participate in this activity? I can see why teens are into it. They believe that their lives are the culmination of “me! me! me!”, after all. But adults??? Supposedly SANE adults???

I can actually understand the merit that something like Facebook has. One can share aspects of their lives via text, photos, and videos with family (near/far), friends (past/present), and/or colleagues. But Twitter is an altogether new monster. It confirms how little we have going on in our lives. We’re so desperate to remain relevant that we dare not miss a chance to prove it.

Is it a coincidence that the root word of “twitter” is “twit”? Good thing they didn’t call it “Twatter”, hm?

PLEASE – Just shut up and SING!

Even though I’ve visited this subject before, it keeps rearing its ugly head in one way or another. What else can I do but share?

There are some days when I miss the simplicity of the music world past. Before technology came and ‘changed’ everything forever. I’m not referring to the days before video officially killed the radio star. After all, video was initially meant to paint a picture to go along with the sound.

Yes, it is tragic that many artists who weren’t the best-looking failed to impress the first ‘Mtv Generation’. (Christopher Cross, anyone?) But that’s why community college exists: to offer hope to those who want a second chance in life.

Back in the flawed but brilliant 80s, most of what we knew about our favorite artists came from either teen magazines, music video programs, or word of mouth (ie: rumors). Today, it’s completely different.

Bands have their own websites/forums from where they can talk about anything and everything. These subjects have ranged from their favorite electoral candidate to their favorite cologne.

On the surface, it sounds like a great thing. But then there are those moments when you feel like it’s become more about the artist than the art. Sometimes I don’t care to know about your family or what you had for breakfast. I want to hear about your ART.

That’s the beauty of having more than one web page – one for your art and another for your mundanity.

PLEASE, just shut up and sing!

Even the Dixie Chicks got the point… eventually.

Lindsay Lohan tries to channel Marilyn Monroe…

slideshow_btnc.jpgAnd fails miserably.
Yes, Lindsay has nice breasts. And to be honest, I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for freckles.

My problem is with the photographer’s choice of shots to mimic. This dude shot Marilyn in the nude. THE NUDE. One would guess that he had a pretty good idea of what her curves looked like. Seeing how, erm, ‘different’ Lohan’s body is from MM’s, why would he choose to mimic this pic?

Or this one?

Or even this one?

Marilyn’s body was the epitome of what a woman’s body should look like. Curvy. Natural. Among most of today’s young Hollywood, having large breasts – at any price – is enough. This photo shoot proves it.

When the rest of your body resembles that of a nine year old Chinese boy from the waist down, maybe Marilyn is not the ‘icon’ you should be trying to channel. On the other hand, ‘straight up, straight down’ seems to be what the general North American public seem to want today.

Well, except for blacks and hispanics, of course! (We will worship curves until the end of time.)

Hell, maybe I’m part of the problem by saying what I AM saying about LL’s body. I make no apologies for wanting women to accept who they are though. It’s the anorexic ‘role models’ I pass judgement on. (Shame on you!)

Most women don’t – nor should they – have Marilyn’s 36D breasts. But neither should they be starving themselves to resemble a certain hotel heiress’s body either. Marilyn probably had more than 30% body fat, but she’s considered the ultimate in beauty among most women.

How bizarre, in an era of weight loss gimics and obsessive dieting.

What a difference a couple of generations make, hm?

The Sad Road To Immortality.

There was an art piece that I’d seen a couple of years back or so. It was a collection of images of dead celebrities, all youngish. Che Guevara was in one. So were Marilyn and James Dean. Of course, Elvis was tossed into the mix as well. If memory serves me correctly, the title of it was “I’m Dead, But At Least I Kept My Good Looks”.

It was meant as a commentary on the cult of celebrity and how huge a part it plays in our every day lives. Even during times of war, famine, you name it. While these folks have long left us, their celebrity lives on and will continue to throughout time. We need them, after all. They remind us of what we could become if we really put our minds to it.

Of course, we would do it all so much differently. We would ‘keep it real’, making sure that our friends would still be our friends. Yeah, we may go to the occasional party/awards show/premiere, but we’d be far more careful about who we’re seen with. And as for the paparazzi, are you kidding me? We’d NEVER let things get that crazy! Yes, we’d still be the normal, everyday people we’ve always been.

With that, we pick up the celebrity gossip rags and proceed to gawk at so-and-so’s HUGE ass, such-and-such’s AWFUL dress/haircut, and what’s-her-name’s bizarre antics following the latest child visitation ruling against her. “If I had that kind of cash, I’d have my own island to retreat to. George Cloony did it! So did Johnny Depp! Why can’t they?!”

For some reason, we choose to forget that these people were probably also “normal, everyday people” at one time. Life just happened to hit them at 300 km/second. A life they may not have been ready for. Some people have better coping skills than others.

You cried over a parking ticket you got.

They cried over not being able to step out of the house without being followed by 25 photographers. Every hour. Every day.

“They can always quit if they don’t like it! Tons of people would DIE to be in their place!” Maybe. And perhaps that’s why some choose to ‘quit’ the easy way.

Take one talented young man, for example, who don’t vie for the limelight. He didn’t make regular appearances at awards shows, nor was he tabloid fodder. From all accounts, he did his best to keep his young family life as private as possible. It looks like his death was accidental, but I still feel for his daughter, about whom he had this to say in his final interview:

“I feel good about dying because I feel alive through her.”

RIP Heath Ledger.

Published in: on January 23, 2008 at 6:09 am  Leave a Comment  

Did you hear? Jennifer Love Hewitt’s proud of her body!

And she even volunteered at a shelter this Christmas!

(Guess she was too busy during the remaining 364 days of the year…)

YAY! You’re relevant again, Jen!

To those of you who know not of what I speak, here’s the summary: “The Other ‘J-Lo'” was recently photographed on the beach, revealing a different body from what most of us are used to seeing. Her lower half was not only larger than we’re used to seeing, but (*GASP!*) patches of cellulite are even visible, too!

In response, JLH has hit out at critics of her currently humanoid shape, saying that she “loves” her body right now and has no problem with it. She’s also lamented the damage that this backlash will have on young girls out there who either have or are considering having body image issues. “For shame!”, she says. And rightfully so!

Kinda.

I think it’s awesome that she’s taking the stand that she is. Young girls and women in general need to be reminded of how beautiful they are, as is. It’s not necessary for you to buy the fake boobs, get the rinoplasty, or hunt for the cellulite creams. So, for that I’ll say Good on ya, Jess, but why now? Especially when you’ve become as irrelevant as you have?

See, it would’ve been one thing if you’d taken this stance about 6 years ago, back in your ‘prime’. But why now, when you have so little to lose? I mean, what other stance could you have taken now?

It reminds me of when George Michael got popped for ‘lewd acts’ in that toilet, ultimately ‘outing’ him. (Because none of us already knew he was gay.) Suddenly, he became a champion of gay rights causes and campaigns everywhere. He even boasted, “I’m mostly surprised that people didn’t realize it sooner!” Silly us, George. You got us on that one.

Then there’s Katherine Heigl of “Grey’s Anatomy” fame. After starring in the hugely successful “Knocked Up”, she recently told Vanity Fair how she felt that it was a ‘sexist’ movie; how “It paints the women as shrews, as humorless and uptight and it paints the men as lovable, goofy, fun-loving guys… It was hard for me to love the movie.”

Wow. Touching stuff, Katherine. Of course, you probably didn’t find the movie’s success too ‘hard’ to deal with once her salary went up from $300,000 to $6,000,000 per film. No, the important thing is that you spoke her mind after the fact. You go, girl…

Yes, JLH is suddenly relevant again. All thanks to an ugly attack that she wisely spun in her own favor. You may ask what the harm is if even one person is positively affected by JLH’s response to all of this. Honestly, there is no harm at all. On the other hand, had she decided to dismiss her slimmer figure whilst she was still at her peak, I would probably be considerably less dismissive of her proselytizing than I am now.

As for the remaining young, ‘flawless’ starlets out there (who are most likely binging and purging as we speak), know this: you can look forward to my commentary that will follow your inevitable dismissal of the Machine that put you where you are in the first place. Once they’ve tired of you first, of course.

Oh, and for the record, I LOVE JLH’s body now.

Published in: on December 30, 2007 at 4:32 am  Leave a Comment  

When you wish upon a star…

“MOOBY SAY RELAX!”

“The problem with being a star is that anyone CAN be, but not everyone SHOULD be…”

When we were teenagers, my friends and I would sit, listerning to our favorite bands for hours. Sometimes we’d watch their videos, imagining what it would be like to be in their shoes – singing songs we wrote while an enchanted world watched and listened. I would go to sleep, wishing for the day when the limitations of funds/technology and the barriers created by A&R folks would be a thing non-existent. In other words, a day when anybody could become a star.

“Be careful of what you wish for…”

This 21st century has ushered in the era of my wildest teen-aged dreams. But it’s also created a kind of nightmare that I’d never imagined could exist.

In an age of YouTube stars demanding that we “Leave Britney Alone!” while wiping away tears of mascara (along with any hint of self-respect), spectacle is king. Or queen, as in the case of certain fraudulent “LonelyGirl”. Girls have gone wild while boys proudly exhibit their inner jackass. Their logic asks, “Is it possible for me to get noticed AND taken seriously while pretending to be something I’m not?” People – mostly, but not limited to the young – don’t seem to care about being artists, per se. They want to become what they believe art is.

That is to say, they want to become something stared at, pondered upon, desired, loved or even hated. Art has become ‘the art of the con’. Whatever it takes to elevate these few to that point of apotheosis that they’ll never attain. At least, not in the way that they hope to. See, just like any other god, once one becomes one, they never really accept or realise that they have yet.

This is because it doesn’t feel anything like what they thought it would. Sometimes it’s more draining, other times it’s simply boring. But most of the time, one wants to have more. These are the times when our gods are found dead of an overdose. Or without underwear. The result? Hotel heiresses who are famous for nothing, and slickly-produced television that poses for ‘reality’. (Whatever THAT is anymore! When was the last time you felt ‘real’ in front of a video camera?)

Here’s the saddest part – no matter when this technology would’ve been created, the sad truth is that the results would’ve been exactly the same. With this in mind, I suppose there’s something to be said about having controls in place, limiting just who ends up becoming a star. There’s something kinda liberating about hiding some aspects of art. Who truly wants to know how the coolest magic tricks are done?

One thing that I’m definitely certain of is this: I’m glad that YouTube didn’t exist when I was a teen. God only knows how much of a jackass I would’ve willingly made of myself…

Published in: on October 11, 2007 at 9:22 am  Leave a Comment  
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