Category Archives: Pop Culture

Avatar- My Review

What better way to spend my day off than to see a movie? So much has been said about James Cameron’s Avatar that I had to see for myself what all the fuss was about, so dutifully I waited in line for my ticket well aware that these blockbusters have an exponential way of sucking people in, even blockbuster sceptics like me. 

What did I witness? Well..visually it was absolutely stunning, there’s no doubt about it. The graphics were beyond “state of the art” and into tomorrow. The creature animations while “realistic” were unfortunately typical of a populist movie money spinner: among others, dinosaurs passed off as alien fauna, nasty wolf-like critters baring their saliva dripping fangs, and blue aliens that conveniently had very human characteristics.  With a little tweaking of my imagination I could get the distinct impression I was watching giant blue South American Indians spliced into “The Land That Time Forgot.” The dialogue was urban speak 2009 in a 2154 setting which I found to be annoyingly trite. 

The storyline was tired and predictable and the actors’ characters were in the main stereotypical. I won’t be a spoiler so i’ll just say that the political overtones were more like a sledgehammer, so blatant was it a take on the War in Iraq. Combined with this was the old chestnut of multi-national corporations raping mother Earth, aided and abetted by the military/Marines. (The greenies will love it ) – Like all of us i’m concerned for the environment and wary of corporate greed but on these problems there needs to be far more expansive, measured thought put to the public rather than through the black and white stereotypical vehicle that is Avatar. In my opinion movie plots like this do us all a disservice by feeding people overly simplistic political notions.
 
It’s not all bad of course and well worth seeing for the visuals but by and large I was not impressed – I lament the passing of adult science fiction. The bar was set by Kubrik’s 2001 and it still hasn’t been challenged. Sadly these days Hollywood film producers insist on bleeding worn out formulas dry- no wonder it won the Golden Globe Award.
By all means go see it, the special effects are worth the price of admission..but do yourself a favour and leave your brain at home.
 

2 Comments

January 26, 2010 · 4:46 am

A footprint In Every World

How often do you hear the line “I can’t be in two places at once?” The internet’s functionality is so broad and all encompassing that it makes this line virtually redundent. We can be and ARE in several places at once. With the click of a mouse we can move from one window into a favourite world to another. But a question comes with this. Why do we feel the need to spread ourselves so far and wide? What drives us to put our footprint in so many turn offs along the super highway?

Human interaction: it is a compulsion that cannot be denied us. Unless one is a hermit or a monk, we all insist on having our say on matters of personal interest/importance or simply relating our daily lives to others. To deny this is to deny the ego impulse that shapes who we are. Ego is not a dirty word in this regard. Our lives would lack direction without interacting with others because to each other we are yardsticks and life belts.

The speed and proliferation of information in the 21st century makes it almost essential for us to have a foot in many camps because of this inner drive to know and relate. Information overload? Perhaps but there is no sign that people are turning away from it, quite the reverse, we are embracing this new technology that opens the many worlds of interconnectivity to us. Each world serves a purpose. We compartmentalize them, we sort, collate and assign to each  so that we can interact and reflect ourselves effectively. And for the most part we do it well.

Multi-faceted we are but not only out of neccesity but from need. Herein lies a beauty, rare in past times, but now laid before us in commonality. The opportunity for a collective social bonding without parallel in history; to be flung further and wider in the coming years as China and Africa come further into the social networking mainstream.

Me? I write, and I make videos, and I compose, largely to please myself. But behind this is a need to be accepted as a worthwhile contributer to online global information chatter. Whatever that chatter is, we all want to be a part of it to make our mark no matter the size or impact. WE ARE SOCIAL ANIMALS. We must never withdraw from expressing this for fear of losing the simplicity of the past. Thx for reading. Enjoy your pie. 🙂

NOTE: Subject suggested by  @SixPaws

5 Comments

January 5, 2010 · 1:50 am

Celebrity Worship

A recently tweeted article is the prompt for this blog. In short the article said that Ellen DeGeneres was using the feature list function at Twitter to manipulate other users into following her. The end purpose of this no doubt is exposure/ self promotion ultimately translating into bargaining power come $ contract time. You can read the article here:  http://bit.ly/1ajkxR

That DeGeneres or any other “celebrity” has the right to promote their product or themselves is not in question. It is the underhanded manipulation of a star struck public that is wrong. That a “social networking” site like Twitter is the instrument used for this self promotion is also wrong. These social sites are for the purpose of connecting, expressing, making friends. They are the greatest of opportunities for people to unite in friendship and self expression. For them to be used as commercial vehicles of exploitation or money spinning ventures is to pervert this purpose.

It also speaks loudly of what is happening to society in general. Think in terms of the new demi-gods: those ordinary people whom other “ordinary” people place on pedestals for the two fold purpose of hero worship and identity. Celebrities are indeed ordinary people. Ordinary people with hundreds of thousands of followers? With the benefit of scripting, production and direction, lighting, make up, marketing and advertising they of course become something else. They become idols for worship.

People seem to have a deep psychological need to put something or someone above themselves, or conversely place themselves under or below. Some fans do the fan thing simply for fun and nothing more, but for the majority of fans, celebrity worship is a way of life. A substitute for their own lives. It is instrumental in creating their own identity and building ego via an imagined umbilical cord with their idol. Most people at Twitter, for instance, follow their fav celebs in the desperate hope that the star will tweet back to them. The fan-celebrity symbiosis is built on mutual need:  one is to be worshipped and adored, the other – the worshipper – is to feel gratitude and just a lil bit special ;).  To me this is a belittling, demeaning attitude.

Karl Marx said “Religion is the opiate of the people.” If he was living in the 21 st century he would have changed  it to “Hollywood.” I think it’s time the “ordinary” people, the “masses”. the “peasants,” so manipulated and controlled for hundreds of years in every aspect,  stopped looking up to others while looking down, and started looking straight ahead. A coiffured, perfumed, manicured, maufactured, air blown celeb is not someone we should place so much value on when we have doctors, nurses, firemen, policemen, soldiers, scientists and so many others saving lives and building our world. They are the true million dollar babies…and THEY are YOU.

7 Comments

November 5, 2009 · 12:57 am

Devil’s Brew

A home made punch from hell for only the most discerning atheists.

Ingredients:

4 bottles of gin

4 bottles of vodka

 4 bottles of tequila

4 bottles of fruity red sacramental wine

3 vials of LSD

1/2 bottle of essence of sex gland from the very rare East Madagascan Boner Monkey

5 packets of viagra

1 packet of sun dried foreskins (excavated and imported direct from the shores of the Red Sea)

1 midget

1 apple

Plutonium extract

1 teaspoon of fruit juice

In a large cauldron add gin, vodka, tequila, and foreskins.  Stir thoroughly then set aside for 10 minutes. Transfer midget from fridge to greased chopping block. Truss tightly with string and place apple in mouth. Put midget in large, shallow tray with 2 bottles of red wine and roll around while splashing liberally with remaining wine till soaked thoroughly. Add midget to cauldron with LSD, viagra and plutonium.

Before serving remove midget and dispense with. Add Boner Monkey essence and teaspoon of fruit juice for taste.

Enjoy.

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September 4, 2009 · 12:45 am