It has been awhile since I have posted, but lets just say I felt recently inspired by Miley Cyrus’s 2013 MTV Video Music Award  performance.

First, let me take you all back to the 2004 Super Bowl XXXVIII Halftime Show in which Janet Jackson’s right breast was revealed.  If you’ve forgotten the performance, then please click HERE.

Watching Janet’s “controversial” performance after watching Miley Cyrus’s “performance” (click HERE to watch) makes you wonder what all the fuss was about when we all saw Janet’s boob! Personally, I still believe that Justin Timberlake did not mean to show Janet’s boob to the world or that he and Janet plotted to reveal a single breast during the last few seconds of the halftime show.  Let’s discuss the boob itself for a second whose nipple was covered by a very decorative nipple ring. It’s just not as naked a boob as she could have easily gone for if the act was intentional.  In terms of the dancing, Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake are both great dancers and for the purposes of blogging, I will just categorize their moves as, “urban” or “pop.” I’ll need to use this category to further discuss why Miley’s performance was wrong, wrong, wrong later on. So Justin is following Janet around on stage and there is a body roll, suggestive snake moves against one another, followed by constant movement across the stage.  Just like with most things in this world, there is an exchange of power, a granting of permission that implicitly occurs when two people dance.  Within their performance Justin is the pursuer while Janet is elusive, yet flirtatious.

Can you remember the cultural climate in 2004?  We most certainly did not have have Barack Obama as our country’s first multiethnic President – George Bush was getting ready to serve his second term as President and

  • Facebook was launched as a social networking site (only open to Harvard students).
  • Lance Armstrong was still making believers out of the public by winning his 6th consecutive Tour de France.
  • Japan is devastated by earthquakes and typhoons that caused severe impact to its economy including a significant loss of life
  • Martha Stewart goes to Jail!?!

The most popular films of 2004: Ray, The Aviator, Shrek, The Passion of Christ, Troy, Meet the Fockers… Long story short – America had not see a lot of “Black” in 2004.  Maybe this is why seeing Janet Jackson’s boob (kind of) struck a note of terror into the hearts of many Americans. “Oh no! A black boobieeeee!”

I know, I know that people talk about the Super Bowl being a family event, but that does not mean that football it isn’t arguably violent.  Some people like their family-friendly violence organized, contained in a secure structure – a.k.a a stadium.  Don’t we just flock to our violence framed by bright lights, lightly coated with smiling cheerleaders and attractive football stars, rolled in music and served with sides of celebrities we love and fans that look just like us.  Of course, football is violent – people get hurt and football is subject to the same vices (drugs, sex, greed, etc) that can entrap us all. The Super Bowl neither defines nor attempts to define fundamental religious values and for me is simply another show that should have an NC-17 rating. This won’t happen, not when so many Americans have their G-to PG-aged kids playing football.

I do love football though because of the way it makes me feel when I watch it on television or at stadium.  I feel excited by watching aggressive play. I live vicariously through my favorite player or team through a victory or a loss.  I undoubtedly identify with the contained violence of the game, so I’m not hatin’ – just merely suggesting that a fallen boob at a football game is not completely unexpected or tremendously inappropriate. Besides, if I wasn’t looking at Janet’s boobs, then I’m sure I’d be seeing some t&a on those closeup shots they do of the cheerleaders!

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Me thinks that Miley was going for a possessed bear who believes herself to be a human stripper? Her moves in contrast to Janet’s and Justin’s were clearly, “stripper light.” For those of you who have been to the strip club know that her moves would be considered “light” or  innocuous compared to any more experienced stripper. Irrespective of my own personal feelings about Miley and the lack of talent that she displayed during her performance (I actually think she can do better), I want to read and hear the language that was used for the Janet incident in 2004 with even harsher criticism!

“The youth!”

“This signifies the downfall of the American family and Christian values!”

“Censorship advocacy!”

“Desperate career moves!”

“A disgusting outrage!”

“She is supposed to be a role model for white girls and young women!”

…for an entire year or more….

Wouldn’t this make sense and be fair media practice? The VMAs are likely watched by more children and teens and Miley’s performance continued on for agonizing minutes. The entire performance was disturbing and just kept escalating in raunchiness.  We are so conservative about media images on one hand, but then on the other hand something that is in my opinion worse than a bit of boon nudity is allowed to be shown.  When a non-dancer drops it likes it hot in a very sexual manner, it is not her sexuality that is coming out for the world to see – it is literally is her sex. Clothe.s that leave nothing to the imagination, moves that are not suggestive, just simply “are sex” and blatant gestures that won’t be missed by any teenager or adult (how could we with add from a large foam hand) make me wonder what the long-term discussions about these types of performances will be.

I know I could talk about the racial implications behind Janet and Miley’s performances.  Did the public have a problem with a white male interacting flirtatiously with and pursuing an black female? Did Miley objectify those black women on stage to validate her own sexuality and dance moves? (Probably, but I like rap and discussing the objectification of black women within the music industry will not be a short post. I can say, however, that Miley isn’t the first to exploit black women).  

Freedom of expression. I am all for it. Parents stepping in to control what their kids are watching- all for it.  Mediia helping the public view content without bias – completely pro fair news reporting practices.

As an avid fan of the HBO series, True Blood, I can say that the season 4 finale did not disappoint.  The death of Jesus was sad, but expected. I mean how could Jesus (Kevin Alejandro) execute such powerful and emotional scenes in the last two episodes if his death was not imminent?  I still mourned this loss of Lafayette’s lover, but rejoiced in the knowledge that Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) himself was spared.  By the way, Nelsan is a great actor and I cannot imagine the series without his character.

For a second I thought that Anna Paquin’s character, Sookie Stackhouse, was the luckiest woman in the world.  Not just in the Bon Temps world, but in Anna’s, “real world” too.  She had her real-life husband Stephen Moyer aka top vamp Bill Compton and viking vamp hottie, Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgard) all together in intimate scenes.  Not only is my hat off to Sookie for being able to seduce both men (okay vampires) equally, but she fulfilled the fantasy if not of most women across the globe, most definitely her True Blood fans. The hotsome-threesome only got more sexier when both vamps drank Sookie’s blood at the same time in the finale.  Spoiler alert (a bit late I know): who would have guessed that Sookie would ever pull the trigger on that not-good-enough-for-Alcide bitch (literally), Debbie? It’s about time. Psst Sookie – Alcide (Joe Manganiello) is frickin’ hot.  Get it right for Season 5 please.

We all knew that Jason Stackhouse (Ryan Kwanten) would hook up with Jessica Hamby (Deborah Ann Woll) and mostly because Jessica is one of the hottest True Blood characters right now.  Didn’t she just blossom this season?  Not sure if this is intentional or not, but Deborah makes Jessica enunciate in the quirkiest manner, especially when her character is ticked off.  Maybe it was the little red riding hood outfit that sealed the deal for me (wink), but the girl has that naughty and nice looked nailed.  In all honesty,  there is a part of me that still wants Jason to be immortal, not only because he would have definitely improved the genetic pool of the were-panther clan, but because he would be more sympathetic to Sookie.  Jessica is a sex- and blood-hungry vampire that gives Jason more dimension.  He is more than an oversexed southerner – he has depth, a sense of loyalty, and can apply logic appropriately to his situation and others.

All in all – Jesús really did pull a Jesus and sacrificed himself to save others, Sookie took her, as Pam (Kristin Bauer) called it, “her fairy vagina” out of the equation and dumped both Bill and Eric and gained some grit and acting range points by shooting Debbie’s head off and grieving for a mortally-wounded Tara (Rutina Wesley).   Jason may not have become a were-panther, but he definitely transformed and also stayed true to form by telling the truth.  Finally, how can I forget Sam Merlotte (Sam Trammell) and his newfangled (would use new found, but new fang does contain, ‘fang’)  romance with a fellow shape-shifter (who I think is, “Papi” from a past Showtime series, The L Word)? We got our sweet romance fix from Sam this season and a bit of sex.   Speaking of sex,  it wasn’t the normal voltage of previous seasons, but like always, True Blood is always an intense fix with the ability to make fantasy feel like the truth.  Until next season True Blood fans…

What Does Facebook Do for You?

Posted: November 16, 2010 in Uncategorized

I have my own personal Facebook page and even though I am constantly writing, find it difficult to post messages on Facebook.  I often feel that anything I post is somewhat too revealing or sounds like I’m bragging.

The post topics can be so varied and I have had friends discuss their divorces, one-night stands, getting fired from a job, or their latest break-up.  But Facebook is useful.  I can keep up with current relationships and what my friends are up to in their lives.  “Oh, so and so had a baby.”  That’s an instant “like” on a photo or someone got into a gradschool – yet another opportunity for a like and words of congrats.

Most Facebookers will only post what is going well in their lives, but I found that others who tell more intimate information find Facebook tools as a medium of coping with pain.  It also solicits support from those who recognize that someone needs a friendly word or two.  Whether it’s superficial or sincere, I guess doesn’t matter.  Personally, any friend who is having a rough time, I probably would not send a FB e-mail. I’d rather call.  Certain friends just seem like they are seeking validation and come across as being needy or insecure.

Lastly, I guess I can’t trust FB.  I look at a profile picture and almost everyone is smiling and looks happy.  It is self-selected picture of how you want to appear to the world.  This does not mean that people aren’t truly happy, but this is my translation of most photos:

Family poses = My family is so special

Family poses with kids = My family is so special and I have the best kids in the world

Couple poses =  We are the best couple in the world

Singles poses with conservative dress = This picture is a good picture of me

Single poses with bare chests, face-only cleavage, butt shoes, or body part shots = Look at me, I AM hot

“Artistic” poses = I am an artist, can’t you see?

What purpose does Facebook serve for you?

 

Rather than go into a bit of background about the show, I’ll just assume that most readers have heard of this awesome HBO series, True Blood.  Just like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the television series Angel, almost every show on the CW, MTV, and several television series and films – True Blood does feature an European-American female at the center of the story.  The main character, Sookie, and every hot guy Sookie encounters seems to want her, but for some reason this doesn’t bother me.  The cast is somewhat ethnically and geographically diverse and every fictional character is dysfunctional, which is part of the series’ allure … well the hot factor of the vampires and werewolves is part of formula too.

As a lover of scary movies, I can appreciate the integration of a well-written script with talented actors that can do the script justice.  Even though True Blood is on for only an hour a week, some scenes have managed to blow my mind.  The sex-scene in particular with Bill and Lorena a few weeks ago just further cemented my desire to see Sookie and Eric hookup or Sookie and Alcide.  As an aside, why do the werewolves always get a bad wrap? Maybe it’s because they are not part of the undead, so their humanity is getting in the way of viewers appreciating their full potential.

The girls have talent and from what I’ve read and watched, no one is disputing that fact.

Even though I get that this video wasn’t meant for mass consumption, like any controversial video – it was destined to get out.  There is always a risk that any performance whether private or public if videotaped can get into the wrong hands.  Whether or not a  parent or a pervert was video taping this performance the context of the dance doesn’t really factor into my thoughts about the little girls’ routine.

I do  think that pedophiles would be turned on by the girl’s performance.  As much as I know about pedophiles from SVU episodes, they tend to warp little kids behavior and believe that a child is making sexual advances toward them anyway. This might be visual candy to pedophiles, but it would probably produce the same reaction when watching little girls or boys on swing sets.

I actually have a similar icky feeling when I think of pedophiles and young boys being aroused by this performance.  If I had a son around the age of 8 or 9 and saw them getting turned on by other little girls their age, I would probably be weirded out and think it was way to soon for them to be introduced to visual stimulation.  I would wonder if a video like this is age-appropriate porn or porn for fourth graders?  If it is though and since female and male arousal is observed in babies, wouldn’t it actually be a normal response for a heterosexual 8 or 9-year old male? If my son didn’t have a reaction, they might not be “there” yet, which I’d like to think makes them normal too.

Our culture is probably most concerned about understanding sexuality versus acting on sexuality a.k.a. having sex.  Are these girls or will these girls be propelled into sexual awareness and sex before they are ready? Has this dance torn them away from childhood and predestined them for a spot on MTV’s. “16 and Pregnant?” Most likely not. Could these girls be ahead of their time? Maybe, maybe not.

I don’t think they really understand sex at their age, but they probably have the right instincts to know that Beyonce’s moves make them want to move and as they get a bit older, will probably describe B’s video as sexy and compelling.  Their performance also stems from adult motives too.  Typically, it takes an adult’s insight to see that if the young girl’s were able to capture Beyonce’s mature movements and add more technique, then they too would prove successful.  The girls’, their parents, and the choreographer all wanted to win by setting themselves apart from the competition.

This isn’t such a strange concept.  Many cultures, including our own, do push younger children to excel in their field or to win, win, win.  Whenever I see child gymnasts, basketball players, actors, spelling bee contestants, ice skaters, concert pianists or violinists, dancers, singers, etc. they all come across as older, more serious, more disciplined, than other kids their age and most adults.  In an interview, the girls described their performance as their attempt to give 120% (or some above 100% number)… You can instantly tell that they are already being treated and coached as professional dancers.  American culture creates opportunities and reward systems for children that are pushed by driven parents, who are willing to exchange a portion of their kids’ childhood for monetary reward or prestige.  Why start pointing fingers at these groups of parents, unless we are willing to question so many other parents within society?

Every pursuit has a consequence, but to be fair, some of those consequences exist for girls and women if they choose to gyrate or not. The consequence of performance as a girl or woman is that many people will only be able to assess dancers on the basis of generic factors, like age, costumes, appearance, physique, etc.  Based on an interview, the adults would rather their children be judged solely on their performance and technique, but they must admit that the hook of the act seemed to the girl’s age juxtaposed against an adult routine.

The little girl’s dance illuminates larger issues of society.  To completely avoid objectification, should no girl or woman dance or perform on a stage?  Meaning, no ballet, no tap, no acting, no conferences, – nothing.  There would just be too much risk of someone misinterpreting you or your actions and turning you into a sexual object.  Of course, this would be absurd to so many, but can these young girls express themselves professionally without critique?  No way.  It’s the catch-22, that consequence that they must endure and seek to overcome because many performers know that he or she may be objectified and their bodies looked at, perhaps judged when they actually want to feel sexual on stage as they let their artistry flow from every pore.  The parents, however, choose this particular form of creative expression for their children and even though they can be subject to criticism – it’s a parents choice.

Dancing does mean using your body to communicate a feeling, message, or experience.  The girl’s danced ferociously, imitating another artist’s emotions and adapting it as their own, but appearing sexy was just a consequence of them nailing the video’s energy and sentiment. There were many people who just saw the girls as “cute.”  Clearly, the message of the song is not meant for an 8- or 9-year old, but maybe, just maybe the girl’s were just dancing “dress-up.”

To see the video on YouTube, click here

I remember catching an article awhile back about Lady Gaga wanting to “do Beyonce.”  At first, I took this statement to mean one thing, but upon further reading got the point.  Lady Gaga wanted to do what Beyonce does in her video in terms of performance. 

In Beyonce’s Video Phone, featuring Lady Gaga, both women wear the cat suit thingy and at first I thought this was arguably attractive. It shows legs, butt, and top boob, which is better than no boobs at all, so the ensemble is compelling. Upon further inspection, though, you can even see these women’s crotches and that’s just a bit too much for my taste. It crossed that fine line between not having to show it all to do it all and it made them both generic and cliche.  Also, I like a bit of mystery, so it’s hard to really fantasize when the reality of Beyonce’s and Gaga’s camel toe is staring you in your face. Plus, Beyonce and Gaga are not really dancing (hello hair flipping). I’m not sure if this is fact, but it looks like Gaga has more technical dance training than Beyonce.  I do recognize though that Beyonce’s choreographer is amazing. He or she seemed to have picked out 5 of Beyonce’s strongest moves and built choreography around her style.  At times, I would characterize her movements as awkward and unpolished, but keeping things simple, controlled, and feminine-bouncy seems to be working for her. It all still makes me wonder if there is something beyond these two strong performers.

Okay, so I tried focusing on the song and really the song is a bit difficult to dance too and the lyrics just don’t make any sense.  Technology is relevant for any industry and the music industry would never be an exception. It’s not just this song that lyrically annoys me with its direct techy references, but all the songs that use tech jargon like texting, paging, iPhone, and “lol smiley face.” If iPad didn’t sound so harsh to the ear and on the tongue it may even make it into a song before an advertisement about feminine hygiene products.

Nevertheless, I do think the collaboration between Lady Gaga and Beyonce is kind of dope.  I have written about why we haven’t seen a Beyonce and Britney collabo and that teaming up with another hot girl only makes you look that much hotter.  Women who are not celebs do this all the time and the only thing better than a hot pair of women is a large group of hot women, not exceeding more than 6 females. 

Kate gosselin

Posted: April 10, 2010 in post
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I haven’t seen many episodes of Dancing With the Stars (DWTS), but I am fascinated to hear that Kate has been saved yet another week after a couple of her performances that I did catch.  The thing about celebrity Kate is that she is a controversial person. She has lots of kids, which a lot of people will constantly point out when she does anything outside of the house.  Plus, they make her seem like the shrew, instead a woman who is an opinionated know-it-all, like so many other men and women in this world. 

I have noticed that she really doesn’t have to be too charming during interviews, or really go out of her way to make people like her, because she has that non-descript compelling quality that makes you form an opinion about her and want to watch her.  This must be the reason why she keeps getting saved week to week on DWTS.

Plus, let’s face it. She probably has an unfair advantage.  She has eight kids who all know how to use the phone and Internet to cast their votes for their mom. Based on the Gosselin’s lifestyle, they probably know the value of a dollar too and the better mommy does, then the better they all do … major incentive.