Bound 2: Review

If you don’t know Kim Kardashian, you know Kanye West, and if you don’t know they’re engaged with a child named North, you really live under a rock (but maybe for the best).

About two weeks ago, Kanye released his “Bound 2” music video— which was the music video equivalent of those Wolf t-shirts you find on sale for $5 at Wal-Mart.

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As a Kanye West fan, I tried watching the music video with an open mind. There really hasn’t been an instance in which I disliked any of his music/his work/his productions, so why was this video hard for me to digest?

It opens up with really vibrant footage of scenic American landscapes, gorgeous nature, animals in their natural habitat, and a neon sky. Then, you see Kanye rapping, it then cuts to a DIGITALLY ALTERED silhouette of naked Kim Kardashian posed on a classic Harley bike. The rest of the video follows the two as they ride on a deserted highway— showing Kim while she nurtures, kisses, hugs, and holds Kanye West while he continues singing the song. Between the simulated sex scene and the mediocre artistic creativity behind the video, I wasn’t buying it. Was this some sort of joke? The rest of the world seemed to think so. James Franco and Seth Rogan quickly made a Bound 3, which was synchronized with Bound 2— with Naked Seth Rogan as Kim Kardashian— it was hilariously brilliant. But again, was this the best Kanye could come up with?

Every time I showed my friends the video, I’d gain a little but more appreciation. It was confusing. If re-watch the Franco-Rogan remake to reinstate the reasons why I never took the video seriously.

I felt like Kim was being used as product placement– when I said this, the very few people who liked the video from the get-go defended Kanye by saying he wanted to involve his “baby” in the video. I don’t buy it. It just didn’t make sense.

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Then, I came across an article that expressed a lot if my opinions in the video, but at the very end, he explained why the video was so genius

In relation to the rest of his album, heavily revolving around being African American, being successful, and trying to avoid corporation influences on his business/music— this video really fit in perfectly. He took a smart turn, so smart, that even his biggest fans didn’t realize the implications of the video. The gorgeous all- American scenery, the babe on a bike, and a black man riding into the sunset with his love is a slap in the face for those who don’t like Kanye. Everything is an all-American vibe, but Kanye himself doesn’t fit the cultural stereotype. The first instinct when watching the video is about how low-quality the production was, but re-evaluating and analyzing further, comparing it to his album’s concepts, and seeing as to how he first broadcasted it on the Ellen show (primarily white viewers), Kanye really flaunted his witty cultural stabs.

 

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Gaga comes back for the Throne

It’s been 2 years since Lady Gaga has been on the pop scene with new music. In between her worldwide tour, her hip surgery, and side projects (art installations)– she’s been low on the radar, but last week, that changed. Her new album entitled ARTPOP was released on November 11– it included a wide array of songs, some inspired by hip-hop, some inspired by “rave techno”. She kicked off her album with a concert in Brooklyn entitled artRave– basically a rented out warehouse full of art installations created by the one and only Jeff Koons, and performed her new songs for her fans.

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With the excitement surrounding a new album, Gaga has been promoting ARTPOP in many different ways. She created a new interactive application for smartphones, she released special edition CDs for sale, and she announced that she would be hosting Saturday Night Live on November 16.

She performed two songs, “Gypsy” and “Do What U Want”, one of her more popular singles with R. Kelly. However, the performance with R. Kelly got serious criticisms from the viewers.

In the performance, R Kelly and Lady Gaga groped, touched, and danced with each other sexually, and even simulated a “sex scene” on stage fully clothed. But what’s the big deal? We saw Miley Cyrus’ performance with Robin Thicke, we watched Madonna kiss Britney spears on stage at the VMAs.

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The song “Do What U Want” has a double meaning. Gaga sings:

“You can’t have my heart and

You won’t use my mind but

Do what you want with my body”

and

“I walk alone

But then I trip over myself and I fall

I, I stand up, and then I’m okay

But then you print some shit that makes me wanna scream”

These lyrics imply her relationship to the media, and this song addresses the fact that the media has objectified her, and she’s essentially “giving” her body to the media so that her talent, soul, and well-being stays unscathed.

The performance may have been racy, but it conveyed the underlying message of the song, an ugly truth that many of the viewers are unaware of.

 

Starbucks fall menu brings joy to the world

The leaves have turned, the air has become crisp, and the fall/winter menu at Starbucks is back in action. When walking into the Starbucks on 9th st, one is greeted with the sounds of cappuccino machines running, baristas calling out orders for the customers, and the strong smell of coffee.
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With the new fall menu, more customers contribute to the already-hectic rush hour to grab a red coffee cup filled with the warm, fall flavors. Hannah Smith, student at Mizzou talks about her love for Starbucks, especially in the fall.

“For some reason the fall flavor a taste a lot better than the originals.

Pumpkin spice has to be my favorite in the holiday red cup–it’s so festive!

It makes the waiting period between now and Thanksgiving bearable.”
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Caramel bruleé, gingerbread, and pumpkin spice are a few of the festive drinks Starbucks has to offer during the fall/winter season. With the holidays approaching, the atmosphere in world-wide coffee shop chain is universal and can be recognized anywhere, not just Columbia, MO.

Oh my Africa!

October. It’s a month of change. The leaves turn color, people change into other people on halloween, starbucks changes its menu, and overall, it’s a great month.

However, a few weeks ago, I stumbled upon an article while on Facebook. It was a post about a girl’s 21st themed birthday party. Ok, sounds pretty normal, except for the fact that the theme was African theme. As I scrolled through the images, her guests wore tribal clothing, KKK cloaks, and even took the liberty wearing black-face.

Not only are these costumes incredibly offensive, the guests clearly did not understand the implications of what they were wearing, again, reinforcing the idea of white privilege

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Photos from the African themed party.

After many angry comments and concerns regarding the photos from this party, the birthday girl defended herself and claimed that her love for Africa and their culture was the main reason behind this party’s theme, and that when her guests chose to attend in blackface, it was not her responsibility or intention. SHe then said “but how can people be annoyed that the majority of the people at the party were celebrating another countries culture.”

Well, for those who must not be well-educated on the concept of the Ku Klux Klan and blackface, perhaps the party was not a horribly controversial one, because not only do these costumes reinstate racism, but they refer to the degradation of a race through hateful means.

After releasing her statement, birthday girl deleted all social media accounts and could not be reached for any comments post-horror party. Perhaps she realized how offensive her guests actually were, and nothing she could say could take back the disrespect and awful implications of this mindlessly thought-out party.

Victims of Beauty

Recently, there was a fashion editorial in a Bulgarian fashion magazine entitled “Victim of Beauty”— it was a series of photographs of models in expensive couture clothing, hair and makeup done, however, they have bruises, cuts, scratches– from what looks like violence.

 

This editorial is not to raise awareness to domestic violence, but it glamorizes the wounds, which is a problematic message to convey. The models in this editorial are done up in sultry makeup: smoky eyes, red lips– as well as their “brutalized faces”– To me, this editorial has nothing to do with fashion, it’s not a progressive statement artistically, and it was NOT well thought out. 

 

We learn about “double-conciousness”– seeing something and recognizing the double-meaning. In “Victim of Beauty”, the message does not even hold a double meaning because being victimized for being beautiful, or being abused for any reason is not acceptable. By publishing this piece, not only is the Bulgarian public exposed to it, but because of the controversial nature of it, more and more people are learning about this editorial, HOPEFULLY realizing what an awful publicity move it was on behalf of the publication. 

There really are not many words to describe this editorial, and the message it conveys is clear to the readers at first glance. The following are several images from the campaign. 

 

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American Idols

A couple weeks ago, I blogged about music sensation, Lorde. At only 16, she’s topping the charts, her album entitled “Pure Heroine”— the sound is mature and brave. However, lately, another 16 year old has been making media headlines: Malala Yousefzai.

 

This young Pakistani girl is an advocate for education, and has literally almost lost her life over her war for education. She’s on the Taliban’s target list, but she continues to strongly advocate her cause.

 

After watching her guest-star on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, I was blown away by her fearless, yet humble attitude when Jon Stewart asked her about the dangers she faces, but her persistence in getting her message across.

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[Lorde]

Even Christiane Amanpour held an interview with Malala– a more personal, feature interview with her– and it just made me wonder: How many more 16-year-old heroines are there?

 

Sure, Lorde calls herself a Pure Heroine, but there are hundreds of girls and women fighting for rights in education, society, and government in their countries– who is the real hero?

 

Though Malala is getting media attention, she is only getting a VERY small fraction of the coverage she and her fellow revolutionaries should be getting. It frustrates me, because a divorce between two famous reality television stars will make the front cover on dozens of magazines, but those who contribute to a crucial cause remain silent in the US mainstream media– and when one person comes around who is exceptional in anyway, the media will turn him/her into a heroic figure, but the buzz will die down quickly. 

 

Unfortunately, we live in a country that idolizes the Golden Globes over a UN Women’s Conference– but with the right journalists (forthcoming, present, and in the distant future) we will hopefully idolize the Malala’s and not the Kris Jenners. 

 

BuzzFeed: Journalism oooooor not?

One word. BuzzFeed.

 

It’s the one website I constantly see being posted on my friends’ Facebook walls, and it’s the one website that has changed the world of “journalism”– or can we even call it that?

 

I had originally heard about BuzzFeed through my cousin, she told me it was some website that had noteworthy videos, pictures, and events posted on it– all of those novelty-type funny videos and images we see on youtube or watch on Tosh.0– nothing intriguing to me.

 

Somehow, I watched the gradual build up of BuzzFeed on my newsfeed, especially on Facebook– and eventually twitter, until it became an explosion. But, can we really call BuzzFeed a “news source”? 

 

I mean, BuzzFeed does cover significant events, but what gets people hooked to BuzzFeed is not their coverage on the government shutdown, it’s their endless lists that so many of their followers find absolutely addicting. 

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(Typical Headlines on BuzzFeed)

Some of them are entitled “26 Reasons Why You are Best Friends with Your Best Friend”— “35 of the Most LA things to Happen” These posts are often followed by a list of things, and along with these things are GIFS (or moving photos) from movies, shows, famous quotes, etc. 

 

I get it, people like to be entertained, but is BuzzFeed really as great as it seems?

 

In ways, absolutely yes. I find myself cackling out loud (COL) to posts like “23 Ways You Know You’re a Hot Cheetos Addict” (ALL OF WHICH ARE UNFORTUNATELY TRUE)– but I guess the only problem with BuzzFeed is that it guises itself as a news source, and for the sake of journalism, I think it’s best it identifies itself as a purely entertaining blog of some sort.