Saturday, June 19, 2004

Rock Lyrics Can Be Quite Surprising

-I enjoy rock music, but it’s something that I rarely buy unless I think it’s very good. The rock albums I own are every Radiohead album from The Bends onward, Odelay by Beck, the two soundtracks for the anime series Hellsing and By The Way by Red Hot Chili Peppers. I recently downloaded the self-titled debut album by Franz Ferdinand. They are the ones behind the Buzzworthy video “Take Me Out.” I decided to download their album because I liked “Take Me Out.” After listening to it, I can say that it’s actually pretty good. I enjoyed the melodic style that’s fun to listen to. One song surprised me as I listened to it, though. The song called “Michael” features lyrics that definitely seem gay in origin. The main refrain of the song is “Come and dance with me Michael” and the singer describes himself as a man. He even calls Michael sexy, beautiful, and “the only one I’d ever want.” If you can get past that, the song actually isn’t that bad. Besides, being gay has no bearing on the quality of an artist. However, it’s pretty rare to hear something like that in song. All in all, Franz Ferdinand’s debut is a short and fun little rock record.

-Just as I recently talked about black culture in commercials (in fact, the commercials I mentioned weren’t that bad), I see another one that just warrants attention...for bad reasons. One of the biggest stereotypes for African-Americans is that we love fried chicken. Dave Chappelle’s comments on black people and the chicken stereotype are hilarious (“Look at him...he loves the stuff!”). So, it’s just wrong that KFC is sponsoring a contest with BET where you can get KFC Gift Checks among other prizes. I saw a commercial for the contest on BET and my sister and I sat there shocked. Maybe I’m making too big a deal of this, but BET seems to be perpetuating the black people/chicken stereotype by doing this contest. It also doesn’t help that fried chicken is displayed prominently in the commercial (including a black man taking a whole bucket of chicken out of a room). I guess it could’ve been worse...Popeyes could have been sponsoring the contest.

And briefly, another commercial caught my eye as well. It’s part of the series of Greyhound commercials which show people riding the bus and a map showing their name with a line trailing to their destination (which is their reason for taking the bus). Well, in a recent installment, there is a black male on the bus named James and his trail ends at the location dubbed Mom’s Home Cookin’. We can only be so lucky that they didn’t show “Mom.”

-I feel sorry for those poor hearing-impaired people who want to watch the cable network Fuse. Fuse is the lone competition for the near monopoly of Viacom-owned music channels (MTV, MTV2, VH1, BET). However, Fuse has the worst closed-captioning that I have ever seen. During videos, the captions are completely messed up, with missing letters, a lack of spaces, misspelled words, and random symbols which screw up the text even more. They need to get their captioning act together.

-What are my goals for the summer, apart from FINALLY getting a job?

First, I want to finish Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire. I started reading it but I haven’t picked it up in a while. It’s the longest Harry Potter book I have begun reading and if I can finish that, then Harry Potter and The Order of The Phoenix or even Lord of The Rings won’t be as intimidating.

Another thing I want to do is engage in more writing. I say that every summer, but I want to finish at least two short stories before the summer is up. I have started on a new story that I hope I will finish before the month ends. I also have some ideas in the pipeline as well. If I don’t work on short stories, then maybe I will take a cue from my sister and work on something longer (like a novella or even a full-length novel). Other potential writing projects: comedy sketches, a screenplay, more comics, and a fan-episode of The Simpsons.

Lastly, I want to revisit my DVD collection. I have a lot of DVDs and I haven’t watched many of them in quite some time. I should finish up the 3rd season of Family Guy (which I didn’t finish watching), take a look at some anime series favorites (Tenchi Muyo, Excel Saga, Fruits Basket, Cowboy Bebop, Escaflowne), revisit some great Disney movies (like Snow White, Fantasia, Dumbo, Pinocchio, and The Lion King), and check out some DVD extras (X2, LOTR movies).

-There are two more important days coming up soon. Father’s Day is this Sunday and I hope Samone and I can get out to get Dad’s gift very soon. Also, June 21st (the day after Father’s Day) is the birthday of my longtime friend Janae. We are nearly six months apart in age and she will turn 23 this year (I turn 24 in December). Her mother and my mother have been friends since childhood, and although I don’t see Janae very often, she’s a good person.

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