Tag Archives | Pop Culture
Two of the booming occupations of the future: government mole who weeds out and reports dangerous movies and cultural works, and consultant who helps creators navigate censorship standards. The Atlantic Wire writes:
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China’s censorship has become a huge headache for Hollywood lately, as movie studios struggle to break in to the world’s second largest film market. Every single film bound for Chinese theaters has to make it past China’s all-powerful State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) whose guidelines for what is and isn’t acceptable is more or less subjective and entirely unpredictable. All the studios can do is hire consultants who are familiar with the ins and outs of censorship in China and hope for the best.
Bringing in consultants does help movie studios frame projects in a censor-friendly manner, but after filming begins the filmmakers have to be very careful not to deviate from the plan. SARFT sends spies to the set to make sure everything is going as planned.
Connecticut makes progress in the war on fictional violence. The Guardian reports:
A Connecticut community is to hold an amnesty of violent video games in the wake of last month’s mass shooting in Newtown. Organizers Southington SOS plan to offer gift certificates in exchange for donated games, which will be burned. The group, a coalition of local organisations, argues that violent games and films desensitize children to “acts of violence”.
The video game amnesty will take place on 12 January in Southington, a 30-minute drive east from Newtown. The town of Southington has provided a dumpster, organisers said, where violent video games, CDs or DVDs will be collected.
As all the chatter about the “2012 end of the world” dissolves back into the white noise from whence it came, we are still presented a unique vantage point. We can look at once backward and forward on cultural trends, cresting and falling so quickly that in mere decades we can see patterns emerging that may have taken hundreds of years to arise before the advent of digital communication.
Of course, there’s no way a thorough investigation of any trend is going to happen here in the length of an introduction, within the time it takes me to sip my way through a mocha. But that is telling of these times as well. As Palahniuk observed through the mouthpiece of Tyler Durden in his seminal book Fight Club, we are all “single serving size friends, here.” (And is it also a sign of counter cultural mentality that a reference to a book and movie just a decade out of the gates might be considered hackneyed or out of date?) Our observations must also be single serving size, crammed into a 140 character tweet, or a 350 word blog post.… Read the rest
In the long history of love songs the attention of a beautiful woman has been compared to many things – but perhaps only in Pakistan's tribal belt would it be likened to the deadly missile strike of a remotely controlled US drone. [It's] a sign of how the routine hunting down and killing of militants by unmanned CIA planes has leached into the popular imagination. The repeated chorus: "My gaze is as fatal as a drone attack". The hit for singer Sitara Younis follows her success last year with another love ballad, which warns a besotted man to keep his distance: "Don't chase me, I'm an illusion, a suicide bomb." Maas Khan Wesal, a Pashtu music veteran who wrote the accompanying music, said the song had proved popular because it reflected the lives of Pashtu speakers on both sides of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.
Agnieszka Karoluk writes at Diatribe Media:
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I was about 11 or 12 years old and my father was so excited to finally let me watch his favorite movie, Hair (based off the 1968 Broadway musical of the same title). The opening scene shows a young man from farmland Oklahoma saying goodbye to his father as he gets on a bus to New York City. What follows is a psychedelic story of rebellion, love, loss, sex, drugs and every human emotion you can imagine all packed into a musical frenzy of hippies and yuppies, military men and hustlers.
For those of you who have never seen it, the young Oklahoman travels to New York City because he was chosen in the draft and needed to report to the U.S. Army base. On his first day in the city, he meets a group of hippies: Wolf, Hud, Janie and Berger. Along with these four, Claude Bukowski gets into all sorts of mischief and mishaps including a few drug-induced adventures and dreams, falling in love with a daughter of a high-society man and a few ethical dilemmas.
The 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ UK release of “Love Me Do” is being celebrated by a number of media outlets here including The BBC and The Guardian. The latter carries a great article which reprints a 1963 review of the UK’s first home grown contemporary global pop phenomenon:
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Written across the front of St George’s Hall, Liverpool (a building dear to the heart of John Betjeman), are huge chalked letters declaring: “I Love the Beatles.” There is hardly anything cryptic about this declaration to anyone who has ever viewed Juke Box Jury, listened to Pick of the Pops, or fathered a teenage daughter, for in the last six months the Beatles have become the most popular vocal-instrumental group in Britain, and as everyone with any pretension towards mass culture should know, the Beatles are from Liverpool.
In fact, there is a connection between Liverpool and the four young musicians that seems to go deeper than pride for hometown boys; something, perhaps deep in the mysterious well of English and especially northern working-class sentimentality.
It’s exciting when something happens in the news that reminds you how subversive punk rock can be. Via OUT, a conversation featuring remembrances from Bruce LaBruce, Hüsker Dü’s Bob Mould, and numerous notable others about a movement which changed the world, whether people know it or not:
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The Queercore scene grew out of a generation that bristled against what it saw as the bourgeois trappings of a mainstream gay lifestyle and the macho, hetero hardcore scene that punk — a movement founded by women, people of color, and gays — had become. It started out as a loose collective, trading fanzines and letters, and evolved to include dozens of bands.
There was a gay element to early punk, such as the Los Angeles group The Germs — whose singer was the closeted Darby Crash—as well as Seattle transplants The Screamers, The Apostles in the U.K., and, in Texas, The Dicks.