Booty Display : J.lo vs. Nicki Minaj: The New Feminism?…Ramble

Beyonce is the poster child for feminism these days, despite whatever is going on behind closed doors. (Have we all been drawn in to the master plan of headlines that compelled ticket sales for her joint tour with her husband only to hear pregnancy rumors? Yes!)

If Queen B (and she’s not the first to claim that title), is the face of feminism and she sings about riding on Hova’s surfboard, her ass gyrating for all to see, is that any different than the outright tribute to her own ass, J.lo has released?

For years people have been commenting on Jenny from the Block’s rear assets. When I met her I was shocked at how tiny that rear is, but it’s all relative once you zoom in on something. Is that the new definition of feminism? Everyone’s talking about your ass so own it? Well this is a spectacular way of doing it:

If people are unable to get out of bed today because they are waxing their own surfboards with the release of this video, what is the difference between this and the tongue-in-cheek hit “Anaconda” by Nicki Minaj?

Well, for one thing, the taste-level. Jlo may be chewing gum and smoking cigarettes, but she’s doing it in a closed studio, ‘artistically’ and it’s just her ass and Iggy (Nicki’s rival), celebrating how their milkshakes bring the boys to the yard. Hmm, counterpoint so is Nicki, but in a much more over-the-top crass way with coconut milk dripping and mentioning how her pussy tires out her man so much he calls her NyQuil.

The dictionary defines feminism:

feminism

noun
1. the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.
2.(sometimes initial capital letter) an organized movement for the attainment of such rights for women.
3. feminine character.
Both J.Lo and Nicki are taking their own rights as women to exploit their assets to earn the big dollars men are not providing for them. Nicki’s lyrics advocate getting men to buy her things and are generally crude.  Is it about packaging? ‘Anaconda’ has been viewed on YouTube over 177 million times. Men are not thinking about feminism, they are jerking off to it and every time they do, I can hear the cha-ching building up in Nicki’s VEVO account.
Both women smack other women’s asses in their videos, both shake, twerk and leave on a bikini-string to keep them from being ‘fully’ exposed. If we look at Miley’s video for ‘Wrecking Ball’ which, IMHO, is her version of Christina Aguilera’s ‘Beautiful’, that is, until she starts licking steel. Despite protests about Miley not having to ruin the artistry of that moment, fans have watched that video over 700 million times and is on track to hit a billion.
At the end of the day, women are still the first ones to get laid off and get paid 60 cents on the dollar if we are lucky. Has feminism morphed into a marketing idea or are these popstars really in control? I’d certainly like to believe it, because even though Jessie J sang ‘it ain’t about the money’, those are lyrics and we live in reality where bills have to get paid and most of us are not turning down sponsorship deals, we’re sponsoring ourselves! Shake those asses ladies, I’ll take the t-bills that are dropping out of them.

Crush of the Week: Bastille…Ramble

I can’t help it. I had another crush in mind this week, which will now have to wait because I can’t stop, and I won’t stop, with my Bastille obsession. It’s been a long time since I cared so much about a new band. When music is your business and everyone sends you stacks of music “you have to listen to” because “it’s the dopest shit EVER”, you stop caring. Yep, I know, that seems impossible, but it happened for a while. It’s been almost two years since I officially stopped working for a record label. I’ve gone to see a bunch of new artists I dig, like Olly Murs and Jesse Ware, but my obsession has been for Bastille, who I have yet to see live.

Bastille make me smile and they are masters of the Cover Song. They put out an entire album of covers called “Other People’s Heartache” that I’ve only been able to listen to on Soundcloud. It has also amused me that my favorite spin teacher has included ‘Pompeii’ as a regular song during class. I’m a very lyric driven person so it seems like an odd choice, but yet, it’s the song that spurs me on and I close my eyes and work harder. A few days ago, Bastille were on the BBC Live Lounge and covered the wrecking ball herself, Ms. Miley Cryus’ “We Can’t Stop” mixing in a little of “Achy Breaky Heart” if you can believe it. What most moves me about this cover song, is not only the humor and enjoyment of the band performing it, but that instead of making it sound like one of their songs, the song is still identifiable (sounded a little bit like Eminem at the start) and it’s so damn sexy. Enjoy for yourself:

Face-off: The Girl With The Dragon Tat vs. The Hunger Games Trilogy War…Ramble

Hype can completely come attached to any media. People hear and see things and they want it, especially on repeated exposure. It’s how marketing works, it’s how careers rise and we consume media. Mass transit in the publishing capital of America allows for extra ‘impressions’ every time you see a person reading a book with a colorful cover it leaves another impression, the feeling that ‘oh I keep seeing people with that book, it must be good’ creating a sense of urgency the way teens catch on to what their peers are into and adopt it.

Here, we face off two triologys- one that has been hyped to adults and one aimed at teens. Both have sold millions of copies and are being translated onto the cinematic screen. Now, their heroines must FACE-OFF!

Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: Lisbeth Salander vs. The Hunger Games: Katniss Everdeen

FAMILY TIES:
Lisbeth is a twin but estranged from her sister. Her father is a powerful government figure who savagely beat her mother so hard it caused brain damage. Lisbeth tried to protect her mother by setting her father on fire, although it did not kill him.

Katniss is the oldest of two girls. Her father died in a coal mining explosion, sending her mother also off into a land of delusion and a fog descended upon the house. Katniss was left to fend for the food as they live in the poorest District (12 of 13).

Winner: ick, both have Father/Mother/Sister issues. If you want to go in terms of more severe suffering, Lisbeth is the ‘winner’.

SKILL SET:
Lisbeth is a genius hacker. The book’s author Stieg Larsson spends a ridiculous amount of time discussing the computer equipment (now of course completely outdated) she uses in the most boring way possible. Lisbeth has had to fend for herself being institutionalized herself and often sexually assaulted. She is stronger than her fragile malnourished appearance, great with a blade, fast and not afraid of hand-to-hand combat. She is also cunning and will use any weapon at her disposal to achieve her goal including sex.

Katniss is a huntress. She learned basic hunting skills from her beloved father before he died. He taught her to find the herb she is named after in the woods ‘you’ll never starve if you can find yourself.’ She is brave as she volunteered to take her young sister Prim’s place in The Hunger Games, where a boy and girl from each District annually face off in a death match. That’s right a death match. Katniss is also street smart and doesn’t full trust anyone even her best friend potential boyfriend Gale who refined her hunting skills and teams up with her to provide both their families with illegal game they find in the woods.

Winner: Each one’s skill set helps them survive and foil killers to the best of their abilities, and not without injury. This one is another hard category to pick. Lisbeth has skills that help her navigate the modern world, while Katniss’ skills are also include putting on a show and being an actress to win the crowd to her side. I’m going to go with Katniss.

LOVE TO LOVE YA:
Lisbeth dabbles in the lady pond but she also manages to fascinate men. Men who sexually assault her but also the unlikely journalist Mikael Blomkvist *played by Daniel Craig (hello James Bond) in the US Film Version out 12/21/11. Reading the books I found it highly bizarre. Blomkvist is a notorious ladies man and will shag just about anyone. It’s odd because Lisbeth is so private and when they first meet her partner is a woman.

Katniss has undeveloped feelings toward her best friend Gale. They are undefined but no matter how many girls throw themselves at Gale *played by Miley Cyrus’ man Liam Helmsworth, he only has eyes for Katniss. Of course, Katniss has a bit of a love triangle (well let’s face it both Lisbeth & Blomkvist have more than two partners in the first book) of her own due to the baker’s son, Peeta being pretty much in love with her. He is someone who gave her bread after her father died and got a beating for it. In fact, he is also the boy selected at random from District 12 to face off in The Hunger Games.

Winner: Personally I’m into amazing guys vying for my attention and since this is my blog I’m going to go with Katniss. Lisbeth doesn’t have the love of anyone, she can’t trust anyone so how can love blossom for her? It can’t.

TRAILERS:
THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO:

THE HUNGER GAMES:

Winner: Woah, those are some great trailers but having not liked the Millenium series (yes that’s what they call The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo series), seeing the trailer made me intrigued to see the movie. Comparatively I already want to see The Hunger Games so the winner is “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.” Purists who saw the foreign import version will beg to differ but I’m sticking by my choice.

BOOK REPORT: I’ll admit the 2nd book “The Girl Who Played With Fire” ended in a much more intriguing cliffhanger than “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo,” yet I still couldn’t be bothered to read “The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest”. I have a feeling if Mr. Larsson had lived he would have done edits for the US market, a map of Sweden might have been placed in the books for reference and he probably would’ve changed the second book from having multiple characters with names starting with ‘B’ (I stopped counting at 8!) including one of the main characters Blomkvist and his boss/lover.

To compare, I delayed beginning “Mockingjay” the last book in “The Hunger Games” series because I didn’t want it to be finished. I was so engrossed in the triology I will have to read it again. I can’t wait for the movies! I will go see all of them in the theater- something I don’t really do as much given the bed bug freakiness of New York.

WINNER: The Hunger Games

OVERALL VICTOR: While these two characters both struggle to survive one has a target placed on her back and the other one inserts herself into the middle of trouble constantly. My choice is Katniss Everdeen who is far more likeable and you root for her. I find Lisbeth’s story harsh but it’s the similarity she has to the The Assassin character (in the US “Point of No Return”) that makes me want root for something fresh.

UPDATE 12/14:
MUSIC:
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo – music by Trent Reznor and six of those songs are available for free download.

The Hunger Games: soundtrack not announced yet.

FASHION:
The Girl With The Dragon Tat: H&M fashion line is now in-stores this week so you can be, what my former intern, Julian would like ‘a badass’ without having to run from the law, be a victim of the system or rescue James Bond from getting killed.

The Hunger Games: Hard to judge here as the movie doesn’t come out until March and I can’t wait to see the clothing that Cinna, the costume designer played by another badass who will rock leather til the day he dies, Lenny Kravitz fills the screen with.

Winner: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo on both accounts. While it’s too early to call on The Hunger Games, I’m guessing I’d rather rock the H&M line then the bodysuits the contestants in The Hunger Games have to sport.

NEW OVERALL WINNER: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo on Badass Cool points, but let’s not count out The Hunger Games (again books I clearly prefer) til it comes out in March.

Music Guilty Pleasures Of The Moment…Ramble

Some may call them guilty pleasures, but I never apologize for a song catching my ear. I love music loud, proud, silly, serious in all it’s glory. Yes, there is a pile of craptastic out there, but if it moves you, I’m not going to judge you. Here’s some of my ‘oh no really?’ yeah, seriously’ choices at the moment:

1. Justin Bieber “One Less Lonely Girl” I love the idea of this. There are so many single ladies I know that are truly fantastic, this is the perfect sweet cute idea. A lucky girl is no longer lonely. It’s not exactly a Miss Independant moment, but I know plenty of women who’s jaded hearts would be melted by such an approach (though probably doubt the sincerity.) It works on Justin, it’s age appropriate, although it’s still odd to me why he would be spending 48 hours with Diddy. Raw footage of Diddy is never very compelling. It always seems like Diddy is trying to sell something or prove he is ‘down with the people’ showing off Ferraris. Whacktastic.

2. Lady Gaga “Bad Romance” the often maligned Gaga takes a fantastic Haus of Gaga to the Bath Haus keeping it dirty, club worthy and absolutely absurdly over-the-top. She wants your love and she’s not afraid if it comes with STDs. An egomaniac in the vein of Madonna, she loves her unconventional hotness and has learned to avoid the rotating silver orbs that plagued her when she tried to play piano on SNL. Shake that booty!

3. John Mayer audio live version of ‘Half Of My Heart’ Yeah, we all know John is a “douche.” I can’t stand that term but it fits him. Whatever for his insanity as the loveable jackass who is a player and screws over any famous woman dumb enough to date him. He did immortalize J.Love Hewitt, break Team Aniniston’s dirty bird needs and keep Jessica Simpson guessing which end was up. The point is, after Continuem I was like, ugh Mayer is getting lame musically. What happend to ‘Room For Squares’ which got me through the month after Sept. 11th. In a live vs. recorded Taylor Swift version, this one wins. Tay’s vocals don’t even show up til the last 1/4 of the song and he certainly doesn’t need her guitar skills but he is playing Madonna and courting a younger audience so go for it Johnny Boy.

4. Leighton Meester feat. Robin Thicke “Somebody To Love” makes me giggle. In the video, the offspring of a mother who served prison time, looks like any other vapid club girl who is terminally bored, uses sex as a way to pass a few minutes and is all bones. Mr. Thicke , oh yeah, we love Robin, actually sings that she is approaching him like a PUDDY CAT…..no, Robin WTF? Well, he even makes that sound smooth and then goes on to promise to buy this club wench a pair of shoes! Shoes? Well if that isn’t proof of true love then hell what’s a fornicating club rat doing wrong?

Poor Britney, she should take note that her lackluster video for the equally lackluster cast off single ‘3’  the only new song on her ‘Singles’ offering, should have been club and limo writhing like this instead of trying to be a dance routine where she hangs on a bar and badly lip syncs. You are the master of the lip-sync…..sigh, I’m too bummed out by that video, let’s get back to Leighton. Sing in French Baby Girl.

5. Miley Cyrus “Party In The USA” this just won’t die for me. Every time I hear it, I gotta swing my hips like WOAH get to a chiropractor!

I am also a HUGE fan of Ms. Pixie Lott, who I’ve mentioned before and the girl has a great set of pipes. She totally dresses sparkley, fun and reminds me of my dear friend, Sam who lives in London. I think some stylist must follow Sam on Facebook and stole her look for Pixie. “A good beat never hurt no one” and that’s damn right in the song “Boys And Girls.”

Finally, if you haven’t said “Yes” to Snow Patrol’s latest single? WHY NOT? It’s superfanstasical.

All I can say is I’m dancing now. Happy Hump Day!

She’s Just Being Miley…Ramble

Miley Cyrus has been on my mind a lot this August with her hit “Party In The USA” an unstoppable gail force in my mind on repeat. Then she was swinging her hips, um yeah, at the Teen Choice Awards on an ice cream stripper pole…hmm, who’s head is in the gutter here protesting parents? Are you the same people who film your kids singing Flo Rida? (and yes those who know/love me will notice this dude mentions how George Michael’s “I Want Your Sex” video was banned back in the day & how I love that.)


As a former Disney Cast Member (aka employee it’s a Mouse House thang), I did have a raised eyebrow during her hip thrusts, but in the end, for me everything can simply be explained away with ‘She’s just being Miley’ from her song “See You Again,” which was the first song that caught my pop-loving ears. I couldn’t get enough of it.

Yes, I’ve always had an affinity for the brighter side of life. As a music programmer I was often dubbed the Teen Queen, but that doesn’t mean my taste didn’t evolve as my positions at work did the same so after eight years of music programming and a degree in music, I can tell you there is nothing wrong with the saucy greatness of Miley! She comes from a musical family as we all know her dad’s hit “Achy Breaky Heart” and her step-brother Trace’s band Metrostation…oh come on now, I know you’ve found your own hips have a will of their own once “Shake It” comes on the radio.

Back to Miley though, now there is an even bigger sign that Miley will make it from teen star to bonafide popstar in her own right. No, I’m not talking about Vh1 including her in their annual Divas show, which this year seems to ‘kiss the ring’ belonging to Sony (Leona, Adele, Kelly Clarkson and Jordin Sparks?!) minus Miley. I’m talking about Miley crossing over to the Fire Island Gay set!

The recipe is 1 part “Party In The USA”, plus a dash of beach, add five gays in rainbow colored bathing suits splashing around like Sandy in ‘Grease’ minus the rhythm, blend with film frames to move from one scene to the next and you have “Fire Island Pines” aka Miley’s Expansion Into Main Gay America! :

The seven things I like about Miley….
1) Her voice, it has depth to it
2) She quit the addiction that is Twitter and made a craptastic rap video about why she left:

3) Walmart line just launched with the wonderfully talented Max Azaria and pieces are already sold out. There are pieces that are $10 bucks! Hello, if I were a small person I could get that with my allowance.
4) Vanity Fair cover was shot by Annie Leibovitz, who also was the last person to photograph John Lennon, one of Miley’s musical loves. Miley also apologized for adults who took advantage of her while she’s just being a teen growing up in the spotlight.
5) Hannah Montana- sticking it out for season four even when the mouse house was gun shy on support for her Teen Choice controversy.
6) She sparked a dance battle on YouTube that had millions of views worldwide (youtube Miley & Mandy show)
7) A triple threat, Miley is the only one ever nominated for Teen Choice Awards in TV, Music & Film.