So… 13 year old Rebecca Black started taking voice, and dance lessons at the age of 10. She joined a “patriotic singing group” which performed in more than 50 shows. At age 11 she signed with a modeling agency and starred in a local commercial. Now at 13 she has landed the lead role in her middle school’s version of “Oklahoma” and she has made her first music video. Here’s “Friday.”
My first thought was, “What is a 13 year old is doing painted up and driving around with “car” aged kids in the middle of the night?” But after I turned off my brain’s “automated Mom response” mechanism, all I could think was “Poor baby.” This video has had over 2 million views on YouTube and the feedback has been overwhelmingly negative. Remember that sickening “I wish the earth would swallow me whole” feeling you got when you were in junior high and you did something embarrassing and it felt like the whole world was watching and pointing and laughing? Yeah, well what if the whole world actually WAS watching and pointing and laughing?
Of course my sympathetic response begs the question, has Beautiful lost her Mind? Does she actually like this song? No, I think it’s awful. But I’m old and my dislike is in the natural order of things. I honestly don’t think she’s any worse than any other tween idol market creation out there today. It’s just that her song and video are more poorly produced. I feel like a bit of a ghoul even posting the poor girl’s shame but, in my defense, I truly hope she can use the viral success of this video to launch a nice, college nest egg building 15 minutes of fame. Besides, when I post these viral videos it drives traffic to my blog! What can I say? I have attention seeking issues. So mock the poor girl if you must. Just look at ME while you do it!
Chad and Jeremy are a British folk rock duo but they achieved their biggest commercial success here in the US. Their first hit was called “A Summer Song” (1964). Since March around these parts has meandered in like a sweet if slightly wobbly new born lamb, we are filled with hope for an early spring and pleasant summer.
March is the time when I start to make serious plans for my summer fun. Even though March has just started I’m starting to have angst! Most of my favorite nerd events have little or no news about summer happenings yet. There’s no word from Cinematic Titanic, Rifftrax, or w00tstock. Dragon*Con is a go but so far there’s no one on the guest list that seems worth making the effort to travel down to Atlanta to meet. So far the only bright spot is the North American Discworld Con coming up in July. Other than that it looks like I may be facing a horrifyingly geek free summer! I sure hope events start getting announced soon or I may have to turn to drugs. or worse yet, SPORTS!
As promised, here is the final chapter in my riveting travel saga. Even though India Arie is a 21st century artist, she was born in the 70’s so I decided it counts! Plus I have a total girl crush on her. I picked the song “Little Things” because I want to talk about a couple of little things that made me smile in Michigan.
I am absent minded. Again, it is part of my charm. I’ve never burnt anything down or blown anything up with my forgetfulness but I did once take off on a road trip without any shoes. That should give you some idea of just how “charming” I am. One thing I almost never seem to forget is my camera. I have lugged it to nearly every nerd gathering I’ve been to for the past 2-3 years and I have yet to snap a single photo. A couple other people have snapped pics on my camera for me (usually with disatrous results) but I haven’t taken one… until now. Were they photos of the fantastic friends I met along the way? Why no of course not! Were they photos of the stars of the fantastic show I saw? Don’t be silly. Ladies and gentlemen, I now present to you the two photos that I, the right Reverend (yes, really a reverend) Beautiful O. Mind, took during the Detroit Tweet-up:
First up, this beauty from the night table in my hotel room:
It’s a No-Smoking ashtray. That’s right, a No-Smoking ASHTRAY! It just… I can’t… huh?
Riddle: What kind of garden is still fragrant and beautiful in February in Michigan?
I bought two ridiculously expensive truffles and savored them a nibble at a time all the way home. I am now of the opinion that all of life’s journeys should end with expensive chocolate. Look for my self help book with the same title out next Fall.
“Mountain Greenery” was written by Rogers and Hart for the 1926 edition of the musical revue “The Garrick Gaieties.” There were three editions altogether. One in 1925, one in 1926, and the last one in 1930. The review was named after the theater in which it was performed.
This particular version of the song was performed in season one of the “Dick Van Dyke Show” on episode 28 “The Sleeping Brother.” It’s the second part of a two parter with special guest star Jerry Van Dyke as Stacy Petrie. It’s one of my favorite episodes so I watched parts 1 and 2 on Hulu last night.
In this episode Rob and Laura throw a cocktail party and a dinner party both in same week! Just watching that is enough to give a poor introvert like me hives! To me throwing parties feels like a lot more work and stress than fun so I don’t entertain… or I didn’t for as long as I could get away with it. Last year the Beautiful Girl got to the age where all her friends were having birthday parties and so, for the love of the child, I threw a party for the first time in my adult life. It was fine. I’ll do it again this year but I’ll never love it. I’ve often wondered if I’d be more inclined to entertain if I had a housewife to handle all the details. Of course she’d have to be a dude to make it really work for me so it might be tough to find the right person. Ah well, maybe one day I’ll put an ad on Craigslist and see what happens!
The super group The Dirty Mac performed together only one time on December 11, 1968 for The Rolling Stones Rock And Roll Circus TV special. This was the first time John Lennon performed without the Beatles. It’s nice to see the lad was able to muddle through somehow. =)
When I first heard “Yer Blues” I thought it was a parody. I thought John was mocking the whole blues culture notion that a song with a message of misery can make people feel better. Today I read that John said in a Rolling Stone interview that the song was not a parody. He said it was an actual reflection of his state of mind at the time he wrote it. All I have to say about that is “yipes!” Yoko “Destroyer Of Beatles” Ono has taken a lot of flack over the years. I’ve even made my fair share of jokes at her expense even though I really have nothing against the woman. But assuming she’s the “girl” mentioned in the song, she’s probably the reason we had John here with us as long as we did. I think we all owe her a big apology. I’m thinking giant cookie and balloon bouquet but I’m open to suggestions.
A friend of mine pointed out that the message in this video is quite similar to the messages in the “It Gets Better” project videos. I agree.
For folks who don’t know about the “It Gets Better” project, it was developed in response to the recent rash of senseless suicides of LGBT youth. Some caring adults made a series of short videos with messages of hope. Here’s one of them that got quite a bit of buzz. I don’t watch the show but apparently this guy is from “Project Runway.”
NOTE: I want to preface my comments by saying that this story has a happy ending. No children will be killed in the making of this blog.
Children’s TV in the 70s often told us it was okay to be different. Of course back then “different” mainly meant “ethnic” or “a girl” but it was a start! It was a great thing for me to hear since I fit the 70s definition of different to a tee. It wasn’t so helpful for my best friend in high school though. He wasn’t ethnic or a girl but he was “different.”
We met in English class in junior year of high school. He was a huge movie buff and a hell of a good writer* so we became fast friends. We ate lunch together, studied together, we read each other’s writing, and we spent hours and hours on the phone talking about absolutely nothing. The thing we loved doing most of all though, was going to movies and sitting at the back of the theater and cracking jokes at the screen. (Foreshadowing!)
One summer morning when we were both 16, my friend showed up at my door and announced that he had just taken way too many of his mom’s tranquilizers and that he needed to talk. Now, selfless humanitarian that I was, the first thought that went through my mind was that I was not allowed to have boys in the house when no one was home and that if he OD’d on my living room floor I was gonna be so grounded! He seemed a bit sleepy eyed and he slurred his speech a little but he didn’t seem anywhere near death’s door so let him in I did.
I can’t remember the sparkling teenage conversation we had before he worked up the nerve to come out to me. I don’t even remember what my response was though I know it was generally accepting. I just remember him sitting on our couch crying and saying over and over “I didn’t want this. Please, I don’t want to be gay.” I don’t think it struck me then but it certainly does now how monstrously unfair it is that he should have been made to feel so terrible about his difference while we the brown skinned and X chromosomed were being so eagerly encouraged to celebrate ours.
At the time I, of course, did what all red blooded Americans do when faced with a person who is experiencing painful and uncomfortable emotions. I did everything in my power to make it stop! I tried hugging but that just made it “worse” so I tried ice cream which, of course, always helps at least a little. Finally I resorted to the thing we loved best. I turned on the TV and we sat and made fun of movies. Here’s the funny thing about it though. It turned out that for him laughter was the best medicine! That first day I don’t think either of us was up to a full blown heart to heart dialogue, but we both felt comfortable slipping occasional jokes about his newly declared sexuality into the conversation.**
I’d love to sit here and write that my consciously developed and ingenious movie riffing therapy saved a life that day but that’s clearly not what happened. I just turned on the TV and helped an already very strong kid laugh during a really rough patch. I was just a self centered (meaning normal) 16 year old kid who kicked her suicidal and probably still quite high friend out at precisely 4:30 to avoid getting grounded for having a boy in the house. To my credit though I did make him promise not to take any more pills and to call me the minute he got home. He did call, that night and nearly every night thereafter for the rest of high school. There’s a picture on the wall behind me of the two of us smiling arm in arm on graduation day.
We went separate ways for college but we still keep in touch. He’s a counselor for at risk youth in the LA area and, at this point, there are probably many other people out there who owe their lives to the fact that he chose not to end his that day. LGBT youth will probably never see anything I write but if I were going to send a message it would probably be not only does it get better for you, it might also get better for the people whose lives you touch. Please stick around!
*still is a huge movie fan and a hell of a good writer.
**We did eventually get comfortable talking about it.