Call for Feature Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

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Thursday, Feb 19, 2009

If there’s one thing Rockstar Games knows how to do, it’s get its product noticed; anyone who’s been following the rollout of their just-released expansion to massive 2008 hit Grand Theft Auto IV knows that such a maxim even applies to downloadable add-ons. 


What Rockstar has here is a news brief from “Weazel News”, the fictional news station dreamed up for the Grand Theft Auto universe.  It functions well as a trailer because it sets up the story of the add-on in a fairly unconventional way. Where it slips is in the bookended news flashes, whose juvenile brand of sub-Onion humor simply exists to make teenage boys guffaw and their moms gasp in horror. Granted, this sort of “shock” humor is par for the course when it comes to Rockstar, but at least they’re presenting their game in a way that sets it, and them, apart.



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Thursday, Feb 19, 2009

Submitted to the Unnecessary Remakes of 2009 Sweepstakes: Tony Scott’s amped-up-looking cover of Joseph Sargent’s great 1974 thriller The Taking of Pelham 123. With Denzel Washington as Walter Matthau and John Travolta as Robert Shaw.  In theaters June 12.



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Wednesday, Feb 18, 2009

YouTube has already emerged as the contemporary site for V-blogging and individual media. Divas like Miss B. Scott, for example, take very little overhead to produce celebrity and local star interviews that manage to captivate 42,000 subscribers. At last count, B. Scott Ep #115: Accept Yourself, one of my favorite flicks had 83,705 viewers, and 842 comments. “Ay, Love Muffins,” B. Scoot always addresses us as viewers with the typical dance music intros. It’s not just “LOL” for these net freaks. B. Scott has much to say.


Certainly, what may have drawn many users to Timaya is that he’s a young queen, and is superficially read to traverse the same gender lines as those old comedians. Sometimes he is angry, loud, wise-cracking. He has an entire skit where he and reads one of his “stank co-workers” for reporting for duty smelling like shrimp, or “some damn straight up tilapia, girl! Go on home and scrub it with some Dove!” Reading, accordingly to elder queen Dorian Carey in the famed voyeuristic flick Paris is Burning is “is the real art of insult.” Timaya said: “” I, too, was ROFLMAO (rolling on the floor laughing may ass off), but Timaya is more than just funny.


Black comedians like Flip Wilson, Eddie Murphy Martin Lawrence and Jamie Fox stand in a long tradition of black men emasculating themselves in order to appeal to mainstream audiences. Martin’s ghetto queen Shanaynay became a pop cult, a vessel for all of America to safely focus ridicule of black womanhood; these black men built their careers riding this ship. Whereas acts as early as Jackie Wilson’s Ret Petit showed black men intentionally emasculating themselves in order to appear less threatening to the masses, the modern muscled thug is commercially available today in records stores precisely because in reality these thugs are under the heavy hand of the prison industrial complex. Like Al Jolson in blackface, these comedians made their careers off of the age old portrayal of the ‘angry black bitch’, making a minstrel show Black women in order to cross-over- a term laced with internalized racism that it’s cyanide. Timaya has her loud bitch moments. Yet one also see the more contemplative sides like in the video The Price for Being Gay parts 1 and 2.


These users are out. Not compromising themselves in order to go platinum yields their ability to actually tap into the masculine and feminine sides of themselves. They cannot be emasculated, for they claim the masculine and feminine in themselves. This sincerity, this lack of deception appeals to viewers, captivating so many subscribers who seek entertainment beyond the hype. Eddie Murphy swished and sashayed across stage in his ‘80s stand-up routine phenomenon that released in theaters nationwide. Pull over! Pull over Murphy said with a heavy, affected lisp and a heavy, affected limp wrist mocking “faggots,” as he says. Eddie’s crowd roared. Watching Raw in the cinema hall back in Louisville, I cowered in my seat. Ridiculing anything feminine seems to fit with the purview of crossover fever. Yet, B. Scott wears lipstick because B. Scott wears lipstick. And, Timaya goes about gender bending just a bit more sincerely, a bit more true to self, and does so fearlessly not fearfully begging to make a buck. And perhaps this is part and parcel of the net. Through massive humor and poignant punches, Timaya deals with such diverse topics from pop culture and politics in the news, to a thread of negativity on gay websites. Timaya even gives advice about what to do about school or cyber bullies- something every sissy has had to deal with. We’re free to be ourselves so that we can accurately portray ourselves.


 


Gays Pediphiles and Thugs Part 1: My Response to Ignorance



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Wednesday, Feb 18, 2009

Brooklyn’s Plushgun released their latest album Pins and Panzers yesterday and today we’ve got a super poppy track off that release for your listening pleasure. “How We Roll” is a catchy slab of synth pop, while the Andrew WK remix we also have for you sounds like a club-ready hit waiting to happen. This the kind of just plain, fun joyous pop that lodges in your head for days.


Plushgun
“How We Roll” [MP3]
     


“How We Roll (Andrew WK Remix)” [MP3]
     


“Just Impolite” [MP3]
     


TOUR DATES
Feb 18 2009 Stranded in Stereo Presents The Rumble @ Fontana’s 21+    NY, New York
Feb 19 2009 PAPER @ Harper’s Ferry 18+    Boston, Massachusetts
Mar 12 2009 Wrongbar @ Canadian Music Week   Toronto
Mar 13 2009 Wrongbar @ Canadian Music Week   Toronto
Mar 14 2009 The Academy   Montreal
Mar 18 2009 The Spot   Cleveland, Ohio
Mar 25 2009 Sala Sidecar   Barcelona
Mar 26 2009 Sala Matisse   Valencia
Mar 27 2009 Cafe La Palma   Madrid
Mar 28 2009 Moby Dick   Madrid



Tagged as: plushgun
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Wednesday, Feb 18, 2009
by PopMatters Staff

CYNE has compiled a mixtape for XLR8R called CYNE’s Hip-Hop Experience with all sorts of stuff from J Dilla to Afrika Bambaataa to Ludacris. Last year Andrew Martin thought highly of Pretty Dark Things and said it would “no doubt be lost on listeners looking for a quick hip-hop fix. But for all you underground heads looking for something new and different, on the production end at least, this album awaits you.” This mixtape is for that very same audience. [via XLR8R]


CYNE
CYNE’s Hip-Hop Experience [MP3]
     



Tagged as: cyne
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