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Thursday, Sep 30, 2010

The Google is connected to the government…Continuing in the vein of M.I.A’s cryptically revolutionary statements, miss Maya has crafted a new video that speaks of connections, without actually saying anything about them. Confoundingly enough, this short (less than a minute) video even has its own website.  However, MIA’s well-publicized baggage aside, this brief piece plays a bit like an early Cabaret Voltaire sound audio-terrorist sound collage, subversive sonically.


Tagged as: m.i.a.
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Friday, Aug 27, 2010
It never fails that the barrage of Back-to-School advertisements that flits across my television screen from roughly July 5 to about right now still causes me to cry out in anguish.

It is mid-morning on August 23, 2010, and school bells all over the mid-Atlantic region are ringing once again. My academic year does not begin for another week, but, essentially, my summer is over as well. This week marks the beginning of my annual scramble to get prepared for the onslaught of the fall (and eventually spring) term. Finalizing my course syllabi, reading all the new books that I have assigned for the upcoming semester, triple checking the campus bookstore to ensure that all of those books have been ordered—all tasks that will keep my busy this week and that will bring my summer to a screeching halt.


Since I have been at this teaching thing for just about a decade now—and since I had a career as a student than spanned pretty much 2/3 of my life prior to purchasing large packets of red pens—I should not continue to be surprised when mid-August finds all manner of stress and trepidation bubbling to the surface of my consciousness. I have found that being “on the opposite side of the desk”, as the saying goes, does not make the beginning of any academic year significantly less anxiety-inducing than when I was searching for the latest Trapper Keeper design, or pair of Reebok Pump shoes, or copy of OK Computer, or edition of Foucault’s Discipline and Punish. Therefore, it never fails that the barrage of Back-to-School advertisements that flits across my television screen from roughly July 5 to about right now still causes me to cry out in anguish. (At the same time, snow days still bring me immeasurable amounts of giddy joy.)


Having said all that, I have to give credit to Brigham Young University, specifically the members of the Harold B. Lee Library Multimedia Production Crew, for producing what is probably the best Back-to-School ad this season. Riffing on the popular Old Spice campaign, Stephen Jones and co. make studying sound immensely more delicious than, say, the folks over at Ross do—despite the cotton candy:


Regardless of where and when you study, here’s to a great academic year for teachers and students alike. May the upcoming months bring all of us many celestial sandwiches. Oh, and a few A papers, too.


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Tuesday, Aug 24, 2010
A young tapper confronts his own demons through dance and joins the group of dancers invited to join the LXD in the series' first-season finale.

A blind prophet shares the tale of Copeland, a gifted but troubled tapper who is haunted by shadows of his own imagination. The final dance sequence of the season is well-executed, layered with dance, music and the prophet’s voice-over as Copeland works to dance through his own demons. In the second half of the episode, we see the dancers invited to the LXD throughout the season meeting on the road to the LXD’s secret hideout as they prepare to face their destiny.


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Thursday, Aug 19, 2010
A group of nerdy LXD fans push themselves and try to prove themselves worthy to join the group.

In an amusingly self-aware move, this episode of the LXD features an AV club going through the process of developing their skills and fame in hopes of being invited to the LXD. 


The fanboys replicate the global dance video sharing culture which lead to the creation of the LXD series in their own journey, with three of the fanboys continuing long after the others have quit, achieving the level of the Legion through sheer determination and enthusiasm.


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Monday, Aug 9, 2010
An unsuspecting young man discovers a pair of magical shoes that compel him to dance.

This episode features the LXD series debut of Glee dance ringer Harry Shum Jr. Shum plays Elliot Hoo, who pulls out a hollow wall to discover a pair of sneakers which pull him out of bed and compel him to dance.


Elliot is at first just a witness to his shoe-directed moves but gives in and becomes one with the movement, participating willingly then gaining control of the movements.


In true superhero fashion, Elliot wears glasses in the beginning and takes them off as he gains control and confidence in his new-found role as a super-dancer, ala Clark Kent (who removes his glasses when changing into his Superman persona).


This is a pure dance showcase episode, and a one of the best of the season. Shum is a tremendously engaging and skilled dancer, and it’s good to have him on-board the LXD, both for the ratings he’ll draw from Glee fans and his talented pop-and-lock style.


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