Follow-up: Meatloaf Edition

In the spirit of last Wednesday medley, here are some pie charts that show what Meatloaf will and won't do for love:

He Never Said Anything About Covering Old Celine Dion Songs, Though

Thank you for that Daniel Carlson.


Medley of the Day: Powerhouse Divas Edititon

First up, Bonnie Tyler's nonsensical ode to bright eyes, "Total Eclipse of the Heart":

Speaking of ridiculously epic songs, Celine Dion's "It's All Coming Back to Me Now":

And just because the previous two songs always blend in to this one for me, Meatloaf's "I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)":


Awesome Cultural Exposure of the Day: Humorous Physicist Edition

Today's BYU forum featured physicist Dr. Brian Greene of string theory fame. I became a fan my junior year of high school when I saw the PBS NOVA special called The Elegant Universe.* You could probably point to Brian Greene for any pop cultural reference of string theory since he makes the information so accessible. Anyone who is really excited about science and explains it well is automatically great in my book.** And if you're actually funny, even better.*** My favorite moment was the beginning of his speech when he got into character (the introducer mentioned Brian Greene's work in such films as Frequency) and stated one of his lines: "Hey, that's a good question." It just got more awesome from there as he recounted the history of how we think of space and time. Maybe I'll actually read one of his books someday...

Plus, this picture is adorable.

*You should totally watch it online, it's fascinating.
**Bill Nye, I'm looking at you.
***"Let's Talk About Stress" is the greatest parody song ever created, if only because of the source material.


Tear Jerkiest Moment of the Day: Retrospective childhood edition

In The Goonies when Sean Astin starts philosophizing about how Goonies never say die.

I think this may have more to do with how much I love Sean Astin as Sam in LOTR and thinking of Jemaine (also adorable) from Flight of the Conchords parodying him.


Sex Ed: we should have some

I have a new roommate this semester who is very sweet and naive. She knows a lot about France and dietetics. Sex, not so much. My roommates and I have answered many questions that she has. My favorites include:
-What is S&M?
-What is an orgy?
-How do a tall guy and short girl have sex?
-How do horses/elephants have sex? (the answer involved a stick figure rendering by me)

I can only chalk these questions up to her living a very sheltered childhood. I think/hope she understands the basic understanding of what sex is, but this is not an uncommon problem. My health classes spoke about sex in very veiled terms and I never had "the talk" with my parents (although once in a while my mom would randomly say something blunt, so in no way was I ignorant).

But really, would it hurt to improve the sexual education of our children? I'm all for advocating abstinence, but I think people should understand how their bodies work. A lot of what I've learned about sexuality comes from television which then compelled me to look things up (the internet or otherwise). It's such a huge part of a person's identity to leave a mystery. We are taught how babies are made, but what about the getting there part?I wish somebody would have sat me down or in a health class explained the mechanics of it all so I didn't have to find the information on my own.

I belong to the LDS church, which certainly doesn't shy away from discussing its importance. But what is it that we're talking about exactly? Veiling the language so much and never discussing what actually happens can be detrimental. I've heard horror stories (I'm sure they're pretty rare) of girls who feel violated on their wedding night because chastity had been drilled into their head so much. Lack of education also leads to unwanted pregnancy and STD's. This shouldn't be happening.

I think parents and teachers should be more willing to talk about sex and sexuality with children. It's leaving kids to try to figure out something very powerful and sometimes overwhelming on their own. Wouldn't a better route be to create an environment where they have access to accurate information and feel comfortable asking questions? This benefits anyone who at some point in their lives is going to have sex. It's such a big deal, people should know what's going to happen, how to protect themselves, and how to control pregnancy--in and out of marriage. It's someone's own choice as to whether or not they have sex and when, but they shouldn't remain uneducated about the choice.

I really shouldn't be explaining to another college student some basics about sex. But then again, I had to find this information on my own, and that's something we should fix.


Medley of the day: Kind of Obscure Mellow Pop/Rock Edition

"Alison" by Elvis Costello (live)

"Beware of Darkness" by George Harrison (tribute video)

"Handle With Care" by The Traveling Wilburys (yes, more George Harrison, but with Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty, and Bob Dylan. All in the same band = awesome.)


Clothes: a vicious circle

Why do I have so many clothes? In the past few months I have gotten rid of 2(!) garbage bags of clothing. This is ridiculous. I bet there are naked people in the street who would love to have my clothing. At the current moment (just having purged my closet again) I think I'm at an average amount of clothing. I got rid of stuff I never wear and stuff that was too gross to wear.

But what this comes down to, ultimately, is that my mom needs to stop buying me so much clothing. Every once in a while I need some need shirts, a new pair of jeans, a coat, but not all the time. I do like new clothes, but I have so many that I don't really like that much. For Christmas/my birthday (within 2 weeks of each other) pretty much all I get clothes--even if I request something else. Combine that with being too lazy to take them back and I end up with lots of clothes.

Anyway, I think I'm going to go shopping this weekend to buy some stuff that will replace the worn out things I got rid of and I'll hopefully get a lot of use out of. I hope I don't overflow my closet again.


Blogs of a specific purpose

So I've recently fallen upon some entertaining blogs with very specific purposes.

The first one is dedicated to passive-aggressive notes found in shared spaces. I've witnessed many notes like this in my college apartment experience:

The second one has been misinterpreting bad punctuation since 2005. Check out the greatest hits:
The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks

Lastly, a new favorite of mine called Stuff White People Like. Let me just say, it's very accurate. My favorites include #81 Graduate School and #77 Musical Comedy:
Stuff White People Like


Tear Jerkiest Moment of the Day: Mid 90s Edition

"So-Called Angels", the Christmas episode from My So-Called Life. Teen angst, social awareness, angels, and family togetherness. What a wonderfully tearjerky mixture.


Film Criticism: A Criticism

Movie critics, for the most part, are overrated. Do we really need someone to tell us that the new Jessica Alba movie is going to be awful? Most trailers give a pretty decent idea what the film will be like. If you can't tell that 27 Dresses reverses the feminist movement even by its very title, there's something wrong with your judgment system.

But my biggest beef is the need to say if something is either good/bad or rated with stars, ignoring the variance of skill and creativity that goes into to filmmaking Maybe because films are a form of mass media, we feel the need to judge movies based on mass appeal. But even when critics do look deeper at a film with lesser immediate appeal, most of the public ignores them--quality movies go unnoticed and lazy films make millions upon millions of dollars.

I guess I should define what I mean by "quality movie". I'm talking about a movie that has clearly been thought through thoroughly: if the script is well polished, the set design reflect the themes/characters/time period, the music enhances the film, the cinematography helps the audience to experience the film, the editing supports the tension, I could go on. Basically, all aspects of film are well thought out and support the purpose of the film for the intended audience. If it's a comedy, there should be good comedic timing with the actors, editing, and music; it obviously won't have sweeping and dramatic shots--that would be inappropriate. But a film that has a goal and sticks to it is a pretty good one right off the bat. Clearly there's room for preference within this definition, but I can acknowledge that even a film I disliked was a quality, well made film.

Unfortunately, some people cannot get passed certain aspects of a movie, so they call it bad. For many, The Village was terrible. I'll admit the ending felt cheap and contrived, but the rest of it was wonderful. The costuming, cinematography, and musical were gorgeous and lush, creating a surreal atmosphere. For me, Pride & Prejudice (2005) was terrible, but the tone of it was consistent in the music, costumes, and script adaptation. I could probably rant about my complaints about the film, but what it would come down to is that it didn't fit my preferences and my tastes. That doesn't make the movie bad, per se, just not my favorite. A wise friend once mentioned that people want to see a movie that fits their expectations and are disappointed when directors/writers/producers create something else. It's not their movie, they don't have to see it, so why act like the victim? (Again, I'm talking about quality movies. You can complain all you want about the terrible movies your friends make you see.)

I recently stumbled upon a film site that's seems fairly well established, but I soon realized how limited the criticism is. Case in point: There Will Be Blood. This was one of my favorite movies released in 2007. Granted, it's not everyone's cup of tea: it has slower pacing than most films and leaves out a lot of exposition that would explain why the lead character is the way he is. Whatever. But to take issue with the questions the film raises. I personally like a movie that makes me think. Maybe it's because I also love literature, but are we so illiterate a country that we need themes, characters, or motifs spoon fed to us? I understand that films cost a lot to make, so mass acceptance is just being economical, but surely there are many moviegoers who love to think about the art of film. This movie obviously rubbed the reviewer the wrong way, so he ignored how the very aspects he hated supported the film as a whole. I'm at a loss for how much that review hurt my faith in people and their thinking skills.

So, I guess my point is that I love movies--especially good ones--and I love good commentary on films. Unfortunately, most of it drives me crazy, which is why I've reduced my review reading mostly to Pajiba. Although a little crude, it features review from smart, knowledgeable people who take the time to pick out the good aspects in well made films and insult the horrible aspects in lazy ones. If anyone knows any other good reviewers, let me know. I'd love to check them out. And take care to hate movies with good reasoning. After all, rants are so much more fun when they're well supported.