Whether it’s a summer blockbuster or the latest Billboard chart topper or Mom’s apple pie, anyone with the ability to assemble a series of sounds has become the next Simon Cowell. That means YOU and ME but mostly THEY.
Michael Bay Movies
Was Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen
the greatest movie ever? Not even close. Does Michael Bay deserve to be lampooned occasionally by real social critics
? Absolutely. But operative word here, is "real." Which means not these guys
. Yet like so many others these two individuals use excessively descriptive words and phrases like "boring," "terrible," and "everything wrong with movies today." The specificity train is banging on all cylinders now! So why all the Michael Bay hatred? Namely, because his movies have committed the cardinal sin of being excessively commercialized, featuring no real character or plot development, and having way too many special effects. And, after all, movie goers bounding towards a movie like Transformers
or Bad Boys
want to experience the kind of thought provoking, self-reflection inducing experience Bertolt Brecht was talking about. And in a movie like Armageddon
the only thing more important than properly assembled mise-en-scéne is a transcendent performance from the leading man. So obviously, Bruce Willis is first choice.
For those of you lost amidst the sarcasm and Film School term/name dropping, the point is simply this: why does anyone care that Michael Bay's movies are so commercialized? That's what we want to see in a movie like Revenge of the Fallen
. If Megatron suddenly realized that good and evil are simply two sides to one coin and through self-reflection one can alienate one's self from the reality of good and evil and reach a new plateau of consciousness via an extended "there is no spoon
" speech/sequence, Transformers would have sucked because….wait for it
….that kind of thing is out of place in a movie about robots that come to Earth. So, to the two guys in the video and everyone who has ever hated on Michael Bay movies: Point taken, Michael Bay's movies are just a series of explosions punctuated by weak attempts at humor and acting. So in that sense, they suck. But if his movies were anything else, they would REALLY suck.
All Things "Emo"
Yet another touchy subject, I want to first assure you I am not taking up the "Emo's Are Normal People
" flag or attempting to play devil's advocate. But thanks to the fact that this particular trend is so soundly despised by the majority of the population, so many have taken it upon themselves to become Van Helsing in an attempt to weed out the few weak and virulent emo's left on our planet. Here's the thing: all things emo suck. True. But not all things that suck are emo. Which brings us to our next thing people who have no idea what they're talking about love to rip on.
Read the following lyrics: "Another sleepless night again/ Hotel rooms my only friend / And friends like that just don't add up to anything /"….and this passage: "I've felt the hate rise up in me / Kneel down and clear the stone of leaves / I wander out where you can't see / Inside my shell I wait and bleed…" and yet another piece: "And now it's my time / It's my time to dream / Dream of the sky / Make me believe that this place isn't plagued by the poison in me…"
Ok let's take a closer look, do we sense a disturbance in the Force? Inanimate objects referenced as only hopes at friendship? Check. At least one reference to hate/bleeding? Check. References to dreams, the sky, and being infected by a poetically ambiguous poison/contagion? Check. So, we have our culprit then? Not at all. The above selections are "Home" by Staind/Aaron Lewis, "Wait and Bleed" by Slipknot/Corey Taylor, and "I Stand Alone" by Godsmack/Sully Urna, respectively. In no way can any one of these front men be labeled "emo," much less these songs, much less these bands. What about "Home"? It features a pained but subdued melody accented by emotionally charged vocals and subject matter. In short, it's a beautiful song. But it's still not emo because…..wait for it….not all things emotional or reflective are "emo." So, to everyone out there who carries speakers around with "Raining Blood" on stand by in order to drive the daywalkers away, direct all your ferocity at the real enemy: the emo's themselves. And remember that Brandon Lee (RIP) was the original "The Crow" and he was a total badass.
Social Networking Websites
People who had no lives before the MyFaceBucketTwittSpaceBook Age just jumped off of bridges or went out on blind dates with inflatable people. Now, those people can tell everyone about how much they hated the latest Michael Bay film before buying shoe laces in bulk. So yes, most social networking websites are lame and are populated with mostly lame people (and yes, I am one of them). But people who rip on social networking websites can basically be divided into two categories: people who aren't on a social networking website and rip on them for years and then join anyway (Peer Pressure wins again, let's show him what he won Bob!) and people who are on one social networking website and like to rip on all the others they aren't on before joining them too. So let's face it, whether it's Myspace, Facebook, or Twitter: everyone has done it, is doing it, or will be doing it at some time in the near future. And yes, it's pretty lame. But what's more lame is a status update or a tweet about how lame social networking websites are. So pick your poison.
Oops, looks like just about everyone else left. A comedic article commenting on popular culture just took a political turn, NO!!!!! But please, brave readers, venture on. Because I'm not here to praise capitalism as much as I am here to rip on those who rip on it, because they have no idea what they're talking about. Yes, I realize my comment stats probably just took a spike in both number and "anti-me" sentiments, but I don't care. Most people who rip on capitalism are the kind of people who live in houses, buy things at grocery stores, wear clothes bought at department/clothing stores, watch movies at movie theaters, eat at restaurants occasionally, and read Cracked.com on computers bought from a number of manufacturers. If none of these things apply to you and you want to rip on capitalism, I refrain from depositing this dialogue at your door. But you also might want to make sure Ma and Pa don't catch you on the computer, unless you are currently in the Rumspringa
period of your life. For everyone else, capitalism sucks. But not as much as socialism or communism does.
So yes, capitalism results in greedy corporations controlling the flow of cash and goods in this country. It creates corporate overlords who are motivated by greed and success who have little concern for the common man other than as a consumer. But those greedy, evil men won't do the grubby tasks of carrying out their malevolent visions themselves, so capitalism also creates jobs (or henchmen, depending on how you look at it). And the flow of cash and goods is going to be controlled by someone, whether it's a myriad of money hungry corporations or the government (which is a pretty terrifying thought, but that's the world we live in). But no matter which way you turn it, capitalism provides us with the goods and services we all need to complain about.
"Heavy metal" mentioned here is going to be used as a broad umbrella term for the one genre (and all of its subgenres) that likely has the most critics. Here is where we come across our first point: people interchangeably use terms for different subgenres of heavy metal to describe ALL music with loud guitars and screaming vocals. This proves to be a great pitfall for everyone who uses the terms like "screamo" and "nu metal" because saying "I hate screamo music!" could mean you hate bands like Silverstein, Chiodos, and Dead Poetic but still like melodic death metal acts like In Flames or Viking Metal like Amon Amarth or German folk metal like Equilibrium. Even more entertaining is when people try to drop artist names in an attempt to make them sound more in tune with the scene (i.e. categorizing Insane Clown Posse as a nu-metal band and using a picture of Mushroomhead as an example of how ridiculous they must look
Most people criticize metal on the grounds that it "all sounds the same." Methinks "they" doth protest too much. To this I must reply…"DUH." That is the point. Just like all country sounds the same, and all rap sounds the same; if the genre didn't sound like itself it wouldn't be itself. And that's not meant as an appeal to Descartes
, that's how simple the issue really is. Those of us that like metal like it because it sounds the same. And those of us who really listen to it know that in actuality, it doesn't really "all sound the same." Just like in actuality if one really listens to country, or rap, or polka (maybe not so much on the last one) one can see that there is variation and difference amidst the homogeny.
Well what makes me the expert? Who died and appointed me guardian of halls of Valhalla? Well, no one actually. But as a musician and someone who has eclectic taste (Andrea Bocelli sits right above Arch Enemy in my playlist, John Williams below Job for a Cowboy, Beethoven above Between the Buried and Me) and the kind of desire to set the record straight, it falls to me to broadcast my message here on Cracked.
And that's the way it is, according to me.