Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Dark Corners of the Internet #1

So, as I randomly do when I'm bore beyond conceivable belief, I had a look around Youtube today, and - as it came on my play list - I decided to look up the video for the Johnny Cash Version of Hurt.

So I watched the video, got a little choked up, then made a big mistake - looked at the comments.

Check it out for moronic idiocy!

Aw Crap. why the hell did I do that to myself. See, Hurt is a cover of a Nine Inch Nails song. Johnny Cash Covered it as his swan song, before he died.

But of course, not one jot of this matters to the moronic portion of the internet. you know the portion that doesn't pay attention to such things as grammar and spelling. to them, all that matters a big ol' argument about which version is better. My idea for this type of rant was to go through individual comments, but I simply dont have the energy to deal with the sheer shitstorm of mental incapacity on that comments page.

What has the human race done to deserve this? Oh, right.

For my part?

I mean, to be honest, I prefer the Cash version. its speaks more to me as a person, and while both versions are powerful, this one means more on my level, because I didnt got threw the things that Trent Reznor went through. but Cash's version is one that can be related to by anyone who has ever reflected on their life.

I mean, clearly it affected Reznor as well. he refers to it as being Johnny Cash's song now, not his.

However It doesn't matter which version of the song is "Better" or "Original". both versions are being sung by men who have gone through hell and back to fight for their lives. At the end of the day, whether its a song about depression like Reznor's version, or a reflection on a life soon to end, Like Cash's, the fact remains that not one single damn person posting on youtube has the right to attack either version.

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

Nipponphiles and Me

Okay, I imagine that this rant is gonna make me a little unpopular, but frankly, I couldn't care less. its my goddamn Journal - doing unpopular rants is one of the benefits of having one.

Anyways, this is a rant I've been meaning to have for a long time. it's one that affects me personally, and its one that affects the people around me.

here's the opening sentence:

Just Because Something Is From Japan, Does Not Make It Cool.

Ah. that feels better.

the above sentence may be a little funny coming from me, but to be honest, who else is it better to come from. much as I'm loathe to admit it, I have a fairly decent perspective on popular Japanese culture. I'm head of an Anime society, for chrissakes.

But even though I like Anime, this doesn't mean that I have to start acting like everything coming out of Japan is the equivalent of Jesus popping into the corner shop for a pint of milk and a chat with the owner.

What has brought this on? well, to be honest, a big part of it is J-Music. I'd like to think I'm fairly diverse in my tastes in music, but to be frank when someone tries to convince me that some pop princess is better just because she's singing in fucking Japanese, I start to have serious doubts about their sanity.

Same goes for J-Rock. To those who know me well, my dislike of generic Metal/Rock/Indie is well known. to be honest, because my music tastes are relatively diverse, it takes a lot for a song to catch my ear these days, and since I'm not that big a radio listener anymore, airplay isn't a factor.


I've listened to J-Rock. It doesn't impress me more than most other rock. it's the same principle as my Previous rant on Independent film - Half the time, it's people trying to go "Look at Me, I'm cultured! I listen to foreign music!"

You want to convince me you're cultured? Go Listen to some Mozart, then we'll talk.

This isn't to say that everyone who is into Japanese pop culture is like this. I know plenty of people in the JMU anime society who aren't, but I've also encountered plenty of people who are. people who are convinced that because it comes from the far off distant land that gave us Pokemon and Playstations, it must be cool.

These are the same kind of people who buy this:

And No, for the record, buying a Hello Kitty Vibrator does not make you cool. It makes you, quite literally, a Wanker.

So, to wrap up. It's okay to like Japanese stuff. hell, I like Japanese stuff - I even watch Godzilla movies for chrissakes, but speaking randomly at me in Japanese and telling me that a band is cool essentially because they're Japanese doesn't impress me. There's plenty of cool Japanese stuff, but lets be honest, theres an ungodly amount of Japanese Shite as well. Seriously:

That Thing doesn't even look comfortable.


Independent "Artistic" Film.

I am starting to get naffed off with my Independent cinema module. Really. To be honest, its got to the point where it pretty much sums up everything that irritates me about film courses.

OKay, those of you who've gone through media studies courses will know what I'm going on about. everyone who does media studies, and gets into it goes through this phase where they'll only acknowledge that "Artistic" films are worth watching. Now, I've been doing Advanced Media theory for THREE GODDAMN YEARS.

I got over that phase about halfway through my first semester. the whole little arguments surrounding it are the equivalent of Intellectual masturbation, and to be honest it got old very, VERY quickly. anyone who drags out media theory on me at this point, who isn't actually a media analyst or in my Screen Studies class just doesn't impress me anymore, because frankly, I know a hell of a lot more than them.

Tell me, can you discuss the Mise-en-Scene of Kevin Smith's Chasing Amy in relation to his status as a cult film auteur? Didn't think so.

and hate to say it, but anime fans are the worst offenders. So many Anime fans refuse to accept that it isnt the god of all film genre. I love anime as much as the next man - hell, I wouldnt be head of the anime society if I didnt - but the majority of it is about as deep as the average puddle. There are a few notable exceptions, but when someone tries to convince me that Akira is up there in terms of movie-making history with Casa-Fucking-Blanca, on the basis of "ITs anime so its art", I start to get very irritated.

But moving back to the subject at hand. Today we were studying John Cassavettes. as an independent filmmaker, he was reknowned for making films that "Challenged the Norm." I wont deny, that in terms of Independent Filmmaking, Cassavettes was important, but in terms of a filmmaker....


lets just say, that Old Johnny-boy's films are shot with Long distance Zooms, out of focus shots, obvious editing and improvised acting.

And this is defined as artistic.


you know what I define a piece of film that is badly edited, with Jerky long distance zooms, out of focus shots and poor dialouge? Shoddy. It isn't artistic, its poor filmmaking. If I tried to hand something like that in as coursework, under the claim that it was artistic, Not only would my tutor fail me, she'd beat me liberally over the head and shoulders with a lead pipe for being so fucking retarded.

when I make a film, I take pride in my work, from the story through to the editing. that was why I was so unhappy with Reaped. to see someone sell a shoddy piece of crap like Shadows and actually make money off of it just depresses me beyond belief.