Posts Tagged ‘television

18
May
20

Watching a Tay in Paris; a Capital One Performance

***

So, I see an ad for a rare televised concert with the lovely Tay Swift and try my lousy best to remind myself when it airs. [I don’t follow her religiously on cable/pay-per-view/internet TV; so I’m surely missing several previous concerts and wondering why the local TV station felt it was time to broadcast one…maybe just to work a deal with Capital One and fill otherwise dead air time? I am fairly sure this Paris Lover concert aired previously on some other platform.]

I miss the first fifteen minutes while struggling to keep up with a mad movie I should have just skipped (but there really wasn’t anything great to watch, anyway). Then a light went off in my head, while dabbling with something creative, and I ran to see if it was still on. It was…and I felt self-conscious within a matter of minutes. [And, I tell myself, “At least, it’s not a teeny-bopper concert.”] Apparently, it was only an hour long?

My first impression…

I see several cameras taking shots of young women, mostly teenage girls, in the audience. And, everyone seems to be wearing some kind of light-up wristband…which reminds me of a picture I made of/for Tay with light streaming off a bracelet. I don’t exactly see any MEN cheering for or even ogling her. Maybe the guys are afraid of being targeted by the typically oppositional feminine energy. [So, I guess this is just a young meeting of the women’s movement, and I’m the lone thin-haired guy in the audience at The View.]

Also, Tay…looks a bit rough. She’s wearing a hot mess of black fabric and glitter. [Anyone cued up to do as her songs say is probably itching to fire flaming amazon arrows at me, right now, just for saying anything remotely critical.] She looks made up yet like she got caught in the rain and had to tie her clothes in knots to keep them from falling off. [Did I miss the rain delay? Did I forget someone mentioning she performed despite the rain? I thought I had heard something, once, about her performing on a rainy day.] But, it’s okay. I kinda like her this way. Aside from the glittery bits, which are a distraction, she looks raw, natural, down-to-earth, vulnerable…well, as vulnerable as she can until you get a good look at the usual red lips and heavy eye makeup.

[I’ve been looking over and for Tay photos, recently, to expand and improve my “artistic interpretations.” And, I’ve noticed Tay going through so many changes, so many different looks and hairstyles. Even in her Paris concert photos, she exhibits a few different looks, like she colors her hair every day (or wears wigs?). Even her “rival,” Katy Perry doesn’t seem to vary her looks that often; at least, not lately; nor Lady Gaga who, a few years ago, you’d see popping up in some crazy costume nearly every week (it seemed). And, I begin to wonder if she isn’t perpetually in some sort of identity crisis, not quite sure who to be and how to protect herself from the media shit storm, even when it’s not focused on her.

I get this feeling like she’s a delicate yet bold and brave flower tossing in a hurricane, torn between following some trend and being true to herself. Or, she just has the good genes (genes that don’t cause hair to fall out when you color it, for example) and ability to change her appearance like a superheroine or shapeshifter. And, some of the outfits she ends up wearing…they’re like “disaster relief” instead of “superstar glam.” I feel slightly motivated to play fashion coordinator for her…and slightly afraid someone would bite my fingers off just for trying.]

Getting back to the concert and the music…

With all of the commercial breaks–including plenty of Capital One ads–and a few behind-the-scenes bits, I’m not seeing much performance. I think I saw her sing four songs before the show ended. And, two of those were songs I had heard on the radio. But…something wasn’t quite right.

I put the captions (CC) on to see the lyrics (just because I wanted a bit of a karaoke experience and know how folks can poorly hear the real words when they are sung in a swirling sea of music). And, the words I saw on the screen did not match what Tay was singing. At least…they didn’t match what I was hearing. And, apparently, the audience was singing some second part whispered in the background of the track, because Tay sang one line, and the captions displayed another while the cameras cut to the audience (who I couldn’t hear singing anything).

Doing my best to calm down (eh) and not be too loud (me? standing on pins and needles with my index finger precariously pressed to my lips as I watch?), I also noticed, during that particular song, Tay had assistance from dancers who looked less drag-ish than her video counterparts. [And, thank gawd, there wasn’t an appearance by a bothersome poser-painter.] I did enjoy the big-screen graphical assistance and the overall energy of the performance…though the audience getting vocal over Tay’s…dancing was excessive.

[Just in case anyone is bothered and concerned I may be purely critical, here, I want to ensure I was just happy to see Tay perform on TV…I wanted to see her…not to judge her…but hoping every song wasn’t a coded message to some past relationship she had, like numerous other albums. On that note, when she says things like “twenty-year sleep,” I’m thinking…she has been deceived by boyfriends since she was ten? And, now that’s over?]

So, after a few typical tourist-y photos of Paris and slightly odd backstage clippings, we get to the end of the concert and the part where the performer tells the audience she’s never had this much fun. [UUUUGH! Yes, a grown man just turned into a groaning teenager. I know it’s something performers do, but I thought…I thought she was more…”real”…and that such sentiments could never be genuine. Do you say such things just to be nice? I mean…surely, she gets around and has had similar experiences.]

And, finally, during the end credits, I see the words “worship,” “love” and “false god” appear on the screen. So, I turn up the volume and listen (closer)… Is that what she’s singing? Worship love even if it’s a false god? What does that mean? That bit stuck with me the rest of the night like a bad taste in the mouth. Darn coded messages! [And, I feel so clueless, which really sucks when you pride yourself on being a metaphor man.] What was she trying to say in that song?

Help me out, dear and enduring (because I write so much in this space and am probably testing your peepers) readers. Was it…

A) She is a false god, some evil being posing as a sort of “messiah” and deceiving us all in her sway?

B) She is not the goddess people claim her to be; she wants people to know she’s just a down-to-earth gal so she stays humble and isn’t transformed in some vile way by the forces steering her career?

C) She sees past relationships (loves) as deceptive hopes put on high pedestals and repeats this mantra to herself to acknowledge her mistakes…in a way that isn’t her previous I’m-going-to-lace-my-present-hatred-of-you-after-I-dated-you-in-a-song mentality?

D) She has lost her lofty view of true love and now thinks in a more non-spiritual, earthy way, like so many others I’ve met, those who’ve been stripped of their souls by routine sexual pursuits?

Now then…I got all that out of my system and feel I can get on with my day. It’s probably best I don’t dwell much more on the subject. But, I’ll be “chuffed” if I see some responses to my question. [I used that word correctly; yes?]

26
Apr
18

Digital Painting Sampler 4-26-2018

*****

I’ve been painting up a storm since I purchased Clip Studio Paint Pro (which is the closest software I’ve found to my previous, glorious photo editing program from the turn of the millennium, Photo Studio 2000).  [On that note, I still miss the ability to make text transparent with ease.  If it can be done with CSPP, I have not figured out how.]

I’ve been contemplating opening a separate portfolio/gallery space/account for my personal artworks.  But, I can’t seem to resist sharing a quick sampling.

These two were simpler pieces composed with silhouettes I honed.  The lines are result of a “burst” tool.  And, the rest is from an imaging/paintbrush tool (and text).

Can you guess who the following famous face and TV/movie characters are supposed to be, even if the gender may vary?  [Or, in the case of one image, a famous face posing as a movie character.]  In all of these cases, there should be adequate clues.

 

*****

Previous to the above, I have been taking my fashion design skills to the next level by upgrading my old MS Paint boot designs.  Here’s just one of the many.  I went all out with the old GI*Joe action figure package back, too, so buyers (should these ever get made into a fashion line) can have collector cards for all of their purchases.  Yeah.  😛  Or, it’s a fun way to advertise the details before purchase.

classified-GIJoe-metalhead-knee-boot-shag-sharpshooter-anklet-profilecard-2-ap-CSPP-8501100-11CJ

18
Apr
18

Too Many Offices Behind the Screen?

****

Everything is going internet and APP these days.  Or, so it seems.  No one wants to do anything face-to-face, anymore.  Where do you think that will lead?  And, what kind of faith do we have to have to trust those we cannot even see?

I mean, we might chance the occasional online shopping to get something that isn’t available in the local store.  But, if it’s near home, can’t we sum up the courage and resources to go get it?  [Not if we’re going to support drone service, download the app for everything and do what when something goes wrong?  Who are you going to call for help?  Some Uber android service representative?  Some remote control repair person?]

What gets me going on this tangent today?  Well, I’m noticing sooooo many bloggers writing advice columns for just about everything.  They take up probably 2/3 of this blog site, leaving the other 1/3 to personal tales and soooooooooooooooooo many poems.  Oh, and a few artists’ simplest of works.  Look, I drew a pencil.  LIKE it.  And, random photos from people looking to scrapbook life.

I get to thinking…who takes this advice seriously?  Who reads all of this stuff?  And, how do you trust some advisor you never met?  Are you going to consult a doctor who never touches your body or witnesses what you are suffering?   You prefer self-diagnosis and assumption?  [And, what of the advisor who isn’t even legitimately advising but leading you on to some linked sham?]

I forget that’s what we’ve been doing for a long time with tabloid TV shows and magazines featuring countless ads for pills, cigarettes, ridiculously expensive cars and watches, etc.  Magazines are known for this sort of thing.  So many articles and cover blurbs about how to do this and that better than you probably know yourself.  Why ask someone you know when you can read about it from a complete stranger?

Except, with good ol’ magazines and TV, there was nothing to open or click on to give you trouble.  You slowed your life down to read or watch.  You didn’t invite “malware” to shut down your TV or fingers.

Whatever happened to “word of mouth” or consulting your neighbor?

So, what am I achieving by writing out these thoughts?  I dunno.  Who really cares.  You’ve got more important things to do, see and read.  Like all those advice columns.  This isn’t exactly one of them.  But, it might sound like one.  And, while I know I am a genuine heart and soul writing these words, I realize you only know the text on the screen.  Everything else you feel is your imagination (and, maybe, gut feeling if you’re lucky).

 

 

17
Aug
17

New, New, New, New…Reruns?

****

Have you ever seen the movie Back to the Future?  And, do you recall the part when Marty, in the past, claims a certain black-and-white TV show is a rerun before the kid in the room asks, “What’s a rerun?”  I find myself revisiting that scene as I realize the perception differences of kids and adults, especially in this modern age of DVRs and internet access to just about everything.

When I was a kid, the family had one TV, maybe two later on when I was nearing my teens.  I didn’t think about reruns.  But, they were there.  I was immersed in SYNDICATION, watching shows that had originally aired about a decade ago but were playing again and again in my day.  I didn’t think much about the strangeness of fashions, makeup or hairstyles.  If the show was black-and-white, it was too old for me.  If the jokes didn’t make sense, I really wasn’t thinking about them.  I was merely watching grown-ups be silly or cartoons in general.  If my family laughed, I considered laughing.  Only one sis ever laughed every time someone else laughed first.  Even at an early age, I would not be the pawn of the laugh track or “live studio audience.”

People would say, “TV rots your brain.”  And, us “rebels” would watch all we could and think nothing of it.  Despite all the TV I watched, it didn’t seem to impact my attention span.  I always thought I was a good student, a good listener.  I became a well-behaved, patient adult.

Nowadays, families have TVs in multiple rooms and some kind of device receiving a signal that can either transmit “broadcast” TV shows or “internet TV”/”web TV.”  They can skip commercials and zip from one show to the next with the flick of a finger.  And, if commercial breaks aren’t littered with mindless ads for cars and services like “wireless” television, at-home education, retirement options and ways to cut corners for the financially challenged (like the only people who should be watching TV are stay-at-home parents, retired folks, unemployed bums and future thieves?)…there’s this constant drive for what’s NEW.  Yet, the promise of NEW is fleeting and makes one feel like a desert wanderer waiting for some chopper to deliver water.

My nephews, possibly as a result, have the attention spans of fleas. They struggle to get through a whole show that may only be 20 minutes long.  They want to know what’s next.  What’s new.  And, though the magic box promises new essentially daily, flashing timers and such to announce the oncoming glimmers of delight, the actual NEW is kinda like expecting a response from a letter to Kris Kringle.

They are dazzled by the commercials I, now as an adult, would rather skip.  Truth be told, most commercials aren’t as nearly entertaining as they were when I was little.  But, maybe it’s just a matter of perspective?  These lame ads I see are new to them, not me.  Well, some are new to me but annoying to watch over and over.  Heck, I don’t remember getting tired of seeing certain commercials as a kid.  I didn’t look forward to commercials, either, but they were rarely if ever bothersome.

And, while I grew up not minding or even noticing reruns, these kids may or may not notice reruns.  But, once they DO realize they’ve seen something before, their reactions are mixed.  Sometimes, they want to see the same show, again (provided it’s something they have watched in the last few days or weeks, as they like to replay even the shortest of video clips).  Or, I hear them sounding like adults when they say, “This one, again?  Why isn’t it a new one?”

As a big kid myself, I think of a not-so-old episode of Teen Titans Go! in which Robin warns the other team members about “the spicy life,” the pursuit of increased spiciness.  People get tantalized into chasing NEW to keep the economy flowing and, consequentially, stimulating impulse shopping (which often empties people’s pockets to the point of concern/neglect).  It’s not healthy to anything but the economy, and even that is questionable.

The promise of NEW.

Why can’t we be comfortable with what we already have and enjoy?  As the old saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, why fix it?”  And, if it needs fixing, let’s work that out.

It doesn’t take a genius to see people are struggling to keep coming up with new ideas in some areas.  Maybe they’re burnt out.  Instead of replacing them, maybe we just need to relax and get comfortable with…dare I say it…routine.  And, let new ideas be a blessing from above, not something we force from the cow for fleeting profits.

 

21
Mar
16

Why Can’t Old TV Turn Into New Film?

*****

Have I asked this before?  Why IS it that shows we loved in the past cannot properly be converted to new films which respect the source material?

Why, instead, do we get Michael Bay films that blow it up and piss on people?

As I sit here watching an old episode of Inspector Gadget with a nephew, I see material ripe for a feature film with iconic costume design.  And then I remember the previous attempt at a film about the old cartoons.  It wasn’t all that great or memorable to me.  [Though I did like the gadget woman.]

What legal mumbo-jumbo prevents movie makers from properly converting older concepts into new film?  Or, why must every movie maker insist upon some measure of “artistic license” to warp what is already good and what fans liked?  We fans of the old don’t need a lot of new looks and ways of doing things.  If you must fix or change anything, just work on the bits that maybe don’t fit the present if it’s a story taking place in the present.  Or, set the story in the past.  Is that so hard?  Even a certain science fiction film series has gotten away with saying it’s from a distant galaxy a long time ago though it looks futuristic.

And, if it’s a matter of the original artists saying they don’t want the film to be made, then respect that.  If they don’t want a film, why is it okay to warp the original material enough to make a lousy one?

Anyone else care to share some thoughts on this matter?  I’m all ears…and busy fingers.

19
Mar
16

Educational Kids’ TV? Overrated

*****

As I attempt to watch one more day of “educational” kids TV with my nephews whilst keeping them busy (out of trouble), I am unable to resist the urge to fuss and fume.  Why?  Because every show is introduced with some sort of listed ingredients that are supposed to be good for a child.  As if parents are just going to approve the shows from this brief and horribly worthless synopsis?

  1. The educational content is lacking.
  2. Some of the shows are completely ridiculous/without good and/or common sense.

If anything, these shows are convincing me to NOT place a child in front of the TV.  But, juggling a handful of boys who all want to do different things at the same time and who will fight with each other if you don’t sit in the middle of them…is no easy task.  Sadly, it’s either TV or a laptop computer as a second babysitter.  And, it really grinds my gears.

If you’d like a list of shows I’d rather not see on television, just ask.  I don’t feel like pointing fingers publicly at the moment.  But, it may happen, yet.  I’m looking at YOU, Nick Jr. (among other channels).

11
Aug
14

They Don’t Make ‘Em Like They Used To

Have you ever heard someone say that about some machine, toy, phone, “doodad” or gizmo? You know…the title of this piece. It’s something I haven’t heard myself in a while. But, that’s just because I am no longer a kid surrounded by elderly folks. Those who said it to me have passed on, already. But, the message still rings true now and then.

There was a time not too long ago when adults of the ’60s looked at the toys and technology of the ’80s–particularly television sets–and said, “They sure don’t make them like they used to.” This was shortly after Americans took a break from bitching about the “China-men” making inferior products. But, even today, if you listen to some of these millionaire business types, where would they be if they didn’t have their production lines overseas? Not too long ago, there was a big stink being raised about lead paint on toys. Lead paint; something I haven’t heard about since childhood when there was considerable concern about kids eating paint chips from older houses. [But, if you get me started on lead paint and the Chinese labor force working for the U.S.A., we’ll be here all week.]

The point I am slowly trying to make is…

If you look at modern technology–everything from lawn equipment to household appliances to your “newfangled” flat TVs and razor-thin-ready-to-snap-at-any-moment computers–you don’t see many–if any–lifetime warranties. You’re lucky if you get a five-year warranty. What amazes me is how some manufacturers will avoid a fuss and let you have a replacement (sometimes at an additional expense even if it’s considerably smaller).

Back when, replacements didn’t come so easily. You didn’t trade in a $100+ phone made from nuclear waste that does everything from flash a light under your bed to manage your banking/spending every two years. You bought a phone that plugged into the wall and was glad it was still working when the power went out. Now, you drop your “phone” (and I use the term lightly) in a puddle or on the sidewalk (because you have to have it with you at all times), and you’re lucky if you aren’t forking over another $200+ for a replacement.

[You see how the price shot up in just a few years? There was a time when you expected a fairly standard price for a phone. The technology didn’t change in two years, and what you had worked just fine if you didn’t take it outside and throw/drop it everywhere, you klutzes. AND, your hand didn’t vibrate or glow in the dark after holding your phone for a few hours. Okay, so maybe I am exaggerating about the hand glowing in the dark.]

There was a time when you bought something with little fear of it not working in as many as ten years or more. You trusted a name that built a reputation for itself. You trusted the materials with which the item was made.

There was a time not so long ago when cash was so scarce, they called it the Great Depression, and countless lives were in financial jeopardy. Back then, they didn’t have “smart phone plans” to worry about. They didn’t even have video entertainment. How in the world did they live?!…you kids might ask. Well, I am fairly sure there was probably the same business scheming going on then as it is today. It just came under a different label as it drove people broke. But, whatever it was, I am sure it lasted the people a few more years than a computer telling its user, “It’s been two years. Replace me.”

You know what piece of technology hasn’t changed much since the dawn of time? Mankind. We may have lost some hair and body mass (ha). We may have learned to stand up straighter and use different words now and then. We may have changed the way we eat our food, dress and clean ourselves. We probably earned a longer life expectancy from working less and sitting on those asses people have been pointing and shaking their heads at, lately. But, we can be just as dumb as our ancestors.

How dumb are we? Well, we’re so dumb that we will slap anything on our skin or trust another human being to make us look young, “pretty” or “handsome.” We’re so dumb that we take pills as directed by other humans only to suffer side-effects we should have seen coming (but we didn’t…because we’re so dumb). We’re so dumb that we will burn a plant in our mouths or wash one down our throats to fight stress only to risk the lives of others around us and put that stress on our bodily organs, anyway. We’re so dumb that we move just like cattle as we chase the latest things because the ones someone stopped making last summer are now obsolete.

Can you replace your grandparents or siblings so easily? I think not. No matter what insurance policy you buy, pill you take or defense system you install, you don’t have a lifetime warranty or even a two-year warranty. Your number could be up tomorrow. [That’s another fairly old piece of lingo, by the way. Your number being up. For those of you born after the cellphone, it means “you could die.”]

So, the next time you think about buying some new gadget, trinket or Macintablet or reach for a fresh (or freshly charged) battery pack, remember what ol’ Writingbolt just told you. You can either drain your bank account (which was filled with your life force applied to that thing called work…of whatever kind you employ) every few years chasing stupidity. Or, you can wise up and rethink the way this world appears to be going. Buy something more reliable. And, invest in those around you who are worth more than any self-destructing wireless “life-distactor.”

Maybe it’s time we all slowed down to think instead of trying to be the one who throws him or herself into a wall the fastest. Yeah. That sounds dumb. Just give it time. I’m sure it’s out there on YouBoobTube, already. And, it’s getting a billion hits.

There was a time when hits were something your older brother…




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