22 April 2016

+JMJ+

Twelve Things about The Matrix

12. The last time I brought The Matrix into a movie post, I was pretty negative about it. You could say it is the "poster film" for everything Alone says is wrong with modern men. While I still agree with his analysis, I'm no longer totally on board with his analogy. I was moved to revisit this story a few nights ago because I'm currently reading Bis(s) zum Morgengrauen von Stephenie Meyer (wisst ihr: Twilight--oder: "Everything that is wrong with modern Maedchen?"--in deutsch) and it has dawned on me that Neo and Bella are the same type of character . . . and their stories are the same type of myth.

If you're a regular here, then you already know that what I'm going to say is that The Matrix and Twilight are both modern reimaginings of Snow White.

11. Red apple, red pill: is there really any difference? Both are symbols pointing to something that will change your life so completely that the best analogy for it is death. Or to be more accurate, death and rebirth. (Oh, hey, we're still in Easter season!)

10. So which pill would you pick? Answer honestly . . .

16 April 2016

+JMJ+

Eurovision 2016: Big Five and Host

There are two things that define my life these days: the Tridentine Mass and the Eurovision Song Contest. I figured that I should get a blog post out of at least one of them . . . and the ESC won out. It would be a little too indulgent to review all forty-three entries, but I figured the six automatic qualifiers should, you know, automatically qualify for a post.

Sverige

Well, it seems I'm the only one who not only really likes Sweden's entry this year, but also prefers it to the song with which they won last year! I guess I'm fed up with humanist hymns atheist anthems that were written to the scale of the biggest stage in the world . . . but that you couldn't really sing to a child at home. In all seriousness, one thing I ask when I evaluate a Eurovision entry is, "Could little children and their grandparents have fun singing this together?" Granted, a breakup song like this one probably doesn't cut the cheese as well as I'd like. But the light melody makes the overall effect one of playfulness. And if you can tell a story like Naso d'Argento in the nursery, then you can sing the "devil in disguise" lyric there, too. I also really like the structure of the song, and its irony, both of which are worthy of last year's Nonsense and Some Sense Verse Writers Smackdown.

03 April 2016

+JMJ+

Twelve Things about Hannah Montana: The Movie

12. Well, it's easy to see why Miley Cyrus used to be such a huge child star. I found her annoying when Hannah Montana was at its peak, but seven years later, I can be fairer. Gosh, she was cute! And very, very talented.

11. Notwithstanding my initial reaction to it, the Hannah Montana concept also made for the right show at the right time. While girls have been dreaming about being big stars since at least Mary Pickford's heyday, there were always clear lines between their fantasy lives and cold, hard reality. That hasn't been the case since the Hannah Montana target audience entered its tweens. This is the first generation of girls to lead double lives comparable to that of their idol, thanks to media: their real lives and their projected lives on social media accounts.

And let's remember now that before they had their own social media accounts, they guest starred on those of their parents. Likewise, Miley--the real Miley--could never have achieved her stardom without her famous father Billy Ray.

10. It seems that every modern children's movie must have the obligatory klutzy father slapstick comedy sequence. It's not a trend I like very much, but I can't get upset about it here. For we have since learned that "Robby Ray's" gratuitous playing of the clown in this scene . . .