Do people really want the truth?

If you spend any period of time cruising “conservative” sites dedicated to dissecting pop culture, or “neutral” sites dissecting of culture with one or more conservative writers on staff, the answer comes rapidly. It’s no. To be more precise, the aforementioned writers have little if any interest in proclaiming, via pointing out, truth.

This may seem like a strange summation. Didn’t the late, great Andrew Breitbart say politics is downstream from culture? Aren’t these people, at least in part, attempting to embody this truism by discussing the latest entertainment efforts and societal swings mainstream infomedia declares are where it’s at, or at least should be? Sure. But it is a very, very small and utterly ineffective part.

To slightly paraphrase Paul’s snap to the church in Corinth, said writers are looking only at the surface of things. They see the obvious – the blockbuster movie, the hot entertainer, the even hotter social trend as deemed by whichever upper crust publication wants some free publicity this week via prefabricated “controversy.” They comment, they argue, they strive to score maximum points with the Konservative Kool Kidz Klub. All very nice. And all utterly meaningless in terms of influencing pop culture’s course. Genuine influence comes not from adding a me too with a conservative view. It comes from exploring and promoting the unknown that is worthy of attention.

It’s not like there are no opportunities to genuinely impact people through elements generally associated with pop culture, given how its more heralded items seldom pack the punch many believe they hold. The great movie icons of recent decades – Star Wars, the ongoing spate of superhero movies – have worked their way into the popular lexicon, but outside of the freakishly obsessed few their societal impact is nonexistent. Books and their authors fly high for fifteen minutes and then disappear over the horizon. Heard anyone discuss The Bridges of Madison County or Life of Pi lately? An argument can be made that the Chinese water torture known as network television has moved the morality and mores gauge needles to the left; Will & Grace did much to normalize homosexuality in the public eye, and every time I hear a five year old loudly exclaim “oh my god” in reference to most every item in my toy store I, uh, ‘thank’ the writers of Friends. Pop music is both omnipresent and impactless, streamed today and sent packing tomorrow. When an album (Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles) first released fifty years ago sells more physical copies than any other album, all’s said needing to be said concerning current music’s place in current society.

Maybe follow Sgt. Pepper’s lead and find music from the past that still holds value today?

Time to shift gears a bit. As today’s greatest songwriter Terry Scott Taylor recently sang, there’s not a holy man who doesn’t know grief well, or thinks the road to heaven doesn’t pass through hell. This truth is embodied in how throughout Christianity’s history, many believers have found their greatest solace not in the New Testament but rather in a chapter written by the Old Testament mystic prophet Isaiah. Written hundreds of years before Christ’s passion and death on the cross, Isaiah’s description of the coming Messiah as a man of sorrows, well acquainted with grief, has resonated throughout the millennia with those suffering.

Twenty-two years and 22,000 light years removed from today’s Christian music scene, featuring endless recyclings of endless clichés about a good good father, with his band Adam Again the late pioneer of Christian alternative rock Gene Eugene released Perfecta which sadly turned out to be the band’s final album before Eugene’s death due to an aneurism in 2000. There’s a Kickstarter campaign currently underway to finally release it on vinyl as well as remastered CD. Not that there’s a need for cause aside from its dark brilliance to revisit this sadly unknown work, but it’s as good of a reason as any.

If the measure of an album’s potential impact on individuals, who in turn influence society, can be determined by said album’s rawness stripping away all emotional pretense and posturing, then Perfecta would be an instant game changer even today. Laying atop a foundation of simultaneously jangling and snarling distorted guitars, Eugene’s grainy razored vocals ripped through stories most Christian artists wouldn’t dare touch: failed relationships, substance abuse, and Leonard Cohen. For starters. When during the song “Relapse” he cried ‘believe me, I’m fine,’ you know the song’s character was anything but. In “All You Lucky People,” Eugene’s resigned alienation from the Christian music that at best held him at arms length and usually avoided him at all costs spilled out:

Won’t you give me your secret
And allow me a tale to sell
To the guests of the guilty at the gates of hell
I’m after it
I’m after it
And you’ll know
That I keep looking at all you lucky people coming around to say hello
Hello

It’s somewhat doubtful you’ll be hearing this during worship time next Sunday.

Perfecta isn’t a collection of ruminations about lost faith. Rather, it collects tales of what happens when faith gets stomach punched. A lot. Despite this, faith remains, beaten down but not defeated. There is life beyond life’s insidious heartbreaks. There will be blood. But there is also the bloody Cross.

It is Perfecta, and albums like it, by artists and bands such as Gene Eugene and Adam Again, that tell life changing truths. This is the primal scream at pop culture’s center, one often obscured by drek and dross yet still present. If the writers covering pop culture from the right side truly wish to make an impact, they will throttle back on the 378th dissertation this week about Wonder Woman and start actively seeking out that, and those, whose creation can effect change in lieu of rambling on about the latest layer of frosting atop an already oversugared cake.

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT —  Anyone watch the season premiere of True Detective last night?

Let me just say at the outset that I’m very biased.  I loved every moment of Season 1, so before the opening credits last night, I knew that Season 2 would never match up.  That being said, I also went into the opening episode knowing that Nic Pizzolatto is trying to do something a little different with this season.  Key for me is his Vanity Fair interview in Rich Cohen attempts to explain the separation yet sameness between the two seasons (italics mine):

Early in the history of film, when the big-time writers of the day, Fitzgerald most famously, were offered a role in the movies, they decided to write for the cash, forswearing deeper participation in a medium they considered second-rate. Perhaps as a result of this decision, the author came to be the forgotten figure in Hollywood, well paid but disregarded. …This situation began to change with the emergence of a new kind of television show and a new kind of auteur—a writer who takes on the role of the big-time director, involved in every aspect, from casting to editing. … Pizzolatto is now attempting to take the next evolutionary step. …Credit and power are shared. But by tossing out that first season and beginning again, Nic has a chance to finally undo the early error of Fitzgerald and the rest. If he fails and the show tanks, he’ll be just another writer with one great big freakish hit. But if he succeeds, he will have generated a model in which the stars and the stories come and go but the writer remains as guru and king.

I get that – the writer is the important figure here.  Okay.

I hope it works.

Given that, I know it’s wrong to compare the two seasons, but how can you not?  Season 1 was dynamite – yes, it was the chemistry of Matthew McConaughey and Wood Harrelson, but it was also the deeply symbolic and literary writing, it was also the magic of Cary Fukunaga, the cinematography and the soundtrack.  Season 1 was the green Louisiana swamps, the weird people (I’m from Louisiana, I can say that) and The King in Yellow.

It was magic.  At the end of the first episode of Season 1, that moment when Rust Cohle sits back, flicks his cigarette, and tells the detectives, “Start asking the right f****ing questions,” and the credits came up.  You wanted more and you wanted it right then. That rush that was, “Oh yes, this is about to get good!”

Which brings me to last night’s premiere.  There was no rush of excitement.  No dying for more.  If I didn’t turn the series back on next Sunday, I probably wouldn’t care.  There is nothing redeeming about any of these new characters.  They are beyond damaged.  Many reviewers today are saying they are corrupt.  They probably are, but they are also boring.  I don’t care about them and I don’t like them.

Is that Pizzolatto’s point?  Is that what he wants us to feel today?  Everything is disjointed?  If so, he achieved that.

The basic story, as I see it right now anyway, is that Colin Farrell’s Ray Velcoro is violent and angry, Vince Vaughn’s character is shady and damaged, Rachel McAdams as Ani has anger issues, daddy issues, and sexual issues, and Taylor Kitsch as an Iraq war vet is suicidal and damaged.  Most of them drink too much – and I’m not talking about just a six pack of Lone Star here, some of them are violent, and none of them have any redeeming qualities.  There is a lucrative land deal with guaranteed federal funding attached that just got jacked up with the murder of the city manager, who in a scene out of Weekend at Bernie’s – is hauled around in a car throughout the entire episode and found in the end in his Sperrys, Bermuda shorts, and sunglasses, sitting in the dark along the roadside, facing the ocean, quite dead.  His eyes have been burned out and no telling what else with all of the other deviant sexual perversion in this episode.

It was at this point that Nic Pizzolatto finally brings his lead characters together, but by then I no longer cared.  Much.

As episode 1 closed last night, and the soundtrack swelled, the first line in T-Bone Burnett’s lyric was “California is a brand new game.”  No kidding; it sure is.

Of course I’ll stick with the series – the brilliance of Season 1 has earned that much from me, anyway.  And I have (some) faith in Nic; I think he might be able to bring this around.

We will see.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

Pharaoh:  Here is your kingdom with scorpion the cobra and the lizard for subjects

The Ten Commandments 1956

This week Russell Johnson, the last surviving male member of the Gilligan’s Island cast died at 89 years old and a lot of people my age shed a tear.

Now the death of an actor who appeared in a sitcom that ran 3 years in the 60’s and is showing on MeTV Monday – Thursday at 8 PM would normally not be much of a big deal except to remind people of my age of our own mortality,  but in a week where Hollywood is pushing Lena Dunham to the hit  the significance of Russell Johnson’s character can’t be overstated.

Over and over the character of the professor saved the lives of he castaways, coming up with mechanical or medical solutions to impossible problems. He was the original MacGyver

Like James Doohan’s Scotty, Russell Johnson’s Professor Roy Hinkley inspired people to science.  I would wager there are thousands of middle-aged scientists and engineers who spent their formative years watching the pair of them.

And he like Doohan he spent his twenty’s under fire fighting in World War 2.

In short Johnson was a role model a person could watch that show and say I’d like to be like that.

Think of this and compare it to the debate about Lena Dunhan’s Girls.  Let me remind you of what I wrote after watching the Season 2 premiere

I found a bunch of characters that I just plain didn’t like or care bout…which would explain the necessity for all the sex.

But just to be fair as I reached this point in this post I paused and watched the next episode of Girls (Season 2 episode 2) which although it talks about almost nothing but sex contains no actual nudity or sex scenes.

BOY did that confirm my original conclusion.

The Best description of the episode was the line her boyfriend used to describe her essay:

There wasn’t really anything going on

Not even the inclusion of a bunch of puppies could make this episode lovable or any of these people appealing.  Even the puppy scene contained the line: “oh my God they’re fetus sized” I mean who says that? Do twenty something feminists with no life actually go around looking at things saying things are “fetus sized”?  There is a reason why Jezebel is offering $10K for certain photos of Ms. Dunham and that reason isn’t because she is the “Queen of Comedy”

I will stack up Gilligan’s Island and the professor against Girls & Hannah for comedy 7 days a week and twice on Sunday.

100 years from now people’s lives will be made easier by items developed by scientists inspired by Russell Johnson’s from Gilligan’s island character but I will live to see Lena Dunham’s Girls character forgotten.

Of course in fairness to Dunham that’s not likely her fault as almost nobody actually watches it Then again she writes and directs the show, so maybe it is.

In fairness to young Ms. Dunham. She is only 27 years old and Mr. Johnson was 39 when Gilligan’s Island premiered. There is plenty of time for her to do something culturally memorable and even if she doesn’t she has made a comfortable living for herself which is more than most 27 year olds have managed these days.

Closing Thought Vogue’s piece is titled :  “Lena Dunham: The New Queen of Comedy’s First Vogue Cover

Seriously?  I mean can you be “the new queen of comedy” when nobody watches your show but media elites who don’t breed at the replacement rate?

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Olimometer 2.52

It’s Friday I’m $153 shy of the weekly goal and there are two days this week to get us there.

6 of you at $25.50 will do it.

If you want to support independent blogging/reporting from the right here is your chance.

Olimometer 2.52

Once we manage that then we’ll worry about catching up on the ground we’re behind.

57 1/4 more subscribers @ at $20 a month the bills will be paid every week and the problem will be solved on a more permanent basis. It won’t cover CPAC but it will do all the base bills and that’s what counts

What do you say?




Links are all about selling a headline so when I saw “Pipi Longstocking sex tape” at Live on Five” my reaction was Huh?

Apparently the story is as old as video tape  Tami Erin who played the children’s character 25 years ago like many other women apparently thought it was a good idea to film a hardcore tape with her boyfriend during sex but now is angry that this former boyfriend is shopping it around:

39-year-old Erin called in moments ago and she was irate — blaming a bitter ex-boyfriend for attempting to sell a private hardcore sex tape to the media.

She said, “I think he’s the biggest piece of sh*t on the planet for doing this to me.”

Now of course  the wisdom of MAKING a hardware sextape is debatable and unless this tape was recorded decades ago she doesn’t have the excuse of foolish youth to fall back on.that Miley Cyrus does in terms of judgement.
However I think this story has a different driver.  Here is Ms. Erin’s IMDB page
Tami

This is a screen shot of her web site note the Alexa ranking worldwide:

Tami2

and her twitter page

Tami3

And here is one of her 47 tweets

 

Meanwhile here is my twitter page

Tami4

I’m 11 years older than Tami Erin, at least 125lbs heavier (more like 150) She has beautiful hair, mine is non-existent. It’s a neutral objective fact that she is not only more attractive than me by leaps and bounds but if I tweeted out a photo in the same costume as Ms. Erin did above the only reason a sane person would want to see it would be to induce vomiting.

Yet this page rank is 19,700,000+ spots higher than hers. I have over 1000 more twitter followers than she does…but I might not for long. Here is another screen shot of her twitter page taken at the time I’m typing this sentence

Tami5

Note that she has gained 45 followers in the time between the two uploads and two more since I typed this line. As I’m scheduling this post for later in the day there is every possibility that she will have more twitter followers than me by the time you read this (you can check here)

I don’t know Ms. Tami Erin, I never watched the Pipi Longstocking movie as a kid. She is certainly an attractive woman who has done a good job of taking care of her body at 40 one can safely assume that a rational man would be very happy to be seen with her on his arm.

But in the movie/TV business you don’t get work without being noticed. An attractive 40-year-old tweeting out a provocative lingerie shot, even with an iconic movie under her belt, can’t complete with a 20-year-old wearing almost nothing masturbating on national TV with her tongue out.

There may be a sex tape, there may not be but either way Ms. Erin is going to be noticed over the next 24 hours than she has in the last 6 months. Her agent will do her best to use that moment to turn that list of 5 film/TV appearances into six.

I don’t know Ms. Erin’s situation but I’ve got to wonder if it’s worth it.

Ironically I suspect Ms. Erin will consider this post a favor as it will help her get noticed, but if she wanted a real favor from me I’d introduce her to my friend Eric who is about her age. He’s a handsome fellow in good shape, not famous or rich and will not likely get her any new roles but I guarantee he would treat her with more respect that the last fellow, but would she be wise enough to recognize it?

Exit question. In 20 years will Miley Cyrus find herself sending out a nude 3d holographic projection in the hopes that she will still be noticed? Or will it even take that many years?

Update:  Between he time I wrote this post and the time it went up Ms Erin has picked up over 400 followers on twitter.

…says Little Miss Attila:

This is not the world I want my niece and church sponsee to live in (and I’m delighted to say that they haven’t bought into this nonsense at all). But we have to get back to a place wherein “sexual freedom,” as a cultural norm, actually includes the freedom to say “no.” (emphasis mine) This in turn requires that we celebrate the notion of dating as something that doesn’t require sex, and we appreciate the wonders of human attraction without having to act on them every single freakin’ time, for crying out loud.

If you look at the culture you will see that if you are a guy and you are not looking to score every time, there is something wrong with you, and if you don’t score then your date is a failure. She continues:

I’m one of those who thinks this has more to do with the misuse of feminism than the misuse of birth control, and I know I occupy a strange middle ground inasmuch as I’m not quite a proper social conservative.

Yet what we’ve created at this point is a situation in which women and girls attempt to ignore their own emotions and “out-detach” the boys. In practice, this means many have trained themselves to be sexually available, and make no demands whatsover–and, yes: in some circles, a request to spend time with a guy doing anything other than sex is considered a “demand,” as Wendy Shalit has documented extensively in her books.

Joy mentioned Wendy on my show a few weeks ago. Let me tell you that is a real problem, particularly when you are trying to teach teenage boys restraint in these matters.

As Aquainus said love is: “Wanting the best for the other without thought to self.” Not being a woman I can’t comment from that direction, but as a man it can’t be stressed enough that no matter how attractive the prospect might be, if you actually love a woman you have to be able to say “no” when the situation calls for it. For a young man today that can bring social ridicule from his peers and from a society that equates “scoring” with success as a man and celebrates it at all levels.

There was a time when this was not true. In the movie the Philadelphia story a smitten Jimmy Stewart reveals that although he had the chance he did not take advantage of a willing Katherine Hepburn on the day before her wedding. Hepburn’s character is unexpectedly outraged:

“Why? Was I so unattractive? So distant? So forbidding?

He answers:

No, no you were extremely attractive as for distant or forbidding far from it, but You were a little worse the wear for alcohol, and there are rules about that kind of thing.

Now watching the scene prior and after this there is no question he wants her, he even proposes at a later point but is unwilling to take advantage of her. Remember also this movie is from the 40’s when Stewart’s character wouldn’t face the same legal consequences that such a move might have today, yet still he does not act.

It is that admiration and acceptance of virtue, rather than its ridicule that is missing from the society until it is regained then I suspect that the situation that Attila laments will continue

Update: I don’t know if it was intentional but Robert Stacy McCain skewers those most responsible for what Attila is lamenting

Via live at 5 Talk about a phony story warning link nsfw

Christina Aguilera is the latest and greatest to be sharing her walk-in-closet half-nakedness with the world via the ever reliable ‘anonymous friend’ taking a picture they promise will never be seen.

Christine is shocked SHOCKED!

The rep tells TMZ the pictures — which show Aguilera wearing nothing but pasties and a few strands of fabric — were “taken in the privacy of Ms. Aguilera’s home and were used only in a personal exchange between the star and her stylist.”

The rep continues, “We find the actions of the hackers and the press who purchased and/or obtained these photos to be irresponsible and actionable.”

Oh please this is about as shocking as Berkeley being on the other side in an American war. These pictures are posed. Anyone who thinks this is a “hack” rather than a PR stunt is as gullible as these folks.

I’ve never much card for American Idol, or Dancing with the stars, at game night over Dave’s house its on so I do my best to ignore it but neither one are anything that I care to watch. Unfortunately the convergence of the show with the Palin wars forced it into the news. I didn’t want to write about it at the time but now that it’s over there are some valuable lessons for everyone here.

Once Bristol Palin started to advance in the show the left started getting into a huff because better dancers were being eliminated and complained comically about the “integrity” of a vote in popularity show. It was admittedly a lot of fun watching them have a cow as she made it into the finals. This show was nothing significant but they had made it so as a way to hit the Palin’s who were simply having fun. This is and was a great example of Palin Derangement Syndrome

It was at this point that many on the right made a fatal mistake. They decided that because the left had invested themselves into this TV show emotionally that they would have to as well. This was a huge mistake and an example of the same idolatry that elected Barack Obama.

Gone was the principle of advancement by merit, that conservatives prize, gone was the opposition of special preference, we preferred Sarah Palin and by Extension Bristol Palin plus we could upset the left so many people invested themselves in an attempt to gain a victory that would feel good for a day but prove Pyrrhic. In the end the mirror image of Obama worship gave the left a talking point and a cause to smile as Bristol Palin came in 3rd. It was frankly a meaningless victory but one that got some small meaning because Palin fans made it so.

In 1884 Grover Cleveland was election becoming the first Democratic president since before the Civil war. Democrats who had been in the wilderness for a long time looked forward to the fruits of the spoils system but unfortunately for them President Cleveland’s reputation for honesty was well-earned. He was studious in replacing only the unqualified and when pressed by the party over this replied “A Democratic Thief is as bad as a Republican one.” (It is the lack of such democrats today that helped push me into the GOP). When people blindly voted for Bristol they made that same mistake that Cleveland scolded the party insiders for.

I like Sarah Palin a lot, of the candidates I believe are running only the very qualified Haley Barbour has a shot of getting my vote. Palin combines the practicality of an authentic life and a common sense approach to most issues, with the courage to stand up for things she believes in even if there is a political cost (as Lincoln said of Grant, he Fights!) when others hide in the shadows. She is however a person, I am going to disagree with her on occasion, she will get things wrong and/or make mistakes on occasion as we all do, and if we blindly follow, we are doing both her and ourselves a disservice.

Sarah Palin isn’t “the one”, nor is her family, I like them both and think she is the best choice for 2012 but I refuse to be caught up in the same throes of passion that drove the election of President Obama or the frenzy concerning Bristol Palin and neither should you.

We are conservatives for a reason, lets act as such.

Casey Fiano explains the facts of life to a generation of mothers who were so positive that they knew better than their parents they they retained that belief even after they left their teenage years:

One culprit for why girls are so hyper-sexualized these days can be traced right back to the extreme sex education being taught in our schools, with the charge being led by femisogynists to keep the sex ed coming. Girls have been taught by the adults in their lives to embrace their sexuality, have been lovingly encouraged to explore their sex lives in new and innovative ways. The feminist extremists gush about the brilliance of giving their daughters vibrators, they teach middle schoolers how to have good sex. Planned Parenthood distributes sexually explicit brochures to Girl Scouts and teach 10-year-olds about anal sex. Children are inundated about sex from extremely young ages about sex, something that the femisogynists encourage, and yet they can’t understand why teenage girls are sleeping around?

And mom’s if you were counting on us parents of boys to hold them back, you sure have high expectations. Those teenage boys and twenty something men are naturally hardwired toward the goal of scoring. Do you realize how hard it is for responsible parents to teach their sons to hold off be respectful when the message from the girls at school is “Get it Here!”?

You did this to yourselves. I have sympathy for your daughters but I have a very hard time having sympathy for you. You wanted to fight the culture wars to get rid of “puritanical” standards of your parents and church. Congratulations you won! Enjoy your prize!

I’ll include you and your children in my prayers.