Sometimes, products are all the more disappointing when they sounded pretty cool at first.
Case in point: Mattel's blockbuster franchise, Monster High. This series of dolls is centered around the children (mostly daughters) of werewolves, mummies and other classic beasties of horror tales. When speaking about the franchise to the New York Times, Tim Kilpin of Mattel said, "Who doesn't feel like a freak in high school? It started with that universal truth." Of course, high schoolers aren't Mattel's target market; in fact, most Monster High products are officially listed as "Age 6-8." Still, dolls that promote not buying into superficial mainstream standards would be neat, right?
Yeah, they would. Too bad that's not what's happening here.
On Tuesday, Glee aired their second vaguely Lady Gaga-inspired episode, "Born This Way." Like the first, Season One's "Theatricality," it was, to quote Alyx Vesey, "a mixed bag stuffed to the purse strings."
For LGBTQ and disability rights activists, allies and California youth, as of April 14th, it got better. The CA senate voted 23-14 in favor of a bill mandating the inclusion of curriculum based on sexual orientation and gender identity in public schools, and if the bill is adopted by the state assembly, the teaching of LGBTQ history will become lawful. Much like the cultural contributions made by women, people of color, immigrants, aboriginals, and workers, if the bill is signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, California will become the first state to require the inclusion of LGBTQ history in schools. Hardly mentioned in the media thus far, the passage of the bill will also grant people with disabilities long overdue space in California classroom curricula.
Cooly G is one of the UK's hottest artists at the moment, releasing singles on revered label Hyperdub (Burial, Kode 9, Ikonika) as well as setting up her own label, Dub Organizer. I caught up with her at a hectic time, with her four-year old son Nas clamouring for attention and a repairman in the house attempting—and by the end of the interview, failing—to fix a broken boiler. I found Cooly G to be by turns open and evasive, flinty and warm, funny, contradictory at times, but always compelling.
As the day draws ever nearer, and even the most patriotic pundits run out of things to say about the ceremony itself, it's time to turn our attention to what comes afterwards. The significance of the event cannot be underestimated, and although none of us will be privy to what the newlyweds get up to behind closed doors, it doesn't stop us speculating. I speak, of course, of the reception.
Poly Styrene, the lead singer of the pioneering punk band X-Ray Spex, died on Monday after a battle with cancer. She was 53.
Styrene's glass-shattering vocals made the band's 1978 album Germ Free Adolescents a punk masterpiece, and the song "Oh Bondage Up Yours!" in particular stands out as one of punk feminism's original eff yous to the sexism and prejudice that existed not only in mainstream society, but in the burgeoning punk community as well.
Brooklyn Vegan released the lineup for Lollapalooza 2011, Chicago's contribution to the summer festival circuit, today, and I'm sure they just MISPLACED the list with all the female acts on it, and that's coming shortly. Right? There's no WAY such an enormous festival wouldn't include a SINGLE WOMAN in their list of headliners? Ouch, Lolly. Ouch. I thought our love went deeper than that.
The Greatest Movie Ever Sold is a perfect display of what Spurlock's brand personality analyst calls his mix of "playful and mindful" qualities. He sells himself with a shit-eating grin, riding the wave of his own charm, which is a force unto itself—fueling the camera equipment, feeding the crew, somehow exempting him from an icky breakdown of integrity even while dressed in a suit jacket cluttered with corporate sponsor decals. He convinces you that the film's corporate doublespeak tagline ("he's not selling out, he's buying in") is actually true, that there is a difference.
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