Latin nerds and metal heads may clash in the schoolyard, but damn, they rock in combo.
With metal gaining acceptance in the Eurovision Song Contest–Azerbaijan’s debut ESC 2008 entry is legendary, and Latin having been the reigning language back in ye olde olden days, well, it was only a matter of time before some metal band made a Eurovision-centric entry in Latin. Though part of the goal of Eurovision seems to be to not win because the winning country has to host the following year, some countries still take ESC pretty seriously.
The German Swiss entry, Arxplendida, with their song “Mercurii Diei” takes on the absurdity of Eurovision: Dorky national costume jackets and matching neckties; super square haircuts; soaring metal vocals set against tragic green screen stock footage of farms, forests, and abandoned buildings; and a Eurovision nod in the lyrics. In Latin that looks and sounds super metal, and reflects in translation to German (and then into English) a contemporary slacker ennui. The band sees themselves as underdogs, commenting in the lyrics that they didn’t do so well on Swiss Idol and were told they had no chance at Eurovision. However fans disagreed, and Arxplendida was voted into ESC.
Hebdomada miserrima fuit, nihil bene evenit.
Primum adamata me dimisit.
Tum locator me domo eiecit.
canis crus vicini mordicus paene abstulit.
Nunc est vesper Mercurii diei et nihil animum sollicitat,
Cum ad mensam nostram sedens cum amicis cervesiam poto.
Si mane corpus ad officia explenda non est paratum,
nihil interest. Talis enim est vesper operae pretium.
The week was a scream, it worked absolutely nothing,
At first I was thoroughly polished off [by]my girlfriend.
The landlord has kicked me out on it out of the apartment
And the neighbor’s dog has almost bitten off my left leg.
But today is Wednesday night and I whistle it,
If I on the trunk with my friends a beer sauf.
And if the body in the morning the service denied
That does not matter, such an evening is worth it.
Is punk rock dead because Johnny Rotten sold his four bedroom, three bathroom Malibu home with beach rights at around the asking price just under $2 million? It was listed as
Needs TLC, sold as-is
which sounds pretty punk rock. Judging from the photos of the interior, Rotten–who has gone by his birth name John Lydon for decades–and his wife, German heiress Nora Forster, may want to hire an interior designer for the next home. Seriously disappointing style. If meant to be hipster ironic, it missed the mark. The house itself, minus the fixer caveat, sounds pretty nice:
It comes with a pool, beach rights, a big deck, pool with waterfall and spa, pool bar, cabana/gym, fruit trees, and two-car garage plus parking for four more.
I actually like it when punk rockers do well. It’s not selling out, it’s making the most of what you do, and it’s better than starving. Lydon has created great music and has had some fun with image as well, like in this butter commercial, which helped reunite PIL and get a new album out. But again, John, please consider some decorating help!
Walmart is selling copies of Banksy. Unauthorized copies of Banksy for anywhere from $26.87 to $868.99 if you want it super-sized. And yes these, like the Banksys you can get on eBay are not official Banksy art, which makes them not really worthless or valuable. But this is not one Banksy’s pranks. Jo Brooks, Banksy’s publicist told LAist:
The Banksy canvases you showed me are counterfeit reproductions and we are currently dealing with Walmart about them.
Walmart appears to simply list these prints which are actually sold and shipped from other websites like Wayfair.com and PlumStruck; and those sites, which sell the pieces for the same price as Walmart, don’t reveal where they get the work. But wherever it’s from, it’s not authorized by the artist. Now granted, Walmart or any retailer could sell a picture that you or I took of a Banksy, but they couldn’t say it was art by Banksy, instead it’s a photo by me or by you of a Banksy. But that isn’t what’s being done.
And some of the images aren’t even Banksy! There’s a Mr. Brainwash, Life is Beautiful, that’s identified as Banksy (and apparently being sold through Walmart without the artist’s permission). And Eddie Colla–whose artwork stenciled with
If you want to achieve greatness stop asking for permission
and mislabeled as a Banksy is being sold (without permission) through Walmart–told L.A. Taco exactly how he he felt about mega-Borg-mart selling his art
I made a piece about individuals controlling their own fate and not making their success contingent on the approval of others. It then gets adopted by a neo-feudal corporation like Walmart. A corporation whose employment practices have created a 2 million person underclass in this country. That’s where this becomes an issue of conviction…Walmart is right there on the wrong side of history. As far as the Banksy thing, that’s just ignorance. It’s common when a group of people try to cash in on something they know little or nothing about. All they see is an opportunity to exploit something and make some money. They see a stencil and call it a Banksy.
Colla took matters into his own hands, creating a new print mocking Walmart with the words
It’s Only Stealing If You Get Caught
The print run is sold out. Colla’s original If you want to achieve greatness… is also being sold by Amazon as a Banksy.
Amazon and eBay both have lots of “Banksy” available, so this is a large problem of artists’ work being appropriated stolen and sold though online retailers who either have no clue or don’t care.
Walmart waves American Flags, kowtows to a hypocritical right wing Christian ideology but that’s merely a marketing strategy. If Walmart actually believed in any part of that ridiculous rhetoric they would certainly never put work by an artist like me in their stores.
Art geek side note: The term “rip off” comes from the turn of the 19th century when posters would be slapped up to advertise operas, plays, circuses and the like. Crooks would follow behind the postering crews and literally “rip off” the posters from the walls, either to sell or because they worked for rival productions.
Yesterday, the Republican National Committee sought to honor the memory of Rosa Parks with a tweet which read:
Today we remember Rosa Parks’ bold stand and her role in ending racism.
While the mistake inspired its own hashtag #RacismEndedWhen, a collective Scooby Doo “EURP?” from the vast majority of Americans, and a correction– it also likely comes as news to Bob Dylan who is currently being sued in France for “racist” remarks made in a September 2012 Rolling Stone interview.
The remarks in question- when considered in light of the RNC’s gaffe and recent reports indicating Americans don’t trust each other anymore- offer insight into the messed up priorities of “post-racial” America.
Mmm, I don’t know how to put it. It’s like . . . the United States burned and destroyed itself for the sake of slavery. The USA wouldn’t give it up. It had to be grinded out. The whole system had to be ripped out with force. A lot of killing. What, like, 500,000 people? A lot of destruction to end slavery. And that’s what it really was all about.
This country is just too f***** up about color. It’s a distraction. People at each other’s throats just because they are of a different color. It’s the height of insanity, and it will hold any nation back – or any neighborhood back. Or any anything back. Blacks know that some whites didn’t want to give up slavery – that if they had their way, they would still be under the yoke, and they can’t pretend they don’t know that. If you got a slave master or Klan in your blood, blacks can sense that. That stuff lingers to this day. Just like Jews can sense Nazi blood and the Serbs can sense Croatian blood.
It’s doubtful that America’s ever going to get rid of that stigmatization. It’s a country founded on the backs of slaves. You know what I mean? Because it goes way back. It’s the root cause. If slavery had been given up in a more peaceful way, America would be far ahead today. Whoever invented the idea “lost cause . . . .” There’s nothing heroic about any lost cause. No such thing, though there are people who still believe it.
The bolded portion above, specifically the reference to Serbs and Croats, two groups with a long-standing and bloody conflict, is the basis of the lawsuit filed in December of 2012 in France by a Croatian Community Center. Europe’s strict free-speech laws are such that Dylan can be sued and fined if charged despite not being a citizen of France.
Now I’ll admit, Dylan’s sentiments are a bit cringeworthy, but it’s important to remember that despite being a huge proponent of the Civil Rights Movement he remains a man of that era. You don’t call people “blacks” anymore and the concept of one group being able to sniff out another group’s blood is “poetic”, sure, but also pretty cynical.
What it isn’t is racist.
Racism isn’t over.
We’re far from the point of being “post-racial” in part because there’s a perpetual sense of distrust hanging over all of our rhetoric, as well as an instinct to call lots of things racist. I don’t think Bob Dylan meant to say something disparaging of Croats. And while the RNC is definitely responsible for advocating on behalf of policies that are harmful to people of color, I don’t think their Rosa Parks tweet was intentionally striving to fan the flames.
That doesn’t stop everyone from being on edge, and while public shamming has its place, what does it accomplish?
We don’t trust each other to the point where it’s reflected in our rhetoric and by what dominates our attention. Controversy sells! How often do good things get covered? To what scale? We’re inundated with the sideshow in a circus with no main act.
GoldieBlox withdrew their preemptive Fair Use lawsuit against the Beastie Boys. That was a smart move, since the odds were not looking good for the Silicon Valley toy company: They had used the band’s name as well as their music without permission, and had in an earlier video, used Queen’s “We are the Champions” and the Toys “R” Us name without permission. The “Girls” ad went megaviral, but GoldieBlox had never asked for permission to use the song, even in parody form, figuring they could just call it a “parody” and get away with it Because GoldieBlox is all cool and new hip and copyright is for old people and The Man who is keeping us down. Neener.
What they didn’t realize, but a simple Google search would have shown, is that they had gone against the dying wishes of Beastie Boys member Adam Yauch who had hand-written a clause in his will that none of his music, likeness, or art be used in ads. GoldieBlox looked like self-entitled, selfish brats, so they pulled the music and wrote an apology, in which GoldieBlox founder Debbie Sterling said
We don’t want to fight with you. We love you and we are actually huge fans.
quite a different tune from their preemptive lawsuit which called the song
They company claims it didn’t realize that Yauch had made a pre-death legal standing regarding his music, and that the surviving Beastie Boys supported and endorsed Yauch’s wishes. Of course that doesn’t absolve GoldieBlox from their conscious and willful appropriation of the band’s music; and that then when approached by the band’s attorneys with a query letter, they went on the offensive, smacking back with the lawsuit claiming Fair Use.
The video now has a new music, and the Beastie Boys name has been taken off the video. But the bad taste over how this company behaved still lingers.
The Portland, Oregon gamer community PDXLAN donated 37,500 lbs of food to a local charity to feed the homeless. The gamers hold parties three times a year where people from all over the country gather to game in real life. The meet-ups involve a charitable aspect, raising funds for groups American Red Cross, Smile Train and Child’s Play. For the most recent meet-up held the weekend before Thanksgiving, PDXLAN and their friends, who have done food drives over the past seven years, scored over 17 tons of food collected in 48 hours.
Battlefield 4 was one of the more popular games played, and the game’s manufacturer, Electronic Arts, aka EA, sponsored B4 gamers who donated 50 lbs of food. Metro Last Light and NVIDIA promised each attendee a copy of Metro Last Light if donations surpassed 20,000 lbs.
As a community we really want to give back. We want to show that gamers are good people who do good things.
And that they are not just a bunch of kids who live in mom’s basement. As PDXLAN’s website points out:
Doctors, Lawyers, micro-chip designers, school teachers, professors, farmers, students, IT-specialists, pharmacists, web-programers, and stay at home moms – gaming is something that transcends age groups, social groups, education levels, economic classes, and gender. Video gaming is a larger industry than all the Hollywood blockbuster films combined each year.
The food went to the Union Gospel Mission in Portland.
I thought from the GoldieBlox online commercial that the Beastie Boys were involved with the company which creates these toys for future inventors, or at least endorsed it somehow, since their name was attached to the video and their song “Girls” was used. I guess a lot of people thought that, and the Beastie Boys’ name and the song helped boost the video into viral status. It’s now a finalist in a contest sponsored by Intuit to air a commercial during the 2014 Super Bowl.
Notwithstanding anything to the contrary, in no event may my image or name or any music or any artistic property created by me be used for advertising purposes.
Rolling Stone reports that the phrase
any music or any artistic property
was written in Yauch’s own hand. He died of cancer in May, 2012. The Beastie Boys wrote the music together, so “Girls” falls under his will. So basically, GoldieBlox has defied and disrespected a dying man’s wishes for their own purposes.
a copyright infringement, is not a fair use, and that GoldieBlox’s unauthorized use of the Beastie Boys intellectual property is a “big problem” that has a “very significant impact.”
So GoldieBlox filed a preemptive suit. (And I hope they don’t shift strategies, calling the whaaa-mublance and starting to bawl about how they are being picked on by the big mean rock stars and their big mean record companies; that would be conduct unbecoming. But they should fire whoever told them it was a totally cool, no problem thing to just blithely parody a major hit and use the band’s name to promote their product.)
You read that right: GoldieBlox is suing the Beastie Boys. And their record labels and publishing companies. GoldieBlox is hoping for
declaratory judgment and injunctive relief
with the hope that their unauthorized use of the song will be declared Fair Use parody. They want to protect their version of the song, it’s integral to the GoldieBlox promo video that’s received almost 9 million views on YouTube. (Using the Beastie Boys’ name to promote the video isn’t gonna help the case at all, that was a very foolish move). Here are the standards for considering Fair Use:
1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
Well, the song was clearly parodied for commercial purposes. One could argue that Weird Al Yankovic also parodies for commercial purposes, but he secures permission and royalties are paid. And he is not selling a separate product, simply the song itself. The tune and phrasing of the original is used, along the with distinctive chorus. Weird Al changes the words completely, along with the overall meaning. Again, he pays royalties. But is this just about money? The Beasties say no, it’s about their principles: They don’t allow their music to be used in commercials, period. And they don’t allow the band’s name to be used in commercials. And the GoldieBlox video is an ad. It may be on YouTube, but it’s an ad. And it could be shown on the Super Bowl.
Like many of the millions of people who have seen your toy commercial ‘GoldieBlox, Rube Goldberg & the Beastie Boys,’ we were very impressed by the creativity and the message behind your ad.
We strongly support empowering young girls, breaking down gender stereotypes and igniting a passion for technology and engineering.
As creative as it is, make no mistake, your video is an advertisement that is designed to sell a product, and long ago, we made a conscious decision not to permit our music and/or name to be used in product ads. When we tried to simply ask how and why our song Girls had been used in your ad without our permission, YOU sued US.
In their court papers, GoldieBlox makes the point:
Set to the tune of ‘Girls’ but with a new recording of the music and new lyrics, girls are heard singing an anthem celebrating their broad set of capabilities — exactly the opposite of the message of the original. They are also shown engaging in activities far beyond what the Beastie Boys song would permit. GoldieBlox created its parody video specifically to comment on the Beastie Boys song, and to further the company’s goal to break down gender stereotypes.
Actually the band’s original song was pretty much a parody of macho attitudes.
I wonder though, maybe GoldieBlox anticipated the Beasties’ reaction and figured that (along with making the world better for girls with their cool toys), they would get additional PR, and also pry open the door for greater Fair Use. This could end up being very expensive battle, and the odds of it being resolved before the Super Bowl are slim.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out, especially since Felix Salmon at Reuters points out this isn’t the first time GoldieBlox has used a song without permission for their online videos. The Silicon Valley startup’s first video “GoldieBlox Breaks into Toys R Us” used Queen’s “We Are the Champions” and there was no parody of lyrics at all. I am starting to like this company less and less.
This is the story of a secret agent, of nuclear proliferation, billion-dollar high-tech defense transactions, ideology, patriotism, love, heartbreak, and the awe inspiring Hollywood career of a mysterious mogul. In a true story that puts James Bond to shame, Confidential details with nail-biting suspense how producer Arnon Milchan evolved from his youth into one of the most important covert agents that Israeli intelligence has ever fielded…Confidential is packed with stunning new revelations and opens a window into the world of a key covert operative, who evolved into a genuine member of Hollywood’s royal elite.
Here are some the quotes bolstering the authors’ claims and those of Milchan:
Arnon is a special man. His activities gave us a huge advantage, strategically, diplomatically, and technologically. In my present position as president, I am restrained from recommending any single individual for our highest defense-related honor, but undoubtedly, Arnon Milchan is worthy of such an acknowledgment, and that’s as close to a recommendation that I, as president, can give.
–Shimon Peres, President of Israel.
Never, never tell jokes about a man with easy access to weapons of mass destruction.
–Peter Chernin, former CEO of Fox Entertainment Group.
Arnon Milchan…is a loyal and generous friend who also happens to be a great longterm and trustworthy partner.
– Rupert Murdoch, CEO, News Corporation.
Creepy much? Milchan spoke to Israeli investigative documentary program Uvda (Fact) in an interview that will air this week on Israel’s Channel 2 (interesting timing with Iran nuke deal now agreed to). The program includes interviews with Russel Crowe, Robert DiNiro and Ben Affleck. Milchan was recruited by Israeli president Shimon Peres in the 1960s and became a liaison for the secretive Bureau of Scientific Relations and worked to further Israel’s nuclear program, handling clandestine deals involving Israeli military acquisitions in the 1970s He admits that the late producer Sydney Pollock was
a real partner
who helped him obtain arms and other military equipment for Israel and was fully aware of what he was doing. Milchan also used an unwitting Richard Dreyfuss in an attempt to recruit senior U.S. scientist and expert on nuclear weapons Arthur Biehl for Israel, inviting Biehl to Dreyfuss’ house on the premise that the two men would discuss music.
Milchan says of dual career:
I didn’t attach enough significance to the image I had created of myself. I should have confronted the image of an arms dealer. In Hollywood they don’t like working with an arms dealer, ideologically. [They don't like working] with someone who lives off selling machine guns and killing. Instead of someone talking to me about a script, I had to spend half an hour explaining that I’m not an arms dealer. If people knew how many times I risked my life, back and forth, again and again, for my country. … And suddenly, to defend myself — ‘I’m not an arms dealer, I don’t sell guns, I don’t sell rockets’ — I should have been aware of that, of what I’ll go through, and said ‘F— you. You know what? I did it for my country, and I’m proud of it.’
Milchan’s choice of films doesn’t reflect a bias towards Israel or an attempt to brainwash the public, but still this is, well, creepy. Milchan’s latest film, starring Russell Crowe is the story of Noah, directed by Darren Aronsofsky.
Kanye West’s new video “Bound 2,” featuring his fianceé Kim Kardashian’s breasts and her breathless, knowing utterances of
Uh huh honey
is A) self-will run riot; B) a brilliant self-parody; C) a sign of the impending collapse of Western Civilization; D) all of the above. Sans narrative and set in Monument Valley and outer space (and perhaps Kanye’s subconscious), “Bound 2″ explores the rapper’s profound, passionate and complex relationship with Kim Kardashian, acknowledging the conflict between love and materialism that surface in the couple’s union, ultimately ending on a note of hope-or is it resignation?
I wanna fuck you hard on the sink
After that, give you something to drink
Step back, can’t get spunk on the mink…
And hey, ayo, we made it, Thanksgiving
So hey, maybe we can make it to Christmas
She asked me what I wished for on the wishlist
Have you ever asked your bitch for other bitches?
Maybe we could still make it to the church steps
Now James Franco and Seth Rogen have created their own shot-by-shot version of “Bound 2″ called “Bound 3,” which further cements the utter surreal perfection of Kanye’s Nick West-directed video. Kim Kardashian loves it tweeting:
You nailed it!!! Sooo funny!
Rogen and Franco shot their homage, entitled “Bound 3″ on the set of their new political comedy/thriller The Interview, directed by Rogen and his longtime collaborator Evan Goldberg, and written by Rogen, Goldberg and Dan Weaver. Franco plays a a good looking, but vapid talk-show host and Rogen his long suffering producer who travel fall into the middle of the CIA’s assassination attempt on the prime minister of North Korea.
Rogen and Franco have starred before in Pineapple Express and End of the World. “Bound 3″ marks their first music video collaboration. The song “Bound 2″ in now number 5 on the Billbaord Hot 100. It premier last week on Ellen. I’m sure her her audience was grateful for the tip
Step back, can’t get spunk on the mink.
It is a good piece of advice, and one I always make sure is followed.
With Thanksgiving only two days away, will Kim and Kanye to make it through the turkey, dressing and stuffing, all the way to Christmas, and to the church steps? Oh gods, please yes, if only to see the next video. And hopefully Rogen and Franco’s response.
Doctor Who! Fifty years ago, on November 23, 1963, a huge event occurred, unrelated to either John F. Kennedy’s assassination or the Beatles, but equally as transformative, its effects still being felt globally. And not just by geeks.
Doctor Who turns fifty. And today is “The Day of the Doctor.” Movie theaters in the US and UK will be hosting special screenings of the 50th anniversary episode, which is airing on the BBC, of course, and BBC America at 19:50 UTC (2:50 pm ET). A live pre-show, beginning at 2:30pm ET, will show on BBC America and on BBC-A’s YouTube channel. “The Day of the Doctor” is the biggest global “Who” event ever, shot in 3D and airing in 75 countries simultaneously.
The time traveling Doctor Who, who has been played actors including Paul McGann and John Hurt, will incarnate as Peter Capaldi in the upcoming season. (The trailer may have spoilers). Enjoy!