Cinema Psycho

"You know what? You have a losing personality." – Manhattan

Archive for August, 2013

All Hail the Rise of Porn Pop!!

Posted by CinemaPsycho on August 27, 2013

Well, I’m going to keep this one relatively short, as I think it should be obvious and doesn’t take much explanation. But after the uproar over the other night’s “MTV Video Music Awards” (which I only saw parts of, but as far as I could tell featured neither music nor videos), I’ve decided to make a declaration. You know how Nikki Finke labeled modern horror movies “torture porn” and that somehow caught on with the internet population (most of whom don’t even know where it came from)? I’m hoping this will have a similar effect (though I’m not delusional enough to actually think it will). Since I know people today love to put labels on things, I’ve got a label for you. Maybe this one will stick.

I hereby label all of today’s shitty, disposable, superficial pop music porn pop.

Why, you ask? Well, I considered “whore pop”, but I decided that didn’t quite do it. Seriously, if you actually saw any of those performances the other night, you really shouldn’t have to ask. If the head of Vivid wasn’t on the phone with Miley Cyrus’ agent Monday morning, it’s probably because he couldn’t get through. And I’ll be totally honest, I don’t even find Miley Cyrus the least bit attractive (does anyone?). I think it’s the redneck thing. Doesn’t do it for me. But man, the clips I’ve seen give Lexi Belle a run for her money. This is what today’s kids are watching and listening to now? Okayyyy… don’t ask me why 12-year-olds are getting pregnant. Just saying. I’m no prude, but Jesus fuckin’ Christ. Teen Mom, Snooki, yeah, whatever. I was recently in a hospital waiting room where The Talk was on, which I never watch, and Ozzy’s wife actually said that “Snooki is a role model for young girls”. REALLY? Snooki is a role model for young girls? Why??? For what possible reason? She’s a dumb slut. I’M a better role model for young girls than she is. What is going on in this world?

But the real reason I call it “porn pop” is because the music itself and the videos that accompany it are basically like porn. Except that porn, of course, actually delivers what it promises. I’m not here to criticize porn – I think it is what it is, and you either like it or you don’t. It’s something to get off to, and that’s all it is meant to be. Music, however, is a different thing. Music should express something, whether it be emotional, artistic, intellectual. An idea. This garbage expresses nothing. It’s all about the superficial – it’s about looks and money and fucking. In other words, it’s porn. It says nothing beyond “looking good is all that matters, and you look good and I look good, so let’s fuck”. That’s all it is. It means nothing. It’s porn pop.

Is that what we want our kids growing up listening to? Hell, is that what we want to listen to? Apparently, lots of people do. Because, let’s face it, a lot of people are fucking idiots. I just don’t know when the idiots took over.

And no, it’s not just the female pop stars I’m talking about either. The male pop stars are just as bad. Who is Justin Bieber, really, but James Deen in training (the male porn star, not James Dean the actor)? Is there really any difference? Aren’t they basically of equal worth, when it comes right down to it? They’re both basically media personalities who don’t really do anything all that special. One Direction? Yeah, I could round up a bunch of decent-looking guys and give them singing lessons and make billions too. It was a scam back when they called it New Kids on the Block. Did we learn nothing from Milli Vanilli?

Honestly, I’m just waiting for these people to have hardcore sex on stage and get it over with. I know there are rules against that sort of thing, but I’m sure someday they’ll find a way around that. Whatever happened to talent?? When did that become a foreign concept? I know there are plenty of great bands out there who actually play instruments, but somehow the mainstream media has lost sight of that. And most people are only aware of what the media pushes on them, sadly. I don’t think I’m the one who is out of touch – I listen to lots of great bands who actually have talent and something to say. But their music isn’t played on the radio, TV, the media in general. The new Bowie album has been ignored, the new Iggy and the Stooges album has been ignored. Never mind that they are legends. And their albums are excellent. I don’t understand it. I’m really looking forward to the Nine Inch Nails album, the new Pearl Jam album. There are lots of great new bands coming up all the time that I love. There is always great music out there. It’s just that most people don’t hear it. I remember a time when that wasn’t true, when quality and talent mattered and you could turn on MTV or rock radio and hear some good music, even great music. I don’t know why that isn’t true any more. Rock radio is stuck in the past, and MTV is a reality show nightmare. When did crap become king? I know there has always been crappy pop music, but when did it become the end-all be-all?

I just hope Madonna is happy with all of this. This is the world she created, after all. I never understood the fascination with her in the first place – I get the image part, but the music was very average pop of the time. It used to be that you had to back up your image with actual music that kicked ass. Apparently that’s no longer the case. I find that very sad. Tell me, how many people are still listening to the Bay City Rollers? How about Shaun Cassidy? Or even David Cassidy? Yep, exactly. Trends pass, but real music lasts. Years from now, when today’s pop fans are embarrassed by their past musical taste, I will be here to laugh at your sorry asses. No, you know what? I’m not even going to wait that long. I’m laughing now.

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Fear Is the New Fear: A Help Line Tries to Legitimize Ignorance Towards Horror Films

Posted by CinemaPsycho on August 5, 2013

Lately I’ve been wondering if I might have a touch of Asperger’s. Seriously. I’m not saying that as a joke (I’m not a morning radio DJ); it’s something I’ve been seriously considering. The things that people say and do (and think and believe) baffle me that much. I don’t know that I actually have it, but it would explain a lot. Recently Diane Kruger’s character on The Bridge has become my fictional hero (if you haven’t seen the show, check it out sometime; it’s excellent). If you know the show you probably get what I mean. Or maybe not. Anyway, I think it’s safe to say that as I get older I find society to be more and more bizarre; hence my last couple of blog posts. I just don’t get you guys sometimes. The fascination with the Royal Baby, for instance. Hey, rich British people can procreate! That’s great for them. Can you get to the actual news now? Or, sports. A bunch of millionaires playing children’s games. That’s what you’re rooting for. None of them are from your cities. You do know that, right? You’re all against immigration, unless they can throw a ball. Then let ’em in! Do you see now why I think I have Asperger’s?

All of this is a bizarre introduction to the real subject, but maybe it will help you understand my point of view on it. I happened to see a TV commercial the other night that completely blew my mind. I wasn’t planning to write about it at first, but the more I think about it, the more I think I have to say something. I don’t know who the ad agency was who created this, or even the name of the company that commissioned it. But it really made me think that we are moving backwards intellectually, and that scares me far more than the horror movies the people behind it are so afraid of.

It was basically an ad for a “family help line”, I guess for people who don’t know how to deal with their own kids and need advice. I don’t know any people like that, but I suppose they are out there. So they had different actors playing parents calling in with different problems. I really wasn’t paying attention to most of them and don’t remember them that well. But this one guy was apparently supposed to be calling from his teenage son’s room. On the wall was a laughable recreation of a horror movie poster, with a vague-looking zombie on it and the word “ZOMBIE” in big white letters above it (not like the infamous poster for Lucio Fulci’s Zombie, which freaked me out as a kid; this was far more generic). This was hysterically funny to me because no movie poster would ever look like that. It was absolutely ridiculous. So the “father” is talking on the phone to the help line and he says, “My kid is watching movies that are DARK and ANGRY.”

I was stunned by this at first. Dark and angry? What?? Then I remembered the poster on the wall. He’s talking about… horror movies. You know, the movies that millions of people around the world watch. They’re equating watching horror movies to having emotional problems.

My first reaction was, are they fucking serious? Then my second reaction was… Yes. They are.

I don’t even know where to begin with this one. I know that there have always been people who are ignorant towards horror films, and films in general. I’m well aware of that. But for some ad agency to actually create a commercial that attempts to legitimize those ridiculous and unfounded fears… that boggles my mind. I don’t know if this “help line” is sponsored by some sort of religious organization, or a nefarious right-wing group, or something else. I don’t even want to speculate on that. I will say that whoever is behind this is completely misguided and out of their fucking gourds.

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I shouldn’t have to explain this, but millions of people watch horror films. Teenagers and adults. Very few of them turn into violent criminals. If the kid’s jerking off to the gore scenes, then you have a problem. Hang up the damn phone and be glad he’s not getting the girl next door pregnant, buddy. Watching George Romero movies doesn’t make your kid the next school shooter. Maybe it means… he likes zombie movies? Like a lot of other people? He watches The Walking Dead? He has a curiosity about things that are outside the mainstream, perhaps? He wants to explore the world of entertainment beyond Two and a Half Men reruns? Is that not OK now? As far as the absurd “dark and angry” comment goes – a lot of movies are “dark and angry” if you think about it for more than two seconds. All the President’s Men is “dark and angry”. Double Indemnity is “dark and angry”. Born on the Fourth of July is “dark and angry”. And there are reasons for that. Do we have to shield our children from those films too? Let’s protect them from truth and reality while we’re at it.

Let me let you in on a little secret – I wasn’t allowed to watch horror films as a teenager, and I still had problems. Maybe I could have used some good old-fashioned cathartic fictional bloodshed as a release. At the very least, the subversive humor of directors like Romero or Stuart Gordon might have helped me get through it all with my sanity intact. But I was allowed to watch Clint Eastwood and Charles Bronson movies and the like, where I learned that violence solves everything and whoever has the biggest gun wins. How fucked up is that? Talk about dark and angry…

Here’s what the anti-horror, anti-Hollywood people don’t understand and probably never will. Art should challenge the status quo, not reinforce it. Art should provoke and ask questions. Art should make us think, not put us into a stupor. We don’t need to be “saved” from independent thought. We don’t need to be “saved” from fictional horror. If you want to be concerned about something, be concerned about the real horrors that happen in our world every single day. Is there a “help line” for that? 1-800-REALITY? If so, it’s probably busy from people calling it every minute of every day. Be concerned about murder and rape and child abuse, not what fucking MOVIES people are watching.

Because monster movies are fine, but it’s other human beings that scare the hell out of me. If these assholes want to be afraid of something, they should look in the mirror, not the movie screen.

Posted in Psycho Therapy | 4 Comments »