Decorative Flower
Her Realm, Personal website and blog of Cole
Oct 18

On Consuming Media with Problematic Messages

Lately, I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about things that I enjoy and how they’re problematic in some way. Typically, this means the music I listen to and messages that may be racist or sexist, but those certainly aren’t the only mediums or messages that are problematic. I probably just notice it in music more because IO am almost always listening to music.’

For example, I love the beat of the new Nick Jonas song “Jealous,” but the lyrics are fucking terrible as he sings about his right to be jealous of his beautiful girlfriend and to act “hellish” because of it. While Nick plays it like it’s normal, Meg Myers has no qualm about talking about her obsessive desires are pretty far out there. I just discover Meg and both “Monster” and “Desire” are like this. They’re fantastic songs, though!

Another song that I can’t help but dance along to is “All About the Bass.” Megan Trainor has landed on the scene in a big way, and her leading anthem about how the boys love her(and dislike thin women for their lack there of) for her curves just rubs me wrong. It’s not body positive to call a slender people “skinny bitches” no matter how she might follow it up with a quip about how they’re beautiful. It just doesn’t come off as genuine.

I checked out a few more Megan Trainor songs, and I have to say her writing skills — or at least her choice in lyrics as a whole — tend to be problematic. She focuses so single-mindedly on “finding and keeping a man who will treat her like a lady and pay for her lavish lifestyle. She’s fallen prey to a society who says she is only worth something as long as she is useful (read: owned by) a man, and it just makes me.. sad. Because she seems like she’s HGH pretty fuckin’ awesome. She doesn’t necessarily have to be a feminist fighter, but there’s so much more to life and music than what she’s chosen thus far. In fact, I think that Mary Lambert does a great job of this!

Before I wrap up this post, I’ll talk about everyone’s favorite love-to-hate singer and songwriter: Taylor Swift. Taylor recently release a fun pop anthem titled “Shake It Off.” I cannot help but get up and dance when I hear it. The beat is amazing, and it might be causing me to lose weight — kidding, though! I can’t believe it only has 1 million views.

But “Shake It Off” has been on the receiving end of a lot of flack. Perhaps most notable is the idea that the video combines one part definite cultural appropriation and perhaps another part racism, depending on how you view it, thanks to concepts that are reminiscent of ye olde minstrel shows.

I also have a bone to pick with the lyrics, which suddenly show Taylor demanding her right to have fun (and potentially sex) with whoever she wants. This in and of itself isn’t problematic. You get it, girl! But she has spent much of her career slut shaming the other girls for being to promiscuous. The sudden change could perhaps be in relation to her growing up. Taylor has even recently has explained how she has come to realize what feminism is and wishes she had understood early so she could have sooner called herself a feminist.

I think there’s two overreaching thoughts here. I still enjoy these things despite their problems. Critical thinking about music and other things we so passively enjoy is an important part of growth. Secondly, even people and creators who have been problematic are starting to see the fact and coming around to the other side, which is kind of inspiring.


Apr 02

My Heart Wants

I have long been a fan of Lennon Murphy, a chick rocker who, yes, is named after that Lennon. She had a solo career, and I discovered her on MTV Rock (remember when that was a thing?!) in high school. I bought her first album and a few later, but she never achieved that same success.

I would eventually go on to start a Lennon fanlisting, which I deleted when I removed the rest of my fanlistings shortly before I switched Web hosts. But her career didn’t keep up. I was sad because I like chicks who rock. It’s also the same reason that I had a Pat Benatar fanlisting — and tattoo!

I had created a Google alert to be updated whenever Lennon popped up because I needed to update my fanlisting, and I must have forgotten to delete it when I deleted my fanlisting. You can imagine my surprise today when I signed in to my email to see that alert, which I had completely forgotten.

But it was awesome!

Lennon is back with a new band and this is their first single and I love it!

So I’ll post about it so you can love it, too!


Aug 05

Amazon Splits Cloud from MP3 Service, Cripples My Happiness

The other day I sign in to an email from Amazon. They happily announced that they were splitting their cloud drive and MP3 services, which had previously been the same. The good news? I still get 5 free gigabytes of space on Amazon cloud. The bad? It doesn’t count toward my music. The free music will now let me have 250 imported songs (nt purchased from Amazon). But, don’t fret, you can delete your entire music collection from the service and start all over again, you know, if that’s easier for you.

I don’t understand this at all. I was a staunch advocate for Amazon MP3 for over a year. I was quick to point out how the website and player on my phone were far superior to Google’s. I vocalized how much I liked shopping from Amazon, especially when they give you free MP3 codes. Now, I can’t see a single reason to use it, and my Kindle will be far less useful to me. I’ll have to delete around 900 songs to get to that 250 mark. To be honest, the give gigabytes from before was already a little stingy.  I have no idea how I would pare down my collection, and I don’t think I will even try.

What does this mean? That I won’t be able to use Amazon MP3 at all, if I don’t have it down to 250 after a month’s up. Even on my Kindle. Suddenly, that purchase is looking far less extraordinary. Suddenly, the entire service pales in comparison with Google Music, which I’ve been using more lately, anyway. I can’t see how Amazon thinks anyone will pay $25 per year for the lesser service

Joke’s on them, I guess,


Apr 28

Musically

I love music. I spend hours listening to it every day. I don’t understand people who just don’t get it, just like I don’t understand people who have no sense of humor. Music has been helping to make me very happy lately. I’ve been dipping into the indie/pop singer/songwriter genre. There’s a lot of Regina Spektor, A Fine Frenzy and Ingrid Michaelson, among others. In fact, I’ve been downloading songs and listening to the hell out of them.

I want to talk about music all over the place, but no one has the same tastes and I don’t know how to make it an interesting blog post. Is there a GoodReads for music?!