Thursday, September 23, 2004

Slow Goin'

In the previous post, I discussed how I felt that I was maturing and developing "grown-up" tastes, much to my dismay. I'd like to say that although I do feel I've matured, I still think I'm slow on music. Or maybe the barometer I'm measuring against is faulty. But I think it's me.

Last weekend, I undertook the massive task of converting all of my CD's to MP3's on my hard-drive, which proved to take pretty much all weekend. Well, more than 2,000 MP3's later, I am able to reflect on my musical tastes as my iTunes skips through my library. Although I have made "progress," because now I'm not so proud of owning multiple Britney Spears CD's and a Jock Jams compilation, I haven't made that much progress.

I guess when it comes to me and music, I'm all about it. The music, that is. Sure, I enjoy the occassional funny lyric, but I don't really pay all that much attention to them. A song could be making a political statement (a la Rage Against the Machine) or just be based on an acid trip (a la Pink Floyd), but if it sounds good, I like it. I'm optimistic that my tastes seem to be taking me in directions like Floyd's "Division Bell" instead of Nelly's latest double CD. It's just a slow process here, so all of you with advanced music taste, wait up for me, I'll get there eventually...

I'm just not ready to give up Nickelback yet.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Toys R Us

I don't want to grow up. But I am. I guess it's time that I wake up and realize I am a grad student. From here, I can look forward to forty years as a worker bee, then I retire, hopefully. The days are gone when I can ride my bike to the video store to rent "Tommy Boy" again and still have it be as hilarious as it was when I first watched it. Instead of seeing goofy movies like "Tommy Boy", I'm renting more thoughtful pieces like "The Dreamers" and "City of God," both of which I have seen recently. I hear what's on the radio nowadays, and I think like a grandparent. "How can those kids listen to that crap?" But I did 10 years ago. Ok, you're right, I was still listening to it recently. But my tastes are maturing, and unfortunately, I can't go back. So if you feel like you're growing up, you're not alone.

. . . I'm off to watch "Happy Gilmore".

Friday, September 17, 2004


I thought the "Real World" was bad. But tonight, I saw a commercial for a show that may be worse. I wasn't a huge fan of "Temptation Island" either, but now the Style channel presents "Diary of an Affair," which chronicles people as they have extra-marital affairs! Hooray for cable!

How real is the "Real World"??

I hope not too real. Sorry to disappoint you RW fans, but after seeing a few minutes of it on the station formerly known for videos, I think I literally yelled out loud.

To set the stage, a sex-crazed female (yes, they apparently exist in "The Real World") on the show, we'll call her Sarah, wants to hook up with a guy living in the house, we'll call him MJ. These names have been kept the same to protect their anonymity. However, there's a hangup. MJ has a girlfriend back home. Sarah's comment in response to hearing MJ has a girlfriend is, "She has unrealistic expectations of MJ. I mean, he's a guy." His girlfriend expects him to be faithful when he's not in town? *Gasp!* Well, Sarah tells the camera, she is going to show him that non-blondes are better! Not to worry, later in the episode, MJ breaks up with his girlfriend, only to hookup with someone other than Sarah, much to her chagrin!

Another house-member calls her boyfriend to break up with him, because, in case anything happens, she can't be accused of cheating on him. The conversation on the phone with the boyfriend makes the cut into the episode so the audience gets to hear him angry and surprised that he is being dumped for no reason other than she's "21 and young."

Is this how people "stop being polite and start being real" out in the real world? I must have been living in the "fake world" because I thought that commitments meant upholding something. Now this is education I can't learn in the classroom!

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Bring Out Your Dead!

Since I've been back at school, I've been re-visiting what I consider to be the greatest thing ever put on film: the HBO mini-series "Band of Brothers." As I go from episode to episode, seemingly unable to stop, driven to put the next episode in (I have the same problem with "The Sopranos"), I realize that I noticed a trend this series as well as other war movies, specifically those on World War II, carry forth.

The trend is this, friends. In "Band of Brothers," there are countless examples of one man in Easy Company risking his life to save one of the others, even if the second man is injured. One episode in particular highlights a group of soldiers who try and sneak back into a German-controlled town in Holland (complete with tanks) to rescue one of their missing soldiers. Why don't the Germans do this? It's a very suttle stereotype, that the Germans don't care about their fellow soldier, or they aren't willing to risk their lives to save their buddies. I don't necessarily blame the filmmakers in the case of "Band of Brothers" because I think they do a very good job of trying to portray the Germans as they were in 1944-1945. Granted, the series is filmed from the viewpoint of life among American troops, so there is the fair share of "Kraut" thrown around among the soldiers, but I can't recall the series ever showing the German brutatlity that we knew existed in the Third Reich. We do see American brutality, however.

I think the underlying point is that things can be much more suttle than we might think. We don't have to see a German soldier bashing an un-armed American prisoner to maybe get the idea that they were brutal people. Does it make you wonder what else you might have been told while watching movies that maybe you missed, but your subconscious didn't?

Greetings and Welcome!

Welcome to Brad's Blog... A Dangerous Mind! I don't really have that much political to say, so my thoughts will probably be just random ones as my mind expands at grad school. And don't worry, it won't all be soccer-related! Anyways, thanks for visiting and look forward to new postings soon!