Random Song of the Day – 3/20/15

Today, LMFAO:

This isn’t my favorite LMFAO track, and if we’re being honest, it’s almost certainly the song out of their current record that I like the least. Rather, I picked this specific song because, if you are a fan of LMFAO, and you were wondering on Tuesday where you’d heard of Natalia Kills before, this is where. Given that her appearance was also rife with Autotune it’s not a great collaboration, but I’ve never appeared in a video with “Jesus of Hollywood” in it, so she’s clearly doing better than me.

The Gender Gap – Women’s Wrestling (College, 2007)

(I wrote this back in 2007 as part of a college group project discussing the gender gap for female athletes as a general whole; my group members chose golf, soccer and basketball, and I opted to choose professional wrestling, since I had the most exposure to that as a sporting property. It’s been eight years since I wrote this piece, and with the #GiveDivasAChance movement going on and whatnot, I opted to put some time into looking this over and posting it here, since I enjoyed the work I put into it, and I think it’s still relevant today.

Note, however, that the relevant graphs have been removed due to their generally boring nature, and that in the instances where someone asked not to be named, or has since become a major player in US wrestling and might not want their names mentioned, I’ve opted to refer to them as anonymous. That said, I talked to a whole lot of people here, so it’s got a lot of information backing it up.)

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Random Song of the Day – 3/19/15

Today, Utada Hikaru, English version:

If you couldn’t make it to the end of that video, I don’t blame you.

Imagine this, if you will: you’re attached to Island Records, one of the larger music distributors in the US at this point. You’re put into talks with what is, at the time, the single highest selling Japanese pop musician today, Utada Hikaru, and she confesses to you that she absolutely wants to release a US album. You come to an agreement, and after she tells you that she writes all of her own songs, you’re ecstatic. Here’s the top Japanese pop artist, possibly ever, and not only does she speak English because she was born in the US, not only does she have exposure to the US music scene because she released music in the US while living in New York, but she write her own material.

Then she hands you the above track and says, “Here. This is what I wrote.”

If you say, “Perfect, yes. Do a lot of this,” congratulations, you’re qualified to run Island Records.

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Looking Back on… Final Fantasy VII (Sony Playstation)

Final Fantasy VII
Genre: Role Playing Game
Developer: Squaresoft
Publisher: SCEA
Release Date: 8/31/97 (So here’s a fun thing I haven’t really posted anywhere else: the review I wrote as my application to write for IP Games/DHGF almost a decade ago now. It’s… not great at this point, but it’s fun and considering that it gave me the chance to do all kinds of cool things I wouldn’t have done otherwise, I consider it historically significant at least.)

It’s kind of weird to be playing a Final Fantasy game on any system other than one with the Nintendo name on it. I should admit, I’ve been something of a fan of the games since FF 1 was released back in 1990 on the NES. (This is kind of a fallacy, in that I didn’t play the original Final Fantasy until years after the fact, and in point of fact, Final Fantasy III/VI was my first actual exposure to the series. It’s correct in that I liked the first two games when I played them, but incorrect in that it presents the idea that I played them when they came out, which isn’t even close to true, as I was an SMS kid growing up.) Two SNES titles (as well as a handful of Gameboy games) later, and here we are, facing down the correctly numbered sequel to one of the best RPG’s ever made (that being FF3/6; though I still like Phantasy Star 4 better, I have to give credit where it’s due) (Still true; Final Fantasy VI is almost certainly the very best traditional JRPG ever made, but I still like Phantasy Star IV better because it pays off the franchise storyline well and I like the characters a whole lot. It also kind of pays off the romantic subplot from Phantasy Star II to a point, which is neat, and I wish that the Sega Classics franchise had lasted long enough for PSIV to see a re-release, if only because I’d have paid actual money to see that come to the US. As it is we have a fan translation of the first game, with the sequel being worked on now, so that’s something at least. Maybe someday Sega will finish the series off with a proper remake, but maybe someday I’ll win the lottery, because of the two, that one is the more likely possibility.) on the PSX. I had high hopes as I brought it home and popped it into my system, but I had the utmost faith that Squaresoft would once again deliver the goods with yet another highly entertaining RPG.

Well… not exactly.

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Random Song of the Day – 3/18/15

Today, Utada Hikaru, Japanese version:

This probably isn’t one of my favorite songs of hers (I like it, but there are better), but it is one of my favorite videos, because fucking look at it. It’s adorable.

It’s also one of Utada’s very last actual videos, as she’s kind of been on hiatus for a while; there’s a fairly recent one that seems to lend credence to the rumor that she’s releasing a song for the new Evangelion project coming soon, and that may well be her last actual record, at least for a while, for one reason or another. Alternately, she may be planning a comeback, but that’s the nature of musical rumors-as-filtered-through-Wikipedia for you.

Anyway, I hadn’t posted an Utada video yet, and mentioning her during the “We Are the World” post reminded me of this, so here you are. We have an… interesting follow-up tomorrow.

Looking Back on… The rant heard ’round the internet. (8/19/02)

Hello everybody, and welcome to Your Hot Cup of Rant. I’m your host, who you can endearingly refer to as Rantmaster Mark, or Mark, or Rantmaster, or even Betty. (If you don’t get that last one, watch better movies before you come back, I don’t know what to tell you.) Anyway, we as a collective are a group of whack jobs and shitheads devoted to giving you, yes YOU, reasons to fear for the sanity of the world at large. I am the site’s general content provider, moderator, editor, and general lord and master of all you presently survey. (This was the official “first post” on the actual site proper; I’m skipping a bunch of the archived email list rants because they’re tough, even for me, to get through.) Roll call works as follows:

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Random Song of the Day – 3/17/15

Today, Natalia Kills, proper:

So yes, a little less than a decade later, the cute girl rapping about hitting the club was now singing about being a horrible human being while prancing around in her underpants and a fur coat. She’s still a damn talented vocalist, but she’s essentially doing the Brittany Spears thing, where she did a specific thing growing up, then decided that she wanted to be super different once she got older and remade herself as a half-naked trainwreck. See also Cyrus, Miley. Though I will note that Natalia’s music seems to kind of have a more subversive bent to it, which is part of why I’m intrigued by it; if it turns out I’m wrong and she’s just writing songs about being horrible and shit, then oops, but it seems like she’s kind of making a commentary here, and if so, I approve.

Though speaking as an e-smoker, Blu e-cigarettes cannot produce vapor like that. Fuck you video.