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Rickrolling and the league of web fame > II April 20, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Music, Pop Culture.
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Never Gonna Give You Up reached number one in 1987 > A new internet craze known as ‘rickrolling’ has thrust Newton-le-Willows’ 1980s pop star Rick Astley back into the spotlight, BBC reports.

Rick Roll

Here are some other recent cultural phenomena that have captured people’s imaginations, for good or for bad.

OK GO DANCING ON TREADMILLS > OK Go were a struggling power pop band when they released the video for Here It Goes Again in June 2006.

It only cost $5 (£2.50) to make, and featured the four musicians surfing along four facing treadmills, passing under each other’s arms and jogging on the spot – all while singing the song’s catchy, guitar-laden hook. Word about the quirky clip quickly spread around music blogs, and it now ranks as one of the most watched videos of all time on Youtube – with more than 32 million people stopping by to take a look. And the band benefited from the success, too – they picked up a Grammy for best short form music video, and were asked to perform their synchronised steps live at the MTV Awards.

BEYONCE TAKES A TUMBLE > There is nothing the public cherishes more than seeing a superstar in an unplanned moment of vulnerability.

So, when Beyonce fell headfirst down a flight of stairs during a concert in Orlando last year, fans instantly started uploading their amateur videos of the incident to the internet. In the shaky, low-quality clips, the R&B diva appears to step on her trench coat and plummet down eight steps. Then, ever the professional, she gets straight back up and launches into her dance routine, to applause from the audience. On YouTube, the comments range from the awestruck (“What a trooper”, “She’s still hot”) to the mean-spirited (“I laughed so hard”).

FAKE MOVIE TRAILERS > In 2005, a film-making body in New York issued a challenge to America’s assistant film editors – take an existing movie trailer, and re-edit it in an entirely different genre.

see also > http://www.robertryangandfriends.com

The winner was 25-year-old Robert Ryang, who took Stanley Kubrick’s psychological horror The Shining and turned it into a breezy romantic comedy, set to the tune of Peter Gabriel’s Salisbury Hill. Having won, he sent a couple of friends a link to a “secret area” on his company’s website where they could watch the video. One of them posted the link on his blog, and soon the video was being watched by more than 12,000 people a day. Celebrity fans included Jack Black and Fight Club director David Fincher – and the clip has inspired a whole host of fake trailers on YouTube. Other examples include Good Will Hunted , in which Matt Damon’s character becomes the target of a government assassination plot, and Brokeback To The Future , which convincingly splices the gay cowboy movie with Michael J Fox’s time-travel comedy.

OFFICE LIP DUBS > YouTube and its competitors allow fans to emulate their musical heroes and let the world judge their performances – like a giant, untrammelled version of The X-Factor minus Simon Cowell.

http://www.vimeo.com/173714

But while YouTube is littered with kids in their bedroom miming to pre-recorded tracks – Gary Brosloma’s Numa Numa Dance is a popular example – a group of office workers in New York went one better. After finishing the day’s business, they hooked up an iPod to a speaker and filmed the entire workforce performing Harvey Danger’s Flagpole Sitta (the theme tune to Channel 4 sitcom Peep Show). It comes across like a bizarre amateur version of Band Aid, with each member of staff taking a line or two of the song before everyone comes together for the final chorus. “We really just threw it together quickly. It’s the kind of thing anybody can do,” said ringleader Jakob Lodwick – who founded video sharing website Vimeo.

WILL FERRELL’S CREATIVE OUTLET > Best known for family-friendly, semi-improvised comedies like Anchorman, Elf and Blades of Glory, comedian Will Ferrell used to be part of the iconic Saturday Night Live team. Hollywood doesn’t allow him to indulge in his sketch comedy roots, so when he was approached by venture capital company Sequoia with the idea of setting up a website, he jumped at the idea. Along with comedy writer Chris Henchy and former Saturday Night Live head writer Adam McKay, Ferrell creates exclusive web-only skits that provide a creative outlet that is often a test-bed for his film work. The breakout clip is The Landlord, in which Ferrell is berated by a foul-mouthed toddler for failing to meet his rent payments. His success has convinced the likes of Adam Sandler, Will Arnett and Judd Apatow to contribute their own videos.

http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/74 (Warning: offensive language)

Source > BBC http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/7325280.stm

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Rickrolling and the league of web fame April 20, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Music, Pop Culture.
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 Never Gonna Give You Up reached number one in 1987 > A new internet craze known as ‘rickrolling’ has thrust Newton-le-Willows’ 1980s pop star Rick Astley back into the spotlight, BBC reports.

Rick Astley – Never Gonna Give You Up (Live) 1988 > Rick Astley performing live at the Brits in London, February 1988.

An estimated 13 million internet users have been tricked into watching the video for Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up in the last couple of weeks.

In one of those moments of mass online hysteria that record companies wish they could replicate at will, thousands of internet users have been sending out links to scurrilous videos and websites, which actually take you directly to a video of Astley’s pop masterpiece.

“I think it’s just one of those odd things where something gets picked up and people run with it,” Astley told the Los Angeles Times last week. “That’s what’s brilliant about the internet.”

But the former teaboy is not the first person to become an unwitting victim of the internet’s infinite interest in the inane.

Marilyn Monroe’s Porno Video April 19, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Movies, Pop Culture.
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 In the recording you can clearly see the face of the sexy actress, who takes her cloths off and has a sexual intercourse with a man.

Famous actress Marilyn Monroe’s porno video is spreading on the internet, however many have doubts on its authenticity. Explicit scenes are cut out, but the video shows the sexy actress taking her clothes off and throwing them on a man who hides his face from the camera. A short part of the sexual intercourse is shown, but only with Marilyn in close-up. After the surprising scenes, she smiles and lights a cigarette.

The original recording allegedly has been in possession of the FBI, since former director Edgar Hoover suspected that one of the men from the video was one of the Kennedy brothers. The millionaire who recently bought the recording, said through his agent that he will not make the video public nor will he sell it out of respect for the actress.

Uncut > Sex Icon > Marilyn Monroe’s Porno Video > Famous actress Marilyn Monroe’s porno video is spreading on the internet, but many have doubts on the authenticity of the recording, which was allegedly recorded sixty years ago.

April Fool’s Day March 30, 2008

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On Tuesday it will be April Fool’s Day, but instead of writing yet again about what John Kennedy Toole called the “confederacy of dunces” who seem to be running our world, I thought I might ask why this commemoration exists; why is it in April; who are the fools in question and why should we remember them?

It started out in a perfectly mundane way, with spring returning to the Northern Hemisphere. This is signalled by the Vernal Equinox, which usually coincides with Easter. In the old pre-Christian calendars this was where the new year traditionally began. Winter was over, the sun was nearer and life could return to normal.

Spring was a big deal in those days. With no electricity, sewerage or lighting, primitive man had to rough it with fire, candles and rudimentary shelter. History tells us that during winter, many people sewed themselves into body suits made from cloth or animal hide, which stayed on their bodies until spring.

Imagine living in a virtual tracksuit that was never washed and only came off when the warm weather returned? Even worse, imagine what it was like to live in a house with other people wearing similar suits, in rooms clogged with the smoke from cooking fires and flame torches.

When spring came and the survivors could shed their reeking second skins, there was good reason for them to act foolishly. The returning light and warmth seemed like a miracle, giving these poor souls licence to cut loose.

The pagan traditions endorsed this especially. In March the Romans kept the Hilaria celebration, which honoured the resurrection of Attis, son of the fertile earth Mother Cybele. Similar practical jokes and funny disguises also existed in Northern Europe where they observed an ancient festival to honour Lud, the Celtic god of humour.

In India the Holi celebration was held during late February or early March. A festival of colour, it saw street celebrants throw tinted powders at each other, until everyone was covered in a spectacular array of shades. “Spring Fever” was a time of reckless foolishness, exuberant jokes and, inevitably, sacrifices. For the ancient cultures, something living had to die to make the affirmation of life complete.

The people who did the killing called it the mysterious cycle of life and death. The doomed animals and people (prisoners of war, disobedient slaves, followers of a different religion) probably had a different perception, but he who holds the sword makes the rules.

So that’s the remote origin of April Fool’s Day; an essentially pagan ceremony marked by a disrespect for those in power, accompanied by an eager fertility ritual. Babies born in the dead of winter were at risk, so the plan was to breed them early and pop them out before the first winter frosts arrived.

The big switch came in 1582, after Christianity had become the dominant religion of Northern Europe. They created a new annual cycle that involved a switch from the old Julian to the new Gregorian calendar. That shifted the beginning of the year from the end of March to the first of January, causing everything to change.

The Christmas rituals were overlaid onto the Roman festival of Saturnalia, while the Easter rituals were incorporated into the resurrection of Attis. But the rogue spirit of April Fool’s Day seemed unquenchable. It was placed on April 1 and became famous as a day of pranks and folly.

The Fool who ruled the day was not stupid or clumsy, he was a skilled practitioner of satire and mockery. He could deride authority figures, ridicule the pompous, tease the wealthy and turn a blind eye to sexual dalliance.

Ironically, none of that ritual should apply in the Southern Hemisphere, where they are sliding away from the light and into a cold, bleak winter. April Fool’s Day doesn’t reflect their history, culture, or even their agricultural cycles. But it persists nonetheless, allowing them to play the fool and feel what so many of their social and political leaders feel every day of the year.

Decoding… > Roland Emmerich’s new film 10 000 BC has the critics hurling derision at it, but some science geeks are using it to show people the mysteries of the Pleistocene Age. Paleoblog is a website in which fans rub shoulders with academic experts as they celebrate and ridicule all aspects of the period. What did a dinosaur eat? When did modern birds arise? What do you call an 80- million-year-old crocodile? Learn more by visiting www.paleoblog.blogspot.com.

Rousing… > In the style of Bill Bryson’s irreverent, but meticulous observations, comes The Year of Living Biblically by AJ Jacobs. This New Yorker spent a year trying to follow the Bible’s instructions . It’s not an anti-religious book, just a quirky, observed study of what the modern urban-dweller has to ponder if he literally wants to live by “God’s word”. It’s an interesting read that’s both funny and provocative. Go to www.exclusivebooks.co.za.

Flirting… > Tired of perfumes marketed by pop bimbos? Is anyone still buying Britney’s fragrance? For the European spring season, and to celebrate its 70th anniversary, Lancôme has reissued a perfume that made its debut in 1950. Magie (French for Magic), was overshadowed in the ’60s by a flood of fragrances endorsed by stars. Now they are reviving the classics. Get it at www.fragrantica.com/perfume/Lancome/Magie.

Beatles photographs on show for the first time in Liverpool September 23, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Museums, Music, Pop Culture.
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An exhibition of Beatles photographs that have never been seen in Liverpool will go on display at the National Conservation Centre from 18 August until 2 March 2008. Now These Days Are Gone features photographs by Michael Peto, all of which were taken during the filming of the Beatles film Help in 1965.

The collection of intimate black and white photographs show the Beatles in a variety of settings such as at home, in the studio, relaxing between takes and joking on set. Fiona Philpott, Director of Exhibition at National Museums Liverpool says, ‘We are delighted at having this opportunity to bring some rarely seen images of the Beatles to Liverpool. For fans of the fab four there is the chance to see the stars in a relaxed and informal setting while those interested in photography can admire the work of Michael Peto, one of the great photo-journalists of the 60s’.

Michael Peto left 130,000 photographs to the University of Dundee when he died in 1970. They were then archived and lay forgotten until their rediscovery in 2004.

National Conservation Centre Whitechapel, Liverpool, England
Admission is free, Opening hours 10am – 5pm every day

Related Links > www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk