Monthly Archives: April 2014

On a “Tightrope” with a “Good Burger”

This piece of writing compares Janelle Monae’s “Tightrope” song and music video with that of the Brian Robbin’s Nickelodeon movie, “Good Burger”. The discussion is based off the following videos: Tightrope and Good Demented Hills. Janelle relays that one cannot get too high or too low in life. Her music video takes place at the Palace of the Dogs insane asylum. This facility was known for holding popular musicians such Jimi Hendrix. The music video lays out the tale of a patient catches the ‘crazy/ dancing feet’ with her friends. In the beginning the Tightrope music video, it is shared that at the Palace of the Dogs Asylum, “Dancing has long been forbidden for its subversive effect and its tendency to lead to illegal magical practices.” Dancing provided the patient in the with a temporary escape from the asylum.

“Good Burger” is about two teenage boys, Dexter and Ed played by Nickelodeon’s Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell, who work at the local fast food restaurant called Good Burger.   After getting in mischief over their summer break, the two find themselves in Demented Hills, a local insane asylum…Well, here’s how they get there…The antagonist in the movie is a terrible guy named Kurt, he opens a new and high tech fast food restaurant across the street from Good Burger, called Mondo Burger. With their bigger and better burgers, Mondo Burger soon becomes competition for Good Burger. Even quicker, they begin to steal all of Good Burger’s customers and lead Good Burger to almost go out of business before the summer is out. Dexter and Ed suspect that something is odd about the “mondo” sizes of their competition’s burgers. The teens eventually discover that Mondo Burger is chemically inducing their burgers with an illegal food additive. When Kurt figures the know the secret ingredient, he sends them to the Demented Hills Mental Hospital to prevent the public from learning Mondo Burger’s secret. Ed begins to dance and sing, encouraging the other patients to dance. After the entire mental hospital breaks out in dance, the teens escape the mental hospital. But there was something unique about how they escaped Demented Hills. This was like Tightrope where they used there dancing as a way of escaping and making interactions with the other patients. Another correlation was that the group in “Good Burger” danced to the song Knee Deep by Funkadelic. Funkadelic, the artist, as his name reveals is know for his music of funk like Janelle Monae.

Throughout the Good Burger movie, the viewer could relate message behind “Tightrope”. The teens, Dexter and Ed, are walking on tightropes. They deal with wrecking their parent’s car, having to get summer jobs, being placed in a mental hospital. However, their gains are new friendships, improvement of the Good Burger restaurant, catching “bad guys”, and a summer to remember!

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Cyborg?….Yes, I am a cyborg.

This entry is presented in the format of a letter from a cyborg to fellow society.

Dear Cyborg Society,

After being exposed to the film series Battlestar Galactica, and watching this short clip (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUzFtWNOOOU), I am convinced that I, as a member of my fellow society am a cyborg! Before we all go around casually calling each other cyborgs, let me explain. First, how do we define cyborgs. According to Dictionary.com, a cyborg is person whose physiological functioning is aided by or dependent upon a mechanical or electronic device. You all most likely would associate this with their typical sci-fi thrill, (i.e. X-Men, robot movies, and of course their favorite superhero and villains). What do these examples have in common? They each use unique tools to extend the boundaries of their physical body.

One may argue that humans cannot be cyborgs because their physical body limits them. However, I am aware that my body is surely not limited. I can regurgitate almost any piece of knowledge known to this planet, with my extended features of Google and Wikipedia. Just how the colonial fleet, in Battlestar Galactica, executes a faster-than-light jump every 33 minutes to escape the Cylons, I can do one better. I send my thoughts to hundreds of people in a hundred different locations, with my extended features of email and text messaging. I can also continuously read the minds of thousands of people, with my extended features of Twitter and Facebook. Did I mention I could tell you the exact location of everything on this planet, with my extended feature of GPS. If you think I am something special, wait to meet my guardians. My male guardian has the ability lift and crush cars with his extended feature of prosthetic arms. My female guardian has the ability to control every second of her heartbeat, with were extended feature of a pacemaker. Pretty cool, right! But what can I say, not all of us can be cyborgs.

Sincerely,

Your Fellow Cyborg

You Go, Kee

While I typically like to relate my journal entries to a cultural text,Children of Men is pretty much in a league of its own.  Though I could discuss the scary ways this reminds me of present and historical treatment of immigrants or the possible weird fetitization of black women’s hyper-fertility, I would rather leave the movie in its own context and explore a question of my own.  How awesome is Kee?    In the midst of complete and utter turmoil, traveling as a refugee, watching friends and loved ones die, and in the company of activist-murderers she delivered and protected a precious baby girl. 

            The first thing that I came to appreciate about Kee is her insight and instinct.  There is nothing worse than watching a movie and watching the main character make completely foolish decisions, especially when there is a lot at stake—that’s just stressful.  All along, Kee had a keen sense of who she could trust.  She trusted Julian enough to show Theo her pregnant belly and ask for his help when she barely knew him.  She trusted herself and her body enough to realize that she was pregnant when she had never even been taught what pregnancy looked and felt like.  Though pregnancy was foreign to her, Kee relied on the sensation of her kicking baby girl to know that she was pregnant rather than just infected with some bug.

            Not only was Kee insightful, but she boldly and confidently asserted that those around her take own ideas seriously.  When Theo (still a stranger) woke her in the middle of the night to say that she must escape with him for safety, Kee’s guardian and midwife,  Miriam, objected in a tantrum.  It was Kee who squashed the feud and told Miriam that she would be leaving with Theo.  This was one of the many decisions that saved Miriam and her baby.  This trend continued in the moment when the prison guard learned of Kee’s baby and promised her safety but she refused at the incomprehensible cries of a foreign woman who objected.

            Of course, I cannot go on a Kee praise rant without paying ode to her as she who could tough out any situation.  I think I laughed out loud when Kee and Theo had a respite at Jasper’s house after escaping the refugee activists who wanted steal Kee’s baby and Theo is soaking his feet while pregnant Kee engages in conversation over a home-cooked meal.  Furthermore, Kee causally endured hours of contractions as she toured refugee internment camps and watched her beloved midwife get slapped and taken by a rough prison guard.  With a couple of hefty pushes she delivered her baby in a dingy refugee hostile and was less shaken up by Theo himself.  Neither the emotional pain of seeing the deaths of everyone who sincerely tried to help her or the physical pain of her pregnancy stopped Kee from seeing that her baby girl remain safe. 

            For Kee’s own sense and boldness, it was my impression that the film did have a promising ending.  Though everything seemed to be evil and corrupt, if Kee believed in the Human Project then so do I!