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R.I.P Sense8

Fans and wannabe clusters were outraged last week at the cancellation of Sense8. The Netflix show proved just too expensive and logistically unsound to continue. With two seasons under its belt, the show is no more.

My friend Theo said it best: “This show deserved better”. For an analysis of the first season, check his blog here.

Sense8 was both product and victim of its time. It was meant to be consumed as it was conceived – together. Although part of the binge revolution brought on by streaming service Netflix, the show was not capable of being satisfactorily digested in one sitting. There were too many issues and complexities for us mere sapiens, unfortunately.

Part of the problem was simply explaining what it was about. Eight people from around the world are telepathically connected and are in turn, hunted for this unique ability? Yes, sure. But also, No! It was so much more, are the echoes from the many (we assume) who watched it.

How would I describe it? Stay with me here. Dom krag. Sometimes called blinde krag. For those of you not familiar with Afrikaans slang, those would translate directly as dumb strength and blind strength respectively. They are used to describe how, when confronted, someone goes into a rage and will fight with strength seemingly beyond their capabilities – going dumb or blind and not able to explain how they fought the way they did. Or maybe when you seduce someone, and you instinctively “become” someone else as you have to transform to complete this task. Getting into character, like method acting, but with the character there to help you. That’s how I thought of it. These people, when in need, would take over for each other and assume the role of the other person in need. You see, for cynics and detractors, confusing!

The show unfortunately suffered from the Wachowskis usual blend of philosophically pensive and verbose monologues, and kick ass action. Simultaneously at odds with itself and its pace, while setting a new standard for “television”, it was The Matrix, Cloud Atlas, V for Vendetta and other Wachowski vehicles, but in multiple hours long stretches. Apparently too much for too many of its viewers

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“I fall in love with the person, not their genitals”.

If there’s one line that sums up how I feel about this show, it is this. Zakia, a Kenyan woman speaking to her male love interest, Capheus. Beyond the organisational conspiracy, action, intertwined plots, there was a kernel of unconditional love and being yourself that made this show so special to its core audience.

What else? Hope, strength in unity, finding your own voice. Finding others and fighting for each other and what you believe in. Survival. Regrets. Righting your wrongs. Atonement.

Another classic rant was transgender character Nomi Marks, played by trans actress Jamie Clayton, in the first season.

“For a long time, I was afraid to be who I am because I was taught by my parents that there’s something wrong with someone like me. Something offensive, something you would avoid, maybe even pity. Something that you could never love. I was afraid of this parade because I wanted so badly to be a part of it. So today, I’m marching for that part of me that was once too afraid to march. And for all the people who can’t march… the people living lives like I did. Today, I march to remember that I’m not just a me. I’m also a we. And we march with pride.” —Nomi

Read here for more awesome quotes from the show.

But could there be hope? Fan outrage saved HBO’s gay show ‘Looking’. Also cancelled after two seasons, Patrick and co got a wrap-up film to tie up loose ends and give fans closure. Maybe with enough noise, and working as one, fans and follower and sensates will get the ending they crave.

Alas, Netflix has said that there will not be any reprisal for the show.

Rest in pieces, and peace, Sense8.

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The cast. A family, fam. 

Image: The Hollywood Reporter

 

<p>Author <a href=”https://plus.google.com/102128103971030481396” target=”blank” rel=”author”>Jerome Cornelius</a></p>

Ashes – a review

Stefan Erasmus and Jason Jacobs in Ashes. Image – http://alexanderbar.co.za/show/Ashes/

What came first? The staging or the script. Do the two work together? Do they happen over time as they bleed into each other. These are questions as old as theatre itself, and probably with reasonable answers, and I couldn’t help but wonder while watching Ashes.

Deprecation aside, this review wont do anything to sway ticket sales for this play in its final week at the theatre at Alexander Bar in Cape Town. But good art must be appreciated where it can.

But back to the stage. Small – very small – restricting and inescapable. When the actors looked at me, I felt like they were actually looking at me and connecting, indicting and pleading; not merely looking through me as actors are supposed to.

Their performances grab you by the throat. When they break down, you will want to run up and hold them and say “It’s going to be ok” even though you knows it’s really not.

Ashes tells the story of two queer brown boys in Cape Town – a description that belies the depth of the story. These levels of depth felt while watching the two actors, Stefan Erasmus and Jason Jacobs’s characters dance around each other is breath taking.

They flit in and out of various characters, chipping away until the nuances in the archetypes are revealed. A flick of a jersey transforms a young man into a judgmental woman; a hoodie turns the other young man into his homophobic bully. The supporting characters all float around the main two, who interact with each other only briefly, letting the audience in on their tender moments – intimate, honest and gut wrenching, as we are driven to the conclusion, which was obvious but still impactful.

The mostly epistolary (letter writing) style works well, as the characters tell their stories without reaction from other characters. But the only downside I could find, which still works in its own way, was the crutch of exposition. Parents and son tell of his coming out story, and the conversation about what to call each other – boyfriends, lovers, partners? Forced, but still necessary. By virtue of its existence, queer work is still revolutionary, but somehow still new, therefore nothing can be taken for granted.

Don’t let the words queer and brown throw you off. It’s a story that many can relate to – the two lovers meet by chance in the city. One a small town buy. Forces work against them and their ghostly worlds are torn apart. The notion of love, not as obvious as in other works, binds the characters, but hardly ever at the same time.

I went in not knowing what the play was about other than the risky epithet of “gay play”, and was taken aback by the devastating account.

The audience was small, a lot less than the already small theatre at Alexander Bar could hold, which led me to believe that this was a play that was not being seen by as many people as it should.

<p>Author <a href=”https://plus.google.com/102128103971030481396” target=”blank” rel=”author”>Jerome Cornelius</a></p>

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My Ideal Ship (not the boat kind)

My friend Nwabisa, ‘the hot mess’ (her official title) who blogs here, asked me if I’m over my “ship” yet. I remembered the conversation vaguely and thought she meant my current crush. It was something similar, but a lot more insane.

Alright, here goes… I’m in a ship. This is not easy for me to admit, because I have judged Nwabisa for her own shipping ways.
A ship, as she explained it, is a vicarious relationship with a fictional couple. Here’s a little description from Wiki:
Shipping, derived from the word relationship, friendship or worship, is the belief of (or desire for) two (or more) people, often fictional, to be in a romantic relationship. It is considered a general term for fans’ emotional involvement with the ongoing development of romance in a work of fiction.
When we established that she was asking me about Patrick and Richie from the HBO series Looking, and not vicarious delusional relationship, it all fell into place. Some excerpts from her in our convo:
“You’re almost a true shipper! Next you’ll be arguing with folks on forums””Have you googled them at least? Look for like minded individuals who feel the same way about your ship?”

The she asked me if Patrick and Richie are “canon”? (Oh boy, jargon)

She said: 

A ship that is officially recognised by the show. The opposite is fanon. When a pairing is created by fans but is not suggested by the show. They are not an official pairing with a chance of actually ending up together.Ron and Hermione are canon. Snape and Hermione are fanon.

She’s just a wee bit obsessed.

So my ship is with Patrick and Richie *sigh* Yes, I’m already sighing.  This image sums up how I felt watching them
I'm the guy in blue.

I’m the guy in blue.

The series garnered a fair amount of press – any “gay” show would. But this one got people upset because it was so “normal” and “boring”. I was a fan for the exact opposite reason. Having missed the “Queer as Folk” era and being a big huge fan of Will and Grace, I love when a TV show is focused (or heavily so) on gayness. Nay sayer critics would probably argue against this as we need to move on, and other idealistic fantasies, but minorities need focus too. And to me, anything gay, “good or bad” is great to me simply because of its subversive nature.
And that brings me to my ship, as I *sigh* again.
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Richie and Patrick made me believe again. Patrick is annoying as all hell, but the fortuitous nature of their meeting, the way that they got together and got back together despite a little drama, and then stayed together for a while made me swoon like nothing else in a while.
Why this ship means so much to me? They were so blissfully happy! It may have been a fleeting moment in television series time, but it seemed and felt so real. I connected to their conversations and stolen glances, the way they opened up to each other, the laughter and quiet moments between conversations.
The adage about art reflecting life could not have been more true with this ship. I now concede that I was unfair in judging other ships, even when I did not know they were called ships.
Episode 5 was such perfection that i go back to it every so often when i want love inspiration.  Read this for the best insight ever into that episode, but I would add that the relaxed nature of what they experienced – from the sex to conversation – despite Patrick’s neurotic behaviour, made this one such a treat to watch. When things turned sour, I felt it, like a knife to my ribs. I even clutched my heart and gasped at certain points. I’m dramatic, can you tell?
Love the one you’re with, and if you cant, then love yourself. But also, if you cant love yourself, then love the ones you’re watching.
You cant tell me you don’t want that. And if you cant have it, at least get it from a fantasy, right? Right?!
looking-for-the-future-patrick-richie-holding-hands-date
<p>Author <a href=”https://plus.google.com/102128103971030481396” target=”blank” rel=”author”>Jerome Cornelius</a></p>

I’m a gypsy, hey?

Yes, it’s another blog post inspired by a Lady Gaga song. No, wait, come back! It’s only inspired by, not based on a true story!

Although that’s what I would like it to be. Allow me to explain.

How many of us are what we want to be?

In your mind, you might be Superman/ Batman/ Catwoman, but the truth is that many of us are really more Clark Kent/ Bruce Wayne / Selina Kyle (And the sexism of Clark and Bruce being kinda awesome as they are, while Selina pretty much sucks is another issue that I’m itching to scratch at, but another time)

But that’s ok. It’s not a sad, it just is. I’ve had this realization with my aspirations to be a gypsy.

In the song, Gypsy, she sings about being happy on the move, but also about the ambivalence of not wanting to be alone.

“Thought that I would be alone forever. But I won’t be tonight”

This ambivalence brings to mind the thought that I am a gypsy – carefree, unattached, roaming and ever-transient; a soul of the wind, directionless, my heart on a cloud.

The truth is, I’m only a mild version of this. I’m gypsy lite.

I love being out, on the road, in the air, a train with only a backpack and a notebook and pen (my staples) and no idea where I’m headed. But then the reality of the tracks taking me to an unsafe area, or the flashing red light of a car reminds me that freedom in the literal (or literary, Romantic) sense might not be as attainable as I’d thought.

Sometimes we think we want love and romance because that’s all we know. In our minds we are going to run through meadows, twirl, and gaze at each other’s eyes all day. In reality it’s a lot more Selina Kyle where we have clammy palms, morning breath, bloodshot eyes and petty arguments. And that’s fantastic! You might not be the expected version of what you thought you were meant to be, but that’s the beauty of it – your journey is all yours.

I might not be able to navigate my way through borders of expectations, or a sea of confusion, but I certainly know how to define and read my own map.

So yes, I am a gypsy. And I do it the best way I know how.

I'm on a fence.

I’m on a fence.

 

<p>Author <a href=”https://plus.google.com/102128103971030481396” target=”blank” rel=”author”>Jerome Cornelius</a></p>

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Lady Gaga’s G.U.Y as gender subversion

What can I say, I’m a fan! If you haven’t noticed from the previous Gaga post, and that time I went to her concert. I like her a lot. She’s many things, but boring is not one of them. Considered is another. I think she puts a lot more effort into what she does than she’s given credit for.
Disclaimer: I’m not going to enter the feminist debate. I think it has many facets and Lady Gaga, while not perfect, does uphold tenets of it by doing her own thing, unashamedly. She also promotes gay and trans rights, although often criticized for using it as a gimmick and pandering to those demographics for publicity. Who knows? I like it and any voice that promotes women doing what they want, and a voice for gay and transgendered individuals is refreshing, and subversive in its existence.
The video: Read Vigilant Citizen’s take on the video here for the paranoid illuminati angle. Essentially I agree with everything they said. It tracks her fall from grace, shot down by her management. She works her way back, with the assistance of her team (the Haus) and she build herself up, literally, and extracts the DNA from other guys, i.e. Jesus and Gandhi. She clones a new team and takes revenge on the people who took her down in the first place.

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But on to gender.  I would argue that the song, specifically, is the pinnacle of her promotion of gender and sexuality empowerment and promotion. The very mention of gender and sexuality is subversive in itself, the reason why I love drag queens and anyone who is open and honest about sexuality. What Gaga does is take it one step further by embedding messages within the music.
One such message is that of the flexibility of gender norms.
I could be accused of reading too deeply, but what I hear when I listen to G.U.Y is a conflation of gender roles, as well as empowering of gay traditional roles.

She did it with her gender subversion as drag king at the 2011 Mtv VMAs, as her alter ego Joe Calderone.

 

This is my reading of G.U.Y, as she says herself in the title track ARTPOP: “My ARTPOP could mean anything”

What Gaga displays is an aggressive sexuality, not always typical of female pop stars. The problem with this representation is that it still panders to what the male gaze expects of feminine sexuality. I concede. Other critiques of her slate her for her foray into the grotesque, and her costumes, calling her vacuous and obvious, et al

What I like about G.U.Y is that, for starters, the proximity of the title to her name is in itself commendable.
I wanna be the girl under you (oh yeah)
I wanna be your G.U.Y. (yeah)

Later, she says

I’m gonna wear the tie, want the power to leave you
I’m aiming for full control of this love (of this love)

This is the part that problematizes my reading as one of female empowerment, as well as sexuality. This is an inversion that we need more of in a patriarchal world, where men are still scared to take their female partners last names, or to be the stay-at-home dad.

A woman who calls herself a guy is big in its rebellious, while many might call it trite.

The bridge goes:

I don’t need to be on top
To know I’m worth it
‘Cause I’m strong enough to know the truth
I just want it to be hot
Because I’m best when I’m in love
And I’m in love with you

This is the line that made me consider the song as sexuality empowering, particularly “bottom” gay (or supposedly submissive) individuals, especially males. Even though she explains what G.U.Y stands for, the acronym as a free standing word remains, and hence makes the subject a male under someone else, particularly in reference to the above lyric.
As I’ve previously mentioned, there is still a serious problem with perceptions of tops and bottoms in the gay world, which could, unfortunately translate to male vs. female relations in which the female, supposedly submissive (the bottom) is seen as weaker.

What I think she is saying is that the bottom does not need to be on top to be respected and worth it. Perceived submissiveness need not be equated to weakness.  I cant account for the rest of the bridge, but sex does sell. However, it does point to a frailty and humanity that comes with being as strong as one has to when fighting systems like she does. Patriarchy is an organization that can exhaust one and make you forget yourself.

It takes guts (not balls) to fight the power. So that’s it. As always, I’m keen to hear what my readers think.

Watch the video here:

<p>Author <a href=”https://plus.google.com/102128103971030481396” target=”blank” rel=”author”>Jerome Cornelius</a></p>

Attention: Don’t feed the attention seekers

A friend told me that my previous post about @MrCPT was not necessary and I should not have given him as many words as I did. This made me think about many things. One of those is how to deal with the attention seekers of the world.

At the beginning of this year I tweeted about how we should stop feeding attention seekers with the very food that gives them life – attention. It seems simple, but if we don’t give them this sustenance, they would cease to exist. Yet we cannot help ourselves and always seem to lapse into this state of unconsciousness.

Let me tell you a story. Five years ago I stalked an ex. Ok, that’s a little dramatic of me. It was one night and hardly stalking, but you get my point. (Plus, who can afford to stalk someone? Phone bills, petrol, it’s all very expensive and takes too much commitment).

So I was at a friend’s birthday dinner at the Waterfront and was headed home. Ex worked in Cape Town CBD and I thought I would drive by. Even though we were on good terms, we weren’t talking regularly and I missed him. I thought that if I drove by I might be able to see him. Yes, I realise how creepy it sounds now. On the way there I was stuck in a road block where the cops were checking for drunk drivers. Once I got through that it was a simple fork between left turn, going home, and right turn, stalk the ex. Even though I had enough time, I still went right, even though it wasn’t the right thing to do. I sat in the car watching the door. I did not see him and I went home disappointed.

Also (and I swear I’ll get to my point soon) I recently had a chat assault. A friend, who I apparently insulted when I called him dramatic (he totally was, and it was in the tone of my usual joking self), went off on me and said some very mean things to me. I ended the conversation and the chat, as well as the friendship. I did not understand, having been through a few similar assaults, how between conception in the mind, typing the message and then ultimately hitting the “send” button, it could get that far. But it does, because we are the species who were dumb enough to develop thought (and then over-thought).

Having reciprocated to fights in the past, can well and truly say that I am over that. It takes a little thought to realise that not replying, and even though this is not the intention, tends to hit harder than any words you can throw at someone. A better way of phrasing it is to rather sit in silence with what they said, think about their intentions and where they could be coming from. Instead of begrudgingly letting it go, you instead let it slide right off your shoulders.

The problem with attention seekers is that they are so attuned to what they are saying (and their own unconsciousness’s and hurt feelings, and huge egos) that it incites something similar in us and we feel compelled to call them out on it. Miley Cyrus twerking, Donald Trump’s Mandela rant, and even our own Julius Malema – all examples of people who would not exist if we did not give them the light of day. Of course it’s impossible to not speak about something as sensational as the above-mentioned people and their antics, but it’s the way in which we do it that matters. With the post on @MrCPT, it was too offensive to not write about, because I believe that while it might have given him supporters and followers, it might also have spoken to the enlightened few who would now be aware of him, and others like him, and speak up about similar offensive people.

It is my hope that between thinking and speaking, we realise the power that we give to others with our words and actions.

 

<p>Author <a href=”https://plus.google.com/102128103971030481396” target=”blank” rel=”author”>Jerome Cornelius</a></p>

Life Lessons from… Angry Birds?

What are some of the strangest places you’ve found a life lesson? They are there, waiting for us to open our eyes, minds and hearts to them. For me, it is two games that I’ve been playing on the tablet. In particular, Angry Birds and Subway Surf. They are real time killers, and super addictive in their simplicity. I doubt the creators meant for idiot bloggers to look for meaning in their creations, but… So be it.

You really do not need to have played these games – the general idea is there. But for those who absolutely want to know what they are about, it’s simple. Subway Surf is a guy running along, picking up coins as he goes. He has to dodge obstacles and there are daily challenges.

Angry Birds is a lot more popular, with its equally simple concept. You launch little birds, who are very angry-looking (get it?!), at pigs, and later monkeys, to destroy them for points. Play with extreme caution. I repeat, very addictive!

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There they are.

You may not always get what you want, but life goes on regardless – Do the best with what you have. Some of the birds come with special abilities. The yellow ones can fly fast; the big beige one can drop an egg bomb and the parrots are weird and flappy. They are all useful and exceptional in their own ways, but you do not get to choose them. You’re given the hand you’re dealt and you have to make the most of it. Complaining about getting the wrong birds? Sure, go ahead. Let me know how that works for you.

Sometimes it doesn’t matter what tools you have, because you may not always need them – So with all the above abilities of the angry birds, it may seem as if you have everything you need, but sometimes that may not be the right thing for you. Just because you can drop that bomb does not always mean that you should. Crashing into the scaffolding with just the bird was enough and brought down the whole structure, destroying all the pigs (I swear you need to play the game to get it). Oftentimes we think that we need to have the best of everything to complete us, when in fact we need very little.

If you do something long enough, you will get the hang of it – I said something on Facebook that, I was told, was particularly insightful (if I do say so myself). It goes: “If fighting is all you ever know, it is all you will ever do”. Someone even suggested it was Hallmark card-worthy. That may have been pushing it, but whatever, I like it. Well, just as in life, where we repeat the same patterns over and over hoping for the best, we tend to miss the part where we are supposed to learn from repetition. Change it up, throw that bird towards the far end instead of the first pig, try something new.

And over at Subway Surfer…

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Surfing trains was never this fun.

As monotonous as the journey may seem, there will be surprises, and rewards. Stay prepared – If you lose focus just because you’re bored or because it’s taking too much hard work and focus to be committed to the cause (I may be taking this game a little too seriously. Just a bit…). So I’m running along because I had spent all my coins on Mystery Boxes because it’s like a lucky draw – you never know what’s going to be inside – and I got bored. Guess what, losing focus made me pass a key. A key is like a free life. I was not obedient and I lost out. Luckily  the game, like a lot in life, is cyclical and it came back around and I got a second chance. How many of us get second chances and we waste it?

If you can’t get what you want, you could always buy your way in –  It’s true. You work hard for your money, so why not get to spend it? As long as it’s earned the honest way (and not bought via some cheating shortcut) then who is anyone to tell you otherwise?  But,

the reward will not be as sweet – I may as well have gone for the cliché  grand slam. However, it is true. One of the challenges was “to beat your own high score”, and because my score was something over 1,000,000, it was proving pretty darn difficult. But I forgot about it and stopped checking the score and playing to beat it. I just played and zoned out and had fun again. Boom! Score beaten.

 

<p>Author <a href=”https://plus.google.com/102128103971030481396” target=”blank” rel=”author”>Jerome Cornelius</a></p>

My First Food Jam

It finally happened this past Sunday October 27th. I had a few days to think about it since. I let the thoughts stew. My brain was fried, but I whisked together a few ideas and let it marinate. It baked for a few minutes and voila, my first food blog post! Ok, enough of that. On with it.

This event was held in conjunction with the Spier Secret festival.

My initial perception of food events was YUM. That’s it. The people, however, as well as the food blogosphere, particularly in Cape Town dredged up a few words… pretentious! The group I met proved me completely wrong. I’ve always enjoyed the idea of food blogs. Food is so much more than just filling the stomach by stuffing the face (I swear by it). It’s a direct window to a culture, and a sacred time for many – try disturbing someone at a braai, or tucking into a Gatsby – and it has always bothered me that the food blogosphere (and again, especially in Cape Town) had been slapped with the “pretentious” label.

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Lily prepping the chocolate.

This food jam was held at the Tamboerskloof home of Jade de Waal, who welcomed me with chocolate stained hands. We opted for a hug instead. I was the first to arrive and met baker Lily Vanilli.

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Bloggers and foodies getting drunk, I mean… refreshed.

The guests trickled in and I was introduced to bloggers, chefs and generally a great mix of people. Our hosts laid out treats to ward off the Cape Town heat, with fruits dangling from the thatched roof. The table had freshly squeezed juices (apple, pear and ginger; and carrot, chilli and I think beetroot). The others got stuck in and immediately created their own concoctions. That’s a fitting word because, when I looked over, a cleaver was being used to hack a dangling cucumber (don’t worry, I’m still at the food jam) and a jug was opted to create a Pimm’s infused summer drink.

I was driving, so I skipped these, including the Bloody Marys. Everyone whipped out their cameras and went Twitpic and Instagram crazy.

After a welcome speech by Zaid Philander from the British Council and @connect_za, we went to the kitchen where we had the demonstration. We were making chocolate truffles. Did I mention that I am the non-foodie newbie to the group? Good, remember that, ok.

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Tebogo on the right.

The demonstration was quick, but comprehensive. Cream on heat, add chocolate, tea bag (optional) and salt (recommended), stir without incorporating too much air while off the heat, then freeze, roll into balls (the more imperfect, the better. My kind of activity) and then freeze again. We were also given a whole assortment of infusions and things to roll our truffles with.

Sounds simple, right? Sounds fun? Fun, yes; simple, not so much. I had a great partner, Tebogo, and she was my saving grace. Tebogo and I had a similar way of thinking; however the implementation was our undoing. We wanted chilli and cinnamon in our truffles, and added a crushed rusk and various nuts too.

Jade and Lily were walking around offering their assistance where needed.  So Tebogo and I started, cream was heated, chocolate was added and… “What are you doing?!”

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“What are you doing!” – Zaid shouting at me.

It was the first minute and I had already messed up. But the chocolate was not burned, so we were saved. My exceptionally strong arms were used to full effect as Tebogo hunted down our infusions. When I thought that our ganache (because apparently that’s what chocolate and cream is called)

Because this was not just an excuse to drink and get to know awesome people, we waited until our truffles were safely in the freezer before we started all that. I was handed a glass of cold white wine by Jade and we got to know some of the others a little better.

If it was a competition, Tebogo and I would have placed… lets go with 4th.

We were ahead of the pack, worked well together, had lots of fun, but ultimately our truffles tasted like chocolate and cream, with only a scant hint of our infusions.

I had to leave before the end, so I only got to taste three of the groups (come on, it’s chocolate). I particularly enjoyed the mint-infused combination.

Thank you to the British Council and everyone involved in making my first food jam such a memorable event.

<p>Author <a href=”https://plus.google.com/102128103971030481396” target=”blank” rel=”author”>Jerome Cornelius</a></p>

Lily and Jade

Lily and Jade 🙂

TwerkGate – Leave Miley Alone!

It seems that the backlash is slowly dying down over TwerkGate. Miley Cyrus twerking at the VMAs has even been viewed as some as a false flag of sorts for the imminent US bombing of Syria.

Miley Twerk

My take, and I promise this wont take long, is simple: She’s 20! Who are we to act like the moral police? Now, my colleagues had a different point-of-view, going with the publicity angle. We all acted wildly and twerked on older men (right?!), except it was not in front of an audience of millions. Her fans, many have said, are young impressionable girls, and that it is making it ok for men to objectify women.  I disagree. I think it shows that SHE wanted to dance that way, and that SHE wanted to be perceived however she wanted. That’s it. My only critique would be that there was a lack of actual choreography. You cant rely on your sex appeal alone! The absence of performance and staging was notable more than another sexy gyrating show.

Academia has a way of dissecting things, and looking for the meaning behind actions. This is perfectly acceptable, and my training has been in this. However, not everything needs to fit into a canonical framework. The accusation from pundits has been that Miley’s twerking is a cultural appropriation of black people. I’m fine with that critique, but if we start that train of accusatory thought, where would it end?

My take on the whole situation is that the entertainment industry will continue unabated, as sexually explicit as it it is. However, the role of the parents and educators is a crucial one that is missing from the debate. We can point fingers and blame all we want, but MTV and the Cyrus family are not raising your children, you are. Or rather you should be. Reminding children that this is merely one form of expression is crucial. I mentioned Rihanna in a blog post last year. She went back to her abuser and there was backlash. Then it died down. So how valid are these outcries?

This will all blow over soon, because not too long ago, Britney Spears was also slated for her performance at the VMAs (not counting her “Slave 4 U” snake homage or kiss-fest with Madonna). Her performance was said to be too sexy and could influence young people. Remember this? Take a look!

 

<p>Author <a href=”https://plus.google.com/102128103971030481396” target=”blank” rel=”author”>Jerome Cornelius</a></p>

My Top “One-Take” Music Videos

Just a fun, frivolous post today. Anyone remember those top ten countdowns on MTV? I’ve always wanted to submit this one, but could never think of ten. Plus I’m really lazy. And now that MTV has gone to shits (at least in SA, where it was moved from the cluster of music channels due to too many reality-based shows. Shameless, MTV, shameless!)  I figured why not submit to the Floor Jawers?

What it is? Simple. One take, one continuous (or seemingly continuous) shot where the camera does not break away and the director does not yell “CUT!” to break filming. Got it? There are many others, but these are some of my favourites.

So this is my list – slightly erratic, probably incomplete, but totally mine (minus OK GO, those hoarders of the one-take genre) Enjoy!

The Seeming

These aren’t actual one-take vids, but I liked them so much that I had to mention them.

Taylor Swift 

– We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together

These two are so awesome I couldn’t leave them out. This video is really similar in one-take concept to the upcoming Milow video. I like the monkey (or mice?) characters who tie everything together. Haters gonna hate on Tay Tay, but this video is exhaustively cool and, were it one continuous shot, would have been even more outstanding.

 

Eagle Eye Cherry

– Save Tonight

So this one actually sort of is one-take, but not, like, literally. Know what I mean? When the characters, all played by Eagle Eye, leave the frame is when they would have cut. The video, however, is still pretty much flawless.

Fun fact: Eagle Eye is neither an eagle, an eye nor a cherry.

The Actual

Beyonce 

– Single Ladies

At this point I think everyone has seen this one. Music video genius! To film this one must have been a pain in a phat ass as many people don’t seem to realise how many takes these mini movies can comprise.

This one does not break at all for the entirety of the video of it. With the amount of running around, that’s pretty impressive! (Compare to the Bruno Mars one later, and you get an idea of how tough this one must have been) The black and white helps a lot as colour would have detracted from the filming. Simple and classic. No wonder Kanye West called it “the greatest video of all time” when he cut off poor Taylor Swift.

Maybe that’s why Taylor decided to do her own. Sort of.

Fun facts:

  • According to Wikipedia, “It features the J-Setting dance choreography that was inspired by “Mexican Breakfast”, a 1969 routine choreographed by Bob Fosse
  • Beyonce is, in fact, not a single lady.

Spice Girls

– Wannabe

I have a problem with people who say they didn’t like the Spice Girls. I think you’re lying. No, no, sssh… don’t even argue, because you’re wrong. EVEYRONE loved the Spice Girls, especially this song. With guest starring roles by Mel B’s and Mel C’s nipples, and the debut of Victoria Beckham’s (then Adams, but we won’t hold that against her) infamous surly pout, this was momentous. Ok, I’m playing it up a lot more than I’m not getting paid for, but it’s still fun. You know a video is going to be good when someone named Baby Spice harasses a defenseless homeless person at the start of the video.

Slam ya body down now zigazig aaah.

Honourable mentions

Feist

– 1234

There’s a moment at 0:26 when the dancers fall out from behind her that makes me wonder if this is technically one-take, but other than that this is amazing. Feist will go down in history as the sparkly blue jump suit running like The Matrix with the surfboard wave barrel camera. It doesn’t get better than this.

U2

 – The Sweetest thing

At the risk of stating the obvious, this really is the sweetest thing. In it, Bono is apologising to his sweetest thing, as they driving through the streets of, surprise surprise, Dublin. This is just adorable all round and even features Boyzone. Come on, it’s BOYZONE!

Fun facts:

  • Bono’s wife, Ali,  is featured in the beginning.
  • Bono also refers to himself as “the sweetest thing”

The cutest

Milow

– You and me (In my pocket)

This is a song that is such a backhanded compliment (read the lyrics without music) but still cute. So they had to make a video that was super adorable to off-set any weird interpretations. This one will warm the cockles of your heart, and so creative too. You have to give it up for the genius and thought behind this one. It’s a whole love story  (yes I know, kinda creepy, but still!) from beginning to end.

I love the simulated nature with the woods backdrop in the beginning, the sun out the window, swimming in the ocean (on wheelie chairs no less) and when “night” falls.

OK GO can suck it!

The silly

Bruno Mars

 – The Lazy Song

Check out 2:43 when he and the monkeys don’t even zip up their pants again. I love the monkey masks, which reminded me of Taylor Swift’s video. This one must have been fun to choreograph, but also tricky with a stationary camera. The dancing and movement could not have been better for this song.

Fun facts:

  • A second video was later released, starring William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy. Seriously.
  • Bruno, while a man, is actually from Venus.

The Animated

The Avett Brothers

 Head Full of Doubt/ Road Full of Promise

I don’t think that this one actually counts, but I don’t think that the animated side should be exempt, although the challenge is greater. With animation there is more freedom to manipulate and create something which suits the vision, especially with a one-take video. This one is so simple and striking, it’s scary. Almost prophetic, it tells the tale of a town built from nothing, and then gets torn down. It’s very juicy and a lot to pick at. The American town and destruction of the American dream and our obsession with consumption and ownership; it’s all present in this video in which the camera does not move. Think about how much you would do with a stationary camera.

My absolute fave!

Anna Kendrick

 – Cups (When I’m Gone)

Anyone who knows me, or just follows me on social media sites, knows that my favourite film from the past few years is Pitch Perfect. And not just for Fat Amy, like everyone else!

One of the most memorable moments from that film was the audition scene, and particularly Beca’s “Cups” routine. Well, it’s just one cup, based on “When I’m Gone” by Lulu and the Lampshades. This song is the music video based on the film routine. (based on based on inspired by…)

I love this one! Can’t get enough of it. Less is always more, and this is no exception. The little nuances are what get me, like at 2:10 when she synchs up her cup with the chef as she enters the restaurant.  I also love 3:14 when the guy behind the bar can’t get the cups unstuck, but it doesn’t ruin the flow of the video. I can’t imagine the number of takes to make a video like this, so the director probably thought “screw it, let’s just do it”

If this does not warm your heart, then you do not have one.

 

<p>Author <a href=”https://plus.google.com/102128103971030481396” target=”blank” rel=”author”>Jerome Cornelius</a></p>

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