theladyrose: (Default)
How the *f* does Gay Pride Day discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation?!

Oh hometown city council, if you're going to be homophobic at least come up with a better "reason." If you have such issues taking sides on decisive issues, then why don't you ban events related to the Iraq war or affirmative action? The tacking on "events promoting discrimination based on sexual orientation, such as Gay Pride Day" to "events promoting discrimination based race, gender, age, etc." doesn't quite work, either. Does having a Chinese/Lunar New Year parade show that you're advocating the superiority of Asians? Does the Festival of Lights parade that features elementary school kids' parade floats count as discriminating for the young? Certainly not. So how does Gay Pride assert the superiority-or the inferiority-of homosexuals? It is a celebration of this aspect of people's identities. Homosexuals in our home community deserve to be accepted, not just tolerated and hidden out of sight. Political correctness, or the appearance thereof, is a poor excuse.

Luckily I'm moving out of this place in a few months.
theladyrose: (Default)
Techno is not the root of all musical evil.

To be honest, I've never believed that techno was the worst thing to happen to film music; I personally am not a fan of early 30's to late 50's film music which subscribes to "the Danube School of Music," to quote from Henry Mancini. "Sappy 1000 Violins Syndrome" for sentimental moments (i.e. non-location, non-suspense and non-action) is still a big issue today. But there are limitations on to how well electronica can replicate live instrumental music. I remember reading somewhere that even with an electronic synthesizer piano which plays each note perfectly without all of the tiny little wavelengths of notes that are close in frequency to the main note, listeners still prefered the original instrument because it sounded more interesting. The same applied to string instruments, if I remember correctly. There is a unique emotional quality to these tiny fluctuations in frequency that electronica simply can't replicate. The Danube School, for better or for worse, has ingrained upon society the standard of strings and occasionally woodwinds to carry the melody lines for the more emotionally complex scenes.

My favorite modern scores, and even some of my favorite retro scores, manage to combine "traditional" instrumental writing for the majority of scoring with live instrumentals and electronica for suspense and action cues. For example, take John Barry's the Living Daylights, the last James Bond score he wrote as of this point in time *fingers crossed for Casino Royale* As the All Music Guide review for TLD remarked, this score is one of the most contemporary sounding action/adventure scores of the 80's in its sparing use of synthesizers for key action cues. The drum loops in "Ice Chase," "Necros Attacks" "Hercules Takes Off" work beautifully as the rhythmic core; the emphasis is still on the brass and strings. For the suspense cues like "the Sniper Was A Woman," "Koskov Escapes," "Airbase Jailbreak" and "Afghanistan Plan," the strings dominate with brass and percussion accompaniment; these 18-year-old cues could just as easily fit into a 21st century thriller. As much as I love Bill Conti's For Your Eyes Only, the heavy emphasis on synthesizers and disco for the cues in the first half of the film make the soundtrack a retrospective of 80's disco masked as action music. I won't even get started on David Arnold's the World is Not Enough and Die Another Day because I'll burst a few blood vessels in the process.

Phillip Glass has also done some interesting work with electronica which of what I've heard I've liked tremendously, but his focus is more on expanding the limits of melody and thematic development rather than on tone color.

But with Arnold and other action film composers, the orchestra has been virtually tossed out, often at the behest of producers seeking a quick profit, for the cheaper electronic instruments. What happens is that it becomes nearly impossible and not worthwhile to distinguish the music from one action film to another. An experimentalist musical trend has become the new cost-effective standard, reducing aural art into a pre-programmed set of rhythms and melodies jumbled into different orders to present the illusion of originality. Thankfully there are composers like Michael Giacchino, David Holmes, and John Powell who rework occasional techno elements for a contemporary feel into seamless transitions with live instrumentals carrying the main melodies.

Semi-related links:

Cool Unused Composer's Choice Scoring for the Bond movies

OK, I'm advertising the above site because it's been my friend's pet project for the past few months. Essentially the edited scenes include the composer's intended cues that appear on the remastered soundtracks of the film instead of the in-film versions, but the research into the musical selection choices is pretty good.

Extremely cool remixes of From Russia With Love and On Her Majesty's Secret Service with great fan trailers

Some of the remixed techno elements sound a little obviously worked in, but the overall effect is rather pleasing and pretty professional sounding for a fan remix.

Yeah, I've gotten a lot of work done today...
theladyrose: (Default)
I have a nasty feeling that when I'm not around some people dub me a screechy feminist. Then again, I tend to respond primarily to men because those forum members who share my interests tend to be men. I do hate being something of a novelty item.

Perhaps that's why people claim that I act so old?
theladyrose: (Default)
Bad Counterpoint Weekly metaphors:

Counterpoint is like a ballet gone wrong. Everyone switches positions every five minutes, nobody knows any of the steps, it's amazing that there's a production at all beecause several random disasters happen on a weekly basis, and we don't even get the cool shoes and costumes. Oh, and the choreographer disappeared awhile ago. And we don't have any funds, either, not even enough to get one stupid tape recorder. We're underappreciated and undersupported like the arts!

Counterpoint is like a sinking boat: we spend most of our time bailing ourselves out, but we leave behind just enough problems so that we spend even more time bailing ourselves out again next week.

Counterpoint is rather like a totalitarian regime. Ask Kerstin or Sophia for more explanation as they've actually taken I&S and I've fake-learned some stuff just from hearing various conversations. We've got a hierarchy, cleansing of various groups (i.e. freshmen and MSers), the leader has an ideology, attempts to instill loyalty through fear, uses and exploits suboordinates, we've got a multi-layered bureaucracy, there's plenty of propaganda to go around, and there's one dominating party that spouts out the leader's ideology and rewards the most faithful comrades/citizens/brainwashed followers. Any sort of a religion has been replaced with the leader's (the editor's) ideology. And the leader attempts to suboordinate/subdude more powerful officials out of fear of being taken out of power. I could go on a lot more about this but it's late, I'm getting tired, and I don't feel like it.

So put it all together, Counterpoint is like a totalitarian regime which just happens idealized in the form of a ballet production performed on a sinking boat.

Ah, the dangers of mixed metaphors.

The Dictator/editor managed to hover over me an absolutely infuriating amount yesterday afternoon as I attempted to place in the world news column, edit the two articles that we did have, finish my own article, transcribe a tape, and come up with captions and headlines. Oh, and fix minute details about the lines. Ironically enough she told me that her favorite part about being editor was editing the articles. With time she's grown disillusioned with the general quality of the staff writers' work and has since dumped all responsibility on me. Of course, it's a bit difficult to edit three articles typically in 15 minutes (Better articles come with 30 min/per article) while being yelled at and trying to finish my own article because of tape recorder issues. She spends most of her time dissing the staff writers and various others in the basement at the time, checking e-mail, going on Yahoo IM, and looking at random websites about tounge piercing studs and what not. Does anyone else find this *mildly* infuriating? I wouldn't mind so much if she had actually gotten some work done beforehand. On Friday mornings I rush down as soon as I can to fix up the articles again and whatever else (ie the entire paper) that needs work. Eunice didn't send in her article because of various reasons, so Canny decided to write it. By the time it was period 2, she had finished writing one of the lousiest articles I have ever read and grudgingly allowed me 2.5 minutes to edit it while hovering over my shoulder and whining, "No, don't take that away! I know it's a lousy article but fuck people and let them deal with it." 100 copies of the first version of this article got printed already. Alas, Canny could at least have used spell-check or some common sense. Somehow our school turned into "Castile". Aiii. I am now going to call the paper New Castile out of irony. We ended up giving the "bad" copies to the sixies (who never read it anyway; I can attest by all of my pathetic attempts at jamming in Counterpoints into their stupid crammed-full mailboxes) and some in the library buried under Counterpoint Monthly and CFP. Nobody ever reads it there anyway.

It sounds like a rather good name for a totalitarian government, New Castile. If I'm bored and feeling strange enough, I just might make a website for it, like the Worchester Island project.

Can we please just screw tradition and sack the editor? Please? Pretty please? The resignation letter has been tempting me for months. And Oscar Wilde did say that the only way to get rid of temptation is to give in to it...
theladyrose: (Default)
Math is evil. Absolutely evil. I've been working on this math review packet for at least two and a half hours. I hate it. I hate math. Why couldn't I be could at it?????? I wish I could. I hope I do well on the final. I hope I don't do too badly this quarter. I have a feeling I'm getting a B or at best a B+. Ugh. It's my worst class.

WHY CAN'T I BE GOOD AT MATH??????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
theladyrose: (Default)
BAAHHHHH.

Jeez. I sound like a sheep or something.

My dear editors very kindly gave me an assignment just as I was going to English this morning. Ironically enough I was doing my speech on writing newspaper articles and I was being super-nice to my editors in it. Alison comes up to me saying, "Oh, yeah, did you check your e-mail?" No, I did not. Maybe it's because Alexandra, Amara, and stalker girl 1 (also known as Christie) are still bombing me with ridiculous amounts of e-mail daily (anyone want 200 messages?) And then I get a lot of junk mail, and then there a lot of other important e-mails. So of course I didn't see it. Then she said, "Oh, well, you're writing an article about teacher X's leaving because of her pregnancy. Oh, and please turn it in by tomorrow afternoon because we have AP exams so we want to do this early. Oh, and please do the weekly calendar as well!"

Thanks a lot. I was really planning on working on some physics homework and maybe working on my C&C movie project, and my English short story. BAAHHHH. Evil editors. They ought to write some articles for themselves for once....

Don't mind me. I'm just doing my weekly Counterpoint rant.

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June 2010

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