MCMLXXVI Rock and Roll Heart

Happy holidays! I am not very sure there is a great deal I could consider that hasn’t been investigated by different bloggers about how 2020 has been. It’s been a revolution.

Courts declared this week that Microsoft is defeated at the moment, in a lawsuit concerning the price of their systems and office software suites between the years 1998, and 2010. I don’t want to say the digital revolution was like 1995, or 1998, or 2010 or 2020 or any clearly-stated signpost like that. By revolution, I just mean it’s a lot easier now to be taking to the streets, with the Internet in place.

Photo by Kristin Hardwick from StockSnap

I trust your Christmas is a cheerful one this year. I experienced what has been like moments of rage this weekend (after I’d written the best part of this post).

I got to feeling torn up. I don’t know why.

One evening, the other day, I’d got to feeling, oddly, like how I did when I was an unfulfilled young person, feeling regret at letting time go, without, you could say, stopping to smell the roses.

Also this week, the YouTube channel for the Star Wars movies commemorated forty years since Episode IV The Empire Strikes Back made its premiere in 1980, although something tells me it was a springtime premiere. The next day the channel continued to remind people that Star Wars is a big tradition, VII The Force Awakens in 2015, VIII The Last Jedi in 2017, and, IX The Rise of Skywalker a year ago now.

Darth Vader and the Death Star

It was kind of weird to think about The Rise of Skywalker being in theatres an entire year in the past. Things have certainly changed.

Now, with Christmas right around the corner, Song Lyric Sunday is here, a great blog hop organized by Jim Adams, for like-minded bloggers. For Sunday, December 20, Jim’s prompts include a circle. https://jimadamsauthordotcom.wordpress.com/2020/12/19/the-shape-im-in-2/

Song Lyric Sunday is itself a circle, what I think of as a blog hop. A blog hop is when bloggers post at the same time on the same subject, like when college kids do a pub crawl, where they go from bar to bar, to have drinks.

Jim has blogged this year a little about the impact of a blog hop (versus what I’d term an award crawl). His thoughts were couched in the language of how it is that an award crawl can be a little useless.

By award crawl, I mean when bloggers nominate each other to share an award, and to express appreciation. It’s a phrase I’m using to describe how that is.

A blog hop is effective because it isn’t just commending one another. A blog hop is a social experience, a little fun if you blog.

About music, to be a famous musician is a powerful fantasy. I regard exciting music or any sort of expert musicianship. On Wednesday this week, Rolling Stone published an article saying that music journalism on TikTok might be more and more important in the future. Rolling Stone pointed out that Generation Z kids in 2020 listen to music on Spotify and TikTok.

Jim’s prompt circle reminded me of the late, great Lou Reed’s song Vicious Circle, on the album Rock and Roll Heart. In 1976, Reed’s first album with Arista Records followed the records he did for RCA after The Velvet Underground ended, and was kind of immediately enjoyable for a casual listener, though Reed seems to flirt again on Rock and Roll Heart with self-destruction, not unlike what a depressed but notable musician can be like. A couple of times I’ve watched a TV interview with Reed in Australia recorded 1975, not all that long before Rock and Roll Heart, where Reed seems unhappy.

Reed tries a joke about the tyrant Adolf Hitler, calling him a great organizer. The question energetically admonishes him. I think Reed was obliquely referring to Andy Warhol, who managed him as a musician before Reed made an album.

A few people can’t avoid that zeitgeist, and for me, also, it’s enchanting. Reed is a championed rock guitarist and singer who is seldom rivalled, given the influence of his personality.

He is gone, but when I was in college, one long-haired, heavyset history teacher taught us a little about him, calling Reed, “the godfather of punk.” In the library, I found a little book about subculture, music subculture in the nineteen seventies, and I put energy into understanding it.

Lou Reed’s New York

Because, with the impact of Warhol, in the nineteen sixties, of the acclaim of The Velvet Underground, that was after they ceased making music together, as a group, but, regardless, songs of theirs began to be popular.

When I went into the HMV store in New York City, HMV the chain of CD shops where you went if you wanted music, in the days when you bought music on physical media, the Velvets were well-advertised, as in giant letters the store announcing, “The Velvet Underground.” You knew it was their town.

Related

HMV owner’s dramatic Christmas warning: ‘Let’s all use high streets – or Amazon will be the last shop left’

https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/markets/article-8972967/Use-high-streets-Christmas-urges-owner-HMV.html

Years before I was born, Lou Reed had a Top 20 hit, contributing to the new popularity of both Reed, and consequently the Velvets. The most popular song by Reed is a song I first heard on FM radio, cruising the streets of my town, probably for no particular reason, or for no good reason.

Lou Reed a Life by Anthony DeCurtis

I didn’t know who that singer was, on the radio, until I heard the song again, as though it were still 1972, in some kind of Doctor Who-type parallel universe. I still didn’t know whom it was singing like that, but eventually, a friend of a friend listened to me describe the song, and he knew who it was, given a moment (between thought and reflection).

I was in a circle, then, being a kid in high school, dealing with pressures that are specific to what I think is most kids’ experience. It wasn’t vicious, by the way, just sayin’.

The song Vicious Circle could be about having social pressures, like specific patterns ingrained in you to run up against a wall. The song is less uptempo than most of the songs on Rock and Roll Heart. I am not sure the better part of Reed’s listeners would embrace music like his, if they didn’t feel, at least from time to time, that the intrigue about the music was coming from a place touched by despair.

There are stories about Lou Reed, when he was the frontman of the Velvets, like that he played Woodstock in ’69, but nobody could hear the sound. I don’t think the Velvets did play Woodstock. They broke up amid tension.

The third and fourth of the Velvets’ records were more straightforward as rock albums than the first and second albums. I believe in 1968 they performed in Hamilton, Ontario, but that might have been the Velvet Underground’s only show in Canada. Even though you may not know I’m Canadian, I in any case get spellbound by performers who made it (or said they did).

Lou Reed’s hit in 1972 includes the B-side Vicious (not Vicious Circle). Four years after that, after Reed was through with RCA Records, Reed with Vicious Circle was possibly pointing to his choice of making a livelihood as a rock singer, because Vicious Circle points to the song Vicious, and the 45 itself is circular in shape, music being on vinyl discs, records. There is a hint of weariness in Vicious Circle.

There is a Bowie song, too, with the word circle in its title, and I know there’s a reference about him in the title of Vicious Circle, in all likelihood, but how can I know for sure?

Reed had a great sense of humour, I read in college, the Velvets’ drummer Moe Tucker remarking on that about Lou Reed.

Photo by Jens Mahnke from StockSnap

Reed expounded on experience transparently in his music, including thoughts about sex and culture. Reed did much of his very best music with the Velvets, who were John Cale, Sterling Morrison, Moe Tucker, and Doug Yule.

Everything Lou Reed did music-wise is very acceptable, I think. The Velvet Underground is a legendary band. Many an amateur rocker knows whom the Velvet Underground are, and get feeling good about songs like What Goes On, and Sweet Jane, west coast surf type stuff.

God knows I’m not a resident. I used to wonder what Reed intended for the fate of his music.

I think with Rock and Roll Heart Reed was trying his hand at again being a straightforward rock musician. I would venture to guess that he was a pretty hot musician, having just conquered AM Radio with Coney Island Baby, but had simultaneously conveyed the ability to fail with his 1975 noise opus Metal Machine Music.

Metal Machine Music sort of seems easier to take all these years later, as an experimental ambient noise album, but I take it fans of the artist would have wanted more rock songs, not something altogether weird like Metal Machine Music. Wikipedia says, “In 1979 Reed said ‘Saying ‘I’m a Coney Island baby’ at the end of that song is like saying I haven’t backed off an inch. And don’t you forget it.'”

Photo by Emanuele Bresciani from StockSnap

I have a theory that if Reed had clear success with Metal Machine Music, it would have meant a lot of change as far as music fans’ interest in what’s viable goes. Enough about that for now.

Reed lived a long life, until October 27, 2013, passing away at the age of 71. In college, I didn’t believe Reed’s image as a street-weary rock musician, compared to who he was. I don’t have any acquaintance with it all, however.

Thanks to Jim Adams for the December 20 word prompt circle. Have a great Christmas, Jim, and to everybody who sees this ahead of Christmas. You’re welcome to like my post, to comment and/or to follow my blog.

https://www.facebook.com/findingenvirons

https://about.me/patrickcoholan

Vicious Circle https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfceMTlEq7s

You’re caught in a vicious circle
Surrounded by your so called friends
You’re caught in a vicious circle
And it looks like it will never end
‘Cause some people think that they like problems
And some people think that they don’t
And for everybody who says yes
There’s somebody who’s staring, saying don’t

You’re caught in a vicious circle
Surrounded by your so called friends
You’re caught in a vicious circle
And it looks like it will never end
‘Cause some people think that it’s nerves
And some people think that it’s not
And some people think that it’s things that you do
And others think that you were cold, when you were hot
They think that that is what it was about

You’re caught in a vicious circle …

Surrounded by all of your friends

What the World Would Be Like If Fringe Opinions Didn’t Exist

Trump administration appeals yet another TikTok ruling —https://www.theverge.com/2020/12/28/22203284/trump-administration-appeal-tiktok-china-bytedance

CNN tech reporter — Brian Fung

The news came in the end of September that Donald Trump affirmed the takeover of TikTok by firms Walmart and Oracle.  An eleventh-hour victory is how the website CNET put it that evening. It was an exciting day.

The issue that Trump made of TikTok’s conduct is that ostensibly TikTok was opening a doorway for China to collect unwarrant data on American TikTok users which would put the States at risk given a perceived interest in China gaining a foothold on Big Tech, at home in Silicon Valley. It was a highlight of Big Tech drama and in the months ahead, eventually the States’ FTC made the move of demanding clarity on what is going on with user data.

FTC orders ByteDance, Facebook, Snap and others to explain what they do with user data https://techcrunch.com/2020/12/14/ftc-tiktok-amazon-facebook-social-media-study/

Photo by Markus Spiske from StockSnap

For perspective on the deal moving TikTok from China to the U.S., I watched someordinarygamers, who was doing videos about it.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

someordinarygamers: https://www.youtube.com/user/SomeOrdinaryGamers

About what people say on the Internet, so many people communicate on the Internet about fringe.  someordinarygamers is into things like playing retro videogames, but he also looks at a lot of Internet issues that sometimes are only superficially related. The channel is often funny, meaning Mutahar has a sense of humour, whether navigating Minecraft, or a particularly cringy Twitter thread, as much as he can make himself heard on has YouTube, which is pretty large given his success. That’s his name, right, Mutahar? The emcee at someordinarygamers

You can see the difference between, say, an ambitious young TikTokker aiming for fame, and a fringe TikTokker just kind of shouting out to whoever.  It isn’t a subtle distinction.

That said, someordinarygamers does have a pretty good YouTube channel.

Related

Epic Star Wars Concept Art Shows Rey Taking On A Ton Of Stormtroopers https://www.cinemablend.com/news/2555166/epic-star-wars-concept-art-shows-rey-taking-on-a-ton-of-stormtroopers

Do you enjoy Star Wars? The inveterately well-known movie, the first one, released by Twentieth Century Fox in 1977, can be quoted with the following.  “It was as if a million voices cried out in pain/And were suddenly silenced,” Obiwan, played by the late Alec Guinness, laments to Han Solo, played by Harrison Ford, and to Luke Skywalker, played by Mark Hamill, aboard Han’s ship, the Millennium Falcon, during their search for Princess Leia, played by late Carrie Fisher. Darth Vader, played by the departed David Prowse and voiced by James Earl Jones, having kidnapped her.

At that moment in the film, the Empire, under the command of Vader and of Grand Moff Tarkin, played by the also departed Peter Cushing, has just destroyed her home planet, with the power of the Death Star, and Obiwan knows it, thanks to The Force.

“oh no!”

That’s how it would have been in the eventuality that the Trump administration banned TikTok (my tie-in).  The greatest issue is that the Chinese government would have picked up a lot of data, about TikTok, trading off U.S. security.

Photo by Lenharth Systems from StockSnap

Related

The Four Benefits of Data Mining: Google’s Side of the Data Story  https://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/next-gen-infosec/four-benefits-data-mining-google/

In the late eighties, I had a tape duplicate of 1977’s George Lucas-directed Star Wars.  The story of the Rebel Alliance appealed to me very much, the way it does for so many.

The nature of social media is to turn user ideas into content.  Idly put, the site Portia’s Content Generator helped turn this subject into a workable draft idea. Since then, I’ve worked out some stronger ideas–more on that to come.

Often, like on Facebook, a social media post can be a photo (or several), an emoji, or a hashtag, all of which are elements that add up to a status report, a post.  In Silicon Valley, Facebook was like the best idea in the world in 2007, something that earned a fortune, and had an impact on people’s behaviour all over the world.

The 2010 David Fincher film The Social Network, all about Facebook, is a terrific movie, a masterful film.  It may not contain an account of the devastation of the planet of Alderaan, but with The Social Network you get some appreciation of how Facebook has the capacity among people, around the planet, to favour constant unequivocal activity.  Anyone with a social media account can be a keyboard warrior.

When a gallant Jedi Knight, Darth Vader was tempted, turned into a Sith Lord, and drove the Empire’s annihilation of the Jedi Order

If Facebook tossed a rulebook of dictator guidelines at its users, I can’t help thinking about how media would become in a “scene” like that.  Ha, well, it would be Orwellian, if it isn’t already.

Orwellian alludes to being of a dictator nature.  If you don’t know, an algorithm is a mathematical formula, in the purest sense of the word, and when you put the word into a social media context, the word means the method of delivering content of specific interest to you.  That is why social media is addictive.

I surmise that an autonomous voice relies upon that if it needs to communicate itself, in any shape.  Without autonomy, it would be, I think, a market with only the dullest of billboards to show, nothing to write home about.

Goods consigned and a surfeit of the ordinary. Should news info should be professionally-packaged, light on ads, accurate and not misleading, and properly researched and based in reality?  That is all well and good, but it implies that a beginning blogger may not reach the starting gate without being subject to specific, and somewhat arbitrary, rules of conduct.

I’ve heard, like on someordinarygamers, on YouTube, that the component of the Internet which is your most valuable currency is data. In fact, again today Mutahar put out a video that explores what Facebook and Instagram are doing with user data.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pEgmvdrQXG0

There is a call for public news and music industry Top 40 hits, yes.  However, every stipend ought to be made for periphery who have a right to speak as freely as the most prevailing of media.

Everyone who likes YouTube videos experiences this hiccup.  Trying to make a living as a YouTuber, when creators on YouTube aren’t getting through to viewers, the views on their videos begin to slow down.  Some YouTubers talk about that, contending with the algorithm that holds back videos.

“oh no!”

We all should practice diligence using social media.  I am not sure we need to delete Facebook and Instagram, as Mutahar encourages, but his note of caution is worth giving a listen. I wouldn’t mind if someordinarygamers looked again at how TikTok’s new corporate structure will turn out.

You may now return to your regularly scheduled program.

Happy new year, and good luck.

opps

A typical spelling of the outcry “oh no!”

Opps! I tYpOed agAiN!!! lololololo

“oh no!”

If you are interested, you’re welcome to “like,” “follow,” or comment.  Good luck with your blogging.

substance ought to be: steady, helpful,

pertinent, unique, exceptional, new, educative, client and network driven, intriguing, interesting, to change, to be easy to peruse and share it

through media, to have

viral power and give positive

“buzz,” just as that more

content is fundamental

Online, you should always be kind to a beginner.  You will acquire everything by recognizing you are deficient and subject to God. 🙂

WordPress Discover: Hidden

Today’s WordPress Discover theme is the idea of “hidden,” organized by Ben Huberman.  Last night on Twitter, I saw a tweet that included a landscape by fantasy painter Boris Vallejo.  The landscape is Cloud City, the Star Wars locale where the Sith’s Lord Vader captures Han Solo in preparation to return the smuggler and hero to an otherworldly gangster who Solo owes.

The Empire Strikes Back

    The landscape of Cloud City, the carbon freezing chamber which Vader utilizes to hold Solo without fail, is painted hidden by steam, except for the sight of Solo’s friends and the traitor Lando Calrissian.  Cloud City is hidden in the painting much as Darth Vader is hidden underneath his Sith mask.  The Sith Order is an ancient order of Force-wielders devoted to the dark side of the Force, as starwars.fandom.com/wiki/Sith explains.

    The Force is an energy field that is wielded by Jedi on the side of good and Sith on the side of evil.  An enduring saga, the timeline for this hidden landscape of Cloud City refers to the culmination of events in the 1980s The Empire Strikes Back film.  Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia swears her love for Han Solo.

    Billy Dee Williams, as Lando Calrissian, does his best to rescue the Princess from Darth Vader, but at the cost of surrendering Solo to Vader, and Anthony Daniels as droid character C-3P0 is in pieces, having been shot by a laser blaster when he strayed around the wrong corner a few scenes earlier.  Fortunately, C-3P0 is mechanical.  C-3P0’s master at the time of events in The Empire Strikes Back is incongruously absent from the painting.

It would be Jedi apprentice Luke Skywalker, who comes to the realization that his friends are in terrible danger from Vader and that he has precious little time to train as a Jedi.  The order of Jedi is a counterpart to the evil order of Sith.

Today Disney explained on Twitter that they have an interest in taking advantage of May the 4th tweets with the hashtag #maythefourth. May the 4th is a long running day that commemorates the Star Wars film franchise with the idea that the Star Wars toast “May the Force be with you” translates to “May the Fourth be with you,” as is well known as Star Wars fans. Disney announced today that hashtagging a tweet with #maythefourth, while making it eligible to be celebrated by Disney on Twitter, automatically makes that tweet the property of Disney themselves.

It isn’t a doable contingency. Clownfish TV on YouTube explained today that while Disney does own the trademark “May the Fourth,” the trademark is only guarded where apparel and events are concerned. There is no protection for Disney when Star Wars fans tweet #maythefourth about their love of Star Wars.

However, Disney clearly is trying to get protective of the trademark with the idea of putting their authority to use in the face of anyone who would tweet #maythefourth. Even that idea that Disney would like control of the hashtag #maythefourth could be enough to dispel an interest in tweeting the hashtag. The recognition from Disney would be nice, but implying that Disney has control of the hashtag isn’t right when they really don’t.

I would hope that Disney’s posturing to defeat tweets that don’t meet the bar that Disney would like to hold presents the idea that the sequel trilogy of Star Wars films, while fine movies I think, is somewhat irresponsible when it comes to respecting the film fandom. Clownfish TV didn’t even watch The Rise of Skywalker.

The Empire Strikes Back

SciFi Fandom Pride: Where’d You Go? “He tends to say whatever comes into his circuits.” – Cassian Andor, Rogue One

The Force Awakens

To think about pride, like for me familiarity with popular science fiction, it is true that in 2015, enthusiasm for the Star Wars films, Star Wars fandom, soared nearly beyond measure when Lucasfilm presented the Star Wars film The Force Awakens.

The realization was great that appreciation for the popular trilogy of films of the nineteen seventies and eighties was “striking back,” an achievement again like the success of Star Wars in the spring of 1977.  George Lucas nearly didn’t get his 1977 film made, according to accounts of what happened, and even though it is true that most film projects whether original in scope or not fail to get made, it is an endearing success story that Lucas made the movie.  The phrase “success story” lacks the weight behind what Star Wars actually did to Hollywood cinema, which was as expansive as what became of the Star Wars galaxy a long time ago and far away.


Photographer:
One Idea LLC

The fervor for Star Wars returning in 2015, helmed by J. J. Abrams, was awe-inspiring.  In fact, Star Wars’ ability to create awe is what gives it such a punch.  For The Force Awakens, original cast members from 1977 joined a new cast for a continuation of Return of the Jedi.

The Force Awakens was a giant success and seemed to bring with it the promise that Star Wars would be once more returning with aplomb and dedication.  Despite unravelling the plot of the original Star Wars films by undoing the Rebel Alliance’s success destroying Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, and failing to bring Harrison Ford, the late Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill together in The Force Awakens, it was implied that untied ends and more importantly the reunion between the actors from the original movies would appear in Star Wars Episode VIII in 2017, directed by Rian Johnson.

Discouragingly, Johnson’s film about Star Wars horrified and divided the Star Wars fandom, by dismantling thoughtlessly a trove of Star Wars lore, failing to shoot what would have been an extremely important reunion of Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa and Han Solo, and, also front and centre, bringing identity politics into the movie.

There has always been a deep-felt pride in Star Wars and while I’m a Canadian, I felt pride when Star Wars returned loud and strong in 2015 with The Force Awakens.  Then I felt that pride evaporate when I realized that The Last Jedi is potentially ruining Star Wars, which sounds catastrophic and yet is indeed a possibility.  There is every chance that the best science fiction, at least science fiction on film, the best of the entire twentieth century, will be undone if Episode IX fails at the box office.

The rest of Star Wars will be history.

There are voices on the Internet, the fandom, divided by The Last Jedi, that organized and presented a call to Disney to save the glory of Star Wars by insisting CEO Bob Iger and Kathleen Kennedy do the work to successfully market Episode IX, for which we have not yet heard a title or seen a trailer.  Star Wars Celebration is in a few days, helping Star Wars on its way.  Youtuber and filmmaker Star Wars Theory has promised to upload video he’ll shoot at Celebration.  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8CbFnDTYkiVweaz8y9wd_Q

In the event that Episode IX is good, the Star Wars fandom will unite, and pride will spread throughout.

If the film flops, Star Wars will go to that great “clearance bin” in the sky.  I hope very much for pride but chances are it is through.

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