Beyoncé… I was not ready

The Queen of Pop Beyoncé surprised fans all over the world last night when her self-titled album (that no one was expecting) dropped on iTunes… the BeyHive is in overdrive and the internet is possibly broken. You can’t go on iTunes and not see her face (check it if you want, I’ll be here waiting) and why?  Because we weren’t ready. And she’s so nonchalant about it. “Suprise” and then she goes back to instagramming pictures of vegan cupcakes… I just… I can’t deal.

 I don’t need to tell you that I bought the album, you can probably tell I have.

Currently on The Mrs. Carter Tour, where did she have the time to write, record and create accompanying videos for each and every one of the 14 songs on the album with extras!? 14 songs. 17 videos. £12.99 on iTunes…  There was no promo. The closest thing to promotion for this album was the samples of new songs used in advertisments for Pepsi and H&M. Beyoncé was on her hustle, they were basically paying her for them to promote her album (that no one was expecting). And for someone who’s constantly in the public eye surrounded by people who would benefit from leaking information, you’ve got to respect her for her level of secrecy that even the US government is unable to achieve.

All Hail King Bey!

The album is star-studded with featuring artists of Drake, Frank Ocean, Jay-Z and Blue Ivy makes her second feature on a song in the track Blue. We get unexpected appearances from Kelly and Michelle again (Superbowl 2013 flashbacks anyone?) as well as from the lovely mother Tina Knowles in the visual accompiament. Rap artists from Houstan Texas also feature in the videos as the Queen pays homage to her home town.

 There is a song on this album for every emotion, role and action of Beyoncé as a black woman. Yes I’m going to say a black woman, lets be honest here feminism often feels like its struggling with intersectionality in almost the same way as the coven and voodoos in American Horror Story: Coven. Like Destiny Child’s Survivor was a message (to either ex-members or the media, depending on which rumour you heard), this entire visual album is a calling out of critics and a rallying cry for general female excellence that Lady Gaga, Lily Allen, Katy Perry, Britney, Miley who are constantly praised for their interpreted feminist sometimes problematic actions (especially when it comes to women of colour) can only hope to achieve.

To all those who opposed Beyoncé as a non-feminist please take several seats. Not only are your arguments invalid in every way, shape and form imaginable. Beyoncé’s song Bow Down which caused a stir earlier in the year due to the use of ‘bitches’, has been transformed with a dirty hood beat with all the swagger and bravado of gangsta rap that black female rappers are famed for. Add a sample from Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche’s speech on feminism and why everyone should be a feminist and you now have the womanist anthem ***Flawless. Please tell me how Bey isn’t a feminist? Please, tell me again?

Wife, mother, single lady on a night out, sensual lover, sexual being, emotional soul, hard working artist, the mourner, the believer; there is a song for all of these parts of womanhood that seemingly contradict each other are embraced and interweave depending on situation or emotion. It’s almost as though she’s recognising all the conflicting and unique experiences that all women because we’re multi-faceted 3D people and not the fake, air-brushed 2D caricatures we are force-fed by the media on the daily.

As for me? Well I’m getting all these vibes from the album, my only fault was Jay-Z’s reference to the abusive Ike/Tina relationship. But other than that? It’s like travelling through every scattered thought in my brain Beyoncé has successfully located and ordered. She has successfully turned me into a stan. I don’t care. This whole album is a giant motivator and a confidence booster.

And well, if you’re mad from all the virtual ink Beyoncé is generating?

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Fandom, the Final Frontier.

The fourth wall is breaking, but not in the way that we expected.

Let’s be honest now, it was only a matter of time really, the giant sharing device that the internet is, we’ve  merely reached a whole new realm of internet communication y’all. Can be a good thing… maybe?

Helpful Urban Dictionary is helpful

Helpful Urban Dictionary is helpful

How long have the fans just been… well… Fans? And a lot of the hard work that goes into their fan art, fan fiction, cosplaying, shipping, theorists, group titles and general fan-ness been acknowledged as kinda weird?

Too long!

But a new dawn has arrived. One where the actors no longer observe the work of fans from afar, the final frontier has been crossed.

Actors are interacting with the fans and evolving… They’re becoming fans of their own shows.

The two most popular would be Sleepy Hollow’s Orlando Jones and Supernatural’s Osric Chau. A quick look through their tumblr and twitter accounts will give you pretty much the idea of interaction that has never happened before. In participating in the subculture that is a fandom they are promoting their shows simply by being.

The actors are becoming 9001% more relatable because well, they’re fangirling along with us and we love them for it.

He made the wrecking ball joke so I didn't have to

He made the wrecking ball joke so I didn’t have to

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In Defence of Selfies

The slang term ‘selfie’ made it in to the official Oxford English Dictionary around the same time as ‘twerk’ and is actually making some headlines (maybe in an attempt to dethrone conversation from Miley Cyrus). It’s pretty self explanatory, the term refers to self-portraits usually taken by cameras, webcams and smartphones, and now is making headlines as it has been voted the most popular word of 2013.

Success breeds contempt it seems.

For the selfie has become yet another way for popular-media journalists to look down on we the ‘Millennials’. These little snaps of personal life have been used to deem us as selfish, vain, narcissistic little creatures wallowing in the shallow-ness of social media websites; especially Facebook and Instagram.

While yes, I indulge in a casual bit of selfie taking, I can’t take the disapproval of the “youth of today” and our very intimate relationship with technology. We grew up with it, were moulded by it (insert a Dark Knight Rises joke here) and while it may cause concern in areas i.e. internet addiction, technology reliance and the supposed decrease in face to face human interaction, and that’s something that can’t really be changed.

I’ve been interested in Art ever since I could control my fingers, I took it as a subject for fun at every academic importunity. The first thing my teachers would do was to convey the importance of self-portraits and their history, how the way that we see ourselves has evolved over time, understanding the mathematical genius that goes into constructing a face.

Eyes, it’s all in the eyes.

The dawn of the homo sapiens saw the first cave paintings depicting what? – The lives of man. When the arts became more refined the portraits also had hidden messages to all refer to the class, social standing and political affiliations of individuals who would pose for hours in order for the artist to capture their image perfectly. The introduction of the first camera allowed portraits to be taken with less hassle and almost as good results and from there to here isn’t that far.

Leonardo da Vinci’s “Lady with an Ermine”? Totally a selfie

But of course, this ‘me generation’ in the ‘age of narcissism’ is the only one in human history to be obsessed with the notion of capturing our likeness…

You can’t escape the selfie. Every phone, console, tablet, laptop and computer (even some music players) are equipped with this tool of documentation. Because that’s what it is: feeling glamorous? Make sure that you can see it on a rainy day when you don’t feel too good about yourself. New outfit/hairstyle/make up? Well you might not see anyone out so you might as well make sure that you (and others) remember it.

Hell, what’s wrong with having enough confidence to take a picture of yourself? Is body-confidence no longer a positive attribute to strive towards? Anyway, I’ll ashamedly keep taking selfies, accusations of vanity be damned. My body and face are works of art and somebody’s got to appreciate them.

228

I can’t find a damn to give, oops.

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What We Love This Week… Adult Wednesday Addams

October has been completely taken over by the holiday of Halloween.

It might not be as big a deal as it is in America, but it’s still holds a special spooky place in my heart. Mostly because it combines two of my favourite things, dressing up and eating sweets (I swear I’m an adult).

A family that I will always associate with the autumn sweet giving festival is the Addams family.  These eccentric characters embraced hobbies and crafts that the ‘regular folk’ might consider morbid, strange, even scary. All while being a fabulous example of what a loving and welcoming family unit was supposed to be.

 My personal favourite Addams was Wednesday, and not just because she attempted numerous times to ‘kill’ her younger brother Pugsley. There was something about the Wednesday Addams I grew up with that embodied the spirit of the clan’s credo Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc (We gladly feast on those who would subdue us). My favourite scene from the second Addams Family movie is when she takes on the role of ‘Pocahontus’ and leads a Native American revolt on the European settlers during the Thanksgiving play. For a long time, Christina Ricci was the only Wednesday for me, until a stumbled upon (yet another) web series.

Adult Wednesday Addams, is updated every Wednesday (of course) and follows a Ricci-based Wednesday as she navigates the life of we ‘millennials’ including living away from home, applying for jobs, on-line dating and the dealing with the infamous one night stand.

 With the seasonal spookiness reaching climax tomorrow I thought we could all enjoy the hard work that was put in to the writing and character casting and just drown a little in the nostalgia. Maybe even throw an Addams Family themed party? Who knows! Happy Halloween!

You should be watching: The Bravest Warriors

Hey you!

Yes, You!

The person reading this off of their laptop screen. Firstly, I apologize for my aggressive internet poking, secondly; do you happen to like Adventure Time with Finn and Jake, that bizarre yet incredibly nostalgic cartoon that everyone between the ages of 6 and 40 seems to be watching now-a-days?

If you haven’t you’re missing out on a math-matical time

You do?

Well do you know that Pendleton Ward has another brainchild on the internet that combines the same crazy plot line, unique animation style and colourful characters? Are you looking for something with all of this and a lot more dirty jokes than Adventure Time?

Let me tell you of the Bravest Warriors.

The Bravest Warriors can be found on the Youtube channel CartoonHangover. Four (racially diverse- because woah that doesn’t happen often enough) friends who are a team of heroes who travel the universe helping strange, terrifying, and sometimes cute aliens… all the while trying to figure out the how to release their parent’s from the mysterious See-Through-Zone. You’re gonna love it. Now on to the second season I can guarantee you at least one hour of joy.

But don’t take my word for it, here’s the first episode.

And if that hasn’t hooked you in. There is a character who is slightly more adorable than BMO.

Look at the precious precious thing

 

DC: From Me to You

Ladies and Gentlemen in control of DC Comics,

I’m a big time fan of your work… I don’t think there’s been a time in my life when your company wasn’t present in my life in some form or another. From Batman the animated series, Justice League to Teen Titans and Young Justice. I’m about 99.99% confident to say that I’ve seen every animated adventure you’ve ever made and presented to the world, and loved the majority of them.

And I’d like to ask you some questions as a female fan…

A Wonder Woman Live action film… When am I getting one? She’s only had one animated film and that came out in 2009 (and that went straight to DVD, you guys, I want to see her on the big screen!). You don’t seem to know what you want to do with her, it’s really irritating as a fan, because she’s not that hard of a character to capture. She’s a compassionate, fierce, warrior princess in an unfamiliar world which she is attempting to adapt to.

Seen here deflecting your BS excuses

Secondly… Why has Harley Quinn’s impending death been made such a mockery? She’s lost Mister J, she’s criminally insane. Holding a contest to draw HQs suicide is just… I get chills. I love her. I love how she managed to fall in love with the dark, twisted mind that was the Joker (or  Puddin’ as she likes to call him), and now that you’ve killed him off… Well she’s gone further into the deep end.

You say you’re trying to help someone break into the comic industry and the requirements for your panels make light of suicide as a whole and sexualise it at the same time? I honestly don’t know how to begin explaining how messed up drawing a nude female character committing suicide is… And with your history of sexing Harley up so much in the past. Shame on you! And, uh… wasn’t she supposed to be alive during the time of Terry McGinnis wearing the cowl? Being the grandmother of DeeDee?

I’d like for this Harley Quinn back please

Can Batwoman please get married to her girlfriend? I just want it to happen, your writers want it to happen. That’s why the team  up an rage-quit when you scrapped the story. Look at the relationship you created for Kate and Maggie. It’s beautiful! Gotham city is kind of modelled off of NYC (which has allowed gay marriage, as have other states), so what’s the problem here?

Maggie saying “Yes.” would make my life

As for my final queston…a reaction to DiDio’s response to Batwomangate… Why can’t superheroes be happy?

“Heroes shouldn’t have happy personal lives. They are committed to being that person and committed to defending others at the sacrifice of their own personal interests.

That’s very important and something we reinforced. People in the Bat family their personal lives basically suck. Dick Grayson, rest in peace—oops shouldn’t have said that,—Bruce Wayne, Tim Drake, Barbara Gordon and Kathy Kane. It’s wonderful that they try to establish personal lives, but it’s equally important that they set them aside. That is our mandate, that is our edict and that is our stand.”

What is wrong with a hero having a happy personal life? I get that the stress of ruining plans at the drop of the hat is inconvenient and all the unexplained absences and injuries might be suspicious to those involved in the personal lives of our heroes. Will they not eventually give all that they have until they have nothing left? Did you not have Selina Kyle question this of Bruce Wayne in TDKR last year?

It’s heartbreaking seeing your favourite superheroes get kicked in the feels every single time they try and connect with someone outside of their caped/masked identity. Anger and pain aren’t the only emotions you can channel to help crime- fighting. I distinctly remember Starfire in the animated Teen Titans having a scale of positive emotions linked to her superpowers.

Most superheroes are not like Hit Girl and Superman; they were their “alter-ego” first. What would be the point in them even attempting a personal life when you disregard their primary identity in order to be fully submerge themselves in their masked personas? In Kick-ass 2 she is quoted saying “You don’t have to be a badass to be a superhero, you just have to be brave.”

I get that the nitty gritty stuff draws in the audience… But not every superhero needs to be a tortured soul to be relevant. Don’t you think it’s about time you realised this so that some of them can be happy?

Questioning my loyalty to you…

Fayola