the pop cultural piñata numero 11

Have you ever spent a day trolling the interwebs and then get struck with, “HEY! So THAT’S where that’s from!”?

I don’t really know if Steven Klein was inspired in part by Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, but the moment I saw this picture, I was transported back to that infamous spread in W Magazine starring Brangelina that focused on the theme of a dissolving marriage. It’s uncanny, isn’t it?

I know, it was an uber productive day for me. And I say this half in jest. Normally I try to grab and reach for anything Chego or Kogi-related that I think may spark your interest, but when there’s no new news to report, I settle into vintage otaku mode, hide in my non-bat cave and dig through the many Tumblrs and Pinterest pages to see if I can salvage anything of interest for you peoples. –__–;;

Eh. I have an unconventional set of responsibilities for my job. Yes, I’m well aware of this!

But you know, having stumbled down the rabbit hole, sometimes I find myself becoming an accidental, uber amateur pop cultural researcher — and in every deified piece of work, I just see indirect palimpsests of unconscious pop cultural references.

1: writing material (as a parchment or tablet) used one or more times after earlier writing has been erased
2: something having usually diverse layers or aspects apparent beneath the surface

And now don’t we all feel that much smarter? I encourage you to use it in Words With Friends or an old-timey non-digital game of Scrabble. If you can manage to be gifted the letters, it’d be a mighty impressive word to use. At least, to me.

Palimpsest can also be used in reference to — well, you know when you write something really hard on a piece of notebook paper and you turn the page and you can see an echo of what was written? That echo could be called a palimpsest, and that’s the way in which I’m using the word in reference to pop culture.

For example, speaking of falling down the rabbit hole, here is the video “Power and Control” by Marina and the Diamonds:

There’s no DIRECT allusion to works of pop culture, but there are palimpsests of the Steven Klein photo shoot in a more Mr. and Mrs. Smith kind of way, crossed with Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman…

…which was inspired by the performances of Hedy Lamar and follows some of the classic album tour aesthetics of a torch-ballad Adele and a Dreamgirls-era Beyonce. (I know people sang Jennifer Hudson praises, but to us fangirls, it really was a Beyonce movie.)

This really supports my personal philosophy of cultural piracy. Because I don’t think, on a deep fundamental level, that anything belongs to anybody.

I think because of anti-piracy and copyright issues, we’re being pushed more and more to find increasingly creative outlets to form some commentary on popular culture, or to take some clay from the past and to fashion it into something new, if not newer.

As annoying as it was when you were 7 and were on the receiving end of the “STOP COPYING ME! DON’T COPY ME!” game, it’s really from copying that we not only learn from but also have the opportunity to transcend where we’re currently at. Is it always successful? Meh. But I think it’s more honest to give a nod to our predecessors as we apprentice to become something even greater.

I know that the whole deal with anti-piracy and copyrights can be sticky territory and that there is a perceived need for protection, but I don’t know if it’s solving any problems.

Hip hop — say what you will about its current mainstream state (is it even hip hop anymore? sometimes I wonder), but it could not have been born without piracy. It can take a beatmaker a million crates of records to master music enough to cut a hot beat, and that hot beat, especially back in the day, could have been 100% fashioned from copyrighted material.

But I digress…and digress and digress! SO HERE’S A VIDEO:

Speaking of vidjeos, looks like CommunityChannel is out and a about uploading on Youtube again. And so I’d like to re-welcome her to the internet.

Also, I just rewatched the Honey Badger video again after an aeon and found myself just as tickled the 1st time. I’ve ALSO discovered that it came with sequels!! ::mini squee::



Forgive me, my dears, for my lack of focus and the overwhelm of opinions this week! Sometimes you think you’re going to write about one thing, but circumstances change at the very last minute and you find yourself writing about something completely different.

Love and tacos,

P.S. For those of you who are interested in world domination (much like Psy), I’d invite y’all to flirt with this little ditty as the anthem to your Dr. Evil designs:

P.P.S. And for those interested in fun, no-brainer basic hip hop genealogy, I recommend for y’all to check out the works of DJ Neil Armstrong — in particular “Original” and “Too Original.”


0 Responses to the pop cultural piñata numero 11

  1. Trey says:

    You are spot on with your thoughts about “pirating” or in other words, remixing inspiration from the past to create something new. There’s a video series out there that tries to document this phenomenon in little buckets, like movies and music. They get a little political in episode 4, but the first few videos are great!

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