Friday, May 28, 2010

This Is Not Okay

Hey there, readers.
I wasn't quite sure how I was going to get back into my normal flow coming hot off the heels of my little LOST rant, wherein I shared with you something that is very near and dear to me. Of course, after some deliberation, I figured I could balance it out by sharing something that is very grotesque and enraging to me, so here you go:

I remember well one summer evening during high school, lounging around with a friend in her bedroom, listening to music and chatting. Whatever CD it was that we had been listening to had ended, and I got up to swap it out. Rifling through my friend's CD collection (mostly pop artists I hadn't heard of, being grossly behind on the times.) Finally, a name that was safe and familiar caught my eye.
"Disney," I smiled, relieved as I glanced over the cover briefly. It was sleek and hip with a new trendy sort of feel to it and Disney Mania splashed boldly across the front. I reasoned that this must be the new art design for the Classic Disney albums before brushing it aside and popping the CD into the player...

I guess I somehow missed the pictures. Apparently I've trained my brain to block out images of vapid teen pop stars, cause I was totally unprepared for what I heard next. It took me a moment to process what I was hearing; certainly none of the classic Disney movies had a track that was accompanied with electric guitars and drums. Perhaps this is the wrong CD? No... This song is definitely a Disney song, but... Pretty sure Cinderella didn't sound like this... I began to feel slightly ill as the magnitude of what was happening started to sink in.
"What in the Jiminy Cricket is this?" I turned to my friend slowly, eyes narrowed. (My actual inquiry may have contained more expletives than that, but I'm a bit fuzzy on the details.)
"Disney Mania," she replied with a smile. "They get a bunch of Disney Channel pop stars and have them sing covers of Disney songs."
I gave no response except for my face going slack and my nostrils flaring slightly. Meanwhile, on the inside, I had swallowed my tongue, burst a vessel in my head, and suffered several minor strokes. I continued listening only out of disbelief that such a thing would exist, but tried to be calm and rational even as I heard the beloved anthems of my childhood being tied down, tortured, raped, and then turned into flavorless pop ballads by the dime-a-dozen teen star voices of the Disney channel clone army. I lasted a good while, but my rage peaked when a cover of "A Pirate's Life for Me" sung by the Jonas Brothers began to play, and it was then that I knew somebody needed to die for this.

Seriously, Disney? An album of pop covers of classic Disney songs?? No, not even just one; SEVEN albums of Disney channel stars singing hacky pop versions of classic Disney songs! What was wrong with the originals?! And it's not just pop versions of the songs that make SENSE when you turn them into pop songs (just about every Disney movie ever has a pop version of one of the songs playing over the end credits; it's nothing new) but the songs that are completely stupid and nonsensical if they are sung in any way other than in the style and context in which they were first presented. Examples? The Tiki Room song, care of Hillary Duff; "It's a Small World After All," by the Baha Men (who I actually like, but by singing a cover of a song that annoys the heck out of us even when it's NOT in pop format, they lower themselves to the level of the cast of High School Musical); "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" by Orlando Brown; "Cruella De Vil" by Hayden Panettiere; and, the especially painful cover of "The Siamese Cat Song" (from Lady and the Tramp) by Hillary and Haylie Duff. Not kidding. I mean, I can understand the princess songs, or the big inspirational numbers, cause they already sound like something you'd hear in a pop song, but The SIAMESE CAT SONG?!?! How do you get away with that?? If ever there was a song that only worked in one specific context, that would be it, and yet, it shows up on several Disney Mania albums. There's another thing; to look at the albums, you'd think they were a series, and that each one would have different songs on it... In reality, they just get different people to cover the same songs over and OVER again. Last time I checked, there were more than enough Disney songs to have an entire set of different ones on each album. That is just stupid. If you're going to try to pull off something this heinous, you at least have to TRY to act like you put some effort into it. Plus they sound mass-produced; a big part of what makes Disney songs enjoyable is the soul that the original character's voice actors gave to them -- "Hakuna Matata" would not be the same if Timon and Pumba weren't there with there to give it life -- but Disney Media tries, and what we get is a song with no heart and no meaning; just like it had been thrown together in an assembly line. If I were Walt Disney, I'd be turning in my grave.

I get it; Disney is trying to make their songs appeal to kids, but there's just one little problem: THEY ALREADY APPEAL TO KIDS. Teens too. I don't care who you are, Disney songs imprint themselves on you in early childhood, and their nostalgic value makes it so you can still enjoy them as you grow older. There is no need to make something new out of them, because the reason they are loved is because they're old, we know them, we can sing along with them, and they hold happy memories. Disney Mania takes that familiarity away in an attempt to make them "hip" for today's kids, and I don't know about anybody else, but for me, it leaves behind an uncomfortable imitation that makes me feel cheap and dirty, like I just paid for a lap dance from somebody dressed up as my favorite Disney songs, but who I know full well to be the nutjob who slaughtered the real ones in the first place. Once again, that's just me. And anyway, it's stupid; nobody can be dignified singing Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah with an electric guitar, and if you try to look cool, you just look stupider. This is the same reason I hate the Disney Channel. It takes something pure (in this case, the Disney name) and makes it into a soulless cash machine that targets kids by trying to make everything resonate with whatever shallow ideal seems to be popular with the preteen demographic (Just a heads up, it will always be the idea that looks, being popular, and having a boy/girlfriend are the only things that matter.) I hate the superficial oh-so-trendy Hannah Montana fashion pop superstar sort of feel that the Disney Channel generation has given everything, and so I hate Disney Mania for embodying that. I want Disney to remind me of my CHILDHOOD, not my preteen years, because when I was a child everything was magical, and when I was a preteen I wanted to marry Orlando Bloom.

Any kid who grows up on Disney Mania instead of the real thing has been deprived of a childhood, and any parent who facilitates this needs to have their privileges revoked.
Disney can continue to produce shallow, manufactured material for preteens, but they really need to leave the old stuff alone. No good can come from such corruption; only sadness and hate.

I'm willing to coexist just as long as you keep your hands to yourself, Disney Media. If it keeps getting personal like this, things are going to get ugly.
.... Letting the Jonas Brothers sing the Pirates of the Caribbean song is already a crime that will be paid for in blood; you'd do well to watch your step in the future.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

If you ever wondered what I think about late at night...

I've decided that I'm going to start running up to random kids on their way to school, stealing their homework, and eating it in front of them. Their teachers will never believe it!
Why would I ever do such a horrible thing? Because no matter who they are and what happens in their life, every little kid is going to remember the one time when this lady ran up to them on the street and ate their homework. Sure, I'll probably get arrested, but who DOESN'T want to get arrested for something awesome like that? Anyway, what officer, judge, or jury is ever going to be able to stop laughing for long enough to convict you of eating homework?
If I can just find somebody to pay me to do it, I'll be well on my way toward my dream of being professionally creepy. It's foolproof!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Inspirational Idiocy

I've been noticing lately that life has this funny way of reminding me that I'm a moron whenever I get to feeling a bit too confident. I get it; everybody needs to be shot down every once in a while to keep themselves humble, but I'm pretty sure that I achieved my magnum opus of stupid this morning when I went to school.

I recently got a bike, the purpose of which being to make it so that I don't have to scale fences and traverse rocky terrain in order to make it to the inconveniently placed bus stop in time (provided the bus doesn't arrive early.) I've been having a bit of trouble with it, however. Between undeveloped biking muscles, springtime allergies, undernourishment, and perpetually weak knees, I've been struggling quite a bit with the hills that I have to ride up whether I'm going to school or riding home (In related news, I now understand what my dad meant by "uphill both ways.") I've been exploring roundabout ways that will help me avoid the worst of the inclines, but those do take a fair amount of time more than the direct route, and this morning I found myself very short on time as I left the house to go to my morning class. I knew I was going to have to take on the big hill leading up to campus if I was going to make it, but I was nervous because the last time I had tried it, my lungs almost exploded and I had to get off and walk. However, I remembered something I had heard from a distant acquaintance who just returned from a two year excursion to Taiwan:
I don't remember what he said, but it was in Mandarin and I'm pretty sure it meant something encouraging like "You can do it" or whatever....
Anyway, I thought about that as a I neared the hill and I worked up my resolve that I was going to make it all the way to the top. My legs strained as the incline steepened and my head began to pound, but I was determined to make it, and I kept my eyes fixed squarely on my goal. As I focused, I noticed that I was feeling lighter than ever, and that the ride up the hill was feeling much easier than it had before. I pressed myself as hard as I could go, straining and sweating, the scenery swirling around me as I became dizzy from exertion, but still feeling like a huge weight was missing from my shoulders, and I knew I could do it. I triumphantly broke level at the top of the hill and continued to pedal deliriously until I reached the bike rack, where I collapsed, smiling victoriously...


A few minutes later as I composed myself and headed to class, I realized that I had left the house without my backpack...
Needless to say, my high didn't last for too long.

It's okay, I didn't really need it, it just means I've completely outdone myself on the stupid once again. This is definitely my greatest masterpiece.

At least until tomorrow when I manage to leave without my pants.
Mark my words, it'll happen; this is me we're talking about.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

An Oversight for the Ages

The other day I took a wrong turn trying to get onto the freeway and ended up on the freeway heading in the opposite direction. I had to drive for several miles in that direction until I could find an exit and get myself turned back around.

Now, I'm kind of stupid, I'll admit it. It's pretty much guaranteed that on any given excursion to somewhere I don't go very often that I'm going to take a wrong turn. In fact, I've discovered more roundabouts by taking wrong turns than I even thought existed in the state of Utah, true story. Nevertheless, this time I'm going to pin the blame for my suffering on the freeway.
Why, in the name of all that is good, can you not make U-turns on the freeway? Really now! I can't be the only one who thinks this is a massive oversight. Anybody who has gotten onto the freeway going the wrong way knows of the pain of driving for miles in the opposite direction of where you want to go, staring wistfully at the cars going the other way just on the other side of the median. You can see the other drivers smiling, singing, and high-fiving each other through their windows as they make their carefree way in the right direction. Meanwhile, the median, which is standing between you and your dream, taunts and jeers and shouts horrible things about your mother at you as you speed down a dark, endless path towards oblivion. It's torture, that's what it is. An emotional tax on the directionally challenged.

So, why can't we just remove the median? We know how to drive in two lane traffic, and if the freeway included a turn lane, I'm pretty sure we could work it out without too much trouble. Then when we took a wrong turn, we could curse ourselves for a second, but then just glide on over into the turn lane and swing around so we were headed in the right direction and could still be on time to testify at grandma's court hearing. Sure, it might be dangerous, but so is driving a giant metal object filled with highly flammable liquid at breakneck speeds down long stretches of rock and debris strewn road with hundreds of other similar vehicles. Anyway, there are ways you could make it safe, such as (as mentioned before) having turn lanes on the freeway (Meaning a lane to turn from, and a lane to turn into. Makes sense to me at least.)
At any rate, I'm just wondering why this is not something that has been considered before now, because it seems like it could save a lot of people like me a lot of gas and a lot of blind, hopeless rage.

And even if I'm wrong and this is a terrible idea, some consideration might still be nice once in a while. If personal teleportation modules had already been invented like they were supposed to have been by now according to the 50's, we wouldn't even have this problem.
Once again, I blame science.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

An open letter to my writing muse

Dear Muse,
It's me, Erin. I'm just writing to say that whatever it is that I did to offend you, I am deeply sorry. I'm going to take the path of least dignity and get down on my knees to beg you to come back to me. I'm serious, I've got nothing! I need you to forgive me and come back so that I can accomplish something that isn't for a class and doesn't make me want to die. My readers are counting on both of us; I can't do it alone.
I'm sorry. I need you. Come back to me.
Most sincerely,

Thursday, May 6, 2010

How To Advertise

I saw this sign at the Chevron near my house this morning:

I have no idea what a Thingamajig is... all I know is that I want two.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Vigilante justice indeed...

So remember when I told you about my new cat, Batman? Well, he was already awesome, but tonight he really proved himself to me.
You see, I was taking a shower as I often do, and had dumped my clothes on the floor next to the door. Batman, meanwhile, was waiting dutifully for me on the other side of the door, or so it seemed. In reality, he was just waiting until I wasn't paying attention, and when he saw his chance, that magnificent little pervert reached under the door, pulled out my bra, and ran off with it. It took me a minute to track it down when I got out of the shower, but I didn't have time to be angry because I was too proud of him.
I think that the little deviant and I are going to get along just fine.