Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

Save Ferris?

March 7, 2013
Matthew Broderick at his most face punchiest

Matthew Broderick at his most face punchiest

I was flicking through channels a few nights ago when I stumbled upon ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’. An old favourite, a John Hughes classic… I settled in for the ride and realised pretty quickly that something was… different. Peculiar. Odd.

Note: I’m about to examine the concept of ageing through a pop culture prism. Yes, it’s the way we examine everything else around here. Just know that you’ve been forewarned.

See, I know that FBDO is a movie that I’ve always enjoyed. I know this. But I’ve noticed, especially over the past few years, that as time goes by I find the character Ferris Bueller more and more insufferable with every viewing of the film.

He’s our hero! Everybody loves Ferris! The only people who don’t love Ferris are uptight dickwads, like his sister, who just needs to learn to relax (and embrace the love of a heroin addict, natch), and of course the evil Principal Ed Rooney (played by Jeffrey Jones, who was a) a ginger, and b) later became a registered juvenile sex offender – coincidence?). As Grace the school secretary tells us, Ferris is a righteous dude.

Except he’s not. He’s horrible! He’s completely selfish. Materialistic. Manipulative. Hedonistic. He’s an inch away from being a Sociopath really, an early incarnation of Gen-Y self-obsession (all he’s missing is the requisite iPhone, so that he could relentlessly document his day off on Twitter and Instagram).

Save Ferris? Fuck Ferris! Why won’t somebody save poor frigging Cameron!

Alright, so maybe I’m taking this too far. All I know is that I enjoy Matt Broderick’s mugging, smirking, ‘ain’t I somethin’ Ferris less and less with every viewing. And that, I think, is ALLLLLLL on me.

With every additional year I’m removed from my teens, I take one step farther away from Team Ferris. Am I now firmly planted in Team Jean/Shauna? Am I give or take 10 years or 2.5 kids away from being Team Mother f’n Rooney?

You're starting to really wonder why he was so hell bent on catching Ferris now, aren't you...

You’re starting to really wonder why he was so hell bent on catching Ferris now, aren’t you…

Am I getting too old for John Hughes?

You like to think that you’ll always be part of the Breakfast Club. But sooner or later maybe we all become Dick Vernon.

BreakfastClub

God I hope they’re not showing ‘Sixteen Candles’ anytime soon on TV… I don’t know that I could take it…

BPM

Wrong Place, Wrong Time – A Vignette

September 21, 2012

An approximation of the villain in question

As I’ve mentioned previously, I work (when work is to be had) in the television industry, in and around production offices mostly. One thing you may not have known about the entertainment industry? There’s a HUGE proliferation of dog people.

By which I mean people who luuurrrvvveee their dogs. Not… you know…

Ugh… the 2nd Assistant Director has fleas again…

Anyhow, it’s not at all unusual for the office to contain the odd dog or two, as peeps bring their pets to work. Generally these furry new employees will be your smaller breed of dog, your Pomeranian, your Pug, your Chihuahua.

Not at the moment though.

One of the other staff here has bravely put her hand up to train a labrador pup on its way to becoming a seeing eye dog. A big responsibility, made even more difficult than you’d imagine by her canine ward, whom for the purposes of this blog we shall call ‘Spice’*.

* Not Spice’s real name

Because Spice is proving to be more problematic to train than almost any other puppy you’ve ever seen. Which is troubling considering that he will soon be responsible for not killing his owner on a regular basis. Even now that he’s a few months old, Spice stays when he should be coming. Stands when it’s time to sit. Has some bizarre aversion to going outside. Doesn’t carry the one when he does basic multiplication. That kind of thing.

Every day I watch my co-worker drag Spice towards the exit door to do his business, usually cheerfully exhorting ‘Spice! Come on Spice! Let’s go! Outside! Outside!’, as she drags this dog across the carpet, him resisting every inch of the way.

Except yesterday, as I was getting something from the photocopier, I heard her racing towards the exit, and flinging open the door, chanting encouragement which went something like ‘SpiceComeonSpiceOutsideHoldonOutsideWaitSpiceNOOOOO!!!’

A beat.

‘Monkey? Help!

I’m the closest person she can see. So I walk to the door, which she’s deftly holding with one hand, half inside and half out. She yells ‘Watch out!’, pointing at the carpet.

Yup. Spice didn’t quite make it. RIGHT in front of the door.

And to make matters worse, this agoraphobic dog, the bane of her existence, has taken advantage of this momentary distraction and decided ‘I’d actually quite like to go outside, just not with you’. Spice has bolted, she’s lost her grip on his lead, and he has charged outside onto the road.

Sure, he LOOKS cute… but he’s actually a calculating, ruthless monster. Trust me.

‘Please… help?!’

Of course I do my best, and hold the door as she dashes out into the street to save this dog from traffic. Presumably so that she can kill him herself.

But even as I’m playing Good Samaritan, I’m shrinking inside. And it’s not the dog poo I’m straddling that bothers me. It’s the knowledge that this door at my workplace is alarmed. And for SOME reason, if it’s held open for any longer than… say… 12-15 seconds? It starts beeping.

By beeping, I mean it BEEPS! It SCREECHES! It WAILS! It is an ear-piercing, headache inducing SIREN!

And I know it’s about to —

BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE —

‘Close the door!’, comes the helpful suggestion from the other end of the office, those lucky souls who remain oblivious to this ridiculous chain of events.

From outside: ‘Spice! Come here!’

— EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE —

‘Shut the door!’

‘Spice! Come! Coooommmme!’

— EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE —

‘Who’s keeping the bloody door open?!?!’

Here I stand. Between a rock and a turd place. I can’t even temporarily close the door, then re-open it, because Spice’s well-placed leavings are positioned just so, so that if I tried to do this, I would end up smearing the carpet with a perfect, fragrant, racing stripe of shit.

Well played, Spice.

— EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE —

‘WOULD SOMEONE CLOSE THE DOOR!’

Thankfully, my co-worker, on the verge of a breakdown, wrests this idiot pup from the street, and dashes back to the door. Holding on to this animal as it spastically flails with one hand, she plastic baggies her other hand, reaches down whilst I stand frozen, like a moron caught in the world’s most high stakes games of Twister. Right foot, Brown.

‘I’m soooo sorry!’

— EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE —

She deftly grabs one turd, two turds, three… dashes out the door… and I finally close it.

— EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP.

Silence.

And now I am left with no dog, no stressed out co-worker… not even any evidence to prove any of this ever happened. Just an office full of disgruntled staff looking for someone to blame for their brand spanking new 10am headaches.

I wander up to half a dozen of them, their desks circling me, my teeth gritted.

‘Why didn’t you close the door?’

‘Spice. Didn’t. Quite. Make. It’.

With this, I turn, and trudge back to my desk.

And that was Thursday.

BPM

You know what would make this scene even funnier? OR the most pointless BPM post EVER!

September 5, 2012

Finally got some down time this weekend, so I settled in to watch ‘Wanderlust’.

For those of you who may have missed it, it’s a comedy starring Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston. A one-sentence pitch? “What if two inner city yuppies threw it all in and moved into a hippie commune?” Another one-sentence pitch? “What if Jennifer Aniston finally took her top off in a movie, but we blurred out her bosoobies?”

That’s right – neither of us appear to be particularly happy with the blurrage

Totally serviceable movie. Not hysterically funny, but worth my 90 minutes. I was willing to give it a chance because it’s from the same writer/director team that gave us ‘Role Models’, and features a bunch of their buddies from classic comedy series ‘The State’. One of whom is comedic character actor Joe Lo Truglio.

Joe’s had small roles in a bunch of movies the past few years, like ‘Superbad’, ‘Paul’, ‘I Love You, Man’ & ‘Role Models’. In this flick, he plays a nudist novelist (say that 3 times fast) named Wayne…

That’s right, eyes up Rudd…

… whose penis we see throughout the film repeatedly.

That it’s apparently a prosthetic makes no difference to this little black duck. As I sat there, trying not to stare at the Lo Truglio Monster, I could only think of one thing (yes, only one, I promise).

And that was that this is all Jason Segel’s fault.

Behold – a pictorial example of my desire to prove a point being overwhelmed by my refusal to post any more nudity on this site.

Yes, you Segel! You are your dangler in the first 5 minutes of ‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall’ started this comedy revolution! Since then I’ve been smacked across the face (METAPHORICALLY) with Jason Mewes’ junk in ‘Zack & Miri Make a Porno’, by Jason Biggs’ big’un in ‘American Reunion’, by Ken Jeong’s wang in ‘The Hangover’, and by Sasha Baron Cohen’s dicktator in… well… ‘The Dictator’.

All used to varying degrees of comic effect, sure. But still… really guys*???

One thing that all of these movies have in common is that they were all, of course, written and directed by men. Women have known for centuries about men and their obsession with dick jokes. It’s only now they can actually film them, put them up on the big screen in a mainstream commercial flick, and receive an MA rating, at worst.

Cocks on film… the 21st century take on the filmic fart joke.

That’s right, menfolk – we now live in an age where female nudity is carefully and tastefully obscured in movies, whilst where every second dumb comedy thrusts a dick and balls at us!

So to speak.

What is happppeeennniiinnngggg!??!?!?! Up is down! Black is White!

Overall crudity quotient -9%, funny animal quotient +13%

I may sound like I’m over-reacting now… but wait until this stuff permeates other movie genres. You ain’t gonna be laughing when Captain America and Iron Man literally have a dick-measuring contest in ‘Avengers 2’. Or maybe you will. I don’t know. Seems Robert Downey Jnr is a good enough actor to make anything work on screen these days.

I foresee the not too distant future, a day where I’m either a) running down the middle of the street screaming ala ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’ (no, not the shit Nicole Kidman one), or b) ranting Charlton Heston-style…

…yelling “It’s Dicks! Modern Comedy is Dicks! You have to believe me!”

I’m ranting now, aren’t I? My high school Career Counsellor always said I’d end up unemployable, shamelessly ripping off old sci-fi movies in lieu of coming up with solid writing ideas of my own.

Well played, Miss Dobson.

Until next time kids, keep it clean and keep it in your pants.

I mean… keep your comedy… uhh… that is to say… not that you shouldn’t clean your… because obviously you should always… umm…

Oh, forget it.

BPM

* For the record – my tip for the next cinematic comedy todger flash? Russell Brand. Has to be, right?

Nuptuals of Awesome

August 30, 2012

“I thought you said the dress code was semi-formal?”

I was lucky enough to attend the wedding of a close friend last weekend, which was many barrels o’fun.

There was laughter. There were tears. There was me, a member of the bridal party, somehow quickly establishing a weird passive-aggressive relationship with the official wedding photographer (no, seriously).

There were some very emotional speeches, followed by an energetic rendition of the Zorba dance by dozens of the Greek family members in attendance. There was cake. There were children mindless running around the dance floor periphery alllll night, round and round, over and over (in Australia, we call this ‘Circlework’… or at least I do).

But what’s one of the key things that will make this wedding stick out in my mind for years to come?

It’s the fact that as the bride and groom were preparing to leave, and as all of the guests were dutifully assembling in a large circle on the dance floor, my ears pricked up at a different song choice to what I was expecting.

Was it Michael Buble? Shania Twain? Celine Dion? The Vengaboys?

‘fraid not. One of my pals (the esteemed Benjamin the Donkey) turned to me and remarked, as shocked as I was, ‘That sounds like the Axis of Awesome!’

My first reaction was that it couldn’t be… could it?

But it was. My buddy and his beautiful new bride had exhibited taste par excellence by deciding that ‘4 Chords’ was going to their go-home track at the end of the night.

Awesome… a whole Axis full of Awesome.

Which is not to say that I didn’t manage to almost ruin the moment. After all, I’m good at that kind of thing.

The newlyweds were hugging it out with family and friends across the room as Benjamin and I revelled in singing aloud along to the dozens of songs used in 4 Chords, all the way through until we reached ‘Superman’ by Five for Fighting (about 5:10 into the clip above).

Whose original lyric goes “I’m more than a bird, I’m more than a plane, I’m more than some pretty face beside a train”.

Which is substituted by the AoA with “I’m more than a bird, I’m more than a plane, I’m a birdplane. A birdplane, a motherfucking birdplane”.

A smart man would have realised that perhaps at a family-friendly wedding the DJ might choose to mute this particular moment in the song.

And an even moderately intelligent man would not have belted this line out at the top of his lungs regardless.

Oops.

Luckily this moment of momentous dumbitude was lost amidst the joyous drunken cuddlery around me. But even still… *shakes head*

Should you want to hire me to ruin one of your memorable moments in front of dozens of people, feel free to leave a comment below! I am available for children’s parties… at least I am so long as no-one lets the cops know I’m within 50 feet of the kids.

You know how it goes.

Congratulations J & R!

BPM

Absinthe makes the heart grow fonder

August 30, 2012

And so… the prodigal son returns.

What?! Even your friendly neighbourhood monkey needs a holiday every now and again.

However, I’ve been forced back out into the open by a heady combination of boredom, shame, and a friend (who will remain nameless) asking me “Do you still write that… monkey pushing… thing?”

Turns out that really is all the encouragement I need.

How sad.

BPM

Did the Earth move for you too?

June 20, 2012

Oh, and before I forget about the great Melbourne Earthquake of 2012…

Personally, I feel that if you need to turn to the nearest person and ask “Did you feel that?” to clarify if something just happened… then it doesn’t qualify as an Earthquake.

Which hasn’t stopped Victorian tabloid newspaper Hyperbole Sun… sorry, the Herald Sun from publishing articles like this one.

OHMYGAWD! DVD’S FELL OF SHELVES! PICTURE FRAMES FELL OFF WALLS! THERE WERE BOTTLES OF SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER STREWN ACROSS THE FLOOR EVERYWHERRRRRREEEEEEE!!! AND THE BOTTLES OF SOFT DRINK IN AISLE 3! WHO WILL CLEAN UP ALL OF THE SOFT DRINNNNNKKKKKKKKKK!!!!

Hoping you’re coping today, my fellow Melbournian’s.

19.06.12… Never Forget.

And if someone from Fukushima, or Christchurch, or Los Angeles ever punches you in the face for bringing up the fact that WE had an Earthquake TOO once… well… you kinda earned it.

BPM

On Monopoly and valuable life-skills

June 20, 2012

I saw a commercial on television a few nights ago advertising the latest incarnation of a staple of damn near EVERYONE’S childhood.

Behold! From the good people at Hasbro…

Yeah, that’s right. It’s Monopoly Electronic Banking™!

Because fuck counting, that’s why!

Apparently all the paper currency has been replaced by this…

Do you have any idea how hard it is for a 6-year-old to produce 100 points of I.D so as to be eligible for one of those cards?

Time honoured traditions like stealing from the bank, and letting someone slide on a $2 rental fee at Old Kent Road are now a thing of the past. You know… like kids being capable of being able to add or subtract in their heads. Or spell words longer than 4 letters long.

I personally was taught how to play Monopoly at the tender age of 5 by my older cousin Adrian. Whenever Adrian or I would stay at one another’s home to sleepover, for years he would habitually wake me up at 3 or 4am, tell me it was actually 6 (I wasn’t old enough to either read a clock that wasn’t digital, or to realise what a devious bastard my cousin was), and play endless games of Monopoly while ‘Star Wars’ played on a loop on our Beta video machine at super low volume.

Now I can’t speak for everyone (although God knows I spend enough time around here acting as if I do), but I can tell you that as a young’un the tag team of Cousin Adrian and Monopoly taught me a hell of a lot about the value of money, how to do basic math quickly, and that no matter what economic strategy I chose in life, I was predestined to be a complete financial failure.

Fine! Take Trafalgar Square and Fleet Street, I don’t care anymorrreeeeeeee!

It’s probably just another pang of needless nostalgia (a specialty of my generation), but replacing those classic orange $500 notes with a swipe card? It just seems so soulless.

Yes, I’m aware that I’m now defending the soul of a board game that teaches children how best to financially cripple their friends and family. Deal with it.

I’m sure Monopoly Electronic Banking is only the beginning. As a brand, Monopoly for Hasbro is still a license to print money (or swipe cards). According to Wikipedia, there are literally dozens of variants of the Monopoly Classic we all know and love. They have to stay current, have to move with the times. So it can only be a matter of time before Monopoly Online Banking is released. Just think…

  • Schedule your bPay rent payments and/or get out of jail fees ahead of time!
  • See how ‘Bank Dividend In Your Favour – Collect $200’ is gradually replaced by ‘Account Keeping Fee – Pay $6’!
  • Receive countless spam phishing emails from the ‘bank’, telling you that your account must be verified / needs a security update / has been illegally accessed, and you need to click here to resolve the issue!
  • Call the Monopoly bank call centre whenever you forget your online password – spend hours on hold telling a stranger your date of birth and home address over and over!
  • Spend countless hours looking through your transaction history, asking your fellow board game enthusiasts “When did I spend $132 at Vine Street???”

And of course, thanks to the boffins that brought you the Hollywood train wreck that was ‘Battleship: The Movie’ this year, just try and restrain yourself until the inevitable cinematic adaptation arrives at theatre near you!

Starring Chris Brown (probably) as Rich Uncle Pennybags, and Rihanna as the woman who loves him

That might sounds ludicrous to 99.8% of you, but somewhere there’s a Hollywood producer slapping his forehead, exclaiming “That’s perfect! And then we cast Ludacris as the little Scotty Dog!”

Shit, I’m just giving them ideas now…

That being said, I’d just like everyone to know that yours truly DID just win a beauty contest, and if you could each send me 50 bucks sometime soon, it’d be greatly appreciated.

The Button Pushing Monkey – Home of the Internet’s Finest Monopoly-Related Humour.

Meh… probably not.

BPM

Shit That I Love – Sara Bareilles

March 20, 2012

And now here’s the part where I apologise profusely to Sara, wherever she is, for referring to her in the same sentence as ‘shit’…

Authors Note: An inauspicious start…

Let’s move on.

Sara Bareilles is a new passion of mine, a fantastic Californian musician that I stumbled upon thanks to the wonders of YouTube and network television. For those of you who have never heard of Sara (which is most of Australia, it seems), her biggest claim to mainstream fame at this point in her career is the song ‘Love Song’, which released a shit-ton of radio airplay in 2008.

Ahh, 2008… what with your Pussycat Dolls, your Kings of Leon and Gabriella Cilmi… t’was a simpler time.

Now, once again, there’s every chance 82% of you just experienced an eye-glazing, brain-numbing feeling of “Meh. What do I care? I don’t like that song. I don’t even like this kinda music. Hell, I don’t like YOU, you simian freak! Stop wasting my time!”.

To which I shall respond by metaphorically jingling my keys in front of you momentarily to try to distract you.

This is literally the first Google image result for 'Distract with keys'

Sadly, I am not musically gifted in any way. It’s a source of deep, personal shame, being that I come from a family literally FULL of musicians. And my Dad’s also a drummer (Zing!). Other than the 6 months of saxophone lessons I quickly realised weren’t for me when I was 13, my musical output has been almost solely confined to Car-Singing™. Yes, Car-Singing is now officially a hyphenated, trademarked term. Deal with it.

What has fascinated me over the years (and bear with me while I sound like Stoney McBluntington for a moment) is why two seemingly extremely similar people can have such radically different taste in music. I grew up in the exact same environment as my younger sister. We have the same genes. And yet why does she enjoy the musical stylings of the Hanson brothers, whilst I can’t seem to tolerate them?

Uhh... YOU ask 'em to sing Mmmbop...

I have an uncle that plays every now and again in a Beatles tribute band. His daughter, my cousin, is a gifted musical theatre performer who can belt out ‘Cabaret’ with the best of them. And his eldest son is the drummer in a Melbourne metal band called ‘Blood Line’.

????

Is one’s taste in music born entirely of environment? Is it genetic? Is it some combination of both, plus external influences like your friends, the cliques you join, or the way in which you choose to self-identify? Why do I hear a melody and react positively, when the person next to me hears only blasted loud noises, dagnabit! Why does dance and trance music make some people just —

-- psst... the reason's ecstasy...

Oh… I guess I’m just circling my point now anyway. I’m sure there exists a scientific study of sorts that would provide me with some explanation (that admittedly I probably wouldn’t understand). Perhaps I’m not even interested in what the answer truly is. Why should I so suddenly be enraptured with Sara Bareilles, and yet still have no time for a million other female pop singers?

First and foremost, one of the hooks that caught me – she’s a singer-songwriter who plays the piano. Very important. I’m a sucker for a woman tinkling the keys of a piano. I’m not sure why. I blame an old school buddy, Dave. Dave was a hard-drinking, party-throwing jester, charismatic and lots of fun. And, strangely enough, he was also an earlier adopter of the ‘Pieces of You’ album by Jewel, back in 1997. I listened to enough of Jewel at Dave’s house to realise that while she wasn’t for me, there were some of her peers that I DID enjoy. Jewel led me to other great female singer-songwriters like Fiona Apple, Tori Amos, Sarah McLachlan, Ben Folds…

So talented, PLUS she's so pretty...

Over the years I’ll admit to dabbling in some Norah Jones, maybe even sampling some Alicia Keys. But it was extremely rare that something new crested my musical horizon. I reached 30, and worried if what I’d read somewhere really was true… that the music and musicians you listened to at 16 inevitably formed the bedrock of your entire musical appreciation. Would I be doomed to listen to the diminishing returns of every Foo Fighters and Red Hot Chilli Peppers album until my retirement years, when they would inevitably begin annually promoting one ‘farewell tour’ after another?

Take a good look, Grohl - you're Glenn Frey in this analogy

Sure, as far as things worth worrying about, it ranks pretty low. But immature fan-boys need something to keep them awake at night when they’re not fretting over whether Greedo shot first.

Until one day, when I’m watching one of my favourite TV shows, ‘Community’, and the music gods delivered me a gift, by the way of Dan Harmon’s writing team. Here’s a scene containing perhaps my favourite musical montage sequence from television of all time, effectively parodying romance as depicted in an entire genre of shows aimed at teens, like ‘The Vampire Diaries’, or ‘One Tree Hill’:

WOULD YOU GET ON WITH IT!

Oh. Sorry, Inner-Monologue.

Well, the song from that montage, is ‘Gravity’, an early composition by *gasp* a singer-songwriter who plays the piano *squeal* named Sara Bareilles.

WELCOME BACK FROM YOUR TANGENT, DICKHEAD! WAS IT A NICE TRIP?!

Lordy, I wish the voices would just shut up sometimes…

Anyhoo, I loved the song, and immediately found the music video on YouTube. And thanks to the Suggested Video’s, I was soon adrift in a vast online ocean of official music videos, live concert clips, and 4 minute photo montages.

I quickly discover I can watch Sara Bareilles clips all day. She has a beautiful voice, is an extremely talented lyricist, and as well as great stage presence seems to not take herself too seriously. By that, I mean that she can poke fun at herself without resorting to tired, completely OTT, Katy Perry-style wackiness (“I’m so pretty, but sometimes I dress like a nerd, because I’m not obsessed with my looks, but look at my cleavage, and aren’t I pretty!!).

Plus it doesn’t hurt that she’s kind of gorgeous, in an intelligent, spunky, geek-chick kind of way. If only she would throw on a pair of librarian glasses, and rock that ‘adork-able’ style Zooey Deschanel seems to have the market cornered on, it would only be a matter of time before she ruled the world…

I don't care if her vision's perfect, that's not the point! LIBRARIAN GLASSES FOR ALL!!!

Original songs. Covers by artists as diverse as U2, Amy Winehouse and The Beatles. Slow ballads. Up-tempo catchy pop tunes. I was enjoying YouTube’s rather random playlist. And then I find the latest single from her most recent album, ‘Kaleidoscope Heart’.

The song’s called ‘Gonna Get Over You’. It’s an insanely catchy, can’t-get-it-outta-my-head, doo-wop pop song. It’s a breakup song, with a truly optimistic heart and a real sense of playfulness. Plus it’s also one of my favourite, simple music vids of all time. Check it out:

One location. One outfit. No Beyonce-esque focus on just-how-pretty-I-am. It’s a fantastic 4 minute storyline, with some nice performances, especially from Bareilles who will be the first to admit that she’s NOT a professionally trained dancer, which makes her moves and the choreography that much more impressive. It’s also extremely well-directed by a young man with practically zero directing experience, a guy you may recognise…

Yes, that IS Academy Award nominated actor Jonah Hill

All that, and a nice little button at the end of the clip from Bareilles, making the leap from fantasy back to reality as she’s escorted out of the supermarket by a tired, Latino security guard.

It was THIS clip that cemented my affection for Bareille’s music, and basically guaranteed allll of my moneys for her future albums, forever and ever, ad infinitum.

But why? Sure, it’s a good clip. But how did it manage to press my buttons on such a profound level?

I’m not entirely sure. But I think it’s a combination of the song itself with a little bit of what my American friends like to call ‘inside-baseball’.

See, anybody who’s been on set of a film, a television show, or in this case, a music video, knows that filming is a real drag. Seriously. People imagine filming to be this dynamic, exciting process. It’s movie magic, right? Well, not exactly. Visit the set of any television show, and you’ll quickly discover that production is surprisingly boring. So boring. It really is just actors saying and doing the same shit, over and over again.

That extends to music videos. For example, this particular video for ‘Gonna Get Over You’, shot almost entirely at one location with minimal cast – I’m going to say it would have taken at least 3 or 4 shooting days to get all this footage. And we’re talking 12-14 hour days. Every shot is pre-determined, every sequence containing multiple angles, multiple camera set-ups. It’s exhausting, oftentimes tedious work.

And despite this… despite the fact that Bareilles isn’t someone who’s had dancing lessons her entire life, despite the fact that in a day 3 behind the scenes clip she admits to being physically as sore as she’s ever been, despite all the 6am crew-call times, and the multiple take’s, in every frame of this music video Sara Bareilles genuinely looks like she’s having an absolute blast. In this video, as in practically ALL of the clips I watched, she exudes a love of where she is and what she’s doing.

You'd be pretty stoked too if you got to spend a prolonged amount of time dancing with these guys. Am I right?

I’ve admitted here before that I’m someone who often has to force himself to find the bright side of life. And to my detriment, I’ve only grown increasingly cynical over the years, as the world around me becomes seemingly more and more manufactured. Much of the time I’m not exactly sure what is it in life I’m searching for, especially on a professional or material level. What I DO know is that the purest encapsulation of what I’m trying to find is joy. Joy in the moment that I’m in, joy in the people around me, and joy in the things that I love.

This video, to me, seems a distillation of joy. It makes me feel like everything’s going to be alright. It’s a soundtrack to the world as I want it to be.

And for that, I deeply appreciate the song, and truly appreciate the artist.

That’s hard to explain or justify to people who don’t have as emotional a connection with pop entertainment and culture as I do. And there’s every chance that as I grow older, that connection will be replaced by other things, and other people. But for now, it sustains me in a way that not much else does.

That connection, for better or worse, is what this blog is really about.

So thank you, Miss Bareilles.

Once again, if you made it this far, then a winner is you. Thanks for stopping by, and until next time…

May your hot rods be lowered, your greasers in leather jackets entirely non-threatening, and your Latino supermarkets prone to spontaneous well choreographed dance routines.

BPM

And now for something completely different…

March 8, 2012

Alternative Title: Self-Indulgence and Introspection

Sounds kind of like a late 90’s, alt-rock album title, doesn’t it?

I was struck rather forcibly last week by one of those periodic moments of self-awareness, not long after I posted my last blog entry. I’d spent most of the week slogging to meet an honest-to-goodness writing deadline (I harbour dreams of writing about more than Lady Gaga and photoshopped Velociraptor images… who knew?), a deadline I managed to meet on Friday afternoon. Still invigorated, and chock-full of writerly endorphins, I promised myself that it was time for the latest post right here on Button Pushing Monkey.

So… what was happening in the world of pop culture that pissed me off?

Just like that – a totally instinctual response. Not what was I excited about. Not what was I looking forward to. Nope. Instead my brain totally bypassed a few synapses along the way to “What’s shitty that you can write about, Monkey?”

If my Facebook news is to be believed, this guy is EVERYTHING that's shitty

And now, a personal ‘revelation’…

** watches 90% of his readers click on to a LOLCATZ site **

It should come as no surprise to anyone that knows me, or to the 6 of you left reading, that I’m by and large a glass half empty glass mostly empty who took my fucking glass?!? kinda guy. I spend way too much time going straight to my mental default setting (clickclickclick… selecting ‘Intensely Cynical Neuroticism’), without putting up too much of a fight.

Pfft... lightweight...

And to be honest, it’ s not like I’d be hard up for material at the moment. Yes, I could quite easily sit here and write about the Kony 2012 movement

Or about the news that a Hulk Hogan sex tape has reportedly leaked to Vivid Entertainment

Or about Kirk Cameron’s latest foot-in-mouth incident regarding comments on homosexuality, comments that lets just say have made another ‘Growing Pains’ reunion a little bit less likely…

Or about the ongoing ‘Yumi-gate’ saga encircling TV show ‘The Circle’, and the way George Negus’ on-air brain fart seems to have been completely brushed aside, so as to more easily create a hate campaign about Yumi Stynes… 

But most likely it'd probably just be this image, and 1000 words about 'Hulking up'...

And you know what? It’d be easy. Nothing anyone would ever confuse with especially well-written, or well thought out prose. Just a series of little digs about famous people, doing ridiculous shit, in a 24-hour news cycle world. And that’s fine.

Yeah, I could do that.

OR…

Or I could set the bar a little higher than usual for myself. Try something different. Perhaps instead of stewing in my cyber-corner of the world, forever slinging hate at the shit that I cant stand, I could take the approach of writing about the shit that I love instead? For a while, at least.

Because yes, I really AM the last guy in the room to accept that it takes way more guts to put yourself out there and tell people about the things you enjoy, as opposed to the ‘crap’ you don’t.

That’s not to say that BPM will be forever turning it’s back on pointing out stupefyingly weird news articles, or the incessantly dumb thing another celebrity done did.

What I will be doing, is a brief series of posts, entitled ‘SHIT THAT I LOVE’. I’ll be touching on a movie, TV show, musician, book and a ‘mystery box’ category, that I’ve enjoyed recently. Without being too effusive, I’ll try and drop a little science on the stuff that I’m into right now, and then invite YOU, the reader, to agree/disagree/show complete ambivalence/call me a TTL RETARD N ALL CAPS!!!  

Let my best attempts at positive thinking, passion and emotional honesty begin!

Right!

Right?

Sigh… maybe I should’ve just stuck to dick jokes about the Hulkster…

Coming Soon: Shit That I Love Movie Edition – ‘The Monster Squad’

BPM

Please switch off your mobile phone before entering the theatre

July 4, 2011

Cos the only thing worse than an asshole…

… is an asshole with a sense of entitlement.

BPM