Monday, June 28, 2010

An Inspiration to All--Ghana soccer team

This is my first time watching the World Cup games, and I have to say I'm very excited about it all. No matter what I don't think the United States should regard what happened last Saturday as a failure. They had a wonderful run and I think great things are around the corner. I would like to focus on the Ghana soccer team for this post. I have a friend who is from the Ivory Coast. His soccer team was knocked out in the first round, and told me he would be supporting Ghana from here on out, because they were the last African team. He said that it didn't matter what their nationalities were because their victory was for all of Africa and not just Ghana. I thought what beautiful sentiment to have. He said they would be going to a Ghanaian restaurant that night to celebrate the win.

I have also read from fans of the Mexican team saying they were rooting for North America. Combining both U.S. and Mexico as teams to root for. Unfortunately, you will not hear Americans saying the same thing about Mexico. I doubt these same sort of feelings exist in other places. I don't see anything about France or England rooting for Germany as an expression of European unity. South Korea didn't throw their support behind Japan as an example of Asians supporting Asians regardless of nationality. What does this say about us? Are we way too nationalistic that we can not be happy or supportive of others who are not part of our nationality? We want to believe in these ideals, but we don't back up what we say. Are events like the World Cup and the Olympics making us more nationalistic and divisive instead of encouraging global unity?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Can Xtina go back to being Christina Aguilera?

I vaguely remember Christina Aguilera from Mickey Mouse Club, and her, Justin and Britney were the last additions before the show went off the air. Christina burst onto the music scene on the heels of Britney Spears with her song Genie in the Bottle. She did a Spanish album before coming out with the album Stripped and a new name Xtina. According to an interview on Fuse her manager gave her the Xtina label. I have to question this man's taste, because is he not aware of the connotations? The content of both the music and videos were learning towards an X-rated Xtina. She started coming out in magazines talking how how she got all these piercings, even going so far as to say she got her "woo hoo" pierced. Next album was toned down a bit and had a 40's vibe to it. However, now here in 2010 we get another round of Xtina amped up to the enth degree.

I watched her latest video "Not Myself Tonight" on youtube. There are sequences where she is feeling up a girl, bound and gagged to a chair, walking in latex drinking out of a bowl, and dancing in her underwear in the rain. People began drawing comparisons to Madonna or Lady Gaga. While both of these women have been provocative in their videos they have more to say than what Christina is offering in this video. Madonna's "Papa Don't Preach" was considered blasphemous because it featured a black Jesus and using Catholic imagery. Yet what one can take away from this video is it is about a woman trying to come to terms with what her religion has told her and what she feels is the truth. Take Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" while she is part of a brothel and dances for the pleasure of a "pimp" like figure, but she ultimately triumphs at the end. What do I get out of Christina's video? It seems to me the whole point of the video is to sell the album by arousal and titillating the male population. I'd be more interested in knowing what Christina thinks of fame, love, motherhood in addition to any thoughts she has on sexual politics. However, that is not the kind of artist she is and I think she has ended any hopes of a long career as a singer. She'll probably end up with a Vegas show soon. I just don't feel like this is the authentic Christina Aguilera.

The thing is you can keep going down this road by making your videos more provocative, sexier, and envelope pushing, but at the end of the day all you have is your talent. Once you have taken all your clothes, what do you have left to show the world? I guess you could cut yourself open and show your insides, but people might not like the fact that you are just really human underneath it all.