Ghost In The Machine: a review of Taylor Swift’s “folklore”

Ghost In The Machine: a review of Taylor Swift’s “folklore”

Sitting in her log cabin and throwing another log on the fire (although it’s June), a quarantined Taylor Swift looks out her window and sees, chiseled in stone, the all too famous monument which is the Mount Rushmore of current pop music. Swift sees her own face, and why wouldn’t she? She smiles as she thinks about all of her amazing accomplishments. Sure, her fans would say she may not have as many Grammys as she should, but the proof is in the proverbial pudding: Taylor Swift sells records.

As she looks at the other faces carved into rock, Swift cannot help but think of her relationship with every member on the mount. Next to her is Beyoncé, the undeniable queen of this century. Yet, the relationship between Taylor and the true Child of Destiny has never been contentious; truly, game has recognized game. To Beyoncé’s right is Drake, a person who has had a similar career arc to Swift. Each dominated their original genre until pop music had no choice but to give them the respect they deserved. Next to Drake is an interesting situation, as construction crews are fervently dynamiting Kanye West’s face off this hallowed monument.

Taylor allows herself a brief smile before turning away from her window, heading to her music room where her piano and guitar sat, and began to get to work.

From these sessions, folklore was born.

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Whoever Arranges Movies For HBO Max Needs To Be Fired (and possibly beaten up)…

Whoever Arranges Movies For HBO Max Needs To Be Fired (and possibly beaten up)…

HBO has always lived by the slogan that they are “not tv”. They’re something more, something better, and for the most part, they’ve lived up to that by going above and beyond. They don’t just give us a little show about dragons, they gave us Game Of Thrones. They just didn’t give us a crime show, they gave us two of the best ever with The Wire and The Sopranos. They didn’t just give us a new Perry Mason, they gave us a Perry Mason that fuuuuuuucks. (Author’s note: my wife says I talk about this too much.)

Veep. Curb Your Enthusiasm. True Blood. Last year, HBO received 137 Emmys nominations, which was 20 higher than the next highest network (to show you dominance, NBC finished in third with 57). Anything anyone can do, they can do better… and then they do it.

When HBO launched HBO Max on May 27th, everyone expected something special. For the most part, it’s pretty great. They’ve teamed up with Warner Brothers, New Line, DC Entertainment, Turner Movie Classics, Adult Swim, and others to give an amazing amount of content for it’s viewers. Considering we’re in a global pandemic, more content is a very, very good thing to most of us.

But they need to fire the person who arranged their movies. And they need to fire them today.

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Fancy Boys Stays Home With The Movies: Palm Springs

Fancy Boys Stays Home With The Movies: Palm Springs

With movie theaters closed, many studios have decided to release current-run movies out for streaming and download. I caught up with the newest romantic comedy available on Hulu.

If living in the time of COVID-19 has taught us anything, it is that time is, truly, a construct. All it took was a sledgehammer to people’s everyday routines to have them completely unsure of what clocks and calendars even mean. We have gone from the age of, “I hate Mondays!” to “Is it even Monday?” to “Dude… what even IS Monday?” And we did it in the span of about four weeks.

Remarkably, Palm Springs is the perfect movie for this time in our society.

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Fancy Boys Stays Home With The Movies: Irresistible

Fancy Boys Stays Home With The Movies: Irresistible

With movie theaters closed, many studios have decided to release current-run movies out for streaming and download. I caught up with the second film from comedian/writer/director Jon Stewart

When Jon Stewart’s career is long gone, he will be known for two things: comedy and politics. During his run on The Daily Show, Stewart redefined what political humor and satire could mean to a populous. Young voters trusted him, a fake newsman, more than actual news anchors. So much of this was because of his passion: he cared not just about crafting the best possible joke, but the best possible argument.

It’s why my hopes for Irresistable, Stewart’s second film as a writer/director, were so high. It’s also why I was so disappointed by the final product: a scattershot bleh of a film which spends most of its’ time feeling lost and never finding out what it’s trying to be or who its’ characters are.

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A brief primer on Roger Stone

A brief primer on Roger Stone

In twelve days, barring a presidential pardon, Roger Stone will report to a prison where he will turn in dapper collection of suits for a significantly less-stylish jumpsuit. How does this affect you? Not at all. Should you care? Honestly? Not that much.

But it is an interesting story. So, for those of you who know nothing about a man who has a significant impact on politics in the last 40 years, let’s take a quick look at the man and his troubles and ask a question that, really, only one person really cares about: Will Roger Stone end up going to prison?

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Election 2020: Learn From Your Mistakes

Election 2020: Learn From Your Mistakes

By any metric, these last few weeks have been bad for the Trump presidency.

Over the weekend, President Trump attempted to get back on the campaign trail with a stop in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and it was poorly-attended. Twice in three days, members of the administration have had to find ways to justify the President’s use of the term “kung flu” to describe the coronavirus, which is still around despite what some GOP governors may have been telling you. The lone victories in the past ten days or so came from the President bragging that he was successfully able to walk down a ramp (on twitter) and drink a glass of water with one hand (in Tulsa). This kind of seems like the bar for presidential excellence is being set a tad low.

And yet, if I had to wager my last $100 on who would win the election in November, I would bet that Donald Trump would be re- elected.

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The things that didn’t make John Bolton’s new book

The things that didn’t make John Bolton’s new book

Former national security advisor John Bolton and his boss as fuck mustache are back in the news now that his book, The Room Where It Happened, is getting close to being published. Bolton, who refused to testify in the House impeachment proceedings and was blocked by senate republicans from testifying, has been attacked by President Trump by allegedly revealing classified information as well as just spilling some fun tea, like revealing that the most powerful man in the world believed Finland was part of Russia.

What people don’t know is that it was much worse.

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Stars And Barred

Stars And Barred

On April 9, 1865, in Virginia, General Robert E. Lee surrendered the Confederate Troops and ended the Civil War. At least, that’s what Wikipedia tells me, and they seem pretty darn professional about the whole thing.

With Lee’s surrender, our country began a new, unparalleled age of racial harmony and understanding. Gone were the days when people were judged by their skin color without any sort of social, legal or cultural ramifications. As for those who fought for an army seeking to divide the nation? They were judged as traitors and, while still allowed to live and prosper in this new tolerant and forgiving America, they would always be remembered with the blemish for the horrors the Confederacy supported as a reminder that we should never again attempt to divide the nation over the issues of race.

Oh, wait. What I meant was that, even though I live in northern Illinois, I still see dinguses with that stupid fucking confederate flag on their vehicles.

What the fuck happened?

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Soundtrack To A Revolution: A Review of RTJ4

Soundtrack To A Revolution: A Review of RTJ4

The first rhyme comes out of Killer Mike like a war cry: “Back at it/Like a crack addict” and it’s followed by a series of repetitive percussion given to us by El-P. You can call it a beat, but I’m calling it war drums. It sends out a clear message: Run The Jewels have returned. And we couldn’t need them more.

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I Don’t Know What To Title This Story Without Sounding Like A Pretentious, Irritating Piece Of Garbage

As protests happen in Minnesota and there has yet to be an arrest in the murder of George Floyd, I sit here comfortably in my home drinking coffee in front of my laptop. I know the last thing anyone needs right now is the opinion of this tired, chubby white dude about race in this country. And, for the record, everyone is right.

That being said, all I can think about is this story. And I want to share it with you.

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