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friday favourites 18.03.11

it''s friday friday! time for favourites favourites! why am i saying everything like jacob two-two two-two? well let's just get down to business shall we?

here are a few things that made my smile a little brighter...

the death of the music industry :: sure, people have been predicting it for years, but now we have ark records here to pound that stake through the heart of the last music mogul and nail the coffin shut just for good measure. excuse me, i've not written their name properly: they are actually called ark music factory and a more appropriate company name has never been entered in the ledgers of business registrations. i couldn't make that up, because i know that no one would believe me. they actually call themselves a music factory.

prepare to be rocked
the premise of this business is not to find and promote hot new artists, but to cash in on the eagerness of wealthy families to keep their teenage princesses happy in any way possible. so ark takes their money, flies their little snowflakes out to los angeles (assuming they're not there already) and has a team of songwriters compose something for them to record, fire up the auto-tune and let the music fill their ears (assuming they haven't just stopped them up with cotton or glue or anything else they found lying around). and it doesn't stop there. they then make a video with them dancing with their friends, tossing their hair and generally acting in a way that would thrill any pedophile and should scare the hell out of their parents. remember when britney spears was cute? your kids can't. they don't know how far they can slide.

SEE MORE FAVOURITES PLUS THIS WEEK'S CAT PIC!



the thing is, the music from ark music factory is, as their name would suggest, mass-market generic pop cranked out by a couple of people who can quite literally look at their bank accounts to determine the net worth of their souls and the chances that any of these divas-in-their-dreams are astoundingly slim. until now.

with rachel black, the company has suddenly been rocketed to the foreground as the people behind what many are calling the worst song ever made. personally, i think that's a bit harsh. yes, the auto-tune is ridiculous, emphasising every nasal nuance to this poor girls voice, but the real downfall is in the lyrics, which are the sort of thing those kids from high school who used to wear acid washed jeans and hang out by the back of the gym smoking pot would write for their remedial poetry assignments as a joke. and her video is getting millions and millions of hits a day.

a quick perusal of the ark web site reveals that black's "friday" is in a league of its own, but the rest of the songs are a pretty ridiculously bleak picture of a star factory gone wild. truthfully, any of the others could very well be the next britney or... whoever else those girls with auto-tuned voices are, because there is such a phenomenal stream of traffic to the ark records music factory web site that it's inevitable that some of the other videos will get watched. and i'm contributing to it because i think it's friggin' hilarious.

ark records music factory is simply making obvious what many music fans have known for years: anyone can take a pretty young thing, drop her in front of a camera and write a simple, get-stuck-in-your-head-so-you-want-to-kill-yourself song, fix it up on the computer and throw it out for audience consumption. wash. rinse. repeat.


i think these guys were also responsible for the new boris album.

9 degrees celsius :: sure, in june that would be an insult, but on st. patrick's day in montreal, that's a message of hope. a sweet chocolate of hope floating in a pool of guinness.

free with purchase? please?
freebies :: one of the fun parts of shopping for beauty products (as you may have deduced i enjoy doing) is that, in addition to whatever you buy, these companies are absolutely desperate to stuff your bag with extra goodies in the hopes of hooking you as a loyal customer. i've received about eight vials of perfume to try, a mask, moisturiser and an absolutely divine lavender-scented hand cream from sisley, samples of mac pigments (which require so little to use that even the half-teaspoon samples can last a couple of months), a miniature starter kit of bare minerals foundation (unfortunately in medium tone), a surprisingly gentle eye cream from cle de peau, a rich cream and cleanser from lush, an entire chanel skincare regimen and an ingenious little card from estee lauder that opens up to reveal four sealed blister-packs of their new lipstick formula and a tiny lip brush to use them. it reminds me of what i used to refer to as the "costco brunch". go to any costco on a saturday morningand wander from table to table, sampling the free food. there's generally enough of a crowd that you can go by the best ones a couple of times without being recognised. what's better than free stuff? lots of free stuff. now i just have to persuade john fluevog to start handing out samples...

(i'm also exceptionally happy that i managed to fulfill my quest- not for free, unfortunately, for a nice, opaque white lipstick that isn't part of some marked down halloween kit. seek and ye shall find, apparently.)




the naive beauty of community television :: heck, i used to work in community television. i'm familiar with the relatively loose quality requirements, but sometimes, even those slip by the wayside. still, i have to salute the guts of people who are willing to do this kind of thing. it points to a level of un-self-consciousness that's almost a zen state. here are two favourites.




if you've made it this far, you deserve a really great cat photo, so here's a double-shot of cutness. dom took this wonderful photo of simon and hecubus this week, so all the credit goes to him.



happy friday everyone and i hope this music-dominated version of friday favourites hasn't scarred you too deeply. remember, you have to see the humour in life or else you end up sniffing glue.

Comments

jim robbins said…
great stuff.

as long as you're here, why not read more?

dreamspeak

ok, so i've been lax about posting here. i apologise. there are reasons. i don't know if they'ree good reasons, but they include:


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so this conversation happened [via text, so i have evidence and possibly so does the canadian government and the nsa].

dom and i were trying to settle our mutual nerves about tomorrow night's conversion screening, remembering that we've made a fine little film that people should see. which is just about exactly what dom had said when i responded thusly:

me :: i agree smedley. [pauses for a moment] did you get that here?

dom :: no?

me :: the aliens who were looking at earth and then decided it wasn't worth bothering with because people smoked even though it was bad for them?
come to think of it, that might mean that smokers prevented an alien invasion in the seventies.

dom :: what ?!?!?

me :: i've had wine and very little food. [pause] but the alien thing was real. [pause.] well, real on tv.

dom :: please eat something.

of course, i was wrong. the ad in question ran in 1983. this is the part where i would triumphantly embed the ad from youtube, except that the governmen…

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the united states surgeon general documented the differences between white and non-white mental health care back in 2001 so we can assume that it was already a known problem at that point. two years later, a presidential commission said the same damn thing and groups like the national association for mental health seized on this to develop guidelines on how to bridge the ethnic gap. from the turn of the century through 2007, the number of papers and publications talking about the mental health care gap spiked. the issue was viewed as being on par with obesity when it came to urgent problems.

starting in 2004, researchers undertook a massive project that involved the records of nearly a quart…