Ke$ha the Warrior Pop Star – Album Review

Ok, I’ll admit, I’m not always the most open minded person when it comes to music, especially when I hear a song that I don’t like by the artist. I just assume I’ll hate everything by them when for all I know, they’ve got one song I hate and the rest of the album is great. Ke$ha was a victim of my music snobbery.

The situation with her is a bit different though, out of all her singles I’ve only kind of liked one. Her electronic drum, dance beats with heavy auto tuning didn’t really float my boat. She won me over a little bit when I heard her of Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright”. Raw, emotional and completely without autotune and to my shock, she can sing. She won me completely over after watching her show on MTV ‘My Crazy,Beautiful Life” and seeing her connection with her fans. I decided to give her most recent album Warrior a shot.

It wasn’t a good start. I wasn’t and am still not a fan of her first single “Die Young”. Perhaps I’m looking too far into this but I’m not big on the idea of singing about stealing someones boyfriend and I’m really not into the heavy autotune that Ke$ha features on most of her songs, especially when I know she can sing.

One song caught my ear immediately when I hear her say Iggy Pop. How can a song with Iggy Pop go wrong? “Dirty Love” is a gritty, rock song that reminds me a bit of Joan Jett
(who I love) in her younger days. Ke$ha is pretty open with her sexuality, as you may have heard in her songs, interviews or seen on her show on MTV, so this song was no surprise as she sang “I just want your dirty love, all I need is to get in between your sheets”. The old school punk sound, the fact she actually sang and Iggy Pop are some of the reason this song is one of my favorites on the album.

Ke$ha states on her show that she wants to give her fans a place to just be themselves and just celebration being them, I think that’s really admirable of her. The title track “Warrior” sounds like an anthem for those devoted fans of hers. “We are the misfits,We are the bad kids,The degenerates.We ain’t perfect but that’s all right! Love us or hate us,Nothing can break us..” The empowering song sounds more like a song to play in a club but it doesn’t lose the message. I’m not a huge fan of the music that goes with the song, but I love what she’s writing about.

 

To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t totally wild about the album. I didn’t hate it as much as I assumed I would but it’s just not my cup of tea. I guess I’ll always be more of a fan of her as a persona and an advocate for her fans than I will for her as a musician, but check it out for yourself and form your own conclusion.

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Questioning the Legitimacy of Online Publishing and Blogging

 

Sometimes people look at me funny when I tell them that I am a published writer. Not so much about my book Ten Years Gone: Pomp and Circumstance (though they do question my credibility with I tell them it’s only available digitally and not in traditional print), but rather when they find out that my regular publishing come through a variety of online outlets in the form of blogs. Some people end to regard the blog as a somewhat wistful, or perhaps sophomoric, and certainly unprofessional outlet. Most hardly consider syndication or regular publication in online outlets such as Eat Your Serial to be as credible as a traditional column in a printed publication; at least most of the old guard who are unwilling to see the trends in publishing and reading. To them, a blogger is probably a man in his 40s who never left his mother’s basement and argues incessantly about how far it would take to travel from the Holodeck to Engineering on the Enterprise E, or a teenager keeping all their angsty poetry and punctuationless tirades about their math grades on Facebook—but blogging and online publication is a lot more viable than that, much more diverse than that, and requires a lot more craft than that.

Recently, in a conversation I was having with award winning blogger Marc Polite, I came to the realization that I am no longer a neophyte blogger, simply dabbling in the world of digital print on the side while I try to break into the world of traditional publishing. Rather, I’m the CEO of a digital publishing house, and the Editor-in-Chief of a high volume, content rich web-based magazine (as well as a contributor to Marc’s own well regarded website). I am a full-fledged professional in the world of blogging, and I hadn’t even realized when, or even that, it happened.

Surely when I helped to found Eat Your Serial, I knew that I’d be published in digital media, but as I became more involved in the company, as I transitioned through the many stages of becoming part of the new guard of publishing, I found that the venue became more-and-more legitimate; not only to me, but to the world and its readership. The dissemination of information through the internet has become not only a fact of life, but the way of life in a very short amount of time. In 1995 when I got my first AOL account it was novel, a luxury, almost like a highly affordable toy (provided you had the expensive interface)…but now, the world has developed and evolved in such a way that you need to have internet access. You need it at home, you need it on your phone, and once Google Glass drops you’ll probably need it in your face for the rest of your life. Since the internet is the accepted primary vessel of information, then why are people so quick to scoff at online publishing and blogging?

Personally, I’ve taken up the mantle of “blogger” as a badge of honor. I take pride every time and every site my words are published because, I’m an egomaniac, and also because “screw you, I’m published”.  I find however, that many people both in mainstream life and in academia are slow to accept this as credible publishings like the ones in journals and magazines of yore. Though, for the life of me I cannot imagine why. How many newspapers and magazines are abandoning print in lieu of web-based or digital based publication? How many more ebooks were sold in 2012 than traditional print books? How many more people were able to express their viewpoints to the world and share ideas freely, and without discrimination? Ah ha.

That’s that one I think. You see, the world of publishing used to be (and still is in many ways) a very exclusive club. It still is. You still need to be accepted, you still need to be vetted, you still need to apply and pitch yourself to companies that are established, or transitioning from the old guard that have high esteem and respect. It is just as competitive (or maybe even moreso) to be published in the New York Times blog as it is to be published in their Op Ed section. The problem is, there are far more options now. The route to self-determination via self-publication in venues like iBooks, Amazon, Smashwords, and through publishing houses like Plympton and Eat Your Serial that deal in digital products is scary for those unwilling to accept change. They discredit it because it is accessible. Perhaps, they assume, that everything will be garbage, useless, trite, and crap once the exclusivity has been removed from the equation. But there has always been crap, and always will be crap and as for the “exclusivity of quality” to the print medium, I dare any of you to go pick up a copy of Twilight of 50 Shades of Grey and then discuss the quality of exclusivity.

In the meanwhile, the free dissemination of information, and use of information through the internet is a highly relevant security and political matter. What do you do about WikiLeaks? How do we fight CISPA? The internet’s Wild West Days are clearly coming to a close, and it isn’t because blogging and information of the internet is unviable, unimportant, or without value. Just the opposite. Law enforcement regularly check social media, blogs, and other internet footprints of suspects—look how much information was garnered about the Boston Marathon Terrorists just by reading through their internet footprint. This information is real, it is viable, and it is the 1950’s “just add water” dream to the First Amendment, promptly delivered for the 21st Century.

In my college Creative Writing class, blogging is an important component of the course. Students must blog twelve times in 15 weeks because it is a new venue for expression that is part article, part journal, and part megaphone. As more young people become fluent in its use you will see the credibility of the blog skyrocket (admittedly, though, there will probably be more prestigious ones, and others not so much…but this is natural and appropriate). Blogging is powerful, blogging is viable, and blogging is important because it isn’t as exclusive as before. Certainly there is more information to sift through, but ideas and opinions isn’t the sort of soup that gets ruined by too many chefs…it’s more like choosing the best book in a book store—except the store is infinitely large, and the choices are impossibly endless.

So I pose the question to you—is blogging a dirty word in writing? Does the availability of access and the breakdown of exclusivity make it more powerful or less viable? Is it every bit as legitimate as other kinds of publishing?

 

Clearly you know what I think.

 

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Written by: Brandon Melendez

Celebrities Who Like to Art

Whether it’s oil on canvas, lead on paper, or photography on film – if you need to relieve some creative constipation, art is a great way to relax. When it comes to all things arsty farty, the world is generally divided into two groups of people – those that consider themselves creative, and those that assertively don’t. For those that do and are at the top of their game however, such as celebrities (or at least the talented ones), it’ll be of no surprise that many of them like to indulge their creative sensibilities more than one way. In recent years a growing number of stars have become celebrated in the art world, with their works selling for considerable amounts. And we’re not talking about the soulless Paris Hilton types who would probably buy a few photography textbooks, take instagram pictures and then hold a ‘Look at me!’ exhibition. No, we’re talking about a group of celebrities that are actually pretty damn talented beyond what we know them for. Here are a handful of famous creative types that might just surprise you.

Marilyn Manson

Shock rocker Manson has been painting for years, and like the man himself it’ll be of no surprise that his absinthe induced watercolours also take on a darker aesthetic. With paintings depicting ‘The Black Dahlia’ (aka Elizabeth Short, a victim of a gruesome Hollywood murder in 1947), a three-headed Jesus (painted on an antique embalming table), and numerous unflattering self portraits – his distinctive style has earned his work a following that consists of more than just his fans.

(Click here to view Manson’s work).

 

Viggo Mortensen

Best known for playing Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings, Viggo Mortensen has been indulging his creative side for many years and his work has been featured in galleries worldwide. A keen photographer and painter, his work is particularly abstract and often contain elements of his poetry. In the film ‘A Perfect Murder’ in which Viggo played an artist, all the paintings featured in the film were his own.

(Click here to view Viggo’s work).

 

Ronnie Wood

Having had his work featured in numerous galleries over the years, Ronnie Wood is an exceptional talent in the art world. Starting young, Ronnie had his work featured on children’s TV show ‘Sketch Club’ before attending art college. His distinctive paintings, drawings and prints primarily feature icons from popular culture, as well images of his band. Even hardened art critic Brian Sewell called Ronnie “an accomplished and respectable artist”.

(Click here to view Ronnie’s work).

 

 

Lucy Liu

Having exhibited her work for years under the pseudonym ‘Yu Ling’, Charlie’s Angel Lucy Liu was adamant that she wanted her work to be appreciated on its own merit, and not because of her name. It was only until fairly recently that she unveiled this side of her creative self for all to see. Since then she’s released a book of her artwork, and held an exhibition in London. Her abstract pieces are striking and beautiful, rather like the lady herself!

 

 

Anthony Hopkins

Most famous for playing Dr. Hannibal Lecter, when Sir Anthony Hopkins isn’t busy with his thespian pursuits, he likes to paint and draw. Having had his work featured in numerous galleries around the world, he’s certainly earned his reputation as a celebrity artist. Although his style is particularly distinct, his subjects are varied – ranging from gentle scenes to startling portraits. Working with acrylics, his paintings are often vivid in colour, somewhat abstract, and sell for a fortune.

(Click here to view Anthony’s work).

 

Sylvester Stallone

Famous action man, best known for playing Rocky Balboa in the Rocky films, and John Rambo in Rambo, Sylvester Stallone has been painting in his spare time for over three decades – and he’s gotten pretty good. Much like his films, his paintings are full of energy. Unlike his films, they’re often abstract, colorful and expressionistic. Sylvester, who paints in his garage at home in California explains ‘I’m not just painting for painting’s sake. I want to be truthful.’ The work he doesn’t give away to friends or family often sell for tens of thousands – not that he needs the cash!

(Click here to view Sylvester’s work).

 

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Written by: Jennifer Yeoman

 

Acting Lessons from Brando

“Mankind, which in Homer’s time was an object of contemplation for the Olympian gods, now is one for itself. Its self-alienation has reached such a degree that it can experience its own destruction as an aesthetic pleasure of the first order.”

 – Walter Benjamin

 

 

The heavy New Orleans air weighs him down like the look of desperation does his features. Mouth quivering, his wet muscles gleam in the light of a streetlamp, their tension showing his anguish as he cries out: “Hey, Stella!” Hands press to his face as if he is witnessing some catastrophic disaster, his face twists, every crinkle of skin exposing his emotions.

“Hey, Stella!” he screams out again, and it’s one of those screams that makes your throat burn, one that can only be conjured up in a fit of rage or hopelessness. He watches despairingly as she descends from the balcony, down the winding stairs with an unbreakable glare. When she is almost upon him, he shatters, falling to his knees, sobbing. Her hands curl through his hair and his arms wrap tightly around her thighs as she begins to cry. He stands, lifting her up from the ground, clinging to her as she forgivingly and desperately kisses him over every inch of his face.

In his role as Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire, Marlon Brando utilizes method acting to not “just play a character, [but become] that character” (Gilsenan 1).

A system devised by Russian actor, director, and theoretician Konstantin Stanislavsky, method acting involves reliving scenes of an actor’s “emotional memory” in order to slip beneath the skin of and, in essence, live through his character (Encyclopædia Britannica 1). Writing about his method acting lessons, Brando paradoxically asserted that his teacher, Stella Adler, “taught [him] to be real and not to try to act out an emotion [he] didn’t personally experience during a performance” (quoted in Pierpont 1). In teaching him to act, Adler also taught Brando to be real. Brando’s acting, as Harold Clurman wrote, had “it’s source in suffering” (Pierpont 4). The only true beauty comes from suffering, and the only realness comes from acting.

In “Attack of the Superzeroes,” Thomas de Zengotita contemplates the “sort of God’s-eye view” that is delivered to us through the media and how it attributes to a “form of flattery that is so pervasive” that “the alchemy that fuses reality and representation [is] carried into our psyches”  (138). This “flattery” enables what is actual and what is acting to become intertwined. For example, when Marlon Brando’s son Christian was on trial for the shooting of his half-sister’s Tahitian boyfriend, Marlon Brando took the stand. Ironically, his “performance” was considered “one of the best he ever gave: sobbing, dazed, and often incoherent, he was wretchedly apologetic for what he swore had been a terrible accident” (Pierpont 8). This account of Brando’s “performance” acts as evidence for the warped line between reality and acting; Brando wasn’t planning a performance, he was acting out of realness. That is what we all do on a day to day basis—we’re all method actors: self-aware, laughing at the right moments, landing each line, bawling at Princess Diana’s funeral as if our own mothers had just died because we acknowledge our parts on the world stage.

But it isn’t just acting; we often become characters with certain codes and convictions to live by. Our identities are something impossible to fathom—you can’t know who you are until you step out of yourself, but who are you once you do that? To make things simpler, we assume our own roles, just as Brando assumed the role of Stanley Kowalski. Take your pick: the disgruntled youth, the bored housewife, the unhappy office worker, etc. Our dialogue and actions revolve around what is acceptable for our characters. Sure, the roles can change, but “you” are only an invented entity.

It’s five AM and I don’t know why I’m awake. The stale taste of Eggos holds my mouth hostage and I’m starting to think I’ve been in these clothes too long. I slump on the bench in the corner—away from the cold—John is beside me, and to the left of him, some girl named Char who reeks of a 40 and desperation. John is probably the only person I’d be comfortable calling a best friend and an arch nemesis simultaneously.

“Do you still have that ponytail in your hair?” that Char girl asks, and John says no, smoothes his hand over the back of his head where a Brad-Pitt-in-Interview-with-a-Vampire-ish ponytail had been. Char says she doesn’t like it; I don’t like it either, but I remain silent.

“I don’t know, I kinda like it. It’s very ‘hipster made easy,’” John says with a hint of amusement on his lips. I stare down at the concrete, letting the smoke from the cigarette clasped between my fingers whirl around my coat, like the special effects from some second-rate movie. Too many cigarette butts to count and I decide that I don’t like myself that much.

From the five minutes I’ve been here, I’ve gathered that Char’s a cokehead with a boyfriend and intensely attracted to John. She revels in referring to herself as a ‘crazy bitch’ and is appalled by the terms ‘hipster’ and ‘scenester.’

“Oh, fuck that, John. You don’t need to be a fucking hipster. Hipsters just want to belong, so they look exactly like one another, dress exactly like one another, think exactly like one another then have the audacity to consider themselves original. They just want to belong,” and she is pounding her fist into her palm.

This is “real emotion, produced on cue” (Pierpont 1). This scene, this reality—the words become interchangeable when talking about method acting and realness—is all about the characters: me as the distanced narrator; Char assuming the role of critical bitch; and John wavering between ‘to be hipster, or not to be hipster.’

“What should I be then?” and the amusement is still glistening on his mouth.

“An asshole, because that’s what you are. I’m a crazy bitch and you’re an asshole and we’re good together, ya know?” and her skinny leg crosses over his. “I’m so cold, Johnny. Could you just keep me warm?”

“I’ve got a girlfriend,” he laughs and the heat from my face warms my fingertips.

“Johnny…Johnny, you need to get rid of that. You don’t need a girl in high school,” Char says in her sassy Jersey accent and in my mind she’s making some ridiculous hand motion, but I can’t be certain whether that’s my imagination or reality. “You should be with me. You’re missin’ out.”

“Nuh uh, you’re missin’ out, girl,” he grins slyly and takes a drag of his cigarette.

I sit quiet as the scene unfurls in front of me like some bad teenage comedy. We’re all acting, fueled by our desperation: John is desperate to not seem desperate at all; Char is desperate to have John; I am desperate to be recognized.

Desperation reinvents itself as motivation. In “The Blue of Distance,” Rebecca Solnit explores how the captive undergoes a rebirth in the most hopeless of circumstances. In the 18th century, Native American tribes often captured American settlers as a “ceremonious form of adoption in which a captive could replace a family member who had died” (127). Usually, the captives “felt that they were far from home, distant from their desires, and then at some point, in a stunning reversal, they came to be at home and what they had longed for became remote, alien, unwanted” (126). Just as the captive participates in this change like “the anguish of the butterfly, whose body must disintegrate and reform more than once in its life cycle,” desolation tears a person down and allows him to rebuild something beautiful and original (131). My rebirth in the most hopeless of circumstances—my desperation to be noticed by John and my trying to experience something real in an atmosphere that is so fake—is my writing. Writing endorses the true self: every one is an actor, but you’re only your true self when you’re creating art; creating art is a solitary action in which there is no one to impress. The desperation and suffering that inhibits acting turns inward and allows you to take off the fluorescent smile that is meant for the world stage and make something undeniably real.

So, let me trail after George Orwell and Joan Didion—panting and grabbing my aching side—to expand on “Why I Write.” As it is for Didion, writing for me is “an invasion, an imposition of the writer’s sensibility on the reader’s most private space.” I’ve come to realize that writers are often tyrants and cowards: obsessed with conquering the reader, of espousing the words and eyes without a chance for objection; and at the same time, too afraid to utter the words, too fearful of physical confrontation. The gall to say it, but not aloud. Writing functions as a confessional booth: those awkward thoughts about the man on the subway, the sparks of genius that flare up while walking down the sidewalk, the stupidest questions that pop into your mind as you stare into the abyss of a blackboard.

I write because I’m too arrogant to admit my desperation and too reserved to admit my arrogance. Writing is the only place where I’m allowed to be both; I’m allowed to assert myself, but I’m not making a scene. You could put this down at any second; choose to forget me, problem solved. But I’m still there, my words are still there, begging to be read and the fact that I have them out, floating around in the world, is satisfaction enough for me.

In his version of “Why I Write,” George Orwell narrows his need, as well as other writers’ needs, to write to four reasons: sheer egoism, aesthetic enthusiasm, historical impulse, and political purpose. I think I’d most have to identify with sheer egoism which is the “desire to seem clever, to be talked about, to be remembered after death.”

But I don’t think my reason for writing is that simple. Maybe my sheer egoism is dominating the previous sentence. When my veins feel like they’re starting to curl, when everything inside of me wells up to the point of explosion, when my desperation feels like it’s flaying my flesh, I write. Writing constitutes an attempt at finding a remedy for the players we force ourselves to be on the world stage. Writing isn’t supposed to be something easy; as Larry King accounts in a story about Marlon Brando, Brando once said, “acting is easy, writing is hard.”  While method acting is the representation of the “emotional past” in order to portray reality, creating art is that emotional past coming to life. As Orwell says, “one would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.” Writing is my attempt to understand by building up and tearing down myself to see what happens, by taking my flaws and putting them under a magnifying glass. Writing shoves what you hate and love into one sentence together and watching them battle to the death.

 

 

Works Cited

Benjamin, Walter. “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.” UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. Downloaded from Introduction to Media Criticism Blackboard site. 1936, 1-20.

Didion, Joan. “Why I Write.” Advanced College Essay: Education and the Professions. Ed. William M. Morgan, Jono Mischkot and Nat Bennett. Pearson, 2008. 27-32.

Gilsenan, Alan. (2008, December 6). “The Method to His Acting Madness.” The Irish Times.

Kazan, Elia. (Director). (1951). A Streetcar Named Desire [Film]. Los Angeles: Charles K. Feldman Group.

King, Larry. Larry King Live. Posted on YouTube August 2008. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=540ihpCsWWk&gt;.

Orwell, George. “Why I Write.” A Collection of Essays. San Diego: Mariner, 1970. 309-324.

Pierpont, Claudia Roth. “Method Man.” The New Yorker. 84.34 (27 Oct. 2008): p66. Literature Resource Center. Gale. New York University. 22 Feb. 2009 <http://go.galegroup.com/ps/start.do?p=LitRC&u=new64731&gt;.

Solnit, Rebecca. “The Blue of Distance.” Advanced College Essay: Education and the Professions. Ed. William M. Morgan, Jono Mischkot and Nat Bennett. Pearson, 2008. 123-132.

“Stanislavsky Method.” Encyclopædia Britannica. 2009. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 23 Feb. 2009 <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/563178/Stanislavsky-method>.

Zengotita, Thomas de. “Attack of the Superzeroes: Why Washington, Einstein and Madonna Can’t Compete with You.” Advanced College Essay: Education and the Professions. Ed. William M. Morgan, Jono Mischkot and Nat Bennett. Pearson, 2008. 133-142.

 

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Written by: Cassidy Havens

 

 

 

Prescription Medications: Bane of the Stars

In the celebrity world, it used to be heroin, cocaine and other hard drugs that were responsible for the deaths of drug addled stars. Sid Vicious, Janis Joplin, and River Phoenix to name but a few. For the last few years however, drug-induced trips to an early grave have taken on a more ‘legal’ appearance, in the form of highly addictive prescription drugs. Painkillers, and in particular benzodiazepines; such as Xanax, Valium (primarily anti-anxiety medications) and the many other types we see listed on toxicology reports.

It isn’t just celebrities however. A recent report by ABC News suggests there is a growing trend amongst everyday people who are steadily becoming reliant on prescription drugs. In particular, a group of mothers who claim such medications make them better parents. Sounds crazy doesn’t it? If we’re all aware of the dangers of addiction, and the very real risk of being sent to an early grave – why all the pill poppin’?

Lest We Forget

The list of benzo-related celebrity deaths in the last few years is ever growing, and has stolen some fantastic talent from our screens and stereos. More recently troubled singer Amy Winehouse (who’s death was ruled primarily as alcohol poisoning, but benzos were also noted in her toxicology) and just last year Whitney Houston, who drowned in a Beverly Hilton bathtub after overdosing on a variety of drugs, including Xanax.

Other names in recent years include Britney Murphy in 2009, Heath Ledger who died in 2008, Anna Nicole Smith in 2007, and rocker ‘The Rev’, who passed away in 2009. All of them were found to have a variety of drugs in their systems, including benzodiazepines. Most sensationally Michael Jackson died in 2009 after Propofol intoxication, but the possibility of anti-anxiety medication being a contributing factor was not entirely ruled out either.

Why?

Addiction and celebrity status seem to go hand in hand; it’s nothing if not a cliché. The phrase ‘Too much of a good thing is bad for you’ is probably the best way to rationalise why many turn to such substances in the first place. Many struggle to cope with the success and wealth, discovering that it causes a string of new problems in place of the old ones; consequently burdening their lives, rather than enhancing them. Naturally drugs and alcohol can provide an escape from those darker moments, at least until addiction takes over.

With addictive prescription medications however, such as anti-anxiety drug Xanax, those who wouldn’t necessarily have a propensity towards taking drugs are exposed to them – and with that, the potential to become addicted. It’ll be of no surprise that many stars that have died of prescription drug overdoses started taking them as they genuinely needed them, before reliance and eventual addiction took over. And it seems no celebrity is exempt; even Octomom did her time in rehab last year for a Xanax detox.

Whether you’re an A-lister or a Z-lister, celebrity doctors are often more prepared to give their patients what they want, rather than what they need. The risks of benzodiazepines have been bought to light even more since Whitney’s death, and their pretty dangerous things when not monitored properly and used over a substantial period of time. With the obvious potential for a patient to become reliant, and eventually addicted; the negative health implications whilst on and coming off the drug (for example even during the three to six month withdrawal, patients have a hightened risk of seizure) are less than desirable. Some, but not all studies have linked benzos to a higher mortality rate. However in the case of many celebrity deaths (and those of everyday people of course) they’re usually just one ingredient of a cocktail of drugs, prescription or otherwise.

We live in a culture where taking a pill seems to be the answer for almost everything. Depressed? Take a pill. Can’t sleep? Take a pill. Anxious? Take a pill. Granted, some people genuinely do need and benefit legitimately from such medication; however it’s likely than many don’t have to go down that route at all. When you pair the ‘pill popping’ and ‘quick fix’ cultures of today, it would seem masking the symptoms of a problem with medication seems to be a far more attractive alternative than dealing with the underlying cause head on. For the less than ethical Hollywood Doctors, that would also seem to be the case, too.

Let’s hope it changes – lest anymore talent becomes legendary before it’s time.

 

 

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Written by: Jennifer Yeoman

 

How to Create Your Own Cartoons with Latest Technology

Some iconic, exciting and unusual cartoons have been created over the years. Can you think of your favourite? There is Scooby Doo – who can forget about the big, brown and lovable dog? And what about Jake from Adventure Time – an unusual yellow looking dog? Moving away from animals there is Dee Dee from Dexter’s Laboratory – pretty much the cartoon equivalent of a Barbie Doll. There is Dexter himself cutting a striking figure with his ginger hair, big glasses and lab outfit. What about Johnny Bravo – who can forget his big blonde quiff and hunky muscles?

How would you or your children like to create your own cartoons? You may be surprised to learn that there are lots of innovative games available nowadays that give you the opportunity to create cartoon characters. Can you come up with someone better than The Powerpuff Girls? What about Tom and Jerry – do you think you could create a better duo? The possibilities are endless, and the following cartoons give you the chance to tune into your creative side.

Gallery of Imagination

Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends is a popular American cartoon. It features a monumental number of oddly designed cartoon characters. There is a blue domed cylinder called ‘Bloo’. There is a hugely tall and red coloured character called ‘Wilt’. And that is without mentioning the character that is a cross between a palm tree, a bird, and an airplane. The Gallery of Imagination allows you to create your own imaginary friends who can form part of the ‘Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends’ clang. Bearing in mind the crazy characters featured in the cartoon itself, you can imagine the potential associated with this game.

Ben 10 Alien Maker

Ben 10 is a cartoon character who is taking over the world – quite literally. There are a huge number of animated series, films, and video games based on Ben 10. But, the Alien Maker game has to be one of the best. If you or yourchild has watched Ben 10 then you will be aware of all the intriguing, unusual, and devastating aliens featured in the cartoon. But, do you think you could design a better alien? Now is your chance. The Ben 10 Alien Maker game gives you the opportunity to design a deadly and dramatic alien.

Gumball Character Creator

The Amazing World of Gumball is a show about a blue cat called Gumball Watterson. The characters in the show are unusual, vibrant and exciting. Aside from Gumball, there is a goldfish, a light pink rabbit, and many more. This game allows people to create a character that is fitting for the show. Do you want to add a dog to the world of Gumball? What about a bird? Or perhaps you would like to add another cat to rival Gumball? The choice is entirely yours!

The three games mentioned in this article are a mere three of the best that allow you to create your own cartoon character. There are actually a lot of other games available that give you this opportunity too. All you need to do is search online and try all of the free games available. You will be able tocreate a character suited to Adventure Time, another suited to Scooby Doo, another character who would fit in with the Powerpuff Girls, and so on and so forth. Time to let your creative side shine!

Author bio – 

Donna Baxter is a freelance journalist. She watched cartoons, such as Adventure Time, as a research tool for this article.

The Toast | A Great Experience at Carsleys Comics in Montreal, Canada

On a never-ending quest of national (and now international!) nerdery, I recently found myself at Carselys Comics at St. Catherine Street in Montreal. Amidst the cold, bitter, winter air in the bustling Canadian Metropolis, my wife and I found ourselves at the unsuspecting Drummond Building. A little Google had gone a long way, as I would never expect a comic book store to be held inside of this mild-mannered office building. I especially wouldn’t have noticed it surrounded by the bright lights of the Cinema, the HMV, and the other brightly lit commercial fodder on the street. We walked into the building…unlocked and unmanned…and took the elevator to the 9th floor.

In the elevator, I couldn’t help but let my mind drift to the Olympus of Percy Jackson and the Olympians atop the Empire State Building; not that Carselys was an opulent palace or that the Drummond Building was the grand lady of the New York City skyline, but rather because you never know what a building is going to have hidden in its walls. As it turns out, Carselys was hidden in a row of offices that might as well be doctors, dentists, scam photographers, and lawyers—you wouldn’t ever think twice about it except that the Batman standee sticks out like the sorest thumb you’ve ever seen.

My wife and I walked into the store and saw a well-appointed, incredibly organized fortress of fanboy delight. They had well-stocked back issue rows (I recall specifically seeing some old Jimmy Olsens and prominently displayed Uncle Scrooge comics), a fine collection of Canadian coins (I hear-tell the owner is quite the authority, and lends in writing the coin catalogue). Carsleys boasts on its business card being a source of Gold, Silver, Bronze, and current comics and I can tell you that their collection is wonderful.

As a New Yorker, I’ve been to my fair share of comic book establishments and I’ve developed a taste for them over time. Each has its own distinctive personality and feel…its organization is its genetic makeup, and its staff is its face. This store was a beauty inside and out. Not only were they accommodating in facilitating the purchase of comics, but also the men inside the store were genuinely nice, courteous, polite, and caring people. The manager Paul was diligently attending to matters behind the counter while Will came forward immediately and struck up conversation about what I was looking for and what I hoped to find—eventually putting the first volume of Saga in my hands along with some Marvel Now number 1’s. Eventually, my wife monopolized their time asking for some information regarding what restaurants we might want to make reservations at for the evening and they were more than accommodating.

Meanwhile, my shopping was diverted as I struck up a conversation with Andre, who was cleaning up some recording equipment having just finished recording an episode of his comics web series. We spoke for a while about comics, cons, wrestling (by the way you can totally watch a pay-per-view at the movie theatre in Montreal which is pretty effin’ awesome), and video editing among other things. As someone always working, I snuck in a few unsolicited Eat Your Serial related Facebook follows, and began some other conversations that may one day come to bear. Suffice it to say that Andre appears to be a favorite son of the store, while Will and Paul received high praise—as did Carsleys itself—from the patron. I am inclined to agree on all counts.

Eventually, it came to light that we had actually entered the store after hours and they had welcomed us openly and without even mention that the store was closed. Back home we would have found ourselves turned away, slumped over in disappointment as the sad Charlie Brown Christmas music played in sympathy. Instead what we got was warm and friendly conversation from strangers willing to lend their opinions, suggestions, friendship, phones, and even a car ride to us. Not to mention I was able to get some comics (and bagged and boarded at that). Not bad, eh?

My experience at Carsleys (and indeed in Montreal in general) has moved me to endorse anyone reading this review to find their way there if given the opportunity. Mike, the owner of Carsleys, who was not present at the time, has assembled quite a team of professional, knowledgeable, and welcoming staff to his store along with a wide variety of goods and more than reasonable sale items. I will enjoy my comics one way or the other, but I will always appreciate the experience of a comic book store as the social element of my nerdery. The gentlemen I met at the only comic book store I visited in Montreal made certain to treat me in a way that ensured I would return the next time I find myself this far north of my normal location. For me, I appreciate this beyond any wares I might acquire in the store because good service makes the product all the better. On that note my comics were great.

Visit the fine people of Carsleys Comics at 1117 St. Catherine St. W, 9th Floor in Montreal, Quebec, Canada or online at http://www.carsleyscomics.com

 

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Written by: Brandon Melendez