Pop Culture

Sophia Grace Drops a Bomb, Goes Street

I’ve been thinking to myself lately, ‘man, I really need to write a blog post,’ and then…and then the Internet blessed me with this gem:

I have so many feelings.

First of all, IT’S HAPPENING. As soon as Beats and KMart were like, hey we want to make a music video, Sophia Grace was like DEUCES ROSIE I don’t need no hype woman no mo’ and just like that, she was gone.

But it did get us this youtube comment, which might be the best one I’ve ever seen:

Screen Shot 2015-01-07 at 7.44.23 AM

Second of all, which one of these girls in the video is your best friend? Are they all auditioning? Is that runway scene a test? I’m a proponent of the Mindy Kaling “Best Friend is a tier, not a person” philosophy, but the song is very clearly about one individual. You gotta pick a lane, SG. Sure, these girls might just be humoring you to be in a music video and glomming off your newfound fame but no matter. This is your life now that you ditched your FAMILY and took on a life of luxury and fake gang signs.

Third of all, THAT RAP. I don’t know whether to be embarrassed or impressed.

Fourth of all, I don’t know what to do with the feeling that I actually kind of like it and it’s still stuck in my head from 15 minutes ago when I watched it.

Fifth of all, KMart, just give it a rest. It’s okay. You had a good run. Just go home.

What do you think? Is this the best or the worst thing ever?

Feelings and Gifs and Spotify

Subtitle: WAIT YOU HAVEN'T HEARD THE WHOLE THING YET DON'T WALK AWAY I know there are going to be 8,000 posts (minimum) about Spotify this week and even more opinions. I realize that I’m probably just adding to the noise, and I realize that I am not an expert.

But I just have a lot of feelings about this, okay? Feelings. And what is a blog if not a place to share feelings?

(I added gifs to make this more interesting for people like Jamie.)

My husband is a musician, and I went to Belmont University. I was a music business major for three years before I got my act together and realized hey, I don’t really like this accounting stuff, and changed to public relations. At least half of my friends are musicians, whether professional or semi-professional or make-EPs-for-fun. I say this not to claim to be any sort of authority on the topic, but to say that I have a vested interest in it.

If you haven’t read it yet, here is Spotify’s response to Taylor Swift pulling her catalog from Spotify.

I have a lot of issues with this argument.

The main issue, though, is that this person is trying to argue that because people are going to be stealing music anyway, this is actually a good thing for artists and songwriters. It’s the lesser of two evils. They’re actually helping artists and songwriters by getting people to pay for their music at all. Basically, artists should be thanking Spotify. (Editorializing, of course.)

Let me be clear — I’m not against the existence of Spotify. There’s a market for it, obviously, and I understand why. I use it from time to time to check out an artist. But let’s not act like Spotify is dedicated to the art of music or that they’re doing musicians some big favor.

People were pissed that Taylor pulled her library. I get that. It was there, and she took it away. But it’s not about the money for her (obviously). She’s making a point. And yeah, maybe nothing will change. But at least the discussion is happening. And unless bigger artists like her start talking about it, no one will. A smaller singer-songwriter can pull his or her catalog, but no one will notice. I mean, the fans will notice, but the media won’t.

And if you can’t go without Taylor’s music (I am part of that demographic — no shame), buy. it. Use the money you earned and say, hey, I value this music enough to make a small sacrifice in exchange for it. [Side Note: I know we live in a culture of entitlement, but guys — sometimes you can’t get everything you want. If you have 20 dollars, you can choose two albums to buy. And it means you value those the most because it cost you something to get them. I don’t know. I just don’t really buy the angle that we should be able to have access to All The Music for a small fee simply because we want it.]

I also don’t buy the exposure angle as a perk. If you’re a writer or a creator of any kind, you know that at a certain point, offering things for free or cheap devalues your talent. Sure, if you’ve never written anything for anyone before, offer it for free to get practice. But if you continue to do that, you’re saying you’re not worth paying for. Blogs and websites do this all the time — ask people to write things for free in the name of “exposure.” Guys. Exposure is not compensation. Yes, it’s something, but it’s not the same.

The radio thing. Streams on Spotify does not equal radio play in a practical sense. That was one of the main examples in his argument. Yes, on the free mobile app you can’t control the songs, and that’s more like radio. But the paid subscription is not. The paid subscription is in place of buying the actual albums you’re listening to. It’s on demand. Pandora is like radio. In that way I don’t mind using Pandora because I’m never going to use it as a replacement for buying music. It would make no sense. Again, I’m not saying if you use Spotify you’re a terrible person, but just that this argument doesn't super hold up.

Finally, the main point of the blog is the $2 billion. Stop throwing that number around like it’s some big deal. I’m willing to bet that most of that money is going to huge artists. Which is fine. It should. But the remainder accounts for ALL the artists that are on Spotify. All of them. Millions of them. Again, I’m not even trying to argue about what to pay the artists. I’m just saying, don’t act like you’re paying each artist a million dollars or something like that. Because you’re not. I have friends who have their music on Spotify, and they are not millionaires.

Not my friends.

I think the whole thing is just patronizing. Like, “you should be grateful you’re making any money at all!”

Just because Spotify is better than piracy doesn’t make it beneficial to artists. That’s all I’m trying to say.

What do you think? (Please be kind because remember I have a lot of feelings.)

An Amateur Dissertation on Marriage and Pop Culture

I wrote this in response to an episode of The Popcast, run by my friends Jamie and Knox. No one asked me to write a 1200 word essay and beam it into their inbox, but I did it anyway. Bless their hearts. I don't know why they tolerate me. Anyway, what follows is what I am calling a dissertation, which I wrote in an attempt to sort out my whirlwind of thoughts slinging around in my head while I listened to the podcast episode. It's one of those things I wrote quickly -- you know in that way when your fingers can't move as fast as the words that are pouring out of your brain -- so if there are loopholes, there are loopholes. Hence the word "amateur" in the title. But I kind of like talking about this, so if you have any additional thoughts or "but wait--"s, bring it on.

Okay, enough disclaimers. Here are my thoughts regarding marriage and whether it can be accurately represented in pop culture -- TV, movies, celebrities or otherwise -- and whether or not age makes a difference in readiness for marriage.


So here’s the thing about marriage: it makes no sense whatsoever.

Seriously. If you think about it, binding two human beings together with different feelings and preferences and dreams and fears together for their entire lives seems kind of insane. I mean yes, weddings and fairytales are great and all that but really, the institution of marriage itself—it’s crazy.

I’m not really sure why anyone would stay married, or get married at all, unless they had a greater reason to do so. For me, there’s a greater reason. Whether I realized it or not when I said “I do,” (I was having a moderate panic attack at the time so I’m fairly certain I nothing but “please don’t let me pass out in these red high heels” was running through my mind but that’s neither here nor there), there is something bigger than my husband or me holding this thing together. There’s something bigger than us giving us a reason to keep fighting, to not just up and leave rooms when having discussions, to not walk away, to dig through the conversations and all the emotions until we arrive at a place where, even if there is no solution, we at least SEE each other.

That doesn’t happen on T.V.

It’s hard to try to find a marriage reflected on T.V. that reflects what I think marriage should strive to look like, because most of them are not based on the same grid as mine. I see my marriage and marriage in general through a frame of Jesus. So all my views are colored by that.

If you’re not a Christian, honestly, to go back to my first point, I have no idea why you would get married. Again: the institution itself makes. no. sense. I guess if you just want someone to load the dishwasher the wrong way and snore too loudly and sit next to you watching TV shows you may or may not agree on for the rest of your life, which I suppose isn’t bad, but you can do that without getting up in front of people, (potentially even at a church, which again doesn’t make sense to me if you’re not a believer) filling out paperwork and vowing to live with the same person forever.

But if you are a Christian, 1) marriage is meant to refine you, sanctify you, make you more like Jesus (TRUST ME you find out real quick you’re not the saint you thought you were) and 2) marriage is meant to be a picture of Christ and the church to the rest of the world. Marriage is meant to show the world what grace and sacrificial love look like. To make people wonder what is different about us.

I don’t know why you wouldn’t just throw in the towel and say ‘eff this noise, this junk is hard’ if you weren’t a Christian. But if you are, you can say, ‘ok, self, this person is God’s perfect provision for me — not a perfect person, but the person I (and God — in a mystery I don’t quite understand — free will vs sovereignty and all that) chose and made a commitment to in front of God and all our loved ones. We promised God we would stick this out. That we would be partners. That we would love one another wholly — not in a 50/50 compromise kind of way (which most T.V. shows seem to tout as a healthy relationship), but 100% sacrificially. So I’m going to go back in that room and we’re going to talk about our feelings, DANG IT.’ And you can do that because you know the other person isn’t going to walk out the door at the first sign of trouble or discord because they made the same promise as you did — to stay.

This is why an example-worthy marriage is not represented on T.V. It’s barely even represented in real life — if there is no basis of Jesus, I don’t know how you could even begin to represent what marriage should look like. Marriage was invented by God, after all, and a wedding is a religious ceremony but LET’S NOT GO THERE, shall we?

The closest we get on T.V. is Tami and Eric Taylor (Friday Night Lights if you've been living under a rock--and if so stop reading this immediately and go start the pilot on Netflix), and Kristina and Adam Braverman (Parenthood). And the main reason why is simply because their marriages are full of grace. They mess up and they forgive one another. Over and over. They’re a team, no matter what. Their marriage is the priority, even over their children when it comes down to it, and they fight for it. That’s not the norm for our culture. Or celebrities, which is why I also don’t include celebrity marriages in my list of role models. Like, you guys go ahead and get married in Italy and have your kids’ ugly drawings sewn on your veil by blind nuns or whatever but don’t expect me to act like this is something I’m supposed to believe is the pinnacle of commitment and unconditional love.

ABOUT THE AGE THING: I think even though I was young when I got married (22), I at least understood that I was making a commitment. A choice. The whole reason I decided I was okay with getting married after all my “but how do I KNOW if he’s THE ONE?”-ing was that I was taught by a wiser person that it’s not about “The One,” it’s about making a commitment. They are “The One” simply due to the fact that you are marrying them. That makes them The One. You chose them. You said, 'yes, I am going to commit to this person for life and fight for our relationship no matter what.' I think I at least understood that on some level. Plus, I’m a commitment type of gal. I like consistency and I tend to pick people and stick with them in all areas of life.

So I think age doesn’t matter as long as you understand that you’re not just "taking the next step” — you’re making a commitment. You’re vowing to God and to the other person to stick with them, be on their team, have grace for them and love them unconditionally to the best of your ability, despite any difficult circumstance, for the rest of your life.

Again, I don’t think that would truly resonate with you unless you are a believer. Otherwise you just kind of take a leap based on your feelings and hope for the best. Fingers crossed, hoping you won’t “end up divorced.” Of course there are always extenuating circumstances. I’m not saying Christians should never ever get divorced. I’m just saying we should fight for marriage rather than give up on it.

And, in my opinion, couples on T.V. give up too easily. I have watched Joel Graham walk out of a room in a huff on Julia Braverman about 800 times this season of Parenthood (5)* and that’s not an option after only 3 minutes of talking. I’m sorry. It’s just not.

TL; DR: 1) You can’t separate a healthy marriage from Christianity and the ideals it represents, in my opinion, and this is why it is not represented in pop culture generally. and 2) I got married young but I understood the whole commitment thing so I think as long as you understand that, age doesn’t matter.

What do you think? Can a healthy marriage be truthfully represented in pop culture? Do you think age matters when it comes to getting married?

*I was still on season 5 when I wrote this.


P.S. Subscribe to The Popcast. You'll laugh, you'll yell at your car stereo, you'll sigh exasperated sighs. It's great. 

Is Beyonce Big Brother?: A Reflection on the VMAs

I watched the VMAs last night. I wasn’t planning on it; it just happened. I follow Taylor Swift on Twitter (who doesn’t?) and she was tweeting adorable pictures like this and I felt like, as a self-proclaimed pop culture aficionado, I should be aware of whatever was going on last night. I mean, what if there was another twerk-gate and I missed it completely? What kind of American would that make me? So I realized it was about to be on, turned the channel from Doctor Who (Vincent and the Doctor never gets old, you guys), and braced myself.

The VMAs are about as prestigious as the Dundees, but sometimes you get some good performances out of them.

Last night’s Video Music Awards (which doesn’t even make any sense. Why is it not Music Video Awards? Ugh. Kids.) were all about Beyonce.

Sure, Jessie J and Ariana Grande and Sam Smith all killed it, T-swizzle’s performance was super fun, but it was all leading up to the longest medley ever, performed by none other than Queen B.

Guys, I love Beyonce. I do. I’m getting a little tired of her nonsensical R&B songs with no real chorus but whatever. She’s Beyonce. I’m giving her a pass for a year or so.

Her medley, therefore, was about 80 percent boring, 10 percent 'Drunk In Love' and 10 percent 'XO.' I…I actually turned it off during her medley (NO WAIT BEYGENCY I DVR’D IT AND FINISHED IT LATER OK?). And I never turn off a Beyonce performance. I’m just saying, it was boring for at least the first 45 minutes. Oh, it was only a 10 minute performance? Huh.

Toward the end (when it started getting interesting) home videos of her, Blue and Jay Z scrolled by on the screen behind her looking all family-like and cute.

And Her Royal Highness Blue Ivy Carter was IN the audience you guys. She was THERE. (Let me just tell you, she could wipe the floor with North West the Person.*)

Jay Z and Blue Ivy came up to present Beyonce the Vanguard Award which is some kind of lifetime achievement award or something that has a legacy of like, four whole years, that MTV is trying to make a thing to prove they can be serious even though the commercials were half for condoms and half trailers for awful, and I mean, truly, truly awful low-budget teen dramas. But it’s adorable that they try.

The thing with Beyonce is, I know I’m being manipulated emotionally. I know that. Do you think I haven’t connected the dots that amid rumors of divorce she’s showing adorable home videos and bringing her whole family, one of whom she rarely posts full-face photos of, to a meaningless award show where for some reason Jay Pharoah is still trying to make his Jay Z impression happen (even though Jay Z is actually there)?

No. I know I’m being manipulated emotionally, but it’s like I don’t even care. I’m enjoying it.

I mean LOOK AT BLUE IVY. Look at that gold dress and her little afro with a barrette in it and her calling Beyonce ‘mommy.’ Look at her do the single-ladies hand:

Am I the only one just now realizing Kelly was there? #poormichelle 

Beyonce might be Big Brother. I’m not really sure. It’s probably a logical conclusion. She’s controlling the popular opinion of an entire country, maybe even the world. If she told us to go to war with like, England, in the name of Blue Ivy because like Prince George hurt her feelings or something, you don’t think we would be all over that? You don’t think Barack and Michelle owe her a favor or two?

I’m getting off track. I’m just saying that all you need to know about the VMAs is that in lieu of anyone taking mics from Taylor Swift or defiling a foam finger, we got like 20 minutes of Beyonce brainwash. And I’m not sure I’m even mad about it.

What was your favorite part? (I mean really. HOW much did Jessie J kill it?)

*Trademark Suri’s Burn Book

Remember Well.

Anyone who knows me fairly well will know that I am a forgetful person. I attribute it to the fact that I am a big-picture person rather than a details person, so sometimes the little things fall through the cracks. In high school and for a while in college I wrote things on my hand so I wouldn’t forget. (Was this a 90’s-early 00’s thing? Do kids still do this? No, they have iPhones? Oh.) It was useful but I began running out of real estate, so I got a planner in college. Eventually I upgraded to a smart phone and that smart phone has a reminders app on it and a calendar with alert settings — a forgetful person’s dream. I’ve gotten a lot better (shhhh, Craig), especially in terms of a work environment. To-do lists are my best friends and I’ve done enough event planning at this point that, in certain environments, I AM the details person. I know. Just go with it.

As helpful as it would be to always remember that thing I was supposed to bring to work or to NOT lock my freshman year roommate out of our dorm room when she's gone to take a shower on more than one occasion (sorry, Christine), I'm finding there are a few more important things to make sure I remember.

Lately I've been thinking, so much of faith is simply remembering.

Remembering who God is. Remembering what he has done. Remembering who you are in light of who he is and what he has done.

Remember well, and your faith will go stronger.

It’s hard to remember when you’re in the thick of it. I get that. I’ve been there…a lot. When you’re overwhelmed or you’re devastated or you’re frustrated, it’s difficult to remember how much you are loved and how Christ has overcome it all. It’s tough to remember that you belong to Him and that he suffered and died on your behalf and conquered death all in the same week — for you. I struggle to remember how powerful and great God is and that he has gone before me and he is with me always, even ’til the end of the age.

As I previously stated, I’m not great at remembering. In the spirit of writing things on my hand to help me remember, I recently got some words permanently written on my arm.

tattoo remember well

As someone who has struggled with anxiety and fear, this verse means a lot to me: "I said these things to you that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

When I look at my arm I am reminded to take heart. He has overcome the world.

Remember well — who He is. Who you are. What he has done. And keep it in mind while pressing ahead. To me, that’s faith.

Baby Mendes-Gosling

1404930039_eva-mendes-ryan-gosling-article Where were you when you heard the news? (Apologies if it's where you're sitting right now.)

I was just sitting in my work chair, minding my own business, scrolling through my Twitter feed, when I noticed Elan Gale (one of the producers of The Bachelor/ette — haters to the left) say something sarcastic about Ryan Gosling regurgitating food into the mouth of Eva Mendes’ child, which I thought was strange, but so are most things Elan Gale tweets (and NSFW, just a heads up). I kept scrolling and saw another post from Elan, this time with an accompanying photo stating “RYAN GOSLING IS HAVING A BABY WITHOUT YOU.”

Wait a second. Ryan Gosling is going to be a FATHER?

A Google search of "Ryan Gosling" later, and wait TWO seconds. Ryan Gosling is going to be a father to the child of EVA MENDES, who is decidedly NOT Rachel McAdams? Is there no justice in the world?

I’m appalled on Rachel’s behalf. How DARE he procreate with anyone other than his Canadian-match-made-in-heaven. Who does he think he is? Those babies would have been PRECIOUS. I mean, have all the fun you want with whoever, but when you were ready to settle down, RYAN, you were supposed to go back to Rachel. EVERYONE KNOWS THAT. For the record, I didn't even know Ryan Gosling was dating Eva Mendes. That's how little I care about him dating anyone other than Rachel McAdams. Eva Mendes had better watch her back. Did you see Red Eye? Rachel's feisty. And so is America when you mess with our celebrity couple dreams.

Aside from The Rachel Betrayal, I’m simply a concerned citizen. I mean LOOK AT THIS PAIR. Will this baby be too pretty to even exist? Will it just shine like the light of a million suns wherever it goes to the point that no one can even look directly at it?

Is this an experiment to see if it’s scientifically possible to create The Most Beautiful Child in All of History or if it’s just like magnets and two really pretty people’s genes just repel each other and the baby ends up resembling a space alien more than anything else?

I can’t believe there are still people on my Twitter feed talking about the World Cup. There is going to be a human walking around who is half Ryan Gosling and half Eva Mendes.

I just can’t.

Leave your condolences for Rachel and angry rants for Ryan below.


5 Reasons Why You Should Be Watching 'Orphan Black'

orphan black If you follow me on Twitter, you may know that the show Orphan Black (BBC America) is one of my lastest obsessions (unless you muted me, in which case, I understand -- I talk a lot).

As a fan of shows like Sherlock and Doctor Who, I hear whispers of new BBC-related shows every now and again. Sometimes they're more like stage whispers. Inches from my face.

I kept hearing about Orphan Black, and as the title sounds terrifying, I didn't think I would like it. My husband wanted to give it a shot, so I committed to watching one episode on the condition that we would turn it off if it got too scary (usually a condition in our household).

Y'all. That pilot.

I had no idea what the show was about. Zero concept. I just blindly watched the first episode -- and it won me over immediately. So here are some reasons you should be watching Orphan Black:

1) The concept. The basic premise is that a woman stumbles upon the fact that she is one of who-knows-how-many clones by meeting people that look exactly like her. Only with different hair, personalities, and lifestyles. And they’re being killed, one way or another. It’s a very interesting concept to me. Here they are, 28-ish years after the experiment, trying to piece together who cloned them, why, and why/if they are in danger.

2) Tatiana freaking Maslany. I mean, you guys. She plays about 8 characters so far — they’re clones, remember — and I literally forget it is the same person. I was watching an interview with a few of the cast members, and the host asked one of the love interests and, assumably, the person who plays the other character, about the chemistry between the two. I actually had the thought, “wait, but she’s not there…” and then Tatiana Maslany started talking, and I remembered she plays the character. Like every other character. She is insanely talented. Plus, the way they make it so seamless as she acts in a scene with THREE of herself, and even touches them or hugs them, is just ridiculous.

3) The characters in the show are round, not flat. They’re all complex. They have good and bad within them — they’re all flawed. Some you root for more than others, obviously, but they all make terrible decisions in one way or another, even if they’re protagonists. You also never know whose side the secondary characters are on. Are they trying to protect the clones? Are they being forced to do something against their will? Are they lying to pretend they know nothing about the experiment or were they in on it all along? It’s almost impossible to know with most of the characters, and I love it. They aren’t aligned as “good” or “bad.” Everyone has their own individual agenda and goals, and they don’t always fit nicely into one side or the other, which makes it even more exciting.

4) The cliffhangers -- but not like, in a Scandal sort of way. In fact, I think this show could easily beat up Scandal in a fight. Which is why I have all but abandoned Scandal altogether a few episodes into season 3 (there's only so much quivering and idiot Fitz I can handle). This is why you will watch the first season (10 episodes) in less than a week. I mean, unless you have a life, I guess. Almost every aspect that’s revealed leads to more questions. The show isn’t hard to follow, but you do have to pay attention. You’ll be reworking the episode in your head the next morning trying to sort through all the new information. I think if you wake up thinking about it the next morning, it’s usually a good show.

5) Thrilling, but not too scary or depressing. There are definitely moments that will have you biting your nails, but nothing is so intense you won’t be able to sleep. It’s a fine line, and I have to walk it delicately or I’ll be up for days.

In conclusion, just watch the pilot. If you’re not hooked then, I don’t know what to tell you, because I was hooked within the first three minutes. The first season is on Amazon Prime, and the second season is airing now on BBC America. (We DVR’d a marathon on BBC America to watch season 1, so that might also be an option for you if there is one coming up.)

Do it, you guys. TATIANA MASLANY. (Just watch an interview with her and you'll want to be her best friend. Plus she was in a Lonely Island digital short this past week, too. I mean, come on.)

Have you watched Orphan Black? If so, what do you think? If not, what’s your latest TV obsession?

Things I Now Have to Worry About

There has been a lot of disturbing news floating around lately. Things I did not really need to know. Frightening things. In the spirit of catharsis, thought I'd take a minute to get some of my feelings out about them. (I have many. Shocking, I know.) Exploding whales - This is a legitimate news story in which a real live person said that it might be an actual concern that some beached whales could explode. EX. PLODE. Whale guts everywhere. IMAGINE THE SMELL. Burnt whale guts. I'm just saying, I'm right to be fearful of this situation, yes? I mean, okay, I live in a land-locked state. But just the fact that this could happen in real life is enough to cause concern. I do, however, think this would do well as the next Sharknado. Send me a royalty check if you create it.

Falling INTO a potentially-explosive whale - In what scenario am I walking so close to a beached whale that I might just trip and fall in? I’ve just been informed that they may explode. I think I’ll keep my distance. But just for the sake of argument, say I do fall INTO a whale. I’m not sure what I would even do. Gag, probably. But after that. Can I scream for help? Is anyone else close enough by to help me or are they respecting the beached whale’s personal space like a sensible human being? Is there cell service inside a whale? How am I getting out of this situation? If it’s anything like the cartoons (which this scenario totally is), hopefully I’d have a little stick with a white banner tied to it I could pull out of my pocket and wave out the whale’s mouth, and someone would see it and try to pull me out 20 different ways as hilarity ensued. Anyway. Don’t go near beached whales, you guys. They might explode and/or swallow you.

Sinkholes - This is not a recent development, but ever since the Nashville flood in 2010, I have become increasingly aware of the earth’s ability to simply GIVE WAY beneath me, causing me to plummet into a crater. This is not okay. I pay good money to live on this earth, and I will not have it collapsing under my feet. It’s completely unnerving to know I could just be walking down the sidewalk and end up in a 10-foot deep ditch. Though I guess it would be better than a whale’s intestines.

Volcanic islands eating my island. (If I had an island.) - That’s right — islands can now eat other islands. So sleep well tonight, Hawaii. I just think it's a shame that I could work really hard to write the next great American novel and get rich enough to buy my own island and then another island could just come up and eat it before I even get a chance to set up my hammock. Rude.

Goblin sharks - No. Just no. Sharks are frightening enough without having to look like they came out of Tim Burton’s nightmares. And of course this happened in Florida. Can we just make them secede already? Pass around a petition? Sure, it would give us an uneven number of states, but at least we could round off the bottom right corner and be a little more symmetrical. They’re only bringing us down, America.

Test tube meat - First of all, is this not what SPAM is? Second of all, what if the genetic modification somehow goes wrong and it learns to survive on its own? What if it becomes self-aware and starts trying to contribute to society and get a driver's license and stuff? What if the scientists get drunk on power and success and clone the live-meat specimens and assign monitors to them and one goes rogue and starts killing them all like in Orphan Black? I'm just saying maybe there's a better way to use our time, SCIENCE.

Capsizing ferries - Aren’t ferries supposed to be buoyant enough to carry SEVERAL vehicles and only move at like 4 miles an hour? The fact that one capsized does not make me feel great about visiting the Statue of Liberty any time soon.

All that to say, there is a lot of ridiculous things going on around here. I'm going to choose to ignore them all and watch cat videos instead.

What's the scariest and/or craziest news you've heard lately? Are you concerned about sink holes or exploding whales?

Disclaimer: it is entirely possible that my understanding of these news stories from reading the first few paragraphs may include flawed logic or misapplied scientific theories. I would not recommend using this post as a source for your biology or econ final, but I'm also not the boss of you.

Connie Britton, U.N. Ambassador (Or: "OMG YES")



I found out a couple weeks ago that Connie Britton is going to be a United Nations goodwill ambassador.

For once, yes. If anyone is going to be the one American on a list of 10 celebrity UN goodwill ambassadors from around the world, there is no one better than Connie Britton. A person representing us on a global stage we can actually be proud of. Not Dennis Rodman, self-proclaimed ambassador to North Korea aka Kim Jong Un’s new BFF. Connie Britton. Connie “The most beautiful hair on the planet can I please touch it just once” Britton. THE Tami Taylor. Mrs. Coach.

I, for one, fully support this. I’d like to request that she speak in a southern accent when she does so, because it throws me off when I hear her use her boring REGULAR accent, but y’know, I guess she can do whatever she feels is right for the nations. Maybe just call people “y’all” every once in a while is all I’m saying. They’ll be putty in your hands.

Seriously. If Connie Britton went out to places like Syria or the Crimean peninsula and stood between the two opposing sides and just said “Come on, y’all. You’re better than this,” I don’t think we’d have any more wars. Actually, if you brought in Kyle Chandler aka Coach Taylor after that to give them a speech about character and what being a man really is, I think everyone would just go home. And maybe form an American football team.

Iran getting touchy? Send in Connie. Putin being crazypants? Get Connie on a plane. It’s a valid suggestion, you have to admit.

Anyway, in conclusion, Tami Taylor 4 President 2016. (To be clear, I would require that she run as the character of Tami Taylor. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.)

What do you think of this decision? Who else do you think would be a great U.N. goodwill ambassador?

In Memoriam: Gwyneth and Chris

1389635271_chris-martin-gwyneth-paltrow-article You guys, I come to you with a heavy heart today.

Two of our own have called it quits. (By "our own" I mean celebrities we lay claim to, of course.)

One Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Martin have decided to go their separate ways. That's right, Gwis (Chwyneth?) is no more.*

I, for one, am shocked.

Well, okay, not completely shocked. They are celebrities. But they were some of the last remaining celebrities married for over 10 years (according to my sources, which, in this case is solely my memory). Is nothing sacred?

What about APPLE, you guys? Did anyone ever think of her? First, her parents name her Apple and somehow legitimize all this nonsense celebrity baby naming, now this? Life is not going so great for ol' Apple. How will her friends ever get backstage passes to Coldplay concerts again? What will Suri's Burn Book say? What will people whisper when she has relationship troubles in the future? "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree?" (THANK YOU I'M HERE ALL NIGHT YOU'RE A GREAT AUDIENCE)

Gwyneth must have done this. I'm not sure how. I'm not sure when. Maybe when she started a website called Goop and Chris had no choice but to roll his eyes. Maybe when she decided to go on Glee and Chris once again had no choice but to make fun of her. She brought this on Apple and little Moses by provoking Chris to cause tension in her marriage. Probably. I don't really know, but it just seems like something she would do. I may have been influenced by pop culture telling me to hate Gwyneth Paltrow. I can't be certain. (What I am certain about is that I will never spell her name right on the first try.)

I am genuinely disappointed though. Don't they know we have a stake in this? Why would they do this to us? Shouldn't we have a vote? When the remaining hope of lasting celebrity marriages rests on your shoulders, you can't just call it quits without holding a referendum. Or at least a Facebook poll. You need to know where your constituents stand before you just go around making rash decisions.

Anyway, I guess all I have to say is, Godspeed, dear Apple. May you avoid those worms and, unlike your parents, find someone to make you the perfect pear. (Like...pair...get it? I slay me.) I will be waiting for your tell-all book.

And Beyonce and Jay Z, don't you dare even think about it.

Are you sad about the breakup? Which celebrity couple do you want to make it the long haul? 

SIDE NOTE: I just realized their daughter's name is Apple Martin. If you add but one letter it becomes Apple Martini. I'm sure there's a joke in there but come on, guys, I can't do all the work.

*The fact that they don't have a feasible celebrity couple name is also Gwyneth's fault.

Calm Down, Lady Gaga.

lady-gaga-sxsw-keynote-1024x830 Lady Gaga was at SXSW last weekend, and apparently went on some kind of angsty tirade about how she'd rather quit music than conform to the industry's standards of beauty and blah blah blah. She goes on to say that she doesn't want to be compared to Katy Perry and doesn't get what the [bleep] Katy has to do with her and that their music couldn't be more different.

Listen, Lady Gaga.

Can we just slow your roll for a minute?

You've had your turn. Really, it's been fun. You've had your meat dress; you've had your public "hangings" and your political statements. We humored you that one time you dressed up like a man dating yourself and both attended an award show AND accepted an award on your own behalf as that persona.

So don't try to act like we're all trying to bring you down and judging you. Literally nothing you could do would shock us anymore. Trust me, it's not that.

I mean I liked "Poker Face" and "Bad Romance" as much as the next girl but, hate to break it to you, kid, maybe your songs just aren't quite as good anymore. It's not 2008. It's 2014.

And maybe now we like Katy Perry better, okay? Maybe you should hush your mouth about Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson because since when does wearing a cupcake bra make her more sexualized by the industry than you, who is nearly naked almost every time we see you? When you write a song as catchy as "Roar," you can talk to us about your problems with Katy Perry. YEAH I SAID IT. "Roar" is better than "Applause." Yup. That’s right; I'm controversial (if only a few months late).

SIDE NOTE: your songs could be more different than Katy Perry's. They could be like...instrumental soundscapes played with only PVC pipes. Or, y'know, death metal. But they aren’t. They are synth-driven pop songs. Just like Katy’s.

You also said that when people try to make you look pretty (are they? Is anyone really trying to tell you what you should look like at this point?), you just want to look ugly instead because you're rebellious. (For the record, when you say "I'm rebellious" I think that disqualifies you as being rebellious. Just like saying "I'm classy" or marketing something as "fashion jewelry." If you have to say it, it's probably not true.) Are we fourteen years old, here? Are we now making decisions JUST to be going against the perceived grain you think society is projecting on you? Ugh.

So let's just calm down with the rage rants, okay, Stefani? Lose the 'tude.

You wear all the coffee filter and trash bag dresses you want. You keep on doing you, wearing scary teeth and trying to make dreadlocks happen, making sub-par pop music and experimenting with using real blood on stage or whatever it is you do in your spare time. It's cool, really. I'm not saying you have to stop those things. I'm just saying don't act like the world is trying to oppress you and make you into this bubblegum pop star. We literally could not care less what you do with your life. But don't be surprised if we just stay over here where the a capella covers of "Let It Go" overflow like the land of milk and honey and I'm still listening to Taylor Swift's "22" on repeat.

P.S. Sorry if this was harsh. I just really like Katy Perry.

Who do you think is better, Katy Perry or Lady Gaga?

Who I Wanted Shia LaBeouf to Be

Even Stevens BeansLouis I watched Even Stevens pretty avidly, probably long after I should've stopped. Then again, I still watch Disney Channel every now and then, but it feels kind of like going back to my high school and realizing I know none of the kids there anymore.

I thoroughly enjoyed that show. If it was on Netflix, I'd still be watching it. (NOTE TO SELF: Kickstarter to get Even Stevens on Netflix) I thought it was clever, funny, and Shia LaBeouf had good comedic instincts. I mean, come on. They once had a musical episode, and the Even Stevens movie premise was that they were on a reality show and didn't know it and TIM MEADOWS and DAVE COULIER were hosts of competing shows. So great.

When it ended, I thought, I really hope he gets to keep acting--he's got potential as a comedic actor. And, shockingly for a male Disney Channel star who didn't sing, he did get some legitimate work. I kept waiting for him to switch to comedy. Ok, he did Transformers, he'll probably try comedy. [Eagle Eye comes out] Okay NOW he'll try comedy. [Transformers 2 comes out] Ok for reals this time, he'll try comedy...

But he never did. And now, he's this:

Shia LaBeouf Not Famous


This is not who I wanted Shia LaBeouf to be. I don't think this is who we wanted anyone to be. So here is a list of attributes and/or accomplishments I wanted Shia LaBouf to represent, instead of plagiarism and creepy art exhibits:

  • Do a lighthearted indie movie to establish street cred
  • Burst onto the comedy scene as the kind of goofy third-man to people like Jonah Hill and Jason Segel, or totally own a bit part as a movie rental clerk who reoccurs throughout a Will Ferrell movie. I don't know. Surprise me.
  • Be totally charming on Jimmy Fallon and lose to Jimmy at some game where they play ring toss with hula hoops and the cast of Saved by the Bell are the targets.
  • Co-star in a comedy with someone of mid-range fame like Jake Johnson. I'd peg Shia as the goofier one, Jake as more of the straight man saying things like "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" all the time.
  • Try a romantic comedy with someone like Emma Stone to show his range and ability to do serious scenes.
  • Reenact a "lost scene" from Even Stevens on SNL when hosting to promote "Love Is A Four Letter Word" or whatever the name of his romcom would be.
  • Be the lead in a comedy, perhaps where he is a mild-mannered manager of a Fedex Office who gets mistaken for someone in an illegal situation, and he stumbles through drop-offs and stake-outs while someone like Terry Crews tries to coach him through it because he'll get in trouble with the pack leader if they realize he brought in the wrong guy.
  • Eventually get a show on Fox or NBC as the lead of an ensemble cast (kind of like Andy Samberg and Brooklyn Nine-Nine). Maybe he's living in a boarding house with crazy people. Maybe he runs a dog kennel. I don't know, I'm not a showrunner. But it should've happened.

I'm so disappointed in the way this has turned out. I'm kind of hoping this is all a joke, even if it's a bad one, and he can just be like "JK YOU GUYS I'm going to be a comedic actor now and not a crazy-pants plagiarizer who made a movie based on toys and now wants to be like the insane version of Banksy or something."

We can only hope.

What do you wish Shia had done? Do you think he's crazy?


My Facebook Looks Terrible And Yours Doesn't

I don't like change. It's no big secret. I'm trying to learn how to not be so afraid of it, but it takes time, you know? DON'T RUSH ME. Needless to say, even though it is inevitable, I am always grumpy when Facebook decides to change its layout once again. I have, for the most part, ceased complaining (publicly), because after all, it is free, and they're going to change it whether we like it or not. We'll all complain for a couple weeks, then move on. After a day I rarely remember what it looked like before anyway.

So several months ago, this happened to me again. Of course, I hated it, but I had no recourse. What's done was done.

Assuming everyone had the same problem as me, I may have complained once or twice, but accepted my fate.

Soon I began noticing my friends' Facebook interfaces were not the same as mine. Hm, weird, I thought. But I figured they would get it soon enough and be in misery just like me.

The days soon turned into weeks, the weeks turned into months. Still, I seemed to be the only one whose Facebook looked like this:

FB edited Click the image to get the full effect

The black bar and janky partial header photo are particularly off-putting.

The header photo seems to have no rhyme or reason as to why it is chosen. Sometimes it is half someone's body. Sometimes it is someone's creepster eyes. In that case, I usually screen shot it and send it to whoever it is. Or whoever's kid it is. Because it's hilariously terrifying.

Screen shot 2014-01-21 at 12.18.07 PM

Shout out to JButt.

Each time, those people say "WHAT IS THIS WHY DOES YOUR FACEBOOK LOOK LIKE THIS?" And again I am reminded I am alone in the universe of wonky Facebook profiles.

Until now, I had no idea why.

But this--this is how my life works, if you're wanting a glimpse into the glamorous life of Laura K. McClellan. This is an example of the terrible luck I've been living with nearly all my life.

According to this article, Facebook had intended on using this redesign and gradually rolling it out to people. They chose a minuscule percentage of Facebook users (HOLLA) to, for whatever reason, get it first.

Months later, they have apparently decided to ABANDON THIS DESIGN and NOT roll it out to anyone else. They are going to keep working on a design and put a new one out WHO KNOWS WHEN.

So for those of you playing along at home, I am one of probably 42 poor wretches on the face of the planet stuck with this HORRENDOUS design.


Am I still using it? YES. But I will not be happy about it.

Do you complain about Facebook (or other site) redesigns? Do you know anyone else with this atrocity, or is it really just me out here? (I'll let you know if your eyes appear at the top of my news feed.)

*This is intended to be humorous and in no way a serious jab against the leader of the free world, in case you are reading this, NSA. Or that organization Huck worked for in Scandal. Luh you.

Kate Middleton's VERY SERIOUS Hairdresser Drama

a_3x-horizontal You guys, we need to talk about something serious.

I don’t know if you’ve heard (I hadn’t), but there are some traumatic things happening in the world of our royals. Well, okay, not our royals. We basically gave them the finger and said “deuces” about 200 years ago. But the royals about whom we decided, out of the goodness of our hearts and propensity for making a big deal out of stuff, to put the painful past of the tyrant King George behind us and adopt as our own.

Are you ready for this? Okay. Kate Middleton is having hairdresser drama.

I know. I KNOW. What did she do to deserve this?

According to this article, her hairdresser, after leaving his salon in 2011 to be her hairdresser and freelance (leaving some bad blood behind, I might add), is now working part-time at Josh Wood Atelier, which I assume is some wannabe salon where washed up royal hairdressers go to finish out their dying careers and lament their social suicide.

He has “not been able to retain his most famous client.”

The article suggests that it might trace back to the “infamous” BANGS that he styled her with. First of all, let’s just calm down a bit. Infamous? Alright. Second of all, they’re probably right. I mean, Kate, you are no Michelle Obama. And it rains in England a lot, right? You are the mother of the 3rd in line for the throne of the 2nd best country in the world,* dang it. You didn’t speak up when he said “Catherine, let’s try some BANGS. Bangs are so hot right now. Michelle Obama got bangs.” That’s on you.

SIDEBAR: I just found out via the internet that Kate is in no way in line for the throne. Y’ALL. Can we just talk about how Prince Harry got bumped to number 4 because of baby George, and THIS girl is number 6 in line (who was born the same year as me)? Let’s hope it never comes to that. (article here)

Screen Shot 2013-12-12 at 7.26.28 AM

UH NO. No ma’am.

Now the question is, who is going to be Kate’s hairdresser? Who’s on the short list for that? Can we have a reality show about it? England’s next top hairdresser? Will Princess Crazy Eyes be there in the audience hoping that somehow the first five in line for the throne drive off a cliff one day? I’m getting off track.

Can we just crowdsource Kate’s hairstyles? I know this is not America we’re talking about, but the people should have a choice in what their in-no-way-potential-ruler looks like when representing them to the world. If they do take votes, can Americans participate as a former colony for old times’ sake? That would totally make up for the whole taxation-without-representation thing right? I’m just saying, think about it, Kate.

But whatever you do, no matter how independent or rebellious or confident you feel, no matter how much you hate getting spit up in your hair (who am I kidding, you have someone to do that for you), do not get a pixie cut. They’re so 2013.

What do you think would be Princess “Crazy Eyes” Beatrice’s first act as queen? I think requiring everyone’s cell phone cases to be bedazzled would probably be pretty high up on the priority list.

*According to Ron Swanson, capitalism and free market is what makes the U.S. the best, England okay and France terrible.

What I Will Expect From My Amazon Drone

HT_amazon_prime_drone_jef_131202_16x9_992 By now you’ve probably seen the video introducing the Amazon.com “drones” which they plan on eventually having deliver packages to you if you select the “Amazon Prime air” option, which guarantees delivery in an hour.

The little machines pick up the package at the warehouse, then literally FLY to your house and drop it on your doorstep. [here’s the video if you haven’t seen it]


Other than the obvious fear that this is one step closer to being ruled by the machines we created, this is a pretty amazing innovation.

It got me thinking. If Amazon drones can do this, what other kinds of things could these be used for?

Could they carry my groceries to me? It would take a larger one to support the weight of the bags, but I think it could be done. I place an order online, the grocery people fill up the bags and attach it to the drone. The drone delivers them to me. Bam. Grocery shopping—aka one of my least favorite tasks in the world—eliminated.

Could they return movies to redbox for me? Could they pick up my prescriptions?

Can it be like my very own Harry Potter owl that I can give a name and will do my bidding? Like, “aw man, sorry girl, I totally forgot to come by and drop off that sweater I borrowed when I was out. OH WAIT let me just have Hedwig (my drone) bring it to you.” DONE AND DONE.

Are they trainable? If so this opens up a whole new realm of possibility. Can I get it to stand upright and learn how to vacuum our house? Can it feed our cat when we’re not home? Can it change the channel for me when I can’t find the remote? Can it go get me water from the kitchen when I’m all the way in the living room on the couch? Can I use spells as commands?

I might never have to leave my bed again, you guys.

I mean sure, personal servant drones will probably be expensive when they first come out, but maybe Oprah will see the need for them and just start passing them out. “YOU get a drone! and YOU get a drone!” It could happen. I mean we have DRONES delivering our packages in less than an hour, and Auburn returned a field goal kick with one second left to win against Alabama, so ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN.

Until then I guess I will keep getting my OWN groceries, like a common peasant. But I will be holding out for Hedwig, my future servant drone. Dreams are important to have, guys.

What would you get your servant drone to do for you?

To Whomever Keeps Adding Nonsense to the Dictionary

I get it, I guess. I mean, to understand something, it helps to put a label on it. To confine it. To put it in a box or constrain it in some way. To make it bow to your will. Perhaps the old wordsmiths just don't have a category for words like "selfie" and "hashtag." Perhaps putting them in dictionaries and calling them the word of the year helps them cope with the fact that, even after hiring a 25-year-old to write the definition for them (and not paying them because of the experience and exposure they will get), they still don't fully understand what they mean.

Perhaps just embracing the totally incorrect definition of "literally," which is LITERALLY the opposite of what "literally" actually means, puts them back in their happy place in their minds where 14-year-olds aren't yammering on about how they are literally going to die when they see Harry Styles. Perhaps it just helps keep the crazy away so their brains don't explode from overexposure to a culture overrun with Buzzfeed "listicles" (a word I just learned) and meme-ified Ben Franklins.

But I'm here to tell you, oh wordsmiths of old, that we do not have to succumb to this. We are better than this. YOU are better than this. You can be strong, sirs and madams. You can resist. I know it's exhausting. The Internet is an exhausting place. But we, the sane few of the generation I REFUSE to call millenials, will stand by you and help you.


Because slang does not have to be legitimized. That's why it's slang. We can say "selfie" and "because science" all day long, and it doesn't mean you have to rush to your typewriters (I assume in this situation you are clinging to yours) and document it for all time. Plus it sucks the fun out of everything. It's no longer ironic to say "meteor is hurling towards the earth but it's going to be okay because science" (which I did find amusing), if you officially include this instance in the regular usage of the word "because."

Maybe you’re just trying to keep with the times and be hip to the lingo. But that’s not what we need. We need structure and rules and definitions that actually make sense. Without them, where would we even get slang? If you adopt slang into normal word usage, people will just create slang from that, and no one wants second-hand slang. It gets ugly.

I know this is a total grammar nerd cry, but let's just let slang be slang, okay? It's more fun that way. And no one gets hurt. Or called a "millenial."

Do you think slang should be added to the dictionary? What's your least favorite OR newest slang (internet?) term you know?

Thanks, Mumford and Sons! Love, White Guys with Guitars

babel mumford This is a post about a legacy—the legacy of one Mumford and his many Sons. While Marcus and his bandmates may have laid down their banjos and moseyed off into the metaphorical sunset, they live on—in the hearts of white guys with guitars everywhere. Maybe even Mumford realized that perhaps there was just one too many Mumfords hanging around the airwaves, and maybe he should bow out. Maybe his work here was done. Maybe they were just SO delightful, and America was churning out so many copies of their style, that listening to them play was like staring into the sun. Maybe they shone too brightly. The world may never know.

But I’m not here to talk about why there’s a sad upright bass sitting in a storage unit in the UK collecting dust, I’m here to talk about the aforementioned legacy.

Mumford and Sons brought a new style into the American mainstream consciousness, and the music industry has latched on for dear life. New American Idol winner need a style? Mumford. Done. Next. Worship team need a “color” weekend to shake up the arrangements a bit? Mumford-style. Easy. Next.

One Direction need to be a little more relevant? GUESS WHAT.

They went there. Please enjoy the next four minutes of Mumford-inspired boy-band pop goodness called "Story of my Life":

The worst part is I see what they’re doing. I see that some executive was like, we need a Mumford-y song (because this is now a distinct term in the music industry that everyone understands). And some other guy was like hey I have this song someone wrote and it can have a bluegrass beat and finger picking and four on the floor kick drum and it will be PERFECT.

I KNOW what you’re doing to me, industry. I KNOW you are manipulating me with mandolins and acoustic guitars. But I STILL LIKE IT.

I’m such a sucker for anything Mumford-y. I can’t even act like I’m not. Granted, I like just about every One Direction song that comes out on the radio, but Mumford PLUS One Direction? I mean I’m done. Like there was any doubt I would enjoy this.

The clearly-not-a-music-critic DJ on the Top 40 station even described this by saying “it starts out a little like Mumford but turns into their style.” (LOLOL One Direction has a style. That’s adorable. Style=catchy. End of style.)

And that is why One Direction and Phillip Phillips and worship teams everywhere have Mumford to thank for opening the floodgates and handing you a success formula that no one will ever argue with. Because everyone knows banjo music is delightful, and everyone loves a gang vocal.

So thanks, Mumford! Love, White Guys With Guitars Everywhere.

How do you feel about the One Direction song? Are you still mourning the loss of Mumford? Why do you think Phillip Phillips’ parents would name him that? Were they on drugs at the time?

A Britney Song A Day Keeps the Pirates Away


Do you have a pirate problem? Are you tired of taking your boat out to sea only to be driven away or invaded by swashbuckling seafarers? Wish you had a way you could just make them leave instantly?

Have I got a solution for you: Britney.

Yes, THE Britney.

According to this article, ol’ Brit’s chart toppers are just so offensive to Somali pirates, that all they have to do is blare “Baby One More Time” or “Oops I Did It Again” and the pirates literally turn around and go away.

Isn’t that just the greatest visual you have ever pictured?

How do you think they do it? Does John Cusack like come out and hold a boom box in the air above his head for three minutes? Do they play it over a bullhorn? Do they bring out special musical guests now and again for variety but make them cover one of Britney’s mega hits? Was it ever Mumford and Sons? I hope it was Mumford and Sons. (Y’know, up until recently. Ahem……….)

I also want to know how this was first discovered. I hope someone was sitting in the boat legitimately listening to “Oops I Did It Again” because it was his turn to pick the music that day and he was trying to explain to them that it was a classic in the American canon. He turned it up really loud at the bridge (which is really just the chorus, varied slightly melodically, like many pop songs in the late 90’s), and just as he did, they saw the pirate flag in the distance.

The crew raced around the ship trying to make preparations while the music picker just stood by the stereo staring into the distance while the music blared (“oops I, did it again to your heaaaarrrrt…”), thinking these might be his last moments—nay—his last time to ever hear this song. He stood there, soaking it all in, and decided to turn it up even louder, despite the chaos, since this might very well be the last song he ever hears.

Everyone else is yelling at him to turn it off because they need to talk about their game plan for dealing with Somali pirates, but music picker just watches the pirates come closer and closer, until something strange happens. The ship starts turning away. Music picker grabs his telescope and looks at the pirates—they’re covering their ears and writhing on the ground! The captain is yelling and turning the ship around. They’d done it!

He looked at the stereo as Britney finishes her last line, pats it on the top and says, “well done, ol’ girl. well done.”

And that’s how I hope it happened.

The article says they just hate all things Western culture so Britney is a perfect example of that. I like that they hate it so much they literally just give up and go away. Just amazing.

The story also goes on to say that Britney's are not the only American pop songs that have been used to torture people in the past. “Slim Shady” was once played on a loop for 20 days in a prison and some people actually went crazy. (WHO WOULDN’T? 20 DAYS OF SLIM SHADY EVERY MINUTE EVERY HOUR? No thanks.) Metallica’s music and even Barney’s “I Love You” song have been used similarly.

So there you have it. Though to be fair, I feel like if you play ANY song on a loop for 20 days, people will lose it.

What song would make you lose your mind if you had to listen to it on a loop for 20 days?

P.S. Happy Halloween! (This post was totally Halloween-themed because pirates.)

Katy Perry's New Album in 16 Sentences or More

katy-perry-prism-album-cover-revealed The day had finally come.

I rushed to my local record store five minutes before it opened, drooling against the glass as they stocked the last one on the shelf.

When ol' Mr. Crenshaw—he’d owned the place as long as I could remember--finally opened the door, the bell jingled as I tore inside, going straight to the “P”s.

There she was, airbrushed makeup glowing amid pastel pink glory: Katy Perry - PRISM. I paid for it in paper money and change, walked out of the store and put it in my car stereo. It has cycled through about 80 times since I bought it.

Okay, that was all a lie. That was what would happen if this was 1998 and people bought CDs anymore. Real life is a lot less exciting. I had actually pre-ordered this album and just clicked “download” on Tuesday morning. The end.

Wasn't my first story so much better? I want to hear more about what it was like only being able to listen to one album without doing physical labor and having to carry around all your music in a glorified binder that weighed as much as you did.

Anyway, the fact that it was six-thousand times more easily accessible than the story above did not diminish my excitement for Katy Perry's new album to finally be released. I had already had the privilege of downloading "Roar," then "Walking on Air" and "Dark Horse," all of which I loved, so I didn't expect to be disappointed. I wasn't.

But I do have a lot of specific thoughts on the songs. (Please pick your jaw up off the floor. Oh wait, you're not shocked at all? Never mind.) So I thought I would share them with you, song by song.

To keep it brief, I have decided to limit myself to ONE SENTENCE per song. One. It may be a run-on sentence, but dang it, I will keep it to one. Because if I had my way we'd be here for days. Actually, just I would, because you would have stopped reading after minute five.

So without further ado I present to you the Laura McClellan 16-Sentence Amateur Review of Katy Perry's PRISM.

UPDATE: Stream the album while you read my descriptions here.

SONG NUMBER ONE: "Roar"* Easily one of the world's most satisfying pop songs, "Roar” makes you wonder where it has been your whole life but then realize you never could’ve pictured your life without it. Rating: A+++++

SONG NUMBER TWO: "Legendary Lovers" Despite the squirminess of the phrase “I feel my lotus bloom," which I find to be an entirely too-descriptive metaphor, this song is an enjoyable hip-hop-y, somehow march-like mid-tempo song which, like many others you will find on this album, is basically just about sex. Rating: B+

SONG NUMBER THREE: “Birthday” “Birthday” is a disco-y dance song with a perfect hook rounding out the chorus, to which you will probably find me dancing in the car, but not singing very loudly because several of the lyrics make me embarrassed. Rating: A

SONG NUMBER FOUR: “Walking on Air” Similar to the one preceding it, the super-catchy “Walking on Air” is a disco-y song about sex, adding to the list of songs I feel uncomfortable singing out loud, but it is infused with a little more hip-hop. Rating: A-

SONG NUMBER FIVE: “Unconditionally” Really all I can think about during this supposed-power-ballad is how it bothers me that she puts the emPHAsis on the wrong sylLABle on “Unconditional” about 800 times (she says un-con-di-TION-alllll”…no…if it doesn’t fit, rewrite the chorus). Rating: B

SONG NUMBER SIX: “Dark Horse” Admittedly very hip-hop for Katy Perry, “Dark Horse” is probably my favorite right now due to its building, unpredictable, belty chorus and, let’s be honest, super crunk beat (did I use that right?). Rating: A+

SONG NUMBER SEVEN: “This Is How We Do” Despite the fact that I can’t relate to anything this song is talking about (Breakfast in last night’s dress? Uh I’m still in my PJs I got for Christmas. Car still at the club valet on Tuesday? I won’t even pay for a valet at Chuy’s unless absolutely necessary), nor is it profound in any way, but I CAN’T HELP IT THIS SONG IS SO CATCHY AND IT WILL NEVER LEAVE MY BRAIN. Rating: A+

SONG NUMBER EIGHT: “International Smile” A delightful, repetitive electronic song, this track rhymes “Artist” with “star dust” which I appreciate, and features a vocoder more than once and I am not mad about it. Rating: A

SONG NUMBER NINE: “Ghost” If you ignore the fact that the first line of this song is “you sent a text” (NO KATY JUST NO), this song is an okay supposed-to-be-sentimental ballad, but it’s not the next “My Heart Will Go On” or anything. Rating: B-

SONG NUMBER TEN: “Love Me” Another slightly slower-paced quasi-ballad, this song has a lot more depth (love yourself in spite of insecurities and all that) and is a lot more compelling musically and lyrically than the others I’ve heard on the album so far, so people will probably identify with it. Rating: A-

SONG NUMBER ELEVEN: “This Moment” This one sounds a little bit like Devo did the production at first, and I’m pretty sure she actually wrote this cliche-filled quasi-ballad for Kelly Clarkson to sing, but hey, people like Kelly Clarkson, so you’ll probably still be on board. Rating: B+

SONG NUMBER TWELVE: “Double Rainbow” (OMG SHE WENT THERE) Another ballad, which is really hard to take seriously at first considering the name of the song, but it’s actually pretty great once you get over that, especially the melody in the pre-chorus and the Phil Collins drums. Rating: A

SONG NUMBER THIRTEEN: “By the Grace of God” I first heard (and loved) this song on her iTunes festival performance, and it is a fantastic, compelling, honest ballad with a perfect melody all the way through. (PLUS GOSPEL-Y BGVS YOU GUYS) Rating: A+

SONG NUMBER FOURTEEN: “Spiritual” (On the deluxe version) Super 80’s-fabulous, this is another disco-y song about sex (sensing a theme?), but I kind of think it’s got a weird vibe and it’s probably one of my least favorite songs on the album, mostly because I don’t think the chorus pays off at all. Rating: C+

SONG NUMBER FIFTEEN: “It Takes Two” (On the deluxe version) Katy is no slouch at writing a melody, you guys, and this one grabs you from the first line, keeping you with her throughout the rest of the song with its gospel influences and just plain catchiness. Rating: A

SONG NUMBER SIXTEEN: “Choose Your Battles” (On the deluxe version) This one doesn’t necessarily grab me in any particular way; it just kind of plays enjoyably in the background while you do something else. Rating: B-

Overall I obviously enjoy the album and you should go get it, but I’m going to stop talking now.**

What’s your favorite song so far? Alternatively, if you aren’t a fan, what’s your favorite album you’ve bought lately?

*Let it be known that I failed at this IMMEDIATELY. My first thoughts were: "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways." Which is ALREADY two sentences and I hadn't even said anything yet.

**Also I was not in any way compensated for this post or affiliated with Katy Perry, though it’s adorable that someone might even think that.