There’s something of a mantra that permeates Daily Arts: If you don’t hate things, you shouldn’t be here. You’ve seen it in the back row of Psych 111, when we fry “Transformers” and Jack Johnson. And though you may despise it, there’s a reason you see so many one-star reviews.
We fall victim to the problem of evil: No ultimate evil yields no ultimate good. Without the likes of Jessica Alba, you simply can’t appreciate “Hills Like White Elephants” – the maddening dichotomy that rules the art world. Trying to reconcile the dilemma with arguments of subjectivity eventually proves circular: This is good because I like it. I like it because it’s good.
Everything must be judged against its contemporaries, and frankly, “Law and Order” is worse than “The Wire.” The pervasiveness of lackluster art inspires vitriol and is responsible for the cries of elitism that typically accompany the words “Daily Arts.”
We’ve been relegated to a journalistic subculture, abandoning precious favorites the moment an art movement is co-opted by the mainstream. We sit in constant fear of our saviors being discovered by the bastardizing public, or simply relegating themselves to a commercialized, wet-blanket version of their former selves.
We hate things that we don’t like. We don’t like things that we hate. You have your taste, and we have ours.
The Australian accent might have been endearing for a time, but Heath Ledger’s acting skills were anything but. This isn’t an attack on the legacy of his character – it’s an attack on his lackluster career that the public has been too disillusioned to recognize in the midst of recent Heath hype. Don’t try to shroud his lack of talent in a heap of tragic sentiment just because you feel like a bad person for admitting the truth. Fifty-three days ago, “10 Things I Hate About You” was lame and “A Knight’s Tale” embarrassing. His defining cowboy role in “Brokeback Mountain” proved a cinematic flop, even if the film did win three Oscars. Ledger’s posthumous fame boost was inevitable (however misdirected) but warrants some serious review. Your post-overdose-career-bump/grace period is over, Heath, and there are some things Imdb.com can’t hide.
So you won a Hopwood. Good for you. You’re basically set for life now. Your pen name – Amber Lovesalot or something equally overwrought – is kissing cousins with James Joyce. Hell, don’t even worry about improving your skills anymore because a randomly selected group of professors thought your short story about the gutter of the big city was moderately better than all the other undergraduates’ stories about the gutter of the big city. Listen, your Hopwood doesn’t mean shit. All it amounts to is some extra cash for a couple of beers – and your East Quad crush will think you’re totally deep. Get over yourself: You’re a mediocre writer who won a mediocre award. Your 15 minutes is up.
You know, Michiganders have a lot of things to be cranky about: the weather, the economy, the weather. But damn we have some good local beer, no? Jolly Pumpkin, Bell’s, Arcadia, Dark Horse – not to mention our bar-breweries: ABC, Grizzly Peak, Leopold’s. If we can’t bury our woes in the bottom of a brewsky, what else can we do? Take away our grog (or, at least, make it more expensive) and you risk our wrath. In one of those “you don’t realize how awesome nature is until she fucks you over” moments, our wallets are taking the brunt of a statewide hops shortage. Beer prices have gone up, and Michigan’s $25 million local beer industry is taking a beating. This is bullshit. Black Label will only bridge the gap for so long. Grow, little hops, GROW.
EXCESSIVE FACEBOOK RSVPING
I have a question: When you were in middle school and received an invitation to a bar mitzvah you couldn’t attend, did you mail out your RSVP to everyone in a 30-mile radius? OK, so why do you find it necessary to post on Facebook Event walls to tell everyone on the fucking interweb that you wont be able to attend your friend’s house party? We don’t care if you’re spending the weekend in Albuquerque to attend your cousin’s rocketry competition. If you need to explain why you can’t make it to some awesome event, pick up your goddamn phone and call the person who invited you. And while you’re at it, disable your MySpace account, because I know you have one of those too.
A man who’s garnered notoriety through anonymity and suspense, J.J. Abrams exists to be infuriating. He’s dragged a show that could’ve ended in two seasons (“Lost”) into an astonishing four, with more in the works – not to mention the outlandish and unrealistic process by which he’s accomplished this. He’s also responsible for such hype machine blunders as “Cloverfield,” which showcases the worst part of Abrams: Most of the shit he produces is shit. It’s not entertaining, shocking, fun or innovative. Hell, the “Cloverfield” monster wasn’t even a glorified Godzilla. It looked like a crab-alligator that ate some potatoes from Chernobyl. It’s like someone let him bypass filmmaking 101 because he’d seen “Alien” and understood suspense. And anyone that uses their initials instead of their name needs a serious ego check. Fuck your movies and fuck your name.
(BULLSHIT) MUSIC GENRE LABELS
Adding “core” to the end of a word doesn’t make it a genre label and it doesn’t make you cool to say them. Grindcore? Gnarcore? Corecore? Things are getting out of hand, but nothing is worse than a painfully tedious laundry list to describe the newest band Applewood Grime’s release as psychodelic-punk-folk-math-prog-glitter-glam-scorch-shit-thrash-visceral-skunk-meat-tunnelcore. You’re not fooling anyone. It’s rock. Maybe hard rock – maybe. Just because you talk the talk, it doesn’t mean you’ll get laid outside the Blind Pig. Oh wait, it does. But only if you’re looking to bone a greasy motorcyclist listening to Mac Blagick who calls them noise-anxious-lo-fi-prog-fuckadelic-boner-shtick-turpentine-machetecore.
“WHAT’S UP?” BLOW-BY
Attention humans: When walking by an acquaintance, it is appropriate to offer a salutation, such as: “hello,” “nice to see you,” “good day kind sir,” or “buenos dias fuck face.” However, “what’s up?” or “how’s it going?” is not an acceptable utterance in passing. Those are questions, questions that necessitate answers. If you would like to greet someone, say hello – don’t ask a question and walk away. And for the love of god, if some d-bag greets you with a “what’s up?” while blowing past you, do not respond in kind. “What’s up,” “what’s up” is not legitimate discourse; it’s just two assbags that forgot how to say “hello.”
BOOKS ON TAPE
Think you’re literate because you’ve blown through seven books on tape this month? Get real, troglodytes. Books are for reading, and your beloved tapes masquerading as literature are making a mockery of the bona fide intelligentsia. The oversized print and shiny holograms slapped onto the boxes of books on tape scream out to the morons who actually believe they’re investing in a modern version of new hardcover releases. No voice – certainly not the obnoxious phony attempts at dramatization – can enlighten its listener for hours on end. And don’t even try making excuses for the authors who do the voice-over themselves. They should have an “S” permanently stamped on their foreheads for selling out. Unless you’re blind, there is no excuse for listening to books on tape – not a road trip, not that bullshit about how you get nauseous when you read in the car. The very concept degrades the experience of reading. a book.
Punctuation is important! It allows us to communicate effectively! And if you’ve ever been forced to translate Latin, you know have frustrating a lack of proper punctuation can be! Which is why you need to stop destroying it! See how fucking annoying this (!) is? The widespread proliferation of the exclamation point is one of the great tragedies of our time. Once, maybe twice a year something happens to you that requires an exclamation point. But when you feel the need to throw 17 of them into every group-project email you send, the symbol loses all meaning and you come off as a tool. Let’s try to express ourselves through words. OK? OK!!!!!!
Hannah Montana a.k.a Destiny Hope a.k.a. Miley Ray Cyrus – this chick’s ego has ballooned past the point of toleration, and we hate her with a blistering passion. OK, so we don’t actually have much to justify our irrational hostility toward the Disney teen star/pop-industry darling, but we’re entitled to at least one “just because” category. And really, how perverse of a sensation is she that people are willing to pay upwards of $1,000 per ticket to swim in a sea of purple glitter? America, you disgust me.
POP SONG RINGTONES
It was supposed to save the music industry. Instead of teenie-boppers buying overpriced CDs, they’d buy a snippet of the new Kings of Leon single for $0.99 and use it as their ringtone. Problem solved. But nothing is more grating than sitting in a lecture while some d-bag’s phone blows up with “Baby Got Back,” or encountering that tool who’s trying to relive spring break with “Margaritaville.” The vibrate option is there for a reason. It’s still annoying when your neat, space-age Nokia vibrates the hell out of a Jimmy John’s wrapper in your backpack, but if we hear “Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)” in choppy, tingy convulsions again – or really, ever again – we’re killing a polar bear cub. With a dull ax.
Think back to your middle school student council. They planned dances and, um, probably did something else. Now change the label to Michigan Student Assembly, except they waste hunks of cash on concerts that allow Ludicrus to spout on about UM girls and blowjobs. Really . really? You have all this money and you bring Guster to campus for free? Surely you can do better than this. Use some of the large chunks of money you have to benefit the University’s arts scene. Use some of your time to plan a good concert instead of taking a stance on racist graffiti. Surprise, surprise – you’re against it. Probable fall agenda: cancer might be bad; Kenny G. and Hill Auditorium; sounds like a winning combination.
Compiled by Matt Emery, Chris Gaerig, Caroline Hartmann Michael Passman
and Andrew Sargus Klein.