Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Trashing Justin Bieber and other Random Thoughts.

I Shall Call them "Mini-blogs"

I was flippin' through what television channels we have left (Comcast is slowly pulling channels to go all digital, which is a pain) and found Justin Bieber performing on the David Letterman Show. It was an array of complex dance moves by 20 dancers while Justin sang this hip-hop type song about a girl....which is what kid singers have been doing for ages. But Bieber takes cheesy songs, mediocre talent, and shameless commercialism to a whole new level. He has subjected himself to the wolves of the teen pop star industry, and, when they are done with him, he'll be spit out like yesterday's Jesse McCartney. The few seconds I saw of the performance was enough to make me nauseous. A person can only stand so much cheesy photoshopped goodness before it turns their stomach. And there is good cheesy pop, and then there is processed American plastic cheese. Aaron Carter had some talent, before he flushed his life down the toilet. Hanson was good, mature, sharp cheese (like Smoked Gouda). All I know is that Bieber better make his albums now, because in a few years, when the voice drops and the acne scars take ahold, there won't be anyone drooling after him. Try to find pictures of Leif Garrett, then and now, and you'll see what I mean.

I always see interesting things while driving to each of the schools delivering Teacher Appreciation Week fliers. Live Oak Elementary School, in Newton Co., used stimuli to soothe the children, and the teachers. They used the overhead speakers to pipe in soft jazz music in the hallways and the outside corridors. So relaxing. And in the office, they had potpourri candles lit up on some of the shelves with a sweet minty smell. Obviously, the principal had done some research on stimuli that relaxes stressful people. It works very well.

Also in Newton County, the DOT people have put up speed limit signs, each solar powered with a speed detector on them, reflecting what your speed is flashing below the sign. It's much like the flashing lights they used to have on the interstate ramps between 20 and 285. And they'd never stop flashing. I sometimes wanted to just stop, in the middle of the road, to see if they'd stop flashing. But what the speed detectors do is to activate the area of your brain that competes with itself. It's a goal oriented part that makes you want to match the number of your speed with the sign. It works marvelously, because everyone wants to reach a goal, match a target, whether it be at work (with Book Drive quotas, for instance), or on the road. It keeps you awake, competing with yourself. They should have these on all the major speed zones throughout the counties, as it would make people slow down, not out of fear, but of their own volition.


Book Review: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan.

A very good children's fantasy in the vein of Harry Potter. In fact, you could call it an imitation. But there are good imitations and bad ones. I have nothing against following an established plot line as long as it's done well. The characters were very well developed, sympathetic, with good dialogue and description. There were a couple of instances where Riordan says, of course it has to happen this way, it's a rule in the Greek God's world." and just introduces it when he feels the need to. It makes for some odd plot problems that, while very minor, just makes it feel like you've hit a small pothole. The plot twists were good, and I enjoyed reading it. Like I said, it's an imitation of the Harry Potter plotline, but a very good one. If you want to see a bad imitation, go pick up the first Charlie Bone book. So very awful.

One comment about the movie (which I haven't seen, yet.) It's easy to see why they cast Logan Lerman as the main character, with all the characters much older than the ones in the book. The producers wanted to appeal to the older Tween crowd. I think it takes a little bit out of the weakness of the children doing it that way, for instead of 6th graders, they looked like High Schoolers with more strength and determination. It might have done better with the kid audience if they had cast younger people. Just a thought.

I wish, in Conyers, that I would not get behind people that are practicing to drive in funeral procession. Short cuts aren't short cuts if we're driving behind an imaginary Hertz.

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