Thursday, May 19, 2016

U.S. Senator – California: Third Party Candidates

U.S. Senator – California:  Some of the Third Party Candidates

There are 34 candidates for the United States Senator in the California Primary Election this year.  Voting for California is June 7, 2016.

Note:  If you see something that is inaccurate, please feel free to correct me.  It is much appreciated.

Tired of the Republicans and Democrats?  Here are some of the third-party, independent, and no-party preference candidates.  I will include the candidate’s website as this blog entry will provide only a small summary for each candidate.  I will do my best to be non-opinionated and non-biased. 

Clive Grey – No Party Preference.
Grey, an entrepreneur advocates jobs and small businesses, encourages laws that help small businesses thrive in California.  Supports a regulated path to citizenship for immigrants.  Advocates for clean energy use including gray water irrigation, solar power, geothermal heating, and water reclamation.  Against big money and lobbyists in politics.  Proposes a flat tax.  Animal rights and affordable health care advocate.  Minimize or eliminate administrative costs in education.

Gail Lightfoot – Libertarian
Against the War on Drugs, Iraq War, and other wars for profit.  Advocates for National Security.  Supports ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment and the Right to Self Defense (2nd Amendment).  Limited support on abortion rights (no late-term abortions).  Advocates limited government and personal responsibility.  Deregulate the health care industry.  End federal influence on education.  Bases her forum on Barry Goldwater.

Jason Kraus - No Party Preference. 
Proposes a federal consumption tax to replace all other federal income taxes.  It works like a sales tax (Example: 8% for products and services priced $500.00 or less.  Exempt are fresh produce, unsalted nuts, diary and meats without added sugar).  Proposes a $250 United States Military and Protection Tax per adult citizen that will fund the U.S. military.  No federal housing.  Immigration policy includes manned U.S.-Mexico border, work status issued upon verification of employment and clean criminal record, 10 year wait for permanent citizenship.  Not a fan of social security.

Pamela Elizondo -  Green
Elizondo is a big advocate of marijuana farms and believes it is a solution to major problems.  Proposes a $0.01 federal, state, and county tax in lieu of our current tax base.  Replace defense spending, space research, foreign aid, and sports arenas with grants to business that restores the Earth.  Legalize hump and marijuana.  Replaces scientific medicine, encourage homeopathic remedies.  Grow marijuana farms everywhere.  Did I mention marijuana?  (She mentions marijuana this a LOT in her platform.)

Mike Beitiks -   No Party Preference
The big issue that Beitiks addresses is global warming.  Proposes that this issue will be addressed, by any means necessary.  Everything funds fighting climate change.  Exclusive clean energy and you can’t cut trees without permission.  Eliminates private transportation.  Everyone stays home in January.  Not a fan of jobs. 

John Thompson Parker – Peace and Freedom
Supports the $15.00 minimum wage.  Wants to eliminate police departments for certain minority races.  Anti-war activist.

Jason Hanania – No Party Preference
Hanania is an e-vote candidate.  Basically, Hanania will present each issue and he will do whatever the voters decides via an online evoting service.  Doesn’t accept campaign donations.  

Eleanor Garcia – No Party Preference
Socialist Workers Party.  Supports Unions.  Fought to overthrow Jim Crow laws. 

Ling Ling Shi – No Party Preference
Uses a Christian approach to government.  Build the American “ARK” to solve problems.
(Does she know about the separation of church and state?)

These are some of the candidates running for Barbara Boxer’s seat for 2016. 

Saturday, January 2, 2016

The Nine Worst Game Shows Ever

The Nine Worst Game Shows Ever

This is my list of what I think are the worst game shows ever.  Game shows are supposed to fun, exciting, and a positive experience for everyone, even those who don’t take home the championships.  Here are nine that really missed the target, badly. 

9.  Dirty Rotten Cheater (US 2003, UK 2007)

The show started with six (US) or five (UK) contestants trying to answer a Family Feud style question.  Only one of the 10 most popular answers awarded money, with the most popular awarding the least.  The trick is that one player is secretly given all the answers.  

The first mistake was the first elimination round, which I think happens too soon.  The first elimination was given only after one question (I would have liked to see at least two go-arounds before the first elimination).   Depending on what country, the voting round was played differently.

US:  The player with the most votes was eliminated.  If the cheater was eliminated, his/her money was divided among the others.  Otherwise, everyone’s money was halved.

UK:  The group must reach majority, or it was automatic win for the cheater.  If the cheater wins, the player’s money were halved, and the cheater (unknown to the players and the host) eliminated one player.  Later rounds gave the vote to the audience (no halving penalty occurred during such rounds).

Here’s is where Dirty Rotten Cheater landed on this list: needless padding.  It was bad in the US version but in the UK version, there was more padding then game show.  This show could have easily been a half-hour show instead of the hour time slot it was given. 

8.  The Later (Non-Syndicated) US Seasons of Deal or No Deal (2005 – 2009)

When Deal or No Deal premiered in the United States in December 2005 and was picked up as a regular series in March 2006, this game show had so much promise.  The game is simple.  Pick which one of the 26 cases you believe has $1,000,000.  Round by round, you eliminate a set number of cases and based on your performance, the banker made you an offer to buy your case.  Of course, you try to eliminate the lower-dollar cases to improve the offer.  Then you are asked “Deal or No Deal”?  Take the offer and leave or continue playing.  An hour show could hold one complete game and a good portion of another.

Then came the Sheetal Shetty episode in 2006.  Sheetal, a great, likeable constant, did great, winning $375,000 on a board that had $0.01, $400,000 and $750,000 left.  But the episode dragged on and on and on and on and on…  with needless commercial breaks, lengthened padded between picks and reveals, and extra long calls from the banker.  The padding became the norm after this episode.  Pretty soon, a complete game took an hour to complete.  Gimmicks, such as “dream” offers (a pony, a lime-color Escalade, a spot in the Dallas Cowboys fantasy camp for example) and the ill-fated Million Dollar Mission, became a regular feature.  Without a grand prize winner, NBC was getting so desperate that it actually advertised (spoiled) a grand prize winner before Deal or No Deal’s third season. 

By the third season, any of the fun and fast-paced game play was sucked out of Deal or No Deal.  Games gone by so slow that you could go to the local DMV and come back before the third round was completed. 

The syndicated version (2009-2010) brought back some of the fast-paced fun but that came a season too late. 

Side tip:  The best versions of Deal or No Deal were the UK version with host Noel Edmuds (2005 – 2016?) and Australia with Andrew O’Keefe (2003 – 2013).  YouTube is your best friend. 

7.  Pointless (UK) (2009 – present)

I like the game’s concept: name something that fit a category and tried to find the most obscure answer.  This is the inverse of Family Feud.   The game started with five pairs of contestants.  The object was to give a “pointless” answer, which is a correct answer to a question that no one else out of 100 people thought of.  Incorrect answers carried a 100 penalty.  The pair with the most points were eliminated after each round, with a playoff between the final two pairs.    Each “pointless” answer given during the main game added £250 to the bonus jackpot. 

Why is Pointless is on this Worst Game Shows Ever list?  The hosts drag each question with endless dribble.  Furthermore, everyone is quiet, monotone, no excitement in the audience. 

The bonus round is sad as well.  The only way any pair was winning any money was to win the bonus round, which started as a paltry £1,000, plus any bonus money won during the main game.  Each time the bonus game was not won, the jackpot increased by £1,000 for the next show.  The consolation prize was a nice crystal trophy. 

I guess the super low budget is what kept this show going for over seven years and counting. 

6.  Friend or Foe (2002-2003) – (USA)

First, Kennedy was insufferable.  Next, the game play.

How was the money won?  Three pairs competed in a set of obscure multiple choice questions.   The first round’s questions were worth $500, $1,000 for the second round.  Originally the pairs were spotted with $200.  The pair with least money was eliminated and was sent to decide how they want to split their winnings (more on that later). 

The pair that made it through Rounds 1 and 2 played a bonus round called Right or Wrong.  This time each question had two answers.  The goal was to answer 10 questions correctly in 60 seconds before getting three questions wrong, which I don’t believe was ever done.  Winning the bonus round doubled the trust fund.  Each correct answer added another $500 to their trust fund. 

Now came the time where the pairs split their money.  Forget the (thankfully) relatively small stakes, this show is all about the infamous Prisoner’s Dilemma.  Here is how it works:

Two players chose Friend or Foe.  If both players chose Foe, any money built in their trust fund was lost and both players left with nothing.  If both players chose Friend, their trust fund was split equally.   The last combination was the most frequent outcome:  One Foe and One Friend, where Foe takes it all, Friend goes home with nothing, less dignity, embarrassed, and shafted.  Before the decision, Kennedy (often) gave the two contestants a chance to convince the other of why they should vote Friend.  However, it quickly the object quickly became: lie to your opponent, convincing them to choose Friend while you press the Foe button.  Succeed, you win all the money. 

Friend or Foe became predictably stale after several weeks.

5.  Divided (UK) (2009 - 2010)

If you want to watch three constants endlessly bicker over a question or how they split they money they won, this is the show for you.  Questions start at the set amount and decrease in value the longer it takes the contestants to answer it.  Three incorrect answers and the contestants go home with nothing.  At set points the contestants can choose to stop and split the money. 

If only the constants went home with equal shares of the money earned, that may have saved the show from being on this list.  But that’s not the case!  The pot was split in unequal portions, with A offering the most (60% - 70%) of the jackpot, B getting a decent share, and C’s share was laughably low.  The contestants were forced to agree who gets shares A, B, and C.  Oh, and they had 100 seconds to do it as the money dwindled by 1% for each second that passes by.   This means that one contestant would have to settle for C and be extremely humble (and perhaps underpaid).   I would not find it fun to watch my money being thrown away due to endless arguing.  Craptastick! 

4.  Let's Go Back (1991-1993)

The game itself wasn't bad, it is mostly a direct port a Jeopardy!  The game had six categories and four decades: 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. The questions were for points, not dollars.  The player had the most points had the advantage in the advantage of the final round.  The final round was a "race to zero", and you reached zero when you correctly answered the required number of questions (4 for 1st place, 5 for 2nd place, and 6 for 3rd).  

What killed the game was the boring game show host and the ridiculous prizes.  The secret prizes were things you could pick up from your local swap meet, like an old political pin, a Happy Days toy car, or an old lunchbox, valued at no more than $25.   And what does the winner get? $500 cash!  Pretty cheap considering the show’s announcer was Charlie O’Donnell.

3.  Shafted – UK (2001)

It wasn’t just the contestants getting shafted, it was the people viewing it.  The first round was, how much money you wanted to bet to six contestants.  If you bet too much, then f*** you, you automatically lose.   If that didn’t want to make you immediately either change the channel or down vote the YouTube video, you must have an iron stomach. 

The next rounds were your standard bet-question rounds.   The highest bet got the question.  After a set amount of questions were asked, the player in the lead got to choose which of the remaining players got eliminated.  The game continued until there were two players left.  The final round was the bad-old Prisoner’s Dilemma.  Shafted got four shows on the air before thankfully itself got shafted.

2.  Golden Balls – UK (2007 – 2009)

Do you have the balls to lie?  If you do, you could win a good, maybe a great sum of money.  The only good thing about Golden Balls was it host, Jasper Carrot.  Carrot was charm, witty, and the only person on the planet who could make four otherwise greedy, insufferable contestants look remotely human. 

The game starts with four contestants getting four balls of various dollar amounts and Killer balls.  Two of them were revealed and the contestants had to bluff their way to the next round.  One player gets voted off and that player’s balls were also eliminated.    The next round had the remaining three constants getting five balls apiece.  One more round of bluffing and voting one unlucky contestant off.

The final round was in two parts.  The first part was the Bin or Win round. 10 balls plus one more Killer ball were in play.   One player chose one ball to bin (discard) and one ball to win (hopefully it was worth a lot of money).  The process was repeated five times.  Any Killer ball won reduced the pot by a factor of 10 (ouch!). 

The second part is the one constant that has been a stable on this list: The Prisoner’s Dilemma!  We know the drill by now, two contestants chose how the money was going to be divided, by use of the Split ball (the Friend) and the Steal ball (the Foe).  Often this lead to one of two endings: (a) someone always stole leaving the virtuous player who chose Split or (b) both players choosing Steal and leaving with nothing.   Seriously, is there any creativity in the Game Show department? 

And now to the Worst Game Show of All Time:

1.  Take It All (2012)

I hate everything about it: the ridiculous large prizes that almost no one would use in real life, the endless padding, and the horrific "Prize Fight" end game. 

The front game is a high-stakes White Elephant game.  Note that the White Elephant game is only fun when the prizes consisted of holiday decorations and Starbucks gift cards where the value is anywhere from $5 - $20.  This isn’t the case where $51,000 Porsche, $33,000 submarines, and $100,000 trips that should cost no more than a few grand are concerned.  The object is to get the biggest prize either by selecting it from the Dream Board or stealing it from another player.  The player stuck with the lowest valued prize (albeit would be a nice one to win) is sent packing with nothing.   No consolation prize, nothing.  Hence, some prizes featured on Take It All was just throw-away because they could never be won.  The front game starts with five contestants and two rounds of elimination occur.  The final two go to the “Prize Fight”. 

The “Prize Fight” takes the Prisoner’s Dilemma and turns it up to 11.   The players take their prizes and a cash prize (selected at the Prize Fight) and then choose whether they get to be a Foe (choosing Take It All), or Friend (Keep Mine).   Only contestants with no consciousness win here, outright lying to the other players.  Being sympathetic to a player who was bullied and plan to donate their cash to a charity, or to a player whose career is being Santa Claus, screw that!  The stealer would lull their victim by saying how much of a Christian he/she was and how they care and want people to succeed, only to choose Take it All and humiliate the other player.  I only saw the premier episode and was enraged.  I am grateful no objects to throw at the TV were nearby.

The weirdest part was Take It All premiered aired in December: the freaking holiday season!  What the absolute f***!  Thankfully Take It All was promptly thrown in the garbage can after six episodes.  It should have never aired at all!

Howie Mandel's career pretty much went in the toilet after this debacle. 

It’s clear that I think that the Prisoner’s Dilemma is the fastest way to ruin a game show. 

So that is my list of the worst game shows ever.  What do you think?


This blog is property of Edward Shore.  2016

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

My Super Mario Maker Levels

Super Mario Maker Levels - Updated March 22, 2016

Four Coins to the Exit:   SMW Ghost Level (March 21, 2016)


Koopa’s Air Battle:  SMB Airship Level  (March 21, 2016)


Koopa Garden: (Feburary 29, 2016)

SMB3 World 3-1 Remix (January 23, 2016)


Cave of Peril

Bullet Cruise

Giant Trouble

Slippery Cavern

The Sky is Falling

Walking on Glass

Luigi's Halloween (v. 2)

Enjoy!  Eddie

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Music of the 1980’s (my favorite songs)

Music of the 1980’s

I know a lot of these songs growing up the in 1980’s, however, there are some songs of this list that I heard for the first time well after the decade was over.  Note, there is no order to this list.

Enjoy!  These are some of my favorite songs from the decade that brought us Super Mario Brothers, the Rubik’s Cube, Indiana Jones, and lots of game shows:

Walk of Life – Dire Straits (Album: Brothers in Arms, 1985).  I definitely thank my dad for introducing this song to me.  Dad played this song whenever he got a chance for a while.

I Love Rock ‘n Roll – Joan Jett & the Blackhearts (Album:  I Love Rock ‘n Roll, 1981).  A definite go-to rock song for me, is pretty much an anthem for most (if not all) lovers of rock and roll.  This song is a perfect combination of edge, guitar, and beat. 

Weird Science – Oingo Boingo (Album: Dead Man’s Party, 1985).  My creation, is it real?  I can safely say yes to Oingo Boing.  It’s an all-around fun track.  The best version is the album version, lasting 6:10, as opposed to the most familiar 3:45 version from the movie’s soundtrack, oddly titled Weird Science. 

Faithfully – Journey  (Album:  Frontiers, 1983).  It was tough picking a favorite Journey song for this list.  I went with Faithfully because of its powerful ballad, tender-hearted lyrics, and how the background music helps tell the story.  Honestly, it was between Faithfull and Don’t Stop Believin’. 

Sailing – Christopher Cross (Album: Christopher Cross, 1979.  The single was released in June 1980).  I can just close my eyes, imagine myself on a sailboat sailing across the ocean on a perfect day.  Or if I am not sailing, I am walking the beach during sunset.  This song is just peaceful.

No One Like You – Scorpions (Album: Blackout, 1982).  A rock ballad that tells how a man misses his love and desires to be with her again.  The guitar riffs and melody beautifully portrays the emotion of the lyrics. 

Thriller – Michael Jackson (Album:  Thriller, 1983).  One of the stable songs of Halloween.  One year, my cousins and I played this song on repeat until we got sick of it (which was at least twenty times).  The music video is epic and puts most horror-themed music videos to shame.  Who can forget the zombie dance?   

Thing Called Love – Bonnie Raitt (Album:  Nick of Time, 1989).  Thing Called Love is about a well-adjusted single woman asking a prospective male if he is ready for love.  Bonnie Raitt brings solid guitar licks and a voice of a confidence.  “I ain’t no queen of Sheeba”, “I ain’t no ameba”, and “I ain’t no porcupine, take off your kid gloves” exudes that confidence.  It’s a very solid song. 

Love Shack – The B-52’s (Album: Cosmic Thing, 1989).  I think this is my favorite B-52’s song and is also one of mom’s favorite.  It is just a feel great track. 

I Feel For You – Chaka Khan (Album:  I Feel For You, 1984). (Originally:  Prince, 1979).  This song is well put together, containing lyrics from Prince (who also sung “I Feel For You” and that track itself is kickass), harmonica from Stevie Wonder, rap from Melle Mel (of Grandmaster Flash), and Khan’s powerful voice.  This song got a lot of play during my childhood.

Naughty Naughty – John Parr (Album: John Parr, 1984).  This is one the songs I first heard of later in life, which is a good thing because the suggestive lyrics would have gone over then my seven-year old head. 

Magic – The Cars (Album: Heartbeat City, 1984).  At first I thought the song was about romance and falling in love.  After watching the music video, it is more about a guy whose magical powers attracts people like flowers attract bees.  Nevertheless, the music is mesmerizing.   

I’m So Excited – Pointer Sisters (Album: Break Out, 1983).  This song changed meanings for me from my childhood (a great dance track) to adulthood (where I learn the real meaning of the lyrics). 

The Look of Love – ABC (Album:  The Lexicon of Love, 1982).  This is a fun track and the video is also fun too.  This song beautifully asks what makes true love.

Shadow Boxing – Teena Marie (Album: Robbery, 1983).  This is a track I first heard well after the 80’s have passed.  I wish I did hear it sooner, the easy listening track with solid lyrics makes this song addictive.  Teena didn’t have to break it down for me to understand.  She went way too soon.

Together Forever – Rick Astley (Album:  Whenever You Need Somebody, 1987).  This track is full-on romantic.  The man, so in love for his woman, will do anything for her as he pledges his everlasting love.  It is a good song for romantic nights or Valentine’s Day. 

Head Over Heels – Go-Gos (Album:  Talk Show, 1984).  Another feel good track. 

Let it Loose – Gloria Estefan (Album: Let It Loose, 1987).  This song stands out for me is beat and backing lyrics accompanied with Estefan’s smooth singing. 

Notorious – Duran Duran (Album:  Notorious, 1986).  It was tough picking a Duran Duran song for this list.  I ultimately went with Notorious because it stood out the most.  Little did I know that the song’s lyrics highlighted the internal struggle and fighting the band member were having during that time.

Pour Some Sugar On Me – Def Leppard (Album: Hysteria, 1987).  Want a 1980’s rock anthem?  This song is a great one to consider. 

Whip It Good – Devo (Album:  Freedom of Choice, 1980).  This is the guilty pleasure for me.

Shiny Shiny – Haysi Fantayzee (Album: Battle Hyms for Children Singing, 1982).  One more guilty pleasure.  This is probably the most unusual track I ever heard in my life.  Shiny Shiny is a perfect example of musical dissonance.  In this case, the music is very happy, when the song is about post-nuclear war.  I believe Fantayzee’s entire album had musical dissonance.

The 1980s Song I Wish Are on iTunes (they are not as of December 20, 2015):

Should I Love You – Cee Farrow (Album:  Red and Blue, 1983)

The Lover In Me – Sheena Easton (Album: The Lover In Me, 1988)

I’m Never Gonna Give You Up – Frank Stallone & Cynthia Rhodes (Album: Staying Alive soundtrack, 1983).  (This is not available as a single track)

Earworm of the 1980’s AND Iconic Song of the 1980’s

Ghostbusters – Ray Parker Jr. (Album: Ghostbusters soundtrack, 1984).  If the Ghostbusters and everything associated with them aren’t icons of the 1980s, then what is?  This song remains stuck in our heads even 30 years later. 

I’m pretty sure I missed a few, but these are songs I can think of for now.  What are your 1980’s favorites? 


This blog is property of Edward Shore, 2015. 

Saturday, December 19, 2015

2015: The Year in Music

2015:  The Year in Music

My take of 2015 in music.  First the positive. 

My Favorite Songs of 2015

These are my six favorite songs that were released in 2015.  To qualify, the song had to either be an album released from December 18, 2014 to December 17, 2015; or it was a single.  There is no order, these are just my favorites.

“Glorious You” – Frank Turner (Album: Positive Songs for Negative People). First of all, given the album’s title, how does Frank Turner know about me?  A loud track where Turner aims to pull the veil and superficial masks from the listener to revel the listener’s true beauty, if only for a moment. 

“I Can’t Feel My Face” – The Weeknd.  (Album: Beauty and the Madness).  I may get some slack for this, but there is a reason why this song was very popular last summer.  The song has a slick beat and the lyrics match the melody well.  The music video is very comedic (or tragic depending on your point of view).  I can only hope that the Weeknd is able to feel his face again. 

“Adventure of a Lifetime” – Coldplay (Album: A Headful of Dreams). I think this is my favorite Coldplay song of their entire catalog song.  The song is colorful and uplifting.  I first heard Adventure upon a recent visit to a coffee shop and I ended up holding off what I was doing.  This song has a message of hope and gives excitement for the adventure ahead.

“Wicked Game” – David Cook (Album:  Digital Vein). Wicked Game was originally sung by Chris Isaak in 1989 and it was wickedly great.  Cook’s cover is also super powerful and he just pulls you into the emotion of the song.  If Cook’s version isn’t part of a dramatic movie, it should be.  Well done, Cook.

“Then Comes the Wonder” – The Landing (Album:  “How Strange To Be”). This is a feel good track, as the lyrics suggest.  The song encourages the listener to life live out loud and to be what they ‘wanna be’.  The melody is well-put together and definitely worth a listen. 

“No Sleeep” (that’s not a typo, the song’s title has 3 e’s) – Janet Jackson featuring J. Cole (Album: “Unbreakable”).  Sleeep is a soulful anticipation of love and promising that when the couple reunites they will get no sleep (they will be too busy making love).  Jackson’s song is a solid jam to kick back to.  The single is 3:26, while the album version includes an interlude by guest rapper J. Cole is 4:21.

Honorable Mentions:

“Aquaman” – Walk the Moon (Talking Is Hard).   The album Talking Is Hard was released December 2, 2014.  Walk the Moon is not only bringing back the New Wave era of the early 1980s, they are making it cool for the 21st century.  Aquaman is a smooth irresistible track. 

“Bad Blood” – Taylor Swift featuring Kendrick Lamar (single).  I think this is the revenge track of 2015.  The original track from the 1989 album was good, but Lamar gave the track the extra kick that it needed.  Lamar and Swift combined was gold.  The video was also good (but did they have to put Lena Dunham in the video?  Eeek! Yikes!)

2015 Album of the Year

This is an easy pick for me:  Unbreakable – Janet Jackson.  Each song is a power groove while some having powerful messages.  In addition to “No Sleeep”, “Unbreakable” is a strong first track that I can’t stop listening to.  “Shoulda Known Better” the powerful ballad of learning from the past and asking that we do better in the future.  “BURNITUP!” with Missy Elliot is great dance track.  “After You Fall” is the song you would listen to when life gets rough, anyone signing this to you is your true friend or the family member that sticks by you when you are not on your best.  I also find “Dream Maker/Euphoria” a hopeful track and one I can’t stop listening to.

Now for the earworm, parodies, sin counts, and most annoying song of 2015….

The Earworm of 2015

“Focus” – Ariana Grande (Album: Moonlight, to be released in 2016).  I don’t know she does it: Grande seems to butcher the English language in some parts of the song, and the song seems to be used from template of “Problem”.  Yet Focus accomplishes what it does, it gets us to listen and indeed, focus on Grande.  And her song, especially the chorus (including an uncredited Jamie Foxx) will be stuck in your head. 

The Bart Baker Parody of the 2015: Parody of “Bitch I’m Madonna”

The reception on Madonna’s “Bitch I’m Madonna” has been brutal, despite the original song having two power pop stars Madonna and Nicki Minaj.  Baker, playing as Madonna, acts like she is over the hill and refuses let her youth go.  Tiffany Tynes raps and pretty much nails Minaj’s style.  Unlike the real video, Diplo, played by Roland Lutigaarden has a vocal part.  If you like parodies of song, click here:

(Not for the Faint of Heart.  Sense of Humor required.)

And if you want the official video of Bitch I’m Madonna, here it is:

(I almost named “Bitch I’m Madonna” as Earworm of 2015.)

Best Video Sins of 2015

I am addicted to Sins Media (Jeremy Scott and Chris Atkinson), which has popular YouTube channels Cinema Sins, Music Video Sins, and Brand Sins (hosted by Bobby Burns).   The Music Video Sins channel ( ) launched January 8, 2015 covering Miley Cyrus’ “Party In The USA”.  (“Party In The USA” had Miley before she cut her hair, sprinkled donut sprinkles over her lips, and twerked on anything she could get hands on).  Here are five favorite sins videos of mine:

“Darude” – Sandstorm.  The video has a lot of running, and running, and running, and running…

“Flawless” – Beyoncé.  First, Jeremy introduced Ed McMahon to a new generation.  We also learn what happens at one of the hipster Beyoncé parties.  Gives a whole new meaning to “I woke up like this!”

“Hypnotize” – Notorious B.I.G.  Two reasons why this made list of favorites: the video is so “sintastic”, and I learn what the human centipede is.

“Where Are Ü Now” – Skrillex featuring Justin Bieber.  A gallery, a bunch of pictures of somber Bieber, accompanied by a weird beat: what could possibly go wrong?  Video Music Sins points all the things that do.

“Hotline Bling” – Drake.  Few music video sins videos contain a bonus round, and spoiler alert, “Hotline Bling” includes one.  Let’s just say Drake has been very sinful.

Most Annoying Songs of 2015

“Pretty Girls” – Iggy Izelea and Brittany Spears.  Two grown women who act like bratty entitled teens in this song.  The lyrics encourage people accentuate any and all things superficial.

“Worth It” – Fifth Harmony.  Worth It is definitely a swing and a miss. The lyrics “I’m worth it” and “Gimme” sung so many times the song doesn’t sound empowering but people on being so bratty that hearing nails screeched on chalkboard sound preferable.  The background music is flat. 

(As a rule, I would have probably included a song from Justin Bieber but I go out of my away to avoid his music.) 

What 2015 songs have registered as favorites for you?  Which ones have would you rather never hear of again? 


This blog is property of Edward Shore.  2015.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Collectivism vs. Individuality

Collectivism vs.  Individuality

Disclaimer:  I am not an expert of philosophy nor claim to be a psychologist.

I wonder why what is so attractive towards collectivism.  Could it be safety in numbers, where a group has a better chance of surviving a battle than an individual?   Could it be that it could be easier to adopt someone else’s ideology?  Maybe it is the comfort of being in a group, which most of the time a supernatural angel or god (goddess) would be involved in group worship.  In collectivism, it is often one person who is elected (in the implied sense) to determine the ideology of the group.  Examples of collectivism is present in feminism, religion, and fandom of sports and other entertainment venues.

On the surface, collectivism is attractive, taking the “We are all one” attitude.  (sounds like New Age)  Everyone is the same and therefore, everyone is expected to have the same attitude and goals. This extends to how people of a group treat other people. 

As much as someone wants to be part of a collective, often that person starts to demonstrate a difference or a disagreement.  This is where it can get dangerous.  Hopefully the collective allows for personal differences and accepts people for who they are.  Unfortunately, this is usually not the case.  As seen with religion and third-wave feminism, anyone who exhibits even a difference, no matter how small, has been deemed to breach the collective.  Punishment comes swift and harsh: anywhere from psychological trickery to being banished outright.  Regardless how many times the “offender” apologizes, that person will be marked as the enemy.

Individuality is the recognition that everyone is an individual human, complete with his/her set of beliefs, values, and lifestyles.  Compared against collectivism, being an individual can get lonely.  One might feel that no one is there for them.  It happens to me every once in a while.

To recognize individuality takes work.  First, a person has to determine his/her own personality and philosophy.  This may include research, observation, and learning from mistakes.  You are not told how to live, how to believe, or what philosophy to follow.  It may also include having to survive criticism (and possibly attacks) from both sides of the political or social aisle.  It may also be harder to make friends being an individual.

Despite this, there are positives to embracing individuality.  First, you are you own person.  You are not controlled by a collective and what you do is up to you.  Second, individuality gives you the gift of being genuine, which is an attractive trait.  Third, it is easier to stand out and be recognized, at least in some capacity, if you are an individual than participating in a collective. 

What do you think?  What would you choose: collectivism vs. individuality?  I lean towards individuality. 


Friday, July 24, 2015

A Story Using Titles of Taylor Swift Songs

A Story Using Titles of Taylor Swift Songs

 A young, genius lady named Tessie, 22, just graduated college about to embrace her professional life.  Upon the plane landing at Kennedy Airport, Tessie notices Bryan, who got her attention by saying with affection “Welcome To New York”.  Always one to have a trusting soul, Tessie thought she felt that Sparks Fly between her and Bryan. 

As Bryan and Tessie were having some Starbucks coffee, a picture of Eddie slipped out of Tessie’s pocket.  Curious, Bryan asked Tessie about Eddie, and Tessie told him that she used to wish that she could go Back to December.   Last December, she left Eddie to start her new life, which took a toll on both of them.  Bryan and Tessie would part ways.

At her new apartment in New York, Tessie saw the place as advertised, ready to Begin Again.  It wasn’t long before Tessie met Tim, who told her he was named after Tim McGraw.  Ever the romantic, Tessie saw a Love Story in Tim’s eyes.  Little did she know, Tim was on the rebound.  That night Tessie met Tim’s friends, Kerry, Mike, and Julie.  It would turn out that they were all Tessie’s new coworkers.

Several weeks at the office pass by, with Tessie and Tim courting a relationship.  Tessie couldn’t believe her good fortune, a great job, new friends, and a relationship Sweeter Than Fiction

Then that fateful Tuesday came.  Tessie saw Tim and Kerry recalling their love, in which Kerry kept in her diary titled The Story of Us.  Naturally, Tessie asked Tim about it, and not surprisingly, he was evasive.  5:00 came.  In the ladies’ room to freshen up before heading home, Tessie overhead Kerry, Julie, and a few other female co-workers stating that Tessie was just another Picture to Burn

The troubles continued on Wednesday.  Tessie found a Dear John letter from Tim, which the letter concluded “I Knew You Were Trouble”.  Looking up Tim and Kerry were displaying PDA, while the other Mean coworkers laughing at her.  Kerry whispered in Tim’s ear, “Tessie is just another Blank Space, just using you to get ahead.” Tessie had enough. 

Thursday, Tessie confided in Mike, who introduced Tessie to new friends, Serena, Jessica, and Kathy; where they convinced Tessie to Shake It Off.   

That Friday at work, after some more teasing by Kerry and her catty friends, Tessie, Fearless, stood up to Kerry, and aside her were Mike, Serena, Jessica, and Kathy and all sang Bad Blood.  The office cheered for Tessie, and Tim was very embarrassed.  Embarrassed, Tim begged Tessie for forgiveness.  She did.  Tim asked if there was a chance, and Tessie smiled, cheerfully and loudly telling Tim, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together!”

Returning to her apartment, Tessie, confident and smiling, saw Eddie with roses at her front door.  “Your mom and dad told me where you lived, I just wanted to see you again. I always knew you’d make it because you are always in Style.”   Tears in her eyes, Tessie hugged Eddie as they whispered to each other “You Belong With Me”.

Hope you enjoy it.  – Ed

P.S. Keep on rocking, Taylor Swift!