Bleh with Barry

Random with a cynical twist of lime.

Posts Tagged ‘interesting

Saturn is Rising

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A bright spot in the night sky.

An omen of immortal proportions.

Moves. Sways. Explodes.

Can we equate ourselves to gods?

Sitting alone in our technological throne rooms.

Weeping into our soup.

As the diabolical monkey dances.

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Written by barryr22

November 17, 2010 at 3:26 am

Posted in Poetry

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Lucia di Lammermoor

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So, I am intrigued by an opera which probably comes as no surprise to my friends reading. It’s called Lucia di Lammermoor. Honestly, I do not know anything about it other than what the wikipedia page says. It revolves around the character of Lucia who over the course of the opera falls in love with a man who her family doesn’t approve of (a blood feud sort of thing). However, it ends badly for both of them…it is a tragic opera after all…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucie_de_Lammermoor#Lucie_de_Lammermoor

Why was I turned onto this opera one might ask? It appears in the movie The Fifth Element. Diva Plavalaguna, the blue alien chick, performs an aria called “Il dolce suono” or “The Sweet Sound”from it  in her diva dance scene. Sang by Albanian soprano Inva Mula-Tchako, it has quite an impact on the feel of the movie and excites musical people like myself (I am guilty of watching that section of the movie just to see the song).

It is a beautiful piece of music and is both technically and vocally challenging. If done right, it is a striking piece of music that compliments the lead soprano’s voice and range. I have to say that I like the version by Natalie Dessay (who I know nothing about).

Maybe I can find a good DVD version of the show.

80’s Music: The Music of the People

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The other day, one of my friends and I were walking through Wal-Mart in the small town in which we reside when we heard a pop tune from the 80’s playing over the radio…my friend said “Gah! Why are the playing this?!?” To which I responded that it is the music of the people…Some people my be out there shaking their heads and judging me based upon my idea. However, there is definite logic behind it.

— Music that is played in consumer based industries is chosen because it is what appeals to the people who have the best jobs and therefore the most money at that given time. Right now, people who grew up with 80’s music happen to be the ones with the power which leads to more 80’s power pop and rock being played on store radios.

–Think about it. When you were a child (if you have been one of the people that were in the chain store generation), didn’t the music played on the overhead radios reflect the mass consumer of the time. I know from my experience it certainly did. My mother (who I went shopping with frequently) was a person who grew up with the music of the 60’s and 70’s. This is the music that was played over the store radio.

Think about this the next time you’re in a store. I know that I do…whether the store be Tiffany’s, Kroger, or Ray’s Pizza, they are trying to target specific audiences with their musical choices. Trying to make you feel at ease so that you will buy their product.

Written by barryr22

March 13, 2010 at 10:10 pm

Anti-Heroes and the New World

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In the scope of the past several hundred years, we have changed from a heroic society to one that values the anti-heroes. We long to see more of them. Why one might ask? Well, the answer is very intriguing and complex yet simple.

1. They’re cooler. Sure most people’s hearts swell when the knight in shining armor gets his princess…but really, after the first 500 times you see this event occur, it gets kind of stagnant and boring. The Anti-Hero, on the other hand, is more intriguing because most of them are not out to prove their greatness by saving a damsel in distress. Usually, these characters have agendas that lie in their past. Some are attempting to atone for the terrors they were before, while others are simply trying to make it in a world where there are no bad guys in black cowboy hats and good guys in white. They are the gray area…

2. The gray area…since most of us do not fall into the “pure good” or “pure evil” sections of humanity, it stands to reason that we fall into the gray area…that is the area that is somewhere between “good” and “evil”…the majority of people fall into this category because we are innately good and evil at the same time…mind blowing idea there right…but think about it. We do some good things and some not so good things (not necessarily evil)…it stands to reason that we don’t want heroes that are the pinnacle of perfection…we want someone who is a little more flawed…think of Wolverine over Cyclops…Lestat over Louis…and many more…

3. With the tendency to have a moral compass that does not always point north, their stories have much more room for complications than those of the “good” hero. Think about it…the “good” hero (or G. H. as I will call him) is effected by outside forces: evil queens, dragons, disease, etc. A G.H. generally has no internal conflict that could make him stray from his task at hand…he generally stays within the realm of “goodness” to achieve his goals…The Anti-Hero is a little more morally ambiguous. He will go to lengths that the G. H. will not go to to see his goals come to fruition. These heroes often wander about and go onto tangents to help better themselves or discover a great truth…eventually, they will arrive at the end of their journey, yet they might not have a princess to save any more (thanks to those G. H.s out there.)…

4. Anti-Heroes generally don’t give a crap about what those around them perceive them to be. G. H.s want to be seen as good and virtuous. They sport the “shining armor” and go off  to slay dragons at risk of life and limb…Anti-Heroes usually have a whatever attitude that makes them more likable because let’s face it sometimes chivalry is not all it’s cracked up to be…the Anti-Hero is just more open about this than the G. H…

Written by barryr22

March 5, 2010 at 12:33 pm

Favorite Characters in X-Men

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In the X-Men comic book, there is a variety of characters that people pick favorites from. While most people invariably pick characters that are popular or more visible, the fact is that there are many out there that are way cooler than the Wolverines and Gambits.

I like several characters for many different reasons. I will be honest with you. I despise Wolverine and could care less for Gambit…they both have the same kind of demeanour and attitude, and their brand of person does not interest me. I am by far more interested in some of the characters who seem slightly off kilter…

1. Rogue…I don’t know what it is about her that makes me like her character so much. I think part of it might be the infinite possibility of power she has. She could potentially drain every other mutant’s power to become all powerful. This is how she gained her “secondary” mutations of super strength, flight and near invincibility. She drained Miss Marvel (Carol Danvers) of her powers. This draining of abilities also has consequences that she must deal with. Not only does she gain the powers of a person, she also absorbs their minds or life-force if you will. This mind-sucking of Carol Danvers almost makes her go crazy because there are 2 mentalities trapped in one body. Her character intrigues me.

2. Mr. Sinister. Aside from the name which is a little silly (comic book cliché name), he is by far one of the best villains in the Marvelverse. Why you might ask? It’s because his mind and set of skills make him  more diabolical and unpredictable than any of the other “evils”. He is a puppet master moving quantities of people together so that he can conquer them. He also believes in the idea of the “enemy of mine enemy is my friend” as seen by him teaming up with very unlikely allies throughout the course of the X-istence. He, who was a contemporary of Darwin, is the ultimate example of natural selection because he naturally selects the abilities and properties to enhance himself.

3. Psylocke. She is probably the least known character that I will speak about. She is an art thief with psychic powers. She doesn’t really have a lot of affiliations early on, but later, she becomes a member of the X-Men. Her psychic abilities being interestingly presented and her tale of body swapping are what I like about her. She is able to project psybolts to stun enemies and others. She also is able to yield a psychic knife or a katana to help fight her enemies. Her fighting skills are unparalleled which makes her even more dangerous.

So, there you have it. Those are my top there…there are many more that could have made the list (like Jean Grey and others), but these are probably the ones that intrigue me (yes I know that I use the word intrigue a lot). Feel free to agree or disagree. These characters are the best to me.

Phantom of the Opera

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A gripping love story that has captivate audiences for 22 years on Broadway and more than that in its literary form. The musical follows the story of Christine, a young operatic soprano, who the Phantom, a deformed, musical genius in a mask, falls into love or lust with (you decide)…however, Christine is in love with Raoul the dashing boy from her past.

The show ends with Christine and Raoul going off to be together to “share one love, one lifetime” with each other. And the Phantom is left to his own devices and to the crowd of people who are “track[ing] down this murderer”.

Some people think that Christine made the wrong choice and that she should have went for Eric (the Phantom…I know he has a name right?). Some think that she made the right decision…I think that in the end Christine probably made the whole choice based on purely superficial reasons…

1. He lives in the sewers under an opera house (that he has destroyed might I add). What kind of life is this presenting to Christine? “Hey baby, all we need is my organ, the boat and a bed”…(I realize now that I type that it sounds very sexual…his pipe organ you perverts…). He has nothing that he can give her except his musical prowess. He has no skills with which he can get a job…and even the few he could get freak show attraction (he doesn’t need this), private voice lessons (no one would want their children or others trained by a murderer), etc. wouldn’t pan out. So, all he has for her is his music. While that is lovely, he can’t put food on the table or shelter over their heads with that. Raoul, on the other hand, is rich and can provide for her. He has stability…

2. Christine is probably a little….okay…a lot superficial…sure, she kisses him at the end of the show; however, she does this to get Raoul free…and when she did kiss him, she was probably thinking “Oh God….I’m kissing the sewer…or every rat he’s ever eaten” and “I’ll wash my mouth out later…but not too much later”…The Phantom is deformed and was born like this. While Christine may be in love with his soul, I bet she also thinks pretty practically…”Can’t go out in public with this guy…one: he’s a murderer…two: he looks like that…..Gah…”

3. She has a prissy, piece of man-meat that is falling head over heels for her…Raoul is all the things that the Phantom is not. He’s rich, pretty, and seems very stable. Christine probably found these admirable qualities when weighing out the whole issue. Spend forever with this beautiful harlequin romance novel cover model…or in the dank dark sewer with a serial killer…

In my mind, although part of me wants Christine to be like screw the norm I want to be with Eric, I know that she made the logical, sane choice…Also, I admire her for not being like “Hey, I know that I don’t want to be with you and all, but you make terrific music…would you like to come live in the basement of our mansion and keep writing me music and teaching me?”…so, at least in the end, she wasn’t a complete dick about it.

Seriously, the musical and the story is lovely…I would recommend it to anyone who hasn’t seen it or has seen it numerous times. It’s good for the spectacle, the music, and the plot. Go and enjoy…then, begin to ponder about other things.

Breaking Away from the Normal

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In my hometown, people expect certain things from those who grow up there. They expect you to graduate high school (hopefully) and possibly college (just to be able to teach/be an accountant/etc. in the community). Then, they expect you to settle down when you’re young with someone that the family approves of because God help you if you don’t. After the ceremony, they expect the young couple to have many, many children because that is the way of the world. You should live here, grow up in the community, die there and become part of the dirt.

I am one who breaks out of this norm and thus am sort of labeled the black sheep of the family because of this. Why? I don’t want to follow this “norm”. I want to branch out and do my own thing with life. Whereas most people want to and are contented to spend their years mulling about my hometown, I wish to go out and explore the world. I want to go see the Louvre, walk along the Great Wall, explore the Pyramids of Giza, and much, much more. I wish to be a world traveler and perhaps even settle somewhere else for a little while. My family is content to stay in their area and has no desire to leave it…they often look at me with bewilderment when I mention traveling to these place.

They also wonder why I am not married or have no significant other. The simplest reason I can give them is that I am okay just being autonomous right now. I don’t have to answer to anyone in particular which is just fine by me. I have done the whole relationship thing a few times, and I’m okay just living life and enjoying it without having to worry about someone else…now, don’t get me wrong. One day I hope to find someone to settle down with and have a family of my own, but I don’t think that I should necessarily have to settle down in my twenties because I think I need to get a little more living under my belt before I commit. If the right person were to come across my path in the next few years and I fell deeply in love with them, I might consider getting married sooner…but who knows what life has in store for me.

The biggest thing I think separates me from my family is my need to succeed. I know that I want to go further than small town, TN. I think anyone who has known me for awhile has realized that too. I want the lights and the roar of the big cities. I want to be a part of the vibe and flow of somewhere that has a pulse of its own. I want to build a name for myself somewhere far beyond the sphere of influence that is my family. I know that I will have to go somewhere a little further away from my family to do this…and while the love I have for them does cloud my final vision at times, I need to go out into the world and wander down my meandering pathway.

I’ve already started down this pathway. I’ve graduated college with my B. A. and hope to go to graduate school soon. I might end up back in my small hometown at some point, but hopefully, this settling down will happen when I’m older and have a little more world knowledge to share with my students.