the good shit

The Heart’s Desire

I feel lost in the direction of my life. The word lost is an overstatement, but right now I don’t really care enough to find a word closer to the emotion. It’s like, I see where I want to be in ten years, sort of, but don’t know how to get there. Thinking about me being twenty-nine is pretty strange. Unfortunately for me there is no guide book or how to for dummies to be a successful journalist slash internet personality slash lovable personality that may make his way onto television. A few years back I was struggling with what I wanted to do for the rest of my life (still am), but I decided I wanted to work in the surroundings of pop culture, so I decided I wanted to be an entertainment journalist, whether it be in print or on screen, or both. Somehow I’ve always found it hard telling people this, and now I think it might be because I don’t want to lock myself down into one thing.

The other day I watched a live show Donald Glover did called “Weirdo” on Youtube. For those of you who don’t know, Glover started out on the witting staff at “30 Rock” the year he graduated from NYU. In 2009 he became more well known for his work as a cast member on “Community”, until he left to focus on his musical career where he performs under stage name Childish Gambino. So after eight years in the spotlight Glover has done acting, stand-up, and made a music name for himself. That’s what I call not getting locked down.

Most people who know me now days wouldn’t know that I took acting classes between grades 2-7, and was also in a few of my high school musicals. Throughout all of this, I never considered acting as a career. For the most part this is due to me not being a serious person. Now looking back, whenever I wasn’t being serious, was when I was enjoying myself the most. During acting classes I was given a small plot and given time to prepare something to perform for two or three minutes. More times than not, little planning was done, so an act would be created as it went, which I preferred.

The death of Robin Williams got me thinking about acting, and to a greater extent, comedy more. Is there anything better than being able to make people laugh? More so, I feel someones laughter means they enjoy hearing you speak. I can’t think of anything better than that.

Similar to how Josh Thomas has titled his show “Please Like Me”, I feel this runs true for me. Although they may need to change it to Please Love Me. Not that I’m looking for love, but I feel that you can like someone without really enjoying their company.

So anyway tomorrow I will try harder to do something in the life of Jayden. I plan to put a vlog on Youtube just to talk about everything Pop Culture, but I always feel like I’m trying too hard when I film myself. Like if you were to hear me speak about certain events in real life, they would be told in a different way. I guess it’s because you can’t edit in real life.

When I started writing down my thoughts here, I was listening to “The Kids Don’t Stand A Chance” by Vampire Weekend, which lead to Simon & Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water album, which has now rolled into Poses by Rufus Wainwright. it was all pretty low key music in terms of tempo and sound, that is when you take “Cecilia” out of the mix, but I wanted want to do that. And now Wainwright’s lush production is getting a bit to much, so I’m going to cut him off and put on Survivor Gabon. So that ends my little stream of consciousness writing for the night, and after it all, I still haven’t found what I’m looking for (nice U2 reference), but i didn’t think I would in a hour of putting down my thoughts.

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Youtube Culture & the New Age Celebrity

Recently there has been a lot of chatter amongst the Youtube community regarding how Youtube, in itself, has grown rapidly and how the culture has changed. A while back Louise, known for her channel Sprinkle of Glitter, posted a video addressing her concerns with conventions and the way people look up to her when she feels like she hasn’t done anything worthy to be idolised. Very modest, but you can’t expect to have millions of followers through your videos and twitter, and not expect people to be excited when they see you, or to be inspired by you. I do have sympathy for her though. I can understand how crazy it would be on stage at those conventions with the kinds of fans that there are.

Louise’s video brought up a lot of discussion with many on Youtube, who posted video responses with their thoughts. Zoe Sugg, known for her beauty channel Zoella, posted on her blog on the same topic as Louise did. The post was amusingly titled “Ordinary Girl in an Overwhelming World”. In her post she says she doesn’t believe she is a celebrity. I don’t know a word which would fit better than celebrity seeing that Zoe has over four million Youtube subscribers, and one and a half million followers on twitter. Maybe it isn’t the traditional sense of the word celebrity, in the way of Angelina Jolie or Britney Spears, but a new age celebrity. I highly respect both Louise and Zoe, so this isn’t any sort of attack on them, but more of a stone cold fact.
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An Open Letter to Carrie Bickmore

Dear Carrie,

I’m sorry that once again you walk away from the TV Week Logies Awards empty handed. I’m sure you’re not majorly disappointed that you have gone zero from six in the past three years, as you have said before doing TV was never your end goal and the Logies can be seen as a bit of a joke to many, but it would still be nice for you to be recognised as the amazing talented woman that you are.

People scoffed three years ago when, what others put as, a “news reader” was being nominated for our highest television award. Well if we can have a tradie who host’s a reality show win it, why can’t people vote for you.

To me you are more than just a “news reader”. You’re the person who is welcomed into my house whether it be at 6.00 PM, 6.30 PM, or 7.00 PM. I don’t see how, after three years in a row of being nominated, you haven’t won the top award, because you have such a warmth about you, that you have created a deep connection with The Project viewers (no matter how small that audience may be).

The way in which you are so open on the show is amazing. Not many on live television who fall over would want to get back up from sheer embarrassment, but when you fell over, the only reason you couldn’t get back up was due to your uncontrollable laughter at what had just happened. Many make jokes about you showing emotion, and the amount of times you have cried on screen. I only see that of a strength of yours. You have been through a lot in recent years, and your honesty and showing of emotions proves to everyone you’re not a robot who sits behind a desk and talks about the news.

I have no doubt you will be nominated for the Gold Logie again next year, I only hope everyone can see what I see, and you will be seen as Australia’s Most Popular Personality.

regards,

Jayden

Sounds so soulful, don’t you agree?: Kanye West’s The Collage Dropout turns ten!

2004 was a big year for popular culture. We saw the launch of Facebook (then known as the Facebook), endured a nipplegate at the Superbowl, was introduced to some Desperate Housewives, and said goodbye to out Friends. But nothing can complete with Kanye West’s arrival onto the music scene, not just as a talented producer, but as a rapper of the kind we hadn’t seen before. Nobody knew back then, I don’t think even Kanye truly knew, how much of a iconic figure, on stage and off, the 27 year old “Through The Wire” singer would become.

Recorded over four years beginning in 1999, his debut was a struggle to get to the shelves. Kanye began to find success when he produced a track on Jay Z’s The Dynasty: Roc La Familia as a up-and-coming artist, and received even more recognition for his work on The Blueprint, released in 2001, when he crafted hits like “Izzo (H.O.V.A)” and “Heart of the City (Ain’t No Love)”. Even with his mainstream success, “Izzo” making it to number eight on the Billboard Hot 100, Capitol Records decided against taking him on after a series of meetings, and Roc-A-Fella Records reluctantly took him onboard in fear of him taking his work elsewhere. On October 23, 2002, Kanye fell asleep at the wheel while driving home from a California recording studio, which left him with a shattered jaw. The crash was near-fatal, so Kanye was lucky for only his jaw to be wired shut in reconstructive surgery. All of this lead to “Through the Wire”, the first song to be heard out of his work, where he expressed his experiance in the accident, and took Kanye in the right direction for his debut saying, “all the better artists have expressed what they are going through”, and that is exactly what he intended to do. When “Through the Wire” became available on the Get Well Soon… mixtape, Kanye also announced he was working on a album called The Collage Dropout, and told that its overall theme was “make your own decisions. Don’t let society tell you, ‘This is what you have to do.’” This instantly drew me in towards the album and all it represented.

You could say I was a latecomer to the genre of hip-hop. Before I first downloaded Yeezus, I had listened to Watch The Throne (West’s full album collaboration with mentor and friend Jay Z), and of course had heard of Kanye’s commercial hits like “Stronger” and “Gold Digger”, but never dug deeper. I remember the first time I listened to Kanye’s experimental 2013 album. I was at school. It was a cold morning. I had a free period, when I was meant to be studying, but wasn’t. I, within an hour, was hooked on this work of art. Getting home I had to have more. Over and over again I listen to My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, till I became sick of it. The next Kanye West LP that received heavy rotation from me was his first.

The Collage Dropout is a great achievement in its own right. His music was about family,  religion, consumerism, and his other personal struggles. He was able to shake of the gangster tag that came along with being a rapper at the time, all while crafting his debut album. People forget that his first album peaked at number two on the Billboard 200 (only being held off by Norah Jones’ Feels Like Home) and was nominated for both Album of the Year and Best Rap Album at the 2005 Grammy Awards (he would go on to win Best Rap Album, while losing Album of the Year to Ray Charles for Genius Love Company). All this was from a guy that nobody wanted to take a chance on. These days Kanye West receives most of the medias attention for punching photographers every second day and being part of the force that is Kimye, which can be considers the 2010’s version of Brangelina. But on the 10th of Febuary, 2014, Kanye West needs to be seen as the incredible artist that he truly is.