Video of the Week: It’s Only A Dollar, Beyonce!

Beyonce is an icon, which means that everything she does is up for scrutiny, even her choice of drink.

In her hit single “Drunk in Love” Beyonce proclaims proudly (or drunkenly) that she drinks watermelon. The woman above would like it known that she can drink watermelon just as good as she can, because, “it’s only a dollar, bitch!”

I watch this video at least three times a day, to ensure that I receive my daily healthy dose of laughs out loud.

Please click on the above video and get all of your life for the weekend!

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If You Have A Problem With Coca-Cola’s Super Bowl Commercial, You’re Most Likely A Racist

Last night, Coca-Cola aired a commercial during the Super Bowl featuring people singing “America, the Beautiful” in different languages. Twitter, the hot mess that it can be, promptly erupted, with some outrageous comments and hashtags bashing Coca-Cola for the commercial. For example, there is the #speakamerican hashtag (which has thankfully been hijacked by some more intelligent people).

Let’s just get one thing straight: if you have a problem with the Coca-Cola commercial, you are more than likely a racist. Sorry I’m not sorry to have to break it to you.

The “It’s Beautiful” commercial highlights what makes this country so damn special. America is a country where people from all walks of life and cultures can come together and achieve their dream. Well, at least that’s the bag of goods we’ve been selling, despite our complicated history of xenophobia. That said, it is commendable that Coca-Cola, arguably the most American brand out there, would highlight America’s most profound principle. The fact that people are singing “America, The Beautiful” (which, by the way, is NOT our national anthem) in different languages just elucidates the fact that regardless of your language or culture, you can still have a deep, meaningful connection to this country. It’s a beautiful sentiment.

The fact that people could bastardize this sentiment with some of the most blatantly xenophobic vitriol I’ve seen is proof that we, as a nation, still have a long, long, long way to go. We should be in the space that people should, at the very least, be uncomfortable stating these racist as hell thoughts and feelings. But alas, people took to Twitter to declare Coca-Cola terrorists for showing the reality of the country we live in. There is literally no excuse or justification for such outrageous levels of hatred.

If you honestly believe that there was a problem with Coca-Cola’s commercial, you need to take a hard look in the mirror, because you are most certainly a racist. There is no getting around it, and there is nothing you can say in your defense. Accept it, move on, and maybe attempt at being a better human being.

Kanye, Stop Trying To Make Kim Kardashian Happen

So Kanye West is mad about something, again.

The Huffington Post reported that the egomaniac rapper has confronted American Vogue editor Anna Wintour over her decision to place Lena Dunham on the cover instead of his fiancee Kim Kardashian. According to him, Kim has long deserved to be on the cover, and that she is just as talented, if not moreso, than Lena Dunham, a multiple Emmy nominee and critically acclaimed writer and actress.

Um, ok?

It really boggles my mind just how disconnected from reality Kanye West is. The reality of the situation is this: Kim Kardashian is not Vogue material, at least not now. She has done nothing to even put her name in the conversation of cover subjects for Vogue, and no, being a reality TV star does not count, and neither does hawking downmarket clothing for Sears.

Call it snobbery if you want, but Vogue is an incredibly influential high fashion magazine that is aimed at a particular audience. Kim Kardashian does not cater to that audience at all. She is a tabloid queen, not a high fashion model or actress or singer or someone with talent worthy of being highlighted. Anna Wintour putting Kim on the cover, just because Kanye thinks she should, would be a disaster for the magazine.

Now, that’s not to say that Kim will never be a worthy Vogue candidate. I mean, look at Victoria Beckham, a Spice Girl-turned-fashion design icon. But right now, Kim is the poster child for everything that’s currently wrong with our celeb-obsessed society and Anna Wintour is way too smart to ever consider Kim for the cover of such an influential magazine, no matter how many proclamations Kanye West makes.

So all I have to say is this, good sir Kanye:

But replace fetch with Kim.

– B

EgoRamble: Don’t Call Me “Boy”

Yesterday morning at work, I was referred to as a “boy.”

It wasn’t use as a gender identifier, because I am, indeed a boy.

It was said with the intention of cutting me down to size, reminding me not only of my youth but also of my status in the office, as an intern.

I don’t think the person said it to be mean. I’m 100% sure he meant it as a joke; he was telling me to pick up my feet because I had been dragging them on my way from the office kitchen.

Still, regardless of the context, it completely threw me for a loop and threatened to derail my day. It would’ve, had it not been for some really great friends who made me laugh and talk about other things (like Macklemore).

What really bothered me was the feelings being called “boy” invoked in me. It made me feel like I was some little kid among adults, and that I shouldn’t even be there. Granted, I am a very junior member of the staff at my company, but up until that moment, I felt like I was among equals, at least in the sense of personhood. Sure, I had directors and vice presidents to defer to, but I could speak with them and not feel like I was less than them. I felt, and still feel, respected. It’s an exhilarating work environment to be in, and I hope it’s one I will remain in for the foreseeable future. For a brief set of moments, that was snatched away from me, and I felt vulnerable and out of place at my desk for the first time.

I may be young, but I give all of my co-workers the respect they deserve, and I expect it in return. I would never refer to anyone I work with, in my work environment, as “old man” or some other demeaning term.

I am not a boy.

– B

Pharrell’s Hat Won The Grammys

When I first saw Pharrell’s outrageously large hat on the E! Red Carpet, I wanted to snatch it off his head, set fire to it, and slap Pharrell for this egregious error in fashion.

As the night went on, it became clear that Pharrell’s hat was the best thing to happen at a considerably lackluster Grammy ceremony.

I mean, seriously, it was such an absurd hat, that no one else could pull off with same panache as him. It quickly ruled the social media conversation, with people comparing to everything from Smokey The Bear to the Arby’s hat logo. let me just put it like this: you know you’re winning when the Twitter handle for Arby’s has to respond:

Congrats to Pharrell for not only winning a boatload of Grammys, but for also winning the Internet with your stupid ass hat.

Praise aside, I do demand that any Best Dressed Man accolades awarded to Pharrell be stripped of him immediately, because he did look like a stinking hot mess.

Facebook is Killing Bloggers (And Making Money Doing It)

There is a blog I recently started following called “Single Dad Laughing”, written by Dan Pearce. It’s a really fascinating, well-written, incredibly thoughtful blog by an individual who is unflinching in his honesty and self-awareness. It’s one of those blogs that makes you realize that blogging is actually worth it.

Yesterday, he published a post that asked his readers to “save” his blog. As you could imagine, the idea seemed ludicrous, since his blog has incredibly high impressions and readership (as a PR professional, I did the research for work).

It turns out that his S.O.S. wasn’t a fluke, and Facebook was to blame.

I won’t go into details (you could, and should, read it on his blog), but the one thing I will highlight is a YouTube video that maps out, in detail, how Facebook has altered its algorithms to bilk content creators out of impressions and try and force them into spending more in advertising.

Basically, Facebook purposely limits how many people will see your content on their news feed, no matter how many friends or likes you have. The only way to reach your maximum target is to pay to “promote” your post. If you have the money, you could easily flood someone’s News Feed with your posts, while other blogs and pages you follow are drowned out.

A perfect example is Single Dad Laughing and Buzzfeed, which the author also cites as a “blog killer”. Because of Buzzfeed’s numerous partnerships with corporations, it can afford to promote its posts on News Feeds of people that like it. I follow both BuzzFeed and Single Dad Laughing on Facebook. I always see BuzzFeed articles on my News Feed, sometimes even the same article multiple times throughout the day. Meanwhile, I didn’t start seeing SDL posts until I manually clicked the “Get Notifications” option on the blog’s Facebook page. I never  had to do that with BuzzFeed, probably because they just have to “promote” their post to land all over people’s news feeds.

It’s funny; as I’m typing this out, I’m pretty sure I just described net neutrality, which, as BuzzFeed explained in an article, Facebook would benefit greatly from.

Another thing about the video that particularly stuck out to me was how it was explained that, with Facebook, the lines between viewer, content creator, and advertiser have been erased, creating a big mess. While, with Youtube, the lines are clearly defined, and everyone benefits equally. With Facebook, the only one winning is the one with the biggest pockets.

As a blogger myself, it definitely opened my eyes to how Facebook, which is supposed to amplify my outreach, actually limits it. If I were to “promote” one of these posts on Facebook by paying, I’m sure I would see significant pageview increases. Of course, I don’t think it’s fair that I have to pay to make my content visible on the news feeds of people I’m actually connected to. That’s just ridiculous. It’s one thing to “promote” on News Feeds of random people you’ve never met, but doing it with my own friends and family? There is something very icky and manipulative about that.

Of course I want as many people to read this and my other blog as possible, but I am not going to play Facebook’s dirty little game to do it. That will not work for me. Sorry Zuckerberg, but this is not how a “friend” acts.

– B

I Love Apple, But iTunes Sucks

All I wanted to do was add one, freaking, song.

This morning, I downloaded Marc Cohn’s “Walking on Memphis” on my laptop (that’s a whole ‘nother blog post) and I obviously wanted it on my iPhone for my morning commute. One song added to an iPhone: sounds like a quick, easy task, right?

Nope, because iTunes is a vortex of suck wrapped in software.

I tried syncing my iPhone over Wi-Fi, and everything seemed to be going just fine, until the sync stopped at the dreaded “Waiting for changes to be applied” stage. Sometimes, and I really mean rarely, it is a simple, harmless message that precedes the syncing of my music. Most of the time, though, it just stays there, forever. Or until it just times out and nothing is added at all.

Anyway, I canceled the Wi-Fi sync and tried syncing via my USB cable. This time, the sync worked, except for one tiny issue: more than half of my music had to be re-added to my iPhone. It was a process that effectively made me late for work this morning.

Seriously, how can iTunes literally snatch out half of my music library, just because I wanted to add one damn song? And what exactly does “waiting for changes to be applied” mean? The change is add my damn music, not delete half my library! The crazy thing is, this isn’t even the first time I’ve had to deal with this! It’s absolutely ridiculous.

It boggles my mind how a company that prides itself on ease of use can allow a software product that is just a disastrous flop to still exist. Either kill iTunes and rewrite from the ground up (which might just make too much sense) or fix these damn issues.

People Really Do Too Much with Lena Dunham

This week, Jezebel offered $10,000 for the un-retouched photos from Lena Dunham’s Vogue photo shoot. Apparently, somebody just got a nice check in the mail, because the photos were published on the website this morning (in GIF form, no less), with annotations marking what exact edits were made to the photos.

Seriously?

I get that there has been this big stink about Lena Dunham’s looks ever since she burst onto the scene with Girls (shameless plug: I just wrote a post about my shameful love of that show on my other blog When Things Go Pop!), from her tattoos to all of the nudity on her show. At the end of the day, it’s quite obvious to everyone that Lena Dunham is not a supermodel, nor does she even try to pass herself off as one. However, when she tries, she can actually pull off a glamorous look. Even though it could’ve been a different color, I liked her dress at the Golden Globes last weekend. And her Vogue pictures are really good.

So why would anyone go through the trouble of trying to prove that she is a physical mess?

I would be supremely insulted if someone actually paid money to get unretouched photos of myself, in an effort to prove that the magazine needed to edit me. Newsflash: everyone is Photoshopped to look their best. It’s really not that big of a deal. And in the specific case of Lena Dunham, everyone knows who Lena Dunham is and what she looks like, so it’s not like Vogue was trying to hide anything.

Lena Dunham looked great in Vogue; let her live!

– B

Melyssa Ford Is Everything (And No, Not Because She’s a Video Model)

I had only heard of Melyssa Ford before in reference to her being someone urban blogs wrote about, which typically means that she’s really not famous at all and all of the attention on her is just wasted fingerstrokes. Essentially, I never bothered trying to learn more about her.

She is currently starring on Bravo’s new reality show Blood, Sweat, and Heels, and she stopped by Power 105.1’s Breakfast Club to promote it.

Might I say that I regret not getting to know her earlier, because she is everything.

Yes, she is gorgeous, that’s a given. But she is also very intelligent, well-spoken, witty, funny, shady as all fuck, and can keep up with Charlamagne Tha God (who is the only reason why anyone really listens to The Breakfast Club, because he is also everything), and anyone who can do that is worthy of my interest. Seriously, she used “ostentatious” to describe ex-boyfriend Flo Rida. Who does that?

A flawless human being, that’s who.

If you are like me and didn’t know who Melyssa Ford was before today, watch this video and get into her (seriously, no pun intended).

PokeLogic: Wonder Trade Is The Best Feature of Pokemon X and Y

imagpoke

Imagine if every day you exchanged gifts from someone miles and miles away. It could be something awesome, like an iPad, or something sucky, like a stick of gum. But isn’t the uncertainty of it all fun?

That is why Wonder Trade is, in my humble opinion (yeah right), the best new feature in Pokemon X and Y? Why bring it up three months after the game’s release, you ask? Because I just restarted Pokemon X and have realized how unintentionally awesome Wonder Trade is when you are just starting out the game.

For example, in one trade, I received a level one Goomy, a Dragon type you don’t see until much later in the game. It was in my team for a good while, but I boxed in place of Skiddo (I wanted Gogoat, because of the cartoon; sue me). I also received a level one Fletching with Gale Wings (an amazing Ability by the way) but traded it away because I didn’t realize what Gale Wings did until I read it on Serebii.net. Dumb mistake.

You know what else I received through Wonder Trade? A Chimchar. A freaking Chimchar. You know, the one that evolves into the ass-kicking Infernape? That one.

In case you are wondering, no I am not cheating and using overleveled Pokemon that I’ve received to power through the game. I either re-trade them or box them for breeding later. I’m not an asshole.

Wonder Trade, and the whole revamped Internet system as a whole, is an amazing addition to the Pokemon game series that adds many more hours of gameplay to game that is painfully short. I mean, it’s either this or spending every waking moment feeding your Mewtwo PokePuffs and watch him not give a single fuck about it. Well, you can still do that, it’s kind of amusing.

Keep tuned for more of my Pokemon exploits with the PokeLogic tag!

– B