Friday, December 27, 2013

5 Songs from the 90's that have Surprising Stories behind their lyrics

5 songs from the 90’s that have surprising stories behind their lyrics

By: Brian Cotnoir

     The 1990’s was an awesome time for music.  Alternative Rock dominated the airwaves and many underground bands rose up through the mainstream.  With so many awesome songs released by so many talented bands, it’s actually quite amusing how many people often don’t get some of the hidden meanings behind the songs they are singing.  Today, I hope to enlighten you on the hidden messages behind some of the 90’s Most Popular Songs.

1.) The Freshmen- The Verve Pipe

The first thing that I would like to say about “The Freshmen” by the Michigan Alternative-Rock Band, The Verve Pipe is that this is my favorite song.  For many years, I always thought that this song was about a guy who broke up with his girlfriend, and then she committed suicide, and everyone told him that her death was his fault, and then having to deal with the guilt of people blaming you for her death.  Much to my surprise, I found out that this song is not about a suicide, but rather an abortion.  The bands singer/guitarist Brian Van Ark wrote this song about the emotions he felt when he was 15 and he had gotten his girlfriend pregnant and she decided to get an abortion.  I never would have guessed that’s what “The Freshmen” was about, and it’s my favorite song for crying out loud!  However, that doesn’t change the fact that it is a great song.

2.) If You could only See- Tonic

The song “If You could only see” by Tonic is the tail of the bands singer/guitarist Emerson Hart who was in a relationship with a woman that his parents do not approve of.  That’s not really all that shocking, but then you find out that this woman in this relationship was older than him.  How much older than him?  Around 15 years.  Hart wrote the song about when he was 17-years-old and was dating a 32-year-old woman!  She must have been one hell of a cougar, and we have her to thank for being the inspiration to Tonic’s only major U.S. Hit.

3.) Come As You Are- Nirvana

Kurt Cobain lied to us all; he did—in fact—have a gun.  That line in the song where he repeats “well I swear that I don’t have a gun/no I don’t have a gun/no I don’t have a gun/”.  This song is a popular today as it was when it was released back in 1991, and yet so many people overlook that one lyric.  Kurt Cobain sings about not having a gun and then three years later chooses to end his own life with a—you guessed it!—a shotgun.  Maybe, Nirvana’s fans should have paid more close attention to Cobain’s pleas in his lyrics, and then maybe perhaps this musical tragedy could have been prevented.

4.) Lightning Crashes- Live

     This song gets my vote for Best Hidden Meaning behind a song: According to sources close to the band, this song is about a woman named Barbara, who was a friend of the band Live before they were famous, and one night after seeing the band perform, she was killed by a drunk driver, and the same night that she was killed by that drink driver, her heart was removed—she was an organ donor—and was transplanted into a newborn baby that was born with a  heart problem.  That’s freaking beautiful, and truly is a wonderful meaning behind a song.

5.) Truly Madly Deeply and I knew I loved you- Savage Garden

Back in the 90’s if you had a crush on a girl and wanted to do something to make her remember you, you’d make a mix tape of songs, and if you really wanted to get her to like you back, you better have included at least one song by the Australian rock band Savage Garden.  What makes this song so much fun is to realize that this song was not written about a woman that the bands singer Darren Hayes was in love’s actually about a guy.  For a great while, Darren Hayes, kept his homosexuality hidden from the public, and no one knew.  Hayes was and still is a very private man, and does not like to leak out his personal life to anyone.  So it was a big surprise to all when he did come out in the early 2000’s.  But really think about all those years that people thought he was singing about a woman, when he was actually singing about a man.  I think that’s pretty awesome don’t you? 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

5 Reasons why Aurora from "Sleeping Beauty" is the Worst Disney Princess

5 Reasons why Aurora from “Sleeping Beauty” is the Worst Disney Princess

By: Brian Cotnoir

So back in March I posted a review called “5 Reasons why Belle from ‘Beauty and the Beast’ is the Most Boss Disney Princess”, and ever since then it’s taken on a life of its own.  Like, that post is approaching 3,000 views on this blog.   Holy Shnikes!  Just to put that into perspective: my 2nd most popular post on “Asylum for Nerds” only has 208 views.  Something that plenty of people have been asking me since I posted that review is when I am going to do an article on who I think the “Worst Disney Princess” is.  Well here it is: These are the 5 reasons why Aurora from “Sleeping Beauty” is the Worst Disney Princess Ever.

1.) She doesn’t do a damn thing in the movie

How exciting...NOT!
One thing that most Disney Princesses do in their films is play an active role in the plot, Aurora does not.  For most of the film she isn’t even conscious.  She doesn’t help anyone, she doesn’t learn anything, she just lays their a sleep waiting for everyone else to come rescue her and do all the work.  That’s really not a strong role model as far as Disney Princesses go.  I mean, Snow White didn’t do much of anything either, but she at least took care of the Seven Dwarves, and domesticated herself, while waiting for her prince to come.  Even Ariel from “The Little Mermaid” had to learn that all of her actions have consequences, and that sometimes she needs to be less selfish and care about others.  But not Aurora, she just wakes up after the kiss from her Prince, and is all like “oh hey, thanks for rescuing me, did I miss anything”.  If I was that Prince, I’d be like: “Listen you sleeping b!tch, I just slayed a mother f*cking dragon to not only save you, but to save my own a$$.   Do you have any idea how difficult it is to stop a mother f*cking dragon with only a sword and a shield!  You Best be Loving me for all eternity, and hail me as your king!”.  Now, I know I shouldn’t let some silly plot-point infuriate me so much, but this actually makes a good segway for my second reason...

2.) Everything that happens to her could have easily been avoided

You only needed to avoid one thing!  Just one thing!
So a curse is put on Princess Aurora when she was just a little baby by the evil witch Maleficent.  Maleficent is furious that she was not invited to Aurora’s 1st birthday party, so she casts a curse on her and tells everyone at the party that on her 16th birthday, she will prick her finger on a spinning wheel and die before sunset.  That whole curse could have been avoided if the King & Queen had only invited Maleficent to the birthday party.  They invited everyone else in the kingdom (both magical and non-magical, but they had to go and snub Maleficent so she could get good and pissed off and place a curse on a little baby.  So the King concocts the brilliant idea to have every spinning wheel destroyed, so the prophecy cannot be fulfilled.  Not only that, but he decides that is best to send his daughter to live with the Three Good Fairies, Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather, until her 16th birthday has passed.  Even with all these precautionary measures in place, they still failed miserably and Aurora pricks her finger on that God d@mn spinning wheel and dies.  This is bad, the only worst security fail in History was JFK’s Security Detail at Dallas in 1963.  

3.) The stories main focus isn’t even on her

     Every other Disney Princess is the main focus of their own film, but Aurora is not.  If anything the films primary focus is on the Three Good Fairies.  Even Prince Phillip and Maleficent got more screen and story time then Aurora.  How can you even like Aurora when you know so little about her? 

The real stars of the film
4.) You never see little girls dress up like her for Halloween

    With such a wide range of beloved Disney Princess characters, it’s not surprise that Disney Princess costumes are among the most popular among young girls for Halloween.  But, I want you to think really hard about when was the last time you saw a little girl dressed up as Aurora for Halloween.  I bet you can remember seeing one dress up as Cinderella, or Ariel, or Snow White, but Aurora you probably don’t ever remember seeing one dressed up as Aurora.  It’s not really that surprising.  Even Mulan (who isn’t technically a real princess) is more beloved Disney Princess then Aurora, and that is saying something.  Aurora was such a bad Princess and that Disney waited 30 years before they would make or release another Princess Film.

5.) The Villain of the Film is 100 Times More Popular then Her

Everyone's favorite "Mistress of All Evil"
Yeah, you know you suck as a Princess/Heroine when the villain of your film is way more popular then you.  Maleficent is the Top Disney Villainess on Many Films Critics lists, and is one of the most widely recognized and popular of All the Disney Villains.  She is the self-proclaimed “Mistress of all Evil” and she is 100 times more liked then Princess Aurora.  Maleficent is so popular that Disney Studios is actually releasing a live-action reboot of the “Sleeping Beauty” story in 2014.  And what is the name of this reboot?  “Maleficent”—of course—with Angelina Jolie playing the title role.  According to many websites the reboot is the story of “Sleeping Beauty”, but it is told from the perspective of the antagonist “Maleficent” rather than Aurora or the 3 Good Fairies.  How bad of a princess do you have to be, to not even get your own reboot?  The only modernization that’s come of “Sleeping Beauty” was that absolutely God Awful 2011 Australian Film and it had absolutely nothing to do with the original fairytale.

These are 5 Reasons why Aurora from “Sleeping Beauty” is the Worst Disney Princess.  If you liked this review then make sure to check out my other review of “5 Reasons why Belle from “Beauty and the Beast” is the Most Boss Disney Princess”.  Just click the link below. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

5 Problems I have with "Prison Girls"

5 Problems that I have with “Prison Girls”

By: A. Aleister Sirrat

Happy Holiday Perverts, from Sirrat in the Hat.  I know I haven’t been posting as frequently as my colleague, Das Film Junkie, but I’ve been very busy with some side projects.  So here I am making it up to you with a look back at some classy 1970’s Sex-ploitatitve sleaze...however, I am entering a bit of new territory today.  Normally, I review French Sexploitation films from the 1970’s, but this film has the distinguished honor of being the First American Sexploitation Film I have reviewed.  So do Hollywood film Studios, live up to the same standards as European film Studios?  Well, here are 5 Problems that I have with today’s film, “Prison Girls”.

1.) Poor Picture Quality

     I know I shouldn’t be surprised that the picture quality of sexploitation film from 1972 is not of the greatest quality, but it was very grainy at points, and you can tell that the studio used a low quality film to make it.  However, this film also boasts that it is a 3-D film.  I’ve found some copies of the film that are advertised as “Prison Girls in 3-D”, and as it just so happened I had a pair of 3-D glasses with me, so I assumed the picture quality would be better in 3-D.  I put the glasses on, and it did not improve the picture, the images did not pop-off the screen, and I actually think wearing 3-D glasses made the picture quality even worst.  That is false advertising, and I can’t believe that this films distributors had the audacity to lie to so many of you perverts.

2.) It glamorizes abusive relationships

Say NO to Abusive Relationships
One of the girls in this film, Kay, receives her weekend pass and goes back to visit her old pimp, a man named Mike.  Kay, goes back to Mike’s with the intention of only retrieving her clothing.  Upon arriving at Mike’s place, Kay discovers that Mike gave away all of her clothes to the other girls who work for him.  She and Mike have a huge argument and just as she’s about to walk out the door, Mike grabs her, savagely beats her and then forces her to fellate him.  To make things worse, Mike & Kay then have sex on Mike’s shag rug.  Kay then professes her “love” for Mike and her desire to go back to him.  Okay, if a person is physically and sexually abusing you then they do not care about you.  He’s a Pimp for crying out loud!  Do you have any idea how many different women he has sex with, in a week?  What’s most offensive is they show Kay having an orgasm while she has sex with Mike.  This is an unhealthy, abusive relationship, and they make it look like Kay was asking for it.  This brings me to the next problem with this film.

3.) It’s more “rape fantasy” then Porn

     The biggest problem I have with this film is that the sex scenes are more along the lines of a “rape fantasy” rather than actual porn.  Kay is not the only victim of sexual abuse in this film.  Another girls is gang-raped by a violent biker gang, and the film even tries to tone it down by having one of the guys in the gang rape be her former brother-in-law, and he tells her that he “always loved her” so yeah, that was unpleasant.  Another scene shows one of the female prisoners, Gertie, try to have her way with another female prisoner in the shower.  It’s just not sexy at all.  If you’re going to make an sexploitation/ pornographic film then you need to include things like seduction, and your characters/actors should look and sound like they are both giving their consent and desires to have sex with one another.  Who the hell wants to watch a film where half of its main cast get’s horribly violated?  Nobody, I would hope.  It’s sick, it’s wrong, and it has no place anywhere in these types of films.

4.) Their rehabilitation therapy is super ineffective

Worst Psychiatrist Ever!
So the plot revolves around the idea that six female prisoners are granted a weekend pass that allows them to leave prison for the weekend in order to help themselves get readjusted to living in the real world again.  The Psychiatrist at the film tells one of the female prisoners that most women turn to a life of crime because they are not properly satisfied sexually.  She claims that if the women go out and have kinky sex then they will lose their desire to commit crimes.  I have a question for the Prison Psychiatrist?  What are you findings in regards to this claim?  What is the correlation between crimes committed and women whose sex lives lack passion?  How will having super kinky sex keep women from committing crimes and staying out of prison?  I fail to see how sex could prevent a woman from shoplifting or murdering.  How can you tell these women that sex is the surefire way to help them stay out of prison when half of them get horribly violated?  You are the world’s worst Psychiatrist ever and you should lose your license for coming up with such nonsensical theories.  The very thought of your claims is not even the slightest bit believable.    

5.) It poorly represents the American Penal System.

     Oh how this film just sh!t’s all over the American Penal System.  The prison system is in place to remove undesirable law breakers from the General Public and incarcerate them in an attempt to rehabilitate them until an appropriate time has passed depending on the nature and severity of the crime.  This prison in “Prison Girls” is more like an all girls school or summer camp.  The events that occur in this prison are not based on actual events, but are rather the diluted fantasy of male perversion.  The Warden is not strict at all, and is very soft on discipline.  Not only that but the idea that a Prison Psychiatrist has so much authority is totally unbelievable.  What gives her the authority to grant 6 inmates a weekend away from the prison?  What if any of the girls decided to skip town so they didn’t have to finish their sentences?  Did they even consider the possibility?  I can’t think of any prison—in the past or present—that would ever attempt to do something this stupidly outrageous.

     My final consensus on “Prison Girls” is that it is garbage.  The story is weak, the sex scenes are un-sexy, and so are most of the actresses.  It appears that American Film Studios could not match the sophistication and class of European sexploitation film in the 1970’s.  If I were you, I wouldn’t even bother with it because it does not deserve your attention, and those are 5 Problems that I have with “Prison Girls”.  Until, next time, this Sirrat in the Hat wishing you all a Happy Holiday Season.

To check out some of Sirrat’s other works click on the link below.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Christmas Nightmares

Christmas Nightmares

By: Brian Cotnoir

    One of my favorite Christmas specials that I like to watch every year is “A Christmas Story”.  Every year I get so excited when it comes on TV.  The one reason why I like it so much is because I think that everyone has had that one Christmas in their life time where there was one Toy that they wanted more than anything in the world.  That one special toy that you saw and you didn’t just want, but you saw it a vital necessity in your life.  You would do anything in your power to ensure that you would get that toy for Christmas; Ask Santa, beg your parents, go out of your way to be exceptionally good and ensure that you would be put on a “Nice List”.  There wasn’t anything you weren’t willing to do to get this toy for Christmas.              
     Then the big day comes.  It’s Christmas morning and you rush into your living room with excitement with your sibling(s) and you begin to scope out the massive pile of presents underneath the tree and see which ones are marked for you, and you sit there and wonder if that big present underneath the tree is the one thing you’ve hoping for that Christmas.  You begin to frantically rip open your gifts with anticipation that the next one you open will be your ultimate toy, and then it comes down to just one box left open the tree, it has your name on it, and you have yet to receive the toy you’ve wanted the most.  It all comes down to this:  Will Santa have delivered the goods and answered your pleas or will your Christmas day end with a somber disappointment and the dread of having to wait until next year to receive that present.                                         
    With zero hesitation you tear through the wrapping paper wishing and praying to God that it’s the Greatest Toy Ever, and when that last piece of the paper is torn off you sit there in astonishment and can’t believe your eyes.  That one toy that you did extra chores all month for, that one toy that consumed your dreams at night, that one toy that was going to make or break your Christmas was finally all yours!  You jumped to the ceiling in astonishment and praised Santa as your parents looked upon you with loving gazes at how happy you were to have received your final present, and without any hesitation you took that Ultimate Toy and you played with it, and it was the best Christmas ever...or perhaps the start of the most nightmarish Christmas of your entire life???                         
    You had reached the highest of highs, but then your parents introduce an idea to you that seems worst than anything you could have ever imagined...Sharing your gift with others.  And I’m not talking having to share the gift with your sibling(s).  Sharing a gift with a sibling(s) is easy. They live with you and they know how you like them to play with your toys, so as long as they’re careful enough you don’t mind as much sharing with them, but it’s when your other relatives come over that you start to get nervous.                              
    Cousins.  Is there any worst group of people you can think of to share your toys with?  Especially younger cousins.  I have this theory that in almost every family you always have that one cousin; the one whose parents may have gotten separated or the one whose parents didn’t make a lot of money at their jobs so they couldn’t afford really to give their own kids a nice Christmas.  The cousin who may have had a “rough life” and couldn’t always establish right from wrong.  The same cousin who every time he’d come over your house would take out all of your toys and play with them and then would leave with his family without helping you clean up the mess.  Forcing you to clean up after them, and your parents always made you be extremely nice to them whenever they came over.  It was this cousin we always dreaded the most especially at Christmas time.  The second they came in through the door and they saw you playing with your new toy they seemed to have this look of pure evil upon their face.  Then they would walk up to you and without even so much as a “hello”, would look at you and say “Can I play with that?”  And the same thought went through all of our minds; “No.  You can’t play with this.  It’s mine.  I went through hell to get this toy, I’ve only had it for two hours and I’m not going to let you play with it because you might break it”.  Then your cousin would always turn on the water works and run to his parents (or worst your parents) and say that you weren’t sharing with them.  Your parents would pull you aside and sharply tell you that you needed to share your gift with cousin because it was Christmas; a time of caring and sharing, and that you were acting a spoiled brat.  Then you pleaded your argument to your parents that your cousin should not be allowed anywhere near your new and favorite toy, not because of the fear that they might break it, but for the fear that they would most certainly break it if they were to play with it.  Your parents would most definitely ignore your pleas at this point and then submit you to the worst punishment imaginable as a child.                                             

    For failure to share your new toy with your cousin you were sentenced to sit between your parents and watch your cousin play with your new favorite toy until you could “learn to share”.  It was madness, it was unbearable, it was the worst form of torture you could ever think of for a child.  Watching your cousin play with your new favorite toy was like watching the one you love get tortured to death.  “Stop it!” you would say in your head “you’re playing too rough with it.  You’re going to break it.  Please stop being so rough with my new toy”, but your parents didn’t care.  They ignored the look of anguish upon your face.  In their eyes they were teaching you an important life lesson.  As for your cousin, they could care less about how they were playing with your toy.  They played with it and treated it as if it were their own toy, but it wasn’t; it was yours.         

    The came the moment of fate: your cousin in a horrific brain lapse tossed your new favorite toy way up into the air as you looked on with horror, praying, praying that he would catch it.  As they most assuredly missed catching the toy on it’s way down, your heart exploded as you watched that new toy hit the floor and break in two.  Your cries of anguish were ignored by your parents as you fell to your knees, heartbroken.  Your aunt & uncle told your cousin to apologize to you for breaking your toy and your cousin just looked down at the ground as they delivered the most insincere  “I’m sorry” ever.  And what started out as the Best Christmas Ever ended as one of the worst days of your childhood.