Thursday, January 24, 2013

Water Balloons, A Rainbow & Thrift Shopping

This is rapper Macklemore.
He's going to take you thrift shopping later in this blog.  You don't want to miss that.

Before we get to Macklemore...

I recently stumbled upon the YouTube channel of Belgian-based photographer/videographer Pablo Vicente. The description goes like this: Buenos dias. I shoot photos and videos because I love pixels, cuts and rendering afternoons. Filming with DSLR and Super 35 mm slow motion camera. I think we can all agree that watching a cute, physically fit guy get pummeled by water balloons in slow motion for two minutes is art. And probably someone's masturbatory fantasy, too.

Actor, blogger and Internet sensation Randy Rainbow creates wildly irreverent videos in which he stages fake interactions with famous people by editing real audio clips of those celebrities. The results are frequently brilliant. Here, Randy is a lesbian matchmaking guru who discovers that helping Jodie Foster find love is going to be more difficult than he anticipated. (To stage this, Randy uses portions of Foster's recent Golden Globes speech and sweetens everything with some rabid, apoplectic snippets from Mel Gibson.)

Mrs. Betty Bowers, also known as America's Best Christian, is a fictional and very satirical character created by writer Paul A. Bradley. Portrayed by voice actor and comedienne Deven Green, Betty Bowers skewers the hypocrisy of fundamentalist Christianity with aplomb. Here's a video from last December that I didn't get a chance to work into my blog until now. The set up: Mrs. Betty Bowers faux-Skypes with notoriously mean and homophobic Shirley Phelps-Roper, the spokesperson for Westboro Baptist Church (you know, the "God Hates Fags" people led by her father, Fred Phelps). This one is so scathingly accurate, I had to share.

I could spend a couple of paragraphs going through the twisty history of rapper Macklemore; it's a bit of an indie rags-to-riches story. But let's talk about the music. Last year, the 29-year-old struck gold collaborating with producer Ryan Lewis. Their "Same Love," a message tune explicitly supportive of gay rights and marriage equality, got them noticed in the LGBT community and raised a few eyebrows in the (sometimes aggressively) homophobic hip hop scene. But another one of Macklemore's collaborations with Ryan Lewis, "Thrift Shop," was released last August and has quietly managed to accumulate over 64 million views on YouTube and just reached number one on Billboard's Hot 100 music chart. Macklemore, who's straight, does most of the singing/rapping here with an assist from another singer, Wanz. Ryan Lewis produced and directed the video; you can see him here as the DJ in sunglasses. When I made my list of favorite videos of 2012 recently, I somehow managed to forget this one. So let me set the record... er, straight, this video would have easily placed near the top of that list.

Peace out,

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