Category Archives: Other sports

Football and MMA aren’t forms of art?

The Golden Globe Awards were last night and if you’ve launched any social media or culture outlet today you probably know about Meryl Streep’s acceptance speech for the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award.  She spoke on the geographically diverse talent pool in Hollywood and that if they were kicked out, “…we’ll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts, which are not the arts.”

Sure, athletic competition is certainly not a fine (high) art form (painting, pottery, sculpting, architecture, music, opera, theatre, poetry).  The activity itself, though, is a performing art as much as dance.  Moreover, as televised football and mixed martial arts are very much part of the visual arts (photography, film, video, digital media), I argue that the representation of these athletic experiences, especially with an audience, is artful in their own voyeuristic physics-at-work ways.  Sanctioned body trauma and sometimes in slow motion. Sweat ricochets, inertia observed, crash-test dummy whooshes, and it is a wonder why some of us like to watch adults inflict physical pain onto each other for entertainment.*


And now for some other performing arts that is just as athletic but without all the violence.


*Of course, NFL Films changed profoundly how we think about football game play vis-a-vis how we see it.

Images of American Youth Culture in Kpop MVs

It’s cultural appropriation when the Subject takes the Other’s customs as accessories; it’s cultural appropriation when the ideological Majority (re)interprets the Minority’s norms and tastes.  Is it a gushing compliment when the latter inserts former’s cultural mise-en-scene?

I love these songs and the music videos.  I know that cheerleaders, lacrosse players, and football players are not exclusively North American “properties.”  Nonetheless, I wonder about the line that separates an effective incorporation of another’s look-and-feel from satire from shameless borrowing.*

It’s harder to avoid consciously emulating others’ visual representations of themselves because their lifestyles and fashion choices are but an app and internet connection away.  The disconnect for me is that the clothes and sets signify North American culture but the people in it are not North American (geo-politically speaking).  It seems real but it isn’t.

Girls’ Generation‘s “Oh” — spot the imac g3



AOA‘s “Heart Attack”


EXO‘s “Love Me Right”

* The art direction of Shinee’s “1 of 1” mv is a fantastic nod to New Jack Swing and fashion trends of the 90s.  Uncut version of Troublemaker’s “Tell Me Now” mv.  Psy’s “Gangnam Style” does not satirize directly American culture but because much of American popular culture is tied to excess and luxury, I thought it a fitting example — and the blog post is excellently written.

PS. Many members of Kpop groups (and likely creative staff) were born in or group up in Canada and the US, so it makes sense why they would bring a Westerner’s visual style perspective.   They still have to abide by the customs of their ethnic heritage (what is considered offensive and what isn’t), so depictions of violence, sexuality, and mind-altering landscapes would necessarily be affected.

PPS.  I still don’t fully understand the reggae thing.  I get the appeal for a musician, but the braids?  Je ne le comprends pas.

Sports Thoughts Unhad

My foot is doing better.  An increased intake of bananas and application of Chinese herbal patches has helped significantly.  There’s Salon Pas (sah-lon paaahhsss), GouPi Gao, and then there’s YunNan BaiYao.  Awesome stuff.


 photo utenaelbow.jpg

I did a YouTube search of the phrase “sports are dumb” and found this video which tickled me pink with laughter (despite the couple moments of ‘hmmm, I laughed but someone surely took offense’).

Then, I did a search of “sports saved my life” to see what I’d find.  It’s an old video, but I like it.  I wonder what the people featured in it are up to now.

I titled this post “sports thoughts unhad” because even though I think a lot about a myriad of topics, I’d never thought that sports scoring rules could be stupid or how sports have saved specific people’s lives.  I know it plays an important part society (for better or for worse), but I hadn’t wondered about more concrete examples.


And now for some Kpop:

Ladies Code used to be a five-member group but two of them died due to a car accident in 2014.  The surviving three members made their comeback earlier this year with a great song.

I’ve started listening to more Korean hip-pop.
Here’s Babylon featuring Dok2 (translation here).

Sharing the Road: Easier Said Than Done



The phrase “easier said than done” applies appropriately to sharing the road with people who are traveling in the same or a different mode of transportation than you.  It occurred to me today that as much as I believe I share fairly and reasonably the road with bicyclists, it depends on the definition of “share” from a biker’s and a driver’s literal (visual) and psychological points of view.

For example, if a bicyclist doesn’t have a proper bike lane or enough space on the right side of the road (and she won’t get on the sidewalk because it’s illegal and dangerous for both the bicyclist and any pedestrians who may or may not dart out onto a sidewalk before a bicyclist can come to an effective stop), she isn’t very likely going to stop and let a driver pass her, is she?  Or, would she prefer for the driver to hurry up and get around her so that she could resume her biking pace?

Perhaps in suburban areas or neighborhood streets, she would let a driver by because there is room and opportunity (in much the same way a pedestrian may let a car or bike pass before continue walking).  More often than not, if residential buildings are not on a main road, there is usually a turning lane.  This morning, I was driving on a one-lane road through a residential area.  The road was on an incline and windy, thus, it made little sense to me to try and accelerate past a couple of bicyclists not only because at that particular stretch of the road, I’d be unable to stop/swerve if a car were to come from the other direction by the time I’d gotten closer to the bicyclists, but my visibility was also limited.  I needed to get around a curve several “blocks” ahead before I could consider going around them.

The speed limit was twenty-five mph on that road; there was a neighborhood turning lane approaching.  I thought the bicyclists would move over to the turning lane and let me pass, but nope.  Instead, after a car from the other direction had gone by me, I was able to increase my speed enough to drive alongside the bicyclists…at their speed.  I thought I was sharing the road because I was going slowly and wanted to make my presence known before I increased my speed to move in front of them.

One of the bicyclists motioned to me with his left arm in a manner that I interpreted as, “Move it along!  Just go, go, go!”

And so I did.  I was miffed, for sure, at first because I thought it nonsensical for a bicyclist with no bike lane to be so annoyed that I didn’t zoom by him.  I believed I was being courteous…and then I realized that even though I knew my intentions, he had no way of knowing it.  He could’ve seen my driving as needlessly slow and excessively “sharing” to the point of “lingering.”

The bicyclists I’ve seen on city streets would probably appreciate my slowness but only because they would get on the sidewalk …if only to get away from me. ^o^