2013: Horrors Ignored by the Mainstream Media

“Here’s a breakdown of just SOME of the issues going on in this vid:

women fighting for the right to drive in Saudi Arabia, farmers fighting for fair wages in Colombia, homophobia and systemic LGBT discrimination in Russia, forced evictions of indigenous peoples in Brazil, police brutality in the U.S., Syrian shelling, as well as the continued protesting for civil rights in Iran and Egypt.

…How many of these have you heard about?”

-via Carly Gillis, Upworthy.com

Links to the original YouTube videos used in this montage are compiled in this google doc:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BgjoIF7Pzh4P7FpaelmvRmU2x4zEF-mQIvS2z0TqMa4

This boy lip-synced his way through Puberty!

It totally brings new meaning to the phrase, “I grew up listening to Queen.”

In a truly entertaining, time-lapse style video, watch Matt Perren lip-sync to Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now,” and age by 3 years throughout the duration of the clip. The project took him 1,101 days to complete, as he had to, essentially, lip-sync to the song everyday, in the same clothes and position. It’s really quite facinating to see his hair grow and face change over the years.

Black Santa Gets Shot in the ‘Hood

“You’ll shoot your eye out!”

Well, maybe not so much. This video was able to, within two minutes, sum up all of our favorite Christmas elements (charity, Santa Claus, toys, and pellet-guns), and turn them into an advertisement of everything that is pretty much wrong with modern society. The African-American man dressed as Santa, was shot twice in the back while being filmed by a local ABC network news-station affiliate, and was later treated at the hospital to remove the pellets. The shooter took aim from a second-story apartment window, but no suspects have been found as of yet. It’s easy to laugh at the video upon first viewing, but the slapstick-comedic element melts off quickly, and doesn’t stick like a first snowing, and leaves us with the harsh, cold reality of “What’s wrong with people these days?”

Beyonce Releases A Secret Album to iTunes

Beyonce has created her self-entitled album.

This is a feat most recording artists and musicians hold to a high-esteem, because typically the self-titled album is either the debut work, or it is their career masterpiece. While the smoke hasn’t settled long enough for us to determine if this is Beyonce’s best work, there is no denying the genius beyond this album’s release strategy; A complete mystery and secret, the album dropped somewhat randomly, with no anticipation, no promo, no publicity, no trailers, no singles, no gimmicks, and most surprisingly….NO LEAKS!!

It seems almost impossible in this day and age, amidst a generation of gimme-gimme-gimme millennial die-hard fans, that this album did not leak. It is highly surprising that this album did not leak, especially considering the list of high profile collaborators who appear on the album’s lineup, including Frank Ocean, Drake, megastar-mogul-turned-husband Jay-Z, and most shockingly….the heiress princess herself, Blue Ivy.

For the time being, the album is an iTunes exclusive, available for full download only (no singles until December 20th), at a pre-Napster price of $15.99, which isn’t so bad when you consider that the album includes several music videos as well. For a project of such high profile and production value, it truly is a mystery how Beyonce was able to keep it all under wraps, and I’m sure that all her fans were pleasantly surprised, and now, all the female RNB stars who have filled the void left by Beyonce’s previous album and maternity leave (ahem…Rihanna) must be a little concerned that 2014 may be the year of the Bey.

Special salute to Beyonce as a businesswoman for timing the release perfectly before the holidays.

Russell Brand Calls for Revolution on BBC News

Jeremy Paxman: “What will your revolution look like?”

Russell Brand: “I’ll tell you what it won’t be like…a huge disparity between rich and poor, where 300 Americans have the same amount of wealth as the 85 million poorest Americans, where there is an exploited and under-served underclass that are being continually ignored and where welfare is slashed while Cameron and Osborne go to court to defend the rights of bankers to continue receiving their bonuses. This has to be addressed.”

“I am not voting out of apathy…I am not voting out of absolute indifference and weariness and exhaustion from the lies, treachery and deceit of the political class that has been going on for generations.”

DIRTY LOOPS: What do Bieber and Talent Have in Common?

Forbes ranked Justin Bieber as the #3 Most Powerful Celebrity in the World, last year in 2012. At age 19, Bieber has sold close to 13 million albums, garnered over 3.75 BILLION views on YouTube, and has amassed a small fortune of over $130 Million USD. With that type of unilateral success, it’s only natural for haters to emerge, and Justin has gotten it pretty bad across the internet and various forums, where users often post sarcastic and biting criticisms of the Justin Bieber brand of music. It’s not uncommon to see humorous and sometimes violent comments from users in any given music blog. Even a quick YouTube search for “I hate Justin Bieber” yields over 1.3 million results of user-generated hate videos. It seems that, on a metaphysical level, some people have grown tired of the the new sound of Pop music, and Justin seems to be the perfect scapegoat for that type of frustration. It makes us wonder, “Does pop music suck?” What about pop music has gone terribly wrong since the days of the Beatles and Motown? Is it the songwriting, the performance, or the production? To put this question to the test, a trio of classically-trained musicians from Sweden have re-invented some of the most commercially successful American pop songs with a progressive-Gospel flair, showing us that, maybe, just maybe….pop music doesn’t suck after all.

The Pixel Painter: Hal Lasko Creates Masterpieces in MS Paint

There’s no wrong way to eat a Reese’s, just like there is no “correct” way to make art. Hal Lasko, better known as “Grandpa,” has proven that by creating beautiful works of art using Microsoft Paint, a graphic design software that has fallen out of common use since the days of Windows 98. Hal Lasko has also proven to us that at 98 years old, he is making some of his finest works, and that there is no better time than now to express yourself.

Living in Hollywood, I often hear the phrase “Industry Standard” get tossed around a bunch, often by those fearful that their art work wont be appreciated or accepted unless it adapts to a checklist of rules and practices. This 9 minute piece is incredibly inspiring to me, as a reminder that there are no rules, and that we are only bounded by the limits of our imagination.

THE MODERN MEDIA COMPANY