October 19, 2005

Better Thank You'll Ever Know

Print More

When I tell people that I adore the music of Frostsea, they are immediately impressed. Their interest piques when I clarify, with a dispassionately smug air, that the band’s music renders the mere idea of genre to be obsolete, pausing briefly for effect, and adding with a slight twinge of impatience that it shares some similarities with lo-fi indie pop/rock – that is if you desperately need to indulge in the tackiness of classification. Finally, when I laugh and tell them I’ve just been making all this shit up; they’re usually embarrassed and far from amused.

Well, suffice to say, they deserve it. And, not to say that I spend all my waking hours telling unmotivated lies, I do get a kick out of finding that charming combination of retardation and snobbery innate within every “Ugh, I can’t believe they sold out” hater. So this brings us to the point of my column for this week: goodness. Somewhere between the extremes of greatness and crappiness is a valley of ambiguity occupied in part by goodness, a trait that hints at tempered satisfaction, unmodified Honda Accords and that one word reputedly hated by all: mainstream. I’m sure even my mention of it on paper has already killed one kitten. Anyway, my belief is that there are some things out there, easily classifiable within this lifeless scum-sucking void that we take for granted, things whose value we’ll probably never realize unless they’re gone.

Marketing itself as for “adults,” Fresca, for those of you who may not know, is essentially grapefruit soda. Now I bet you didn’t know that. I myself had lived oblivious to Fresca’s charms until earlier this year, having simply dismissed its presence in the local supermarket aisle as yet another generic brand replacement to Sprite or 7up. Sugar-free and caffeine-free, Fresca is fantastic because it’s less sweet than its carbonated counterparts and, in effect, charmingly light. And now that they’ve introduced two new flavors in the form of peach Fresca and cherry Fresca, as well as redesigned their cans so that they may or may not resemble futuristic skin infections, there’s just simply no reason to refuse Fresca’s allure.

Good Chick Flicks
An inherent contradiction, you say? An obvious manifestation of my biological bias, you say? An indication of how a crippling combination of profuse academic work and the recent drought in commentary-worthy entertainment phenomena has forced me to write a column about mediocrity and soft drinks, you say? Utterly preposterous.

I am a chick who hates chick flicks, except for two: Two Week’s Notice and Bridget Jones’ Diary. The former was a pleasant surprise by way of a neurotic Sandra Bullock who ordered Chinese food like nobody’s business and didn’t seem to care if others deemed her too cerebral while the latter employed a realistic looking, incompetent normal girl. A thorough rehashing of why I didn’t find these two movies repulsive has led me to believe that the asshole version of Hugh Grant is the key to any non-saccharin chick flick.

James Bond
Who can forget a franchise that gave us lines of dialogue like, “But I thought Christmas only came once a year,” or villains obsessed with inanimate objects (my mouth is filled with metal, I will kill you with this hat, etc.). I am sad to see Pierce furrowed-eyebrows-clenched-jaw Brosnan go, but Bond is a legacy and it’s time to pass on the torch of teaching how misogyny somehow equates to STD immunity to another middle-aged, not necessarily brunette actor. I just hope that the series never loses its initial shameless superficiality of fast cars, scantily-clad women, tuxedo-suit fighting sequences and female characters that all possess names of celebrity baby status. Yeah, I can imagine Nicholas Cage and underage wife naming a daughter Fantima Blush.

Archived article by Tracy Zhang
Arts and Entertainment Editor