Inspired by Andy Warhol’s series of Monroe paintings, I wrote this poem in my Poetry Writing class. Since I graduated college, it’s fun going through all my writing and sharing it on this blog. The assignment for this one was to select a famous painting and write about the painting, but not just the painting but the meaning as well. So I choose to combine the details of the paint and the symbolism that Monroe stood for.
The painting I was inspired by is the one with the pink background and the pink eye shadow. I had to go through a couple of drafts before finally going with this poem. My first draft just talked about the detail of the painting and didn’t push the abstract envelope. So I took some time to sit down, put on some music, and I tried again. According to my professor I was successful and I got an A+! But of course, there is always room for improvement.
Saddened eyes of a classic beauty,
Norma Jean Mortensen,
The All-American beauty.
More than a one-hit wonder,
A starlet envied by women,
Adored by men.
The vibrant juxtapose of blonde
Against a daring hue of pink.
Violet lips awaiting the kiss of
a dangerous stranger.
Contrast on high,
colors defining the raw lines of
her wounded beauty.
A face among the stars.
The painting captures the silver screen
blurred by the darkness of her life.
Playful pink eye shadow
masks the sadness in her eyes.
Dark shadows slowly inching towards
the center of her face.
Pop culture’s epitome of extra-ordinary beauty,
media’s goddess of “real women have curves.”
Oozing sex appeal,
her bodacious curves the new “little black dress.”
silk-screen duplication madness.
More than just a soup can,
but darkness silk-screened into hues of pink.
Timeless beauty that left too soon
but left behind pop culture’s road map for beauty.
It’s been over six months since I was last here, hunched over the harsh nocturnal-blue glow from my laptop screen. It’s 2:30 in the morning and though my eyelids droop down lazily and my warm bed covers, mere feet away, beckon me with their loving siren’s call, I have no intentions of going to bed, as this is a night I have been waiting an eternity for. This is the first week of September; this is the return of football.
While all across America friends and family gather in front of the television – dinners a recent memory, still rumbling in their stomachs – I sit alone in a darkened room obsessively checking that my headphones aren’t so loud as to wake those around me, while a bag of pretzels sit by my side mockingly as I ponder exactly why I put myself through this torture.
It occurs to me tonight; halfway through the fifth time I watch the adverts for a Matthew Perry sitcom I’m never going to see and the new Toyota Camry that doesn’t even exist in England that my experience of watching pro-football is surely a far-flung vision from the vast majority of people. What should be wonderful about sport is how it transcends culture or background – you can put two people in a room with nothing in common but a love of football and they can talk for hours. There is nothing personal about sports; yes, people can judge you completely irrationally for being a Jets fan just as they can for being rich, or poor, or homosexual, but it never really feels the same because, when all is said and done, sport doesn’t really matter. We just like to think it does.
Sports are something that is meant to be watched and enjoyed in groups, before being dissected by back-seat quarterbacks on a Monday morning. Sport and culture go hand in hand – which is why, as I sit here, alone, in the dark, I realise what a strange sensation this is. I am only left to gleam at the Utopia a thousand miles away in which friends gather in strangely immaculate houses, exchange tame trash-talk and drink either Bud Light, Miller Light or Coors Light. Either way it’s Light beer.
“Oh, what a world!” I think to myself as I sip from a glass of water, as any form of alcohol will likely tip me over the edge into golden slumbers.
It is this disconnect – this dedication of mine – that can at times be so frustrating as an outsider looking into American sports. I doubt that most people realise the extraordinary lengths people in Europe go to follow what is still considered here, despite its growth, a fringe sport. In America football is culture, it is something that requires absolutely no effort to connect with because 24 hour news stations are swamped with time-filling featurettes and radio call-in shows and newspapers filled with articles on teams – and most importantly of all – a gluttony of friends with which to talk and share these experiences with.
Europe has football (soccer) for that, so we get it. Just as in America we have radio shows dedicated to frivolous discussions of nothing-ness, and gossip-columns and overanalyses of every minute detail; but American football has nothing here – it is silenced into the night. Tebow-mania wasn’t even a thing.
Yet, ever since the inaugural NFL International Series in 2007 at Wembley fans have posted message board comments with their droll, quasi-xenophobic sentiments of “it’s the National Football League, not the International Football League,” like that’s supposed to prove anything other than the fact that you’re a cunt.
While such responses may be considered a natural pact reaction to something most Americans will think of as “their” sport this is, despite their protestations, simply not the case any more. The world is getting smaller and American football will grow and grow, as has every other sport on the planet – something most rational thinking people can surely only accept as a good thing. It’s the fact that fans are so reluctant to share their sport – to give up just one game to another time zone – that shows how much Americans take for granted their niche, idiosyncratic sport; there is not a single other sport outside of America that has this luxury.
But while I am by now more than familiar with my ritual of late nights/late morning, my body attuned to bizarrely erratic sleeping times this is not something that comes easy to me, particularly after six months away.
It’s a sad admission to make, but like a professional footballer preparing for the new season I often stay up watching pre-season games of teams I don’t even support just to get used to watching football at 3am.
Worse still, for the last three years of my life I had to make the choice of watching Sunday Night Football, starting at 1:30am in the UK (finishing at close to 5am) or to make my lecture at 9am the following morning. It says a lot about the sport that last year I just about scraped through that class, coming up 3 points short of failing the semester.
That, my friends, is dedication.
All I ask of you is that when you settle down on Sunday night to renew your glamorous world of super-cold, freshly-brewed Bud Light, your friends surrounding you, finishing in time for the Nightly News, spare a thought for your brothers across the Atlantic for whom a whole other ritual has been reborn. We are the fans who spend Sunday nights alone and Monday morning with bleary eyes, tired minds and relying on our false idol of Red Bull to get us through the day.
There is nothing I love more than good coffee, great music, and a heavy dosage of nonstop laughter.It’s usually nice when I can have one of those delights on it’s own, but getting all three together is a blast! Now of course I might not always have a latte in my hand, but it’s still great when comedy and great music come together. I’m not even a big dance enthusiast, but I do love dancing, laughing, and just having a great time getting lost in the music. I’d rather be dancing and laughing with a group of friends, rather than watching a dance performance; that just isn’t my thing.
But I do enjoy when someone can combine dance with comedy and have a great time. So, have you guys heard of Nathan Barnatt? Perhaps I’m the only person out there who hasn’t seen this guy dancing on YouTube (I highly doubt that), but his videos are hilarious! He has an entire serious of comedic sketches where he dances to some great songs, including Madeon’s “Pop Culture” mashup and Yelle’s “Que Veux Tu.” His dancing isn’t the best in the world, but his vibrant energy is amazing! It makes you just want to get up and dance along with him.
He is actually a comedian and actor, but he has had great viral success with his comedic sketches. This guy is so funny, well in my opinion. I’m not too hard to please when it comes to laughter, except when it comes to Tyler Perry films. I just don’t find them funny, but that is a story for another day! So, yeah, Nathan Barnatt…he is funny! I just love how odd and awkward he looks while dancing. Not to mention, the faces he makes are epic!
Check out his music videos for “Pop Culture” and “Que Veux Tu,” and be sure to visit his YouTube for more sketch comedy. It’s dancing, comedy, and great music all in one spot; I love it!
©Jasmine McGee.ThinkSoul25. http://thinksoul25.com
I absolutely love pop culture and the not so popular culture. My fascination with pop culture is one of the reasons why I started this blog. I didn’t want to just be confined to the position of a spectator, yet an avid and active member of the cultural exchange. There is so much culture out there from around the world. My position in life is to be an active member of society and share my opinions on the culture. Even if I don’t have an opinion (which is quite rare,) I still have to share what I find and let you guys, my audience, formulate an opinion.
Recently I’ve gotten off into a lot of music from the UK, specifically a lot of French DJ’s and producers. For years I’ve been listening to a lot of awesome electronic/dance artists, but I had no idea they were from France. I suppose the location never mattered to me, I was only concerned with the infectious music teasing my ears. Good music, is good music. The location or the characteristics of the artist doesn’t always matter to me, it’s about the quality of the sound. My love for good music is probably why I discovered Madeon and didn’t realize he was yet another French producer. The location doesn’t necessarily matter, but seriously though, what is up with France pumping out so much good electronica/dance music?!
Madeon is yet another pop/electronic producer from France, and get this, he is only 17! I first heard of him about a week ago when I was jamming to the dance channel and his remix of Deadmau5′s “Raise Your Weapon” came on. I’m a huge fan of Deamau5 and the remix by Madeon had caught my ears. It was a nice spin on the original, it gave the song a little more of an electro pop sound.
Madeon has some great remixes, including his remix of Yelle’s “Que Veux Tu.” Yet one of his coolest mixes is a live mash up called “Pop Culture.” It’s a mash up of all his favorite pop culture songs and all the song he uses are some of the ones I love listening to. He has a great collection of songs ranging from Daft Punk to Michael Jackson, from The Who to Michael Jackson, Chromeo to Madonna, and so many other great artists.
Madeon is only 17 years old, but he is becoming quite the remix sensation. Check out his Pop Culture mash up and his remix of Deadmau5′s “Raise Your Weapon.”