Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Just So You Know...

We have a new President! 44th of the United States President Barack Obama. I just thought since it is a landmark in history that I have to post a short but sweet blog about it. We watched it at school today on a huge projector as he was sworn in and for the first time in a long time I felt proud to be an American. All day people were just saying that today was only a big deal because he is the first 'African American President' of America and that pissed me off.
Yeah, he is black. I've gotten over that but really-this is huge because he is President at a time when it is so prudent and important that we have a leader who can possibly make America as well as the rest of the world right again. There is a reason why so many countries are invested in this as well-and it's not because he is black. It also is because of the state of the economic world and healing the racial divide perhaps in more countries besides the U.S. It's so awesome that it happened in my lifetime and I honestly feel humbled and just hope that he lives up to his message and the hoopla surrounding him.
I don't think Obama should be viewed as someone to save us all as some are putting that type of pressure on him-but more so a fresh start to an amazing term.
Lets hope he does us all proud.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Recommended Reading:Enchantress From The Stars

If you like to read, raise your hand!

Anyways, so just like the Flavor of The Week, I think I'm going to start a Recommended Reading entry every now and then. Who doesn't like books? I'd hope anyone who reads this gives me some recommendations too especially if its related to whatever book I'm trying to sell you.

I recently bought this novel called Enchantress From The Stars written by Sylvia Louise Engdahl (Don't be deceived by the name). It's a frame story told from three perspectives that are in first person: Elana, a member of an interstellar civilization on a mission to a medieval planet, becomes the key to a dangerous plan to turn back an invasion. How can she help the Andrecians, who still believe in magic and superstition, without revealing her own alien powers? At the same time, Georyn, the son of an Andrecian woodcutter, knows only that there is a dragon in the enchanted forest, and he must defeat it (Thank you Amazon.com. I'm terrible at describing things).

The Dragon is the machine used by the planet that is colonizing the medieval one but they think its a Dragon because they don't know any better. Jarel (the third character) is a medic of the colonizing planet who is fighting with his own moral conscience about whether what they are doing is ethical and Elana is trying to help the primitive planet by posing as a 'witch' who gives them mystical weapons-which are really advanced technological tools-to slay the dragon but it ends up being this tragic love story.

So it has action for the boys and drama for the girls. I highly recommend this.

It evokes questions about the responsibilities of more advanced societies toward primitive ones, about the ability of individuals to grow and to make a difference in their world, and about the many possibilities the universe may hold.

It's rad. Read it. I most likely did not do it justice with such a terrible summary.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Why Women In Metal Aren't Taken Seriously Pt. I

I feel as though I've been so focused on race issues in metal and I want to divert a bit-take a breather and focus on something else for the time being. Race stuff gets tiring sometimes right? Why not temporarily move to an even more exciting topic in metal music? Gender!

So, not only am I black but I'm also a chick *gasp* and believe it or not I have somewhat of a tiny feminist in me just waiting to be heard.

*sigh* I don't know where to begin. Let me start by saying that women in metal music have exceeded expectations and are fast on the way of being a huge marketing tool...which can be good or bad. It's just interesting how many of us (women) are so into the mentality, 'we can do it just as good as the boys', yadda yadda yet allow ourselves to come right back down and be demoted to shit like this (look at the above picture).

Now you may ask, but Black Girl Into Heavy Metal, those are just two attractive powerful women in metal bands posing for a 'prestigious' title that was granted to them. My response is fuck that. Why don't they have a sexiest men in metal issue. Why is this? Because its a male dominated, super machismo, who's balls are bigger type of music genre-lets just be honest. I would be the first to formulate a list of who I think could make the sexiest men in metal as well as have them pose in tight leather pants doused in baby oil-thats beside the point. The point is that-how can we want to be treated equal yet we still cater to that male driven bullshit theory that women are ONLY supposed to be these sexual, ethereal, nonthreatening divas? And if we are even a tad bit intimidating we scare the hell out of men. For example bands like The Agonist or Vision of Atlantis v.s bands like Otep and Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult (Mind you, these bands all are different genres). I think generally there seems to be an appeal for a female presence in metal but many men cannot decide if they want women to sort of be these beautiful singing objects that are nice to look at but barely tolerable to listen to or if they want a tough women who can play an instrument and scream like the guys yet at the risk of their sexual appeal. Only one woman (in my opinion) has been able to be taken seriously as well as be powerful and sexy-Angela Gossow of Arch Enemy. Even with a lot of symphonic metal bands like Nightwish (Yes, I'm going to rag on Nightwish even if they have won some awards-they still aren't' taken seriously because at the end of the day when people speak of great metal bands none of them are female fronted. Sad but true) the girls are always a bit whimsical and uber soft. Mind you, I'm not saying women in 'tougher' brands of metal aren't considered beautiful but they aren't the type of women to end up in just their skimpees on the covers of these magazines because conventionally they aren't beautiful. Beautiful is demure and safe=nonthreatening.

What man is going to take a woman seriously in a plaid miniskirt and a corset with her boobs hanging out *coughInThisMomentcough* no matter how good she sounds. I just think women who are tougher that don't dress like sluts are respected a tad more than the run of the mill heavy metal chick. They might not get as much attention for obvious reasons but attention=/= reputation? I'm all for wanting to feel sexy in a hot outfit every once in a while but I think power, intimidation, maybe even fear can be extremely sexy.

I know that certain types of metal are supposed to portray a different look but I just find it interesting that the girls that do make the issue are in cookie cutter safe corporate bands that are mostly talentless. Maybe I'm just looking at it the wrong way.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Flavor of The Week:Wrust

As long as I have a few readers, I'll use it as a way to promote bands that I enjoy or that I think you should be aware of. The current flavor of the week is a death metal band called Wrust. This band hails from Botswana, Africa and just released their full length album Soulless Machine in 2007 on Witchdoctor records. Check em' out if you like a grittier sound with harsh vocals. A good band from the slowly emerging African metal scene.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPz5p4x2Qis (Video for single 'Kill or Be Killed')