FLOWER by JISOO
After lots and lots of waiting, JISOO, a member of the famous K-pop girl group BLACKPINK, has finally released a solo. Meaning finally each member of the group has released their own solo songs.
Despite my lack of the Korean language, I cannot get this song out of my head since it’s release almost 10 days ago. The song has blown up on streaming services like iTunes, Apple Music and Spotify, and it has also spawned a lot of conversation on sites like TikTok and Twitter. Needless to say, the song is very popular.
This song has been expected for years, as every other member of BLACKPINK has gotten a solo except for Jisoo. Considering how much hype has been surrounding this song, it would have been easy for people’s expectations to be too high, resulting in the song under-performing due to disappointment. However, the exact opposite has happened. Though people (including myself) have been looking forward to this for years, no one knew what to expect from a Jisoo solo, leading to a lot of interest in the song.
The song itself is just good, it’s a classic pop song, but incorporated with it is Jisoo’s incredible singing voice. The song also has an incredibly catchy chorus, even to someone like me who doesn’t speak a lick of Korean. It just gets stuck in your head so easily leading to a rinse and repeat cycle of listening to the song.
The music video is also incredibly stunning. Constant costume changes from verse to chorus, followed by immaculate choreography, the song’s production value is most likely higher than a lot of Hollywood films. The music video also does an incredible job of telling the story to a person who doesn’t speak Korean, which is much appreciated to someone like myself.
How Jackie Kennedy Saved C-Sections
Jackie Kennedy was pregnant five times in her life. One ended in miscarriages, one was still-born, one died within a few days of birth, and two made it. Her two surviving children, Caroline and John JR, were both born via Caesarean section, also known as c-section. This is a surgery in which the baby or babies are delivered via surgical incision to the stomach and uterus instead of vaginally. In the late 1950s-1960s, c-section were a very taboo topic, but thanks to Mrs. Kennedy, a c-section became an acceptable form of childbirth, and not one to hide.
According to the Huffpost while c-sections were available before the times of Jackie Kennedy, doctors did everything in their power to avoid performing one in fear of possible infections and other health problems. However for Jackie, a natural birth wasn’t an option. Caroline was born via a planned c-section due to the stillbirth of the Kennedy’s first daughter, Arabella the year prior. JFK JR was born via an emergency c-section after she went into labor a month early and just a few days after her husband’s election as well.
A few years later in 1963, Jackie once again had a c-section. This time, however, the baby did not make it. He died at just two days old. The death of the president’s son was a media circus, leading to many reporters using the death of Patrick Kennedy to make money. However, the high publicity of Patrick’s death led to an increase in knowledge of the c-sections and what also caused his death. This increase in knowledge led to the lives of thousands being saved. Both babies and mothers. If Jackie Kennedy hadn’t been so willing to let the public in on some parts of her c-section, who knows how many more would have died.
Marilyn Monroe’s Post-Mortem Abuse
Marilyn Monroe (born Norma Jeane Mortenson) is one of if not the most famous actresses in Hollywood history. From singing “Happy Birthday Mr. President” to her skirt blowing up in the wind, she is a pop culture staple. However, her life was sadly cut short on August 4th, 1962 when she died of a drug overdose. I’ve previously discussed the abuse Marilyn suffered through when she was alive. I’m not going to discuss how she was abused even in death. So trigger warning, we are going to get into some gnarly stuff, including a picture of her body leaving her home (her body is covered though but still don’t continue if you don’t wanna see that)
Once Marilyn’s body was discovered, it was a media circus. Flashing lights and paparazzi swarmed her Brentwood home, trying to get a photo of the Blonde Bombshells corpse that a magazine would pay top dollar for. They crossed the yellow police caution tape and flooded every inch of her home. They cared more about their bank accounts then the death of a 36 year old starlet.
Once her body arrived at the morgue, it is rumored that for 24 hours, her body was left on the slab with little to no one checking in on her or watching her. Though this has never been confirmed, there are pictures of her body on the slab that did not com from the medical examiner, and a lot of people think the guards working at the morgue were easily bribed to allow photographers in to poke and prod her body for the covers of their respective magazines.
Even in death, she was still forced to be Marilyn Monroe. Norma Jeane died long before Marilyn did. In 1956, Marilyn converted to Judaism following her marriage to the author of “Death of a Salesmen” Arthur Miller. Though their marriage didn’t last, her connection to the Jewish faith did. Even after her divorce was finalized, she continued to describe herself as a “Jewish atheist” when asked about her religion. Despite her Jewish faith, Marilyn was not buried in a Jewish cemetery, but instead a regular cemetery in Los Angeles.
But even once she was put to rest, we still couldn’t leave her alone. The two plots next to her were sold to Joe DiMaggio and Hugh Hefner. The first being her ex-husband who beat her, and the second being the man who illegally put her naked pictures on the first Playboy magazine. Maybe now, 61 years after her death, we can finally let her rest in peace.
In Defense of Hotchner
Anyone who watches or has watched Criminal Minds falls into one of two camps. One who hates SSA Aaron Hotchner, or one who loves SSA Aaron Hotchner. Throughout the 11 seasons he was on the show, he was one of the most tumultuous characters on the show. I will admit, up until recently I fell into the “Hotchner Hatred” camp. He always just seemed so cold, and while yes that was part of his character, at times it went too far. From his refusal to trust Prentiss when she first joins the team in season two to his attitude when something goes wrong, he is the personification of a block of ice. Despite his coldness, I still do think there are many reasons to love SSA Aaron Hotchner, here are just a few.
- His character
While yes he is very cold and stern, once you’ve become accustomed to the character he is actually rather enjoyable. While other members of the team may be more hesitant to chew someone out, Hotchner almost seems to get enjoyment out of it. He is very okay with being strict and mean when he needs to be. This makes him a sharp contrast from the rest of the team.
2. His kindness
Hotchner may be stern, but he is one of the kindest characters on the show. From helping Reid overcome his drug addiction, to holding the hand of a serial killer as she dies, Hotchner knows how to bring down his shields when he needs to. This makes him a very dynamic character, as he is able to switch from stern to incredibly caring in just a matter of seconds.
3. His Trauma
Hotchner’s sad life is often overlooked on the show. From suffering abuse at the hands of this father to his ex-wife being shot while he was on the phone with her and leaving him a single dad, Hotchner has a lot of trauma in his life. Despite this, he still looks after his son and his team.
Jackie: A Masterclass in Biopics
Anyone who knows me in real life knows I am somewhat fascinated with the 35th First Lady of the United States, Jacqueline Kennedy. It’s honestly surprising it has taken me this long to write about her. It may even be more surprising it has taken me this long to watch finally sit down and watch the 2016 movie Jackie, directed by Pablo Larraín and starring Natalie Portman, but I will tell you this, it was worth the wait. This is one of the best biopics, and possibly the best movies I’ve ever seen. So, let’s talk about it. What makes this movie so great, and does it do Mrs. Kennedy justice?
The movie follows Jackie Kennedy in the days after her husbands assassination on November 22nd 1963 in Dallas, Texas. The story is being told as Jackie tells the story to a reporter exactly one week after it happened, and the story is occasionally interrupted by Jackie telling the reporter what he can and cannot include and the reporter asking her question. The movie focuses on Jackie reconciling with her own grief while also trying to help heal a broken nation. Natalie Portman plays the part incredibly well, but especially when it comes to the infamous voice of Jackie O. That soft spoken voice we all remember from Mrs. Kennedy is heavily prevalent throughout the movie and is spot on to the iconic accent. Another thing I love about this movie is when recreating famous scenes from real life (like Jackie walking out of the White House) the camera almost rounds off at the sides and the quality becomes grainier, making it feel like a real video of the events. There were times I had to stop and pause the movie to figure out if that was the real funeral procession or a recreation.
One thing I did not expect from the movie however was how bloody it would be. I thought the scene of the assassination would be something like hearing the shot, the camera cutting away, and then seeing Jackie on the back of the car covered in blood. Side note, the reason Jackie was on the back of the car was not because she was trying to escape or because she was helping the secret service agent into the car, she was trying to picking of the pieces of his skull and brain that were flying out. Anyways the movie does not shy away from the gory details. The special effects somehow made it look like you could actually see the inside of JFK’s skull as he laid in Jackie’s lap. Something which I, as someone who doesn’t like blood and guts wasn’t too fond of. Like I knew there would be blood, I just didn’t expect that much.
I will say the most heartbreaking scene of the movie for me wasn’t the assassination, or the funeral procession, or even Jackie reburying her two other children so they would buried next to their father. The saddest scene to me was something I didn’t expect to find so heart breaking.
You see, both in real life and in the movie, JFK’s son, JFK Jr’s 3rd birthday falls on the day of the funeral. This leads to a heart breaking scene where Jackie, dressed in all black mourning attire, carries a birthday cake with three candles into the nursery, trying to sing Happy Birthday while holding back tears. The scene is just so powerful and so is the acting. You can tell this movie was heavily researched and everyone put an incredible amount of time and effort into making it. If you haven’t seen it all ready, I highly recommend Jackie.
Shakira: Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 53
Shakira’s most recent song is a departure from the regular Shakira we expect. Though it is still a Latin pop song, we never see Shakira this angry. The song is about Shakira’s separation from her partner after finding out he was cheating. May I point out the way she found out he was cheating on her was savage. When she returned home from tour she noticed someone had been eating her favorite jam. She knew her kids didn’t eat it and her partner wouldn’t have touched it due to his diet, which led her to a horrible realization.
Though this is still in Shakira’s signature style, these kind of angry lyrics aren’t what we expect from her. She even calls out the woman by name who took her husband from her. Even if you don’t speak Spanish, you can still tell just how pissed she is. Her usual way of singing is replaced with a lot more of a rap style and harsher vocals, which to a non-Spanish speaker still makes the listener aware just how angry Shakria is. Shakira does not hold back, at one point even saying…
“You traded a Ferrari for a Twingo
You traded a Rolex for a Casio.”
In reference to him leaving her. The song also feels a lot more personal than most other Shakira songs. Her usual skin tight, beaded outfits are traded for just a jacket and jeans in the music video. It is just her behind a mic while Bzrp provides an instrumental. In this song we are not seeing Shakira the Super Bowl halftime performer and belly dancing Grammy winner, we are seeing Shakira the Columbia immigrant who’s only mistake was falling in love with someone who saw her as a trophy to put in a case, not an incredibly talented woman.
Flowers by Miley Cyrus
If you’ve been on the internet the past few weeks, you’ve probably heard about Miley Cyrus’s new song, Flowers. The song is already shaping up to be one of the most popular songs of 2023, and possibly Miley’s biggest hit since Wrecking Ball. Miley Cyrus is an often underrated musical power source, so for her to finally be getting the recognition she deserves is amazing.
Flowers is about Miley learning to love herself after what we can only assume is the divorce from her husband. The song was even released on his birthday, in the music video for the song she wears the same suit she wore when on the red carpet he told her to “behave” and the music video was allegedly filmed in the house her ex-husband used to cheat on her with a bunch of different women.
In the song, Miley talks about all the things her husband used to do for her, that she can now do for herself.
“I can buy myself flowers
Write my name in the sand
Talk to myself for hours
Say things you don’t understand
I can take myself dancing
And I can hold my own hand
Yeah, I can love me better than you can.”
The song may very well become the ultimate self love anthem of 2023, a message that is needed a lot in the world right now. A song like this, about a woman openly learning to love herself even through grief is incredibly powerful. Up until recently, most breakup pop songs were sad, but in recent years there has been a spin to sing about why the break up was a good thing and what the artist has learned from it. In Flowers, Miley has mastered exactly that. She shares her trauma while also blooming from what happened.
Unholy and it’s Grammy
Previously, I have not been the nicest to Unholy. Yes it’s a good song, but it is very similar to a lot of pop you hear nowadays. However, the power duo of Sam Smith and Kim Petras were able to snag a Grammy for Best Pop Duo/Group performance, making Kim the first openly trans woman to win a Grammy! This is amazing! A non-binary person and a trans woman winning a Grammy together is incredible! They also were given the chance to perform the song, which included a lot of demonic motifs. From Kim in a cage to Sam Smith in a hat with devil horns, the performance has sparked outrage among a lot of religious groups, especially those who have a strong anti-LGBTQIA+ message. Sadly, some complaints have even been filed with the FCC about the performance. I didn’t have a problem with the performance, and I went on with my life. I still don’t have a problem with it, but I did see an interesting post on Instagram that got me thinking.
The post talked about how a lot of queer artists have used demonic imagery in music because of how often they are told to go to Hell. Lady Gaga, an openly bisexual, Catholic woman sparked outrage when she released the music video for Judas on Easter Sunday. Despite being Catholic, many other Catholics were quick to tell her she was going to Hell for not only being queer and advocating for queer rights, but for seeming to praise the man who lead to the death of Jesus.
Lil Nas X sparked similar criticism when in the music video for his song Montero, he was seen riding a stripper pole to Hell and also giving the Devil a lap dance. He similarly was given to “you’re going to Hell” treatment.
Queer people are constantly told we are going to Hell, if we are going to end up their anyways, why not embrace it?
Rihanna’s Halftime Show
Last night during the Super Bowl halftime show, she absolutely killed it. No if’s and’s or but’s, Rihanna absolutely slayed. The theatricality of it all was to die for. So, what did Rihanna do right in her performance and what could of been improved upon?
Firstly, the not so subtle promotion of her makeup brand was incredible. Her stopping midway to fix her makeup was also a good way to lighten the mood. I think the outfits and choreography were all incredible, but I wish Rihanna herself would have partaken more in said choreography. We now know that she is in her second trimester of pregnancy, but when everyone around you is doing very intense choreography and you aren’t doing as much, it is sadly a bit noticeable. The outfits themselves though were awesome, Rihanna in red while the rest of the dancers were in white definitely made a lasting visual impression on the audience. The platforms themselves she was preforming on were incredible, how she was able to sing on them while they were floating was incredible, especially since the bottom of it was glass and she appeared to only be strapped in by one cord.
The main complaint with the show was the setlist. While it was awesome how many hits she was able to get in, that was also kind of the problem. She would do about a minute of one song and then jump to another, we never really got time to sit and enjoy a lot of the songs as it was very quick to switch songs. But again, this could also be a good thing depending on how you look at is, as she was able to do many of her songs she wouldn’t have been able to without this. This was probably done because there were so many hits to choose from.
I’m So Hot by Chrissy Chlapecka
If you live on the internet like I do, you’ve definitely heard of Chrissy Chlapecka. Chrissy is a content creator mostly on tiktok (as that is where her biggest audience is) and her content focuses a lot on self love, gay rights, destroying sexists, and singing. Chrissy really got her start in 2020, where videos of her calling herself a bimbo went viral. This started a movement on tiktok of people reclaiming their femineity and sexuality. A lot of women began reclaiming the word bimbo because of this. The term bimbo can still be used in a harmful context, but is now also often a word involved with self-empowerment.
As I stated, Chrissy also does some singing videos, so her releasing a single was incredibly exciting. She teased the song about a month in advance by making of videos of her strutting around crowded Chicago streets in a big fur coat, bikini and stripper heels to the chorus.
“I’m, I’m in the mirror thinkin’ that between my thighs
I’m dripping diamonds, know you wanna taste, but why?
Why would I bother with touching anybody else? (‘Cause I’m)
I’m so hot I’d fuck myself.”
The song of course began to become very popular even before it’s release. Not just because of who it was by, but because it’s actually a really good song. It is a very well produced pop song. It has an upbeat backing track that sets the tone, while Chrissy’s vocals tell us the story. It is a good mix of modern pop and the type of pop that was big in 2013, which is not a bad thing!
A lot of tiktokers who make music usually rely heavily on others, but not Chrissy. Firstly, she is one of two writers credited on the song, so not only is she an incredible song writer, but also a singer! You can tell this is her real voice, and very little if no autotune is used. Basically, I’m very excited to see what Chrissy continues to put out, and I look forward to supporting her music career!