Friday, March 21, 2014

The Only Divergent Article You'll Ever Read Here

Articles written by George Stefano Pallas.  Prudishness, prejudice, and musical progressivism expressed by the author are his alone and do not necessarily reflect nor should be construed as those of the Author.

“Divirgins” Converge In Droves Upon Opening of Popular Saga

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It’s the biggest, most anticipated, teenage girl-oriented movie event of the fourth weekend of the month of March of the year 2014, with entertainment analysts comparing its potential magnitude to such multi-billion dollar franchises as Harry Potter and The Hunger Games, which some say isn’t altogether inappropriate, but not everyone is crazy for the pop-culture phenomenon-to-be that is the first installment of Veronica Roth’s young-adult, dystopian “Gents” trilogy.  For all the love that the series has garnered, like any other it’s had its fair share of vocal detractors, and the opposition took an especially ugly dive two days before the release of the movie on March 21st.

A fiercely disenchanted group of social protestors dubbing themselves “divirgins” announced plans to swarm theaters on Friday and harass innocent moviegoers in front of the box office, employing such disreputable tools as Facebook, mailing lists, and evites to coordinate the nationwide picketing events. Said the anti-fan movement’s self-asserted progenitor Parr T. Popper, “We are taking full advantage of modern technology’s capabilities to counteract the offensive of this unholy abomination called Divergent and to ensure it doesn’t, you know, stick around.  If you thought the shaky camera of Hunger Games gave you a tumor, that was not a tumor.  Not a tumor, at all.”

Strong words, no doubt, especially from one who proudly claims to have never so much as looked into the book, let alone seen the big-screen picture.  Divirgin members would argue that they have only safeguarded their purity in abstaining from a morally corrupting, intelligence-frying ripoff, yet many more have dismissed their fears as unfair and unfounded given their total lack of familiarity with the work.  “As the old adage goes, you can’t judge a book by its cover,” said Clee Shane of the American Library Journal.  “Though I have to admit: the Divergent movie poster really does – how do the kids put it?  Oh right – it really sucks a___.”

The divirgins’ motives are twofold: on the slighter level, they see themselves as standing up to an undisguised hit piece on Atheists that may inadvertently spark spontaneous demonstrations in more unstable regions of the world.  “Atheists have historically faced indescribable persecution for their convictions, and not just in my state of Cali-for-nia [sic], but throughout the world.  Countless wars have been waged in the name of Christianity, like the first crusade, the second crusade, and all the other crusades, and Atheists have always borne the brunt of this violence.  That Divergent-the movie would try to cover up the sufferings of this great religion and portray it as an oppressor of other sects is not just irresponsible, but a stunning reversal of history.  Consider that a divorce from reality.”

But the divirgins are much more concerned with confronting a recurring weakness in the American conscience, a propensity to go with the crowd and submit to the demands of one’s comrades.  “Peer pressure has consistently exerted a negative influence on the youth of the country, causing them to lose sight of who they are and to make costly mistakes which harm their souls and which they later want to totally recall.  Kids keep hearing the old lies: ‘You have to see Divergent if you want to be cool.  You have to see Divergent if you want to be grown-up,’ but we know that’s not true.  You never have to go with the group in order to be cool, and that’s why we started a Facebook page championing the virtues of divirginity, which you can join at http://www.facebook.com/groups/dontjointhegroup.  With your help we can spread the message among our peers that peer pressure – giving into pressure from your peers – is never okay and that you don’t have to read the latest young-adult, semi-dystopian, action-packed romance novel in order to be a grown member of the community.  In fact, having the spiritual vigor to abstain from whatever social ill is trending shows far more maturity and dauntlessness than just going with the flow for the sake of amity.”

Lionsgate doesn’t expect the inflated rhetoric, sign-waving, and pencil-pushing of Popper or his divirgin fellows to make much of an impact on the ticket sales either way, though their widely publicized efforts to ruin its performance have certainly piqued interest in the forthcoming film, which generally translates to stronger turnouts.  Uncredited co-screenwriter Tristan Wiggam said that Potter “needs to take his own advice and let off some steam.  If he could only lay aside his constricting views on male-female roles and take a chance on a more divergent narrative, he would find a really inspiring and empowering story about a strong, resourceful female protagonist who doesn’t need any man to rescue her, thinks for herself, and ends up leading a revolution for change.  Isn’t that a novel idea?”

The Southern Poverty Law Center, a southern center specializing in promoting poverty through the law, has since labeled divirgins a “hate group” for their figurative attacks on Divergent fans, an action which is certain to marginalize their influence because of the center’s glowing reputation among the 1% of Americans who have any idea what they do besides calling out random haters for spreading their hateful hate.  “While we respect the right of divirgins to peaceably assemble and advocate their puritanical causes, we would vehemently deny all misconceptions that they are representative of the Atheist community at large, which has contributed immeasurably to the betterment of American society through such exemplary institutions as Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Department of Health and Human Services, the NAACP, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, and others committed to securing a future where people who believe in an immutable moral right and wrong can’t refuse to pay for their employees’ sexual intercourse and/or abortions on the basis of their God’s commandments, which don’t even mention ‘fetus’ or ‘abortion’, let alone ‘pornography’, ‘self-pleasurement’, ‘narcotics’, or, the very worst of all sins, ‘cyber-bullying’.”

The Author didn’t offer to weigh in on the controversy, feigning ignorance of what Divergent is and dodging around the issue when questioned.  “More than just resisting peer pressure, which can really refer to everything and even encompasses noble courses such as going to church, helping out around your community, and upgrading to Xbone so as to play Titanfall, I tend to abstain from anything that I suspect will wreak irreparable harm on my brain; that includes Divergent-the movie, Divergent-the novel, Divergent-the movie novelization, Divergent-the I Can Read children’s edition, Divergent-the world encyclopedia, Divergent-the character guide, Divergent-the coloring and activity book, and especially the Divergent & Dragons role-playing board game.  Ever since about four months ago, I have kept a commitment to save my brain for marriage so that I’ll be a better, wiser husband, and a more discriminating writer as well.   Now, if you’ll excuse me, I really must get back to these you-know-who covers which cost me a ton of iTunes credit and didn’t come with a photo booklet.  Like, that’s soooo stewpid.”

Divergent opens in theaters everywhere today and is rated PG-13 for the customary amount of bloodless violence, ‘s-bombs’, unfulfilled sexual advances, and disturbing images.


KISS FM to Debut Lost Vivaldi’s Concerto In F-minus

In order to stem a downward ratings slide caused by literally playing Timber, The Monster, Counting Stars, Demons, Royals, and Story Of My Life ad nauseam auctoris, 102.7 KISS FM Los Angeles has announced plans to enliven its programming with fresh new spins on classic and classical hits that aren’t as familiar to millenials raised on a healthy diet of synthesizers, bass, reverb effects, auto-tune, and empowering lyrics about going all the way and/or giving it all at night.

The struggling music station is seeking to expand a series of modern, progressive remixes conceived by D.J. “Skill Wrecks” that are momentarily holding it above water as the producers continue to wage their fruitless quest for upbeat, appealing songs that aren’t attributed to Katy Perry, One Direction, Lorde, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Imagine Dragons, Ellie Goulding, or Katy Perry.  So far Skill Wrecks has enhanced John Legend’s All Of Me by adding some much-needed CG thwumpuwhumps and bee bee bee bee bebebebebes to the original recording, which formerly consisted of just a piano and a human voice.*  Now he’s looking to take on the real greats, namely Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, and Vivaldi, whose bygone Baroque and Classical eras he claims are in desperate need of some 21st-century renovation.

“While these famous artists certainly made the most of what limited resources they had at their, like, disposal – brass, woodwinds, strings, percussion, and other tribal tools –, their work was totally constrained by like the inaccessibility of dubstep, synthesizer, digital voice alteration, and fake sound effects to the majority of disabled and the middle class in his time,” explains the disc-spinner.  “I love Vivaldi’s four cycles [sic] like the rest of them; he made like a freaking awesome album given his class and societal position, but if he had the state-of-the-art technology we all have today, it would have been like stupid awesome.  My goal is to make that stupid awesome album a reality.”

Most concur that Skill Wrecks’ is a stupid awesome album, although they stand divided over what exactly that signifies.  To roars of applause, composer Rand Pauchelbel condemned the initiative on behalf of the Classical Preservation and Accuracy Committee, ranting loudly that, “The country doesn’t need a Classical artist; what it needs is a rebirth of Classicism.  I file this protest today for all American citizens who own a radio and stand to have their cars tapped by the policy of elites like Skill Wrecks, because I believe what we listen to on our devices is none of their damn business.”  Expressing the same cynicism with markedly less grandiloquence, senior congressional star Rep. Patrick Leaky, D-B.B. told realistic talking fish heads that the idea “may be stupid, but it’s also dumb,” and competitive archer/nunchucker Na’Polly Ung curtly drawled, “Skill Wrecks doesn’t have any special skills.”

On the opposite side of the aisle, President and World Diplomacy Leader Barack Obama took a rare break last Monday on Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifinakis (“The Hangover”, “The Hangover Part 2”, “The Hangover Part 3”) to praise the D.J. for his “courage and forward-looking vision” and to declare he that he has “a lot of rspct for what he’s doing to make the future of music a brighter place.”**  KISS’s own celebrity-in-chief Ryan Seacrest couldn’t be more satisfied with his employee’s artistic approach, calling it “stupid good” and comparing his work ethic to that of viral violinist Lindsey Stirling, whose classical-electronic crossovers have won her a devoted following of 4,440,000 illiterate saps and one author.

As a matter of fact, Skill Wrecks revealed that he has since approached Ms. Stirling to arrange the dubstep backtrack of the Spring concerto.  “I hella loved the beat of Electric Daisy Violin, really catchy, made me want to move, you know?  Then someone told me there was a violin in it and I was like, ‘Woah.  First of all, whaduheck is that and, two, why would you ruin your music with it?’”

“Random Asinine Dismembering” is still in the programming stage and it remains to be seen whether Stirling will take up KISS’s generous offer to do Garage Band mixing for their hotly anticipated record, but the first single from the album, “#Summertime,” is already making waves with its sadness-streaked fake drums and fake strings.  One thing is certain: somewhere in Italy, these violin things must have Vivaldi rolling over in his grave.


All the feature and/or Top 40 reviews we missed the last time in easily digestible love/hate verdicts – by the Author

Best Day Of My Life – Ha-a-a-a-a-aaate.  Hands down the worst rendition ever of Spongebob Squarepants’ best song ever.

Happy (From Despicable Me 2”) – It might be crazy what I’m ’bout to say, but it gets a Love, even though I don’t think this song was ever in DM2.  If it was, one can only wonder why nobody noticed until that movie was long out of theaters and no longer a hot commodity on DVD.

Payphone feat. Wiz Khalifa – Hate.  What does “all those fairy tales are full of it” mean anyway?  Full of what?  Oh, I get it.  This is like that cleaned-up P!nk song…

Team – Hate.  Lorde has basked in critical praise for writing allegedly smart songs addressed to mostly stupid listeners.  Royals at least had evanescent themes of the celebrity complexes which compel people to make public spectacles out of their private lives, but Team is just nonsense, even if it does impressively half-rhyme “the ladies in their finery” with “a hundred jewels between”.

Pompeii – Meh.  It really would be better without the gratuitous heyeyeyo-ayos, but it has some cool drum beats and the lyrics are positively erupting with dramatic visuals.               That was bad.  Sorry.

Stay feat. Micky Ekko – Also Meh.  It’s quite a departure from every other Rihanna song in existence, which I warrant is a step in the right direction, and the minimal production generally works the piano and vocals to its overall favor.  Still, there are much prettier love songs out there and I can’t tell for the life of pi why this is a feature instead of a solo performance.

#Selfie – Love.  The monologue parts, anyway.  “Was he totally looking at that girl to make me feel jealous?  Hold on, let me take another selfie (selfie selfie selfie)…”  “Is that guy sleeping over there? Yeah, the one next to the girl with no shoes on?  That’s so ratchet.”  A very auspicious and socially reflective beginning for – um, let me make sure I get this right – “The Chainsmokers”?

She Looks So Perfect – Hate.  There’s no such thing as a lipstick stain like a work of art, but what would you expect from a writer who can spin such a couplet as “you look so great just standing there, in my American Apparel underwear”?  Seriously, was everybody drunk throughout the entire production of this drivel, or did they all just choose to forget about the lyrics for the hour or two it took them to throw it all together?

Moves Like Jagger (Studio Recording from "The Voice" Performance) [feat. Christina Aguilera] – Love/hate.  On the one hand, it’s all about controlling and owning women through one’s moves in the bedroom, which makes the happy-go-lucky whistling that backs up Adam Levine either cleverly symbolic of the fundamental inanity or unintentionally ironic on top of being egregiously annoying.  I’m opting for the latter.  The funky and obscenely long title is itself a missed opportunity, supposedly alluding to the dancing chops of Rolling Stones legend Mick Jagger instead of to, say, Michael Jackson, an entertainer just as renowned in retrospect for his dance choreography as for his music.  Also unexplained is where the heck Blake Shelton and CeeLo Green got lost in this recording, which basically served as a big commercial for The Voice cast when it first hit the charts.  On the other hand, it’s really, really, poisonously catchy, ’cause it hooks upon your tongue and it holds you, worms into your ears and it owns you with the mood and blabber, with all its mood and blabber, gets you in the moo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oood with its blabber.

Somebody That I Used To Know feat. Kimbra – Mostly Love.  The unusual bells-and-chimes instrumentation contrasts well with the bitter, forlorn story related herein, and I applaud it for breaking the standard verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus mold, but Kimbra and goatee, er, Gotye aren’t the strongest stingers in the Author’s playlist, which may explain why just one of their songs has gone anywhere.  Again, I can’t comprehend why the feature is even there, being a fraction of the main singer’s part and not adding a great deal of depth to his perspective.  This tune was made to be covered.

Love The Way You Lie, also by Eminem feat. Rihanna – And I Hate the way Rihanna and Eminem do everything else.  This would be painful even if it hadn’t started the whole rap/pop trend back in 2010 or whenever it was.  As much as Eminem sounds like he wants to break something in every one of his recordings, his wake of mental devastation pales next to that your own Author wants to leave upon hearing mindless junk like LTWYL.

Stay The Night Feat. Haley Williams of Paramore – Hate computer solos so much.  Hate the words “night” and “tonight” in music so much, and there are a lot of them, since 9 out of every 10 songs written today are nothing more than glorified portraits of sex and for some reason the vast majority of songwriters have fallen into the habit of associating nightfall with sex.

Clarity Feat. Foxes – Hate computer solos so much.  Hate shrieky vocals so much.

Sleeping With A Friend – Hate.  Needless to say that this is the most morally abhorrent and obnoxious sham of alternative music that I’ve ever heard.  Thank heaven the American people appear to be of the same mind, as this hasn’t even cracked the top 50 singles on iTunes, despite the godless radio networks’ ceaseless strides to force it down our throats.

Talk Dirty Feat. 2 Chainz – Hate.  From the pitchy, whiny, womanizing lyrics to the totally derivative “get jazzy” cue to the horrible rap, everything about this needs to go back in chainz.  It’s not even that “dirty” relative to other gangster rap; it’s just generic made-for-radio junk.

Wild Wild Love Feat. G.R.L. – I hate that they intentionally misspelled “girl” in the name of this song.  I hate that one of the ‘subtler’ lines goes something like, “That itty bitty kitty, let me pet it.”  I hate that the chorus reminds me of the now age-old Can’t Be Tamed by Miley Cyrus, which reminds me of Timber Feat. Ke$ha in addition to reminding me of Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus, reminding me of Party In The U.S.A. by Miley Cyrus, and, worst of all, reminding me of Miley Cyrus.  I hate that Pitbull stole the “I know you want it” refrain right out of Blurred Lines Feat. T.I. & Pharrell.  I just Hate this POC all around, I guess.

Feel This Moment feat. Christina Aguilera, current Guiness record holder for highest feature-to-lead ratio – It must be Pitbull I Hate, because he seems to ruin quite everything that comes into unfortunate contact with him.  This sounded great in the Lego Movie trailer where it didn’t have any words.


* This is where I should cross-reference the original recording of All Of Me for conveniences of demonstrating the disparity between its quality and the radio edit’s.  But the only reason I even found or like the original recording is because of the not-original recording John Legend made with a particular dynamite gal, and that one’s not even for sale, goshdarn it.

** Of this episode, Mario Lopez said, “Very cool of the president to do that [improvise his own ‘awkward’ lines], but also kind of surprising, because he has a lot of very important duties to attend to.”  Of this episode-within-an-episode, the Author mentally stood up and cheered, “Preach it, brother!  I knew you had a brain tucked way, way back in that skull.  If by ‘surprising’ you mean ‘unconscionable’ or ‘inconceivable’ and not ‘splendid’ or ‘awesome’.”

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