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Citizen Kane

Citizen Kane is a complex narration that takes us through the various stages of a man’s life in pursuit of inner happiness. Even though, the film portrays Charles Forester Kane’s huge ambition and predestined success, as a spectator I witnessed how his life is marked by the impact of the arrival of a stranger, Mr. Thatcher, in his life. Through the use of flashbacks and flashforwards, the characters narrate the story to help both the journalist solve the mystery of Kane’s final words, “Rosebud”. The mystery of the meaning behind his last spoken word became a quest for the reporter in charge of Kane’s story and was the main focus of the whole film.Throughout the film, we trace the meaning of one word, rosebud. The camera reveals the truth at the end and the audience is the only ones who get to see it. What can ”Rosebud” possibly mean to a millionaire that had it all? As we know in the film one of the reporters said ”Dead or alive it’ll probably turn out to be the very simplest thing”.

In the film, we are introduced to a man named Charles Forester Kane, the greatest newspaper tycoon. He was loved by many but also hated by many. Kane had a massive ego and was very much obsessed with power over people and control. We are able to see the transformation of a young Mr. Kane into a successful businessman.Kane was sent away to live with his new guardian, Mr. Thatcher and lost his childhood with his real parents. The scene with his mother and father telling him that he’ll be leaving with Mr. Thatcher made me want to cry! I thought that was one of the saddest parts of the movie. Seeing him playing outside with his sleigh by himself made me even sadder when his mother was going outside to tell him the news. He was just an innocent boy that was content with his life and it was all about to change for him.

Mr. Thatcher gave Kane a better life than his parents but Kane would’ve chosen to stay with his parents if it was up to him. One of my favorite quotes in the movie is when adult Kane says to Mr. Thatcher ”If I hadn’t been very rich, I would’ve been a really great man”. That just hit me like WOW! That was deep! Charles Forester Kane was a man that lost almost everything he had, maybe ”Rosebud” was something he lost. I feel like all Kane wanted in life was happiness. Here is a man that had it all but didn’t. He didn’t have a solid childhood, he had all the money in the world but was still unsatisfied. All he wanted out of life was love because he lost it.

We watch the rise and fall of Citizen Kane. We hear different stroies from different characters in his life. We learn that money doesn’t guarentee happiness. Kane had the huge house, the cars, the fame, the fortune and lots of expensive statues but now mattter how important or grand life seems it all comes to an end. His loss of innocence and lack of childhood was an important factor in Kane’s life. He goes through many obstacles to a journey with no destination. One of my favorite lines is when he says ” I think it would be fun to run a newspaper!”. He wasn’t in it for the money, he already had plenty of it since he was a successful businessman. As soon as he started running his newspaper he became a well known muckracker. He wanted the people to be able to trust him and he didn’t want to hold any secrets from them.

Kane tried to be a man of his word and make promises but becomes consumed with the acquisition of power and loses it all. He goes through two divorces and loses a son and his newspaper business during the Great Depression. The rise of power and fame lead to a very lonely man at the end of this film. His home was huge, deserted and was dark filled with eternal emptiness. Kane tried to control everything which made him lose it all. Kane never finished anything except for his bestfriend’s notice. Because he wanted to prove to his best friend that he was an honest man after all. He ended up finishing up the bad review about his girlfriend at the time. Kane said ”There’s only one person in the world that decides what I’m going to do and that’s me”. I love that line because we all should feel that way about our actions. We should do what we want to do not what others want.

As we know, the news goes on for 24 hours a day. Charles Forester Kane recognized that and started to follow it. Kane’s life as a businessman was set from when he was a child. The loss of his childhood holds a great part in the man he turned out to be. Maybe if he had a good childhood and was a kid growing up he probably wouldn’t have been so intimidating and superior to others. Kane creates this huge world and his whole life is a performance. He dominates with an actors voice and uses his voice as a weapon. Maybe he told us all about himself on his death bed when he said his last words, Rosebud. The audience is granted the answer to the truth behind the meaning of Rosebud. Rosebud was the missing piece to the jigsaw puzzle. Rosebud was his sled when he was a kid. This was the only thing he had left of his childhood, something that he couldn’t buy back. I love and hate that the audience is the only one that gets to know the truth at the end but that’s what makes the film so great!

I honestly was a little nervous with watching this film because it’s an oldie and it’s in black and white. I can’t believe I actually enjoyed it. What a masterpiece! It really is all that and a bag of chips. This story was just so good and I have recommended it to a lot of my friends. This is how life works. We rise and we fall. We have good days and we have bad days. We all strive to succeed and all want to make big bucks one day but does money really buy happiness? Do we need power in order to be happy? I think that life is what we make of it and if you aren’t a millionaire who cares! Nothing in life is guarenteed but death. This film made me realize that you can have it all but have nothing at the same time.

 

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Rush Limbaugh vs. Sandra Fluke

Throughout my whole life, I feel like I’ve always been caught in a man vs. woman debate. Women have always been the underdog and have been treated less than men. In history, women have always fought for something. Whether it was about rights, voting, double standards and etc. In today’s world, things are a little different with what women are fighting for. In this day and age, women and men are as equal as the equal sign. We have everything men have, just bigger balls! Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown law student wanted to testify in a congressional hearing regarding government rules pertaining to employers offering insurance for contraceptives. If a man was to want to testify regarding wanting the insurance companies to cover contraceptives, I don’t believe Rush Limbaugh would have had any insulting comments to make, but rather praise him. Rush Limbaugh, a radio host that targets politicians, called Fluke a ‘’slut’’ on his show. Limbaugh attacks all political controversies and is no stranger in that department but he took it a little far this time around. His STUPID comments about Fluke costs him a dozen of advertisers for his radio show.

According to the article, “Limbaugh slams Fluke on his show, claiming that she is asking the government to subsidize her sex life. “What does that make her?” he asks. “It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex. She’s having so much sex she can’t afford contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex.’’ I think that made my stomach turn a little bit. How can someone say this on a radio station? You never know who can be listening on the other side of the speaker. I think Limbaugh has no right to attack Fluke in that way because she isn’t fighting just for her own self, she’s fighting for her peers and other students. It seems to me that Fluke isn’t worried about how much ‘’sex’’ she’s having and that she can’t ‘’afford’’ contraception but I feel as if the insurance companies covered the contraceptive expenses then it will be easier to practice safe sex, abortions wouldn’t be an issue and prevention of sexual diseases will be decreased.

Because of Limbaugh’s big mouth other medias such as CNS News and Hot Air heard about the Fluke story and started throwing punch lines such as  “Georgetown co-ed: Please pay for us to have sex… We’re going broke buying birth control’’ and ‘’ Sex-crazed co-eds going broke buying birth control, student tells Pelosi hearing touting freebie mandate.” I think that they were way out of line with those lines. This is not a laughing or jokingly matter, this is serious to young college students today and especially Sandra Fluke, obviously. Fluke said ‘’ I’m an American woman who uses contraceptives’’. Personally, I don’t think that makes a woman a slut. People have sex, it is a natural way of life. Contraceptives are clearly enforced everywhere we go from our doctors to our high school health teachers. I think that when a woman is called a ‘’slut’’ for asking government to help cover contraceptives is actually more disturbing than the asking part. If using protection makes someone a ‘’slut’’ then lord knows what all of our parents are due to them conceiving us.

Limbaugh’s tyrant on Fluke being a prostitute, and wanting taxpayers to pay for her contraceptives so she can have sex is absurd. For Fluke wanting insurance companies to be able to cover contraceptives does not make her a bad influence on young women nor does it make her a prostitute. Fluke is concerned for the young women who cannot afford contraceptives, as a safe way to have sex so they can be cautious. If you don’t use contraceptives while having sexual intercourse you put yourself at risk and can catch an STD, or become pregnant. Without the use of contraceptives more women become pregnant and then are indecisive about keeping the baby, which might send them to the path of abortion. Limbaugh’s comments about Fluke are disgusting and should be ashamed of himself, if he had a daughter and she had the same feelings as Fluke would he call her a “prostitute” or “slut”? According to the article, ‘’Limbaugh posts a statement online in which he publicly apologizes to Fluke for his “insulting word choices.” “My choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir,” he says.’’ Well wasn’t that nice of him??? …NOT. Being humorous and degrading a person is two different things.

 

Sources:

http://theweek.com/article/index/225214/rush-limbaugh-vs-sandra-fluke-a-timeline

 

 

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All good things come to an end…(TA POST #6)

Who would’ve thought I would’ve made it this far? I am truly impressed with myself and this album. I could tell you that the amount of thrill I had before listening to this album was nowhere to be found. After weeks of listening to each track over and over again I got used to it rather than getting tired of it. I found myself slowly appreciating CANT’s unique talents. The guy is a multi-instrumentalists and creates sounds like no other, that’s massive skill! That is probably one of the reasons why I didn’t like it so much in the beginning because he emphasized so much on sound rather than lyrics and I’m so into meaning and quotes that I was a little displeased at what I was listening to. If I could change the album and make it better I would’ve put my lyrics in the songs to give it a clearer meaning to the audience of what CANT was truly trying to say.

The most challenging part of the album was probably being introduced to something I wasn’t familiar with at all. It was hard to get into it at first because CANT is not my kind of music. I feel like I’ve changed and grown a lot in the past couple of weeks during this semester because I took a year off school and decided to come back and finish off my degree. I’m giving it my all this semester and I haven’t given up yet. CANT’s music made me realize that we all have struggles, we all aren’t perfect, we all go through dark emotional times and that’s okay. If things were easy then we wouldn’t appreciate anything.

”That was what I was feeling at the time, and where my head was. I was dealing with some tough stuff. So, the fact that it came out sounding on the dark and dissonant wasn’t something that was surprising to me; but I was trying to make a dark record as much as I was trying to make something that felt like a release. I meant for it to be a kind of cleansing process. A musical exfoliating rub, taking off that old top layer of skin. Just trying to change; deal with things in order to move on; just releasing that negative energy. Listening to, say, Nirvana‘s In Utero or Joy Division, music that’s incredibly dark, they don’t make me feel sad or dark or despondent, they don’t make me feel anything but joy. That sense of release —that exhale— is amazing. Listening to those records helps fix me up.” That’s what CANT said during an interview when asked if he heard the qualities of dark and strange in his album. After reading that I finally realized why his music was so depressing and emotional when I first heard it! I can’t help but want to slap myself for judging so quickly and not giving him a chance. That’s not nice and I’m a nice person!

I think that this album is so original and different from others out there because it doesn’t sound like a pop record and it’s nothing what his fans from his other band would’ve expected. As I was listening to Track 3 ”The Edge”, I began to think that this album is probably out of its time. In today’s society, people like that dance music, upbeat rap and all this weird stuff going on. CANT’s, ”The Edge”, reminds me of something that would be in the background of a Beverly Hills 90210 episode. I truly believe that Dylan McKay would’ve listened to this kind of music. Long live Brenda Walsh and Dylan McKay, that damn Kelly.

Most of my friends and I share the same taste in music. We can go from liking a great country song to a club banger. I recommended the song “Believe” to my best friend Keri. That song really inspired me in more ways than one. My best friend Keri started weight watchers a little after seeing me drop the pounds from just diet and excercise. She listened to the song and gave it a shot. I wasn’t surprised to hear that she liked the song and went to download it on ITUNES! My girl loves new music in her system but don’t we all?

In one of the reviews I read the writer said, ”Dreams Come True? They sound much more like nightmares”. That’s how I felt in the beginning of the semester when I first heard the album. I was scared of this album. I didn’t know how I was going to survive the rest of this blog project. I knew that I was going to develop a soft side for this album and I did. It’s like that moment when it’s time to graduate high school and you have to do that do or die final project in order to graduate with your worst enemy and as time goes on and you start seeing them differently you actually start liking the person and then all of a sudden it’s graduation day and you’re upset because you had very little time with this person that isn’t all that bad. That’s how I feel about this album. As I’m coming to an end of yet another journey, I’m opening myself to a new one. My final thoughts on this album and this artist? Good Job! You made a fan out of me. I don’t know what CANT has in stored for us in the future but I know it’ll blow our minds away. I know this album has.

 

 

 

Album Rating: 5 (CANT made a fan out of me so a 5 was necessary!)

 

Sources :

http://altmusic.about.com/od/reviews/fr/Cant-Dreams-Come-True.htm

http://altmusic.about.com/od/interviews/a/Christopher-Taylor-Of-Cant-And-Grizzly-Bear.htm

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To Believe or Not to Believe? That is the question. (TA POST #5)

Throughout our lives, at least one person has always tried to encourage you to ”believe” in ourselves. To believe in something is a powerful thing. It’s something you feel strongly about. Track 2 on CANT’s Dreams Come True album is called Believe. Personally, I like any type of song that can lift my spirits just a little bit and make me feel better about myself throughout the song. As I listened to this track, I could actually hear and understand the lyrics without looking them up on google. As we know, songs don’t sound very good first time around when you listen to it. After a couple of listens with the lyrics on hand I started to develop a connection with this song.

Believe is a song that has a lot of meaning. It’s motivating, moving and touching because it brings me back to an experience I’ll never forget. Because ‘’Once upon a time I used to be FAT’’. Coming from an Albanian background it’s normal to say that I grew up in a pretty big family, four sisters and one brother. In most cultures, food is a pretty big thing and if you don’t eat then something is wrong with you. I’ve gone so long without caring for my body that I just let myself go. I never thought twice about eating that cheesecake or having an order of two rather than splitting something with a friend.

It was the beginning of the new year, 2011, and I was finally turning 21 that year. After years of dreaming of that day I realized I wasn’t happy with the way I looked. You know that saying that all the pretty girls have that one fat friend? Yeah, that was me. NO JOKE. You may be wondering how a song that has nothing to do with weight loss reminded me of my journey of change. It’s because I developed a connection with the lyrics in the song.

Before Before

I’ve always been known as the chubby goldie locks miss piggy. No one ever wants to date ”the fat girl” especially when all of her friends were as beautiful as a supermodel. I think I’m probably one of the very few that can say at the age of 21 that I’ve never been in a relationship with someone other than myself. I’ve never been on a date and I’ve never had a boyfriend. Maybe I’m just too picky or maybe guys just didn’t really like me. I really think that my weight had a lot to do with it and as I transitioned into a slimmer me I began to notice a change in the way guys acted towards me. I wasn’t ”the girl next door anymore”, or ”the chubby friend”. I was me. I was the new and improved slimmer version of Valona. The girl I feel I’ve always been. In the song Believe, he says ”So we decided that it went wrong It first started when you were gone I’ve been thinking about what you mean to me So I keep trying, I’m dying to know what I’m supposed to do”. I’ve experienced a lot of heartbreak and a lot of rejection when I was a big girl. The word, crush, really meant what it said. I would develop a crush but something would always go ”wrong”, the fact that the feeling was never mutual, and I would do as the lyrics said ”thinking what you mean to me”, okay he’s just a crush but I really like him and I know why he doesn’t like me it’s because I’m FAT! So what am I supposed to do? LOSE WEIGHT, duh!

I didn’t lose weight because of a guy. It may seem that way but I really didn’t. How can I lose weight for a guy that never really existed? No guy ever said to me ”lose weight”. They just never gave me the time of day or felt that mutual connection. I lost weight to make me happier and to improve my image for the better. I lost weight for me but my motivation came from all the crushes I had that had come and gone. My favorite line in this song is “Just tell me how to make it good enough” because that is exactly something I would say! I’m the kind of person that needs guidance. I always need a little bit of ”oomph”. I can only try so much so I love when someone tells me what to do to make it better and I’ll do it! In this case, how to make it good enough is to believe in yourself and do the unthinkable, drop the pounds!

After

After

A picture can say a thousand words but I think a song can too. So many emotions and feelings can come out of just one song. I feel like even though CANT wasn’t singing about a weight loss, he was singing about that feeling you get when you know you’re missing something and you can do so much better if you just believe in yourself. That feeling when you just want to say to someone ”You don’t know me! You don’t know what I’ve been through! You wouldn’t believe it!”.  I think he’s singing this to society. Society loves to judge and take things away from us.  We just have to fight back and prove them wrong. It’s a an everyday fight against yourself and the world.

Although the ideal place to listen to this song is probably in the comfort of your own home or on a relaxed walk I decided to listen to it at the gym. Many would find it a little weird because gym music is often loud, dance and upbeat. I’m generally a weird person so listening to this at the gym wouldn’t be so out of the ordinary. I run listening to Taylor Swift’s “Love Story”, come on now!

Just cause...

When you hear the word ”believe” you think of hope and faith. My favorite part of this song happens towards the end and it goes like this ”Things I haven’t shown you, you won’t believe Things I haven’t told you, you won’t believe Things I haven’t told you, you won’t believe Things I haven’t shown you, you won’t (believe) believe”. I can’t stress how much I love that part of the song. I can relate to it because people won’t believe what I can accomplish, what I already accomplished and what I can do! Most people judge a book by a cover and think they know me just by looking at me but they don’t know, they have no idea. They have no idea that it took me five months of dedication to lose up to forty pounds. There’s so much more to me that most people will never know unless I let them in and show them. Some won’t believe me but some will believe in me. This song gave me the idea to never underestimate myself. I enjoyed reliving every moment of that long and hard journey I went through last year. When people would tell me to ”Never give up!” or ”You can do it Valona! Believe in yourself!”. I rated this album a 5 because this made me feel better about myself and made me feel like I’m not alone in my everyday struggles. Whether it’s a weight loss or even a break up. Every song tells a story. Everyone has a story. This song told mine without really telling it.

Album Rating : 5 (I BELIEVE in this album)

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”No one said survive”…BUT I DID! (TA POST #4)

The time has come, FINALLY! A song that made me feel something more than what I’ve been feeling throughout the album. The song “Bericht” is the final track of the album. You ever watched a movie and the screen says ”The End”? This is the perfect song that fits the notion of ”The End”. It’s not my favorite song of the album because it’s the final song (You would think it was because of my other posts but that’s really not the reason) it’s my favorite song because I love how the album went from introducing itself and then closing it with a farewell.

The song is slow and the piano is what soothes my soul. Every night before I go to sleep, I listen to my Pandora (Taylor Swift Station all day everyday!) and the songs that usually come up are slow and steady. They are peaceful and help get me relaxed before bed. I listen to slow music right before bed because I like the feeling I get when I do. I become free and full of imagination. I have scenarios in my mind and make a movie out of the songs I listen to. Call me strange but that’s just me!

When I first saw the title of the song I was a little nervous because I’ve never heard of the word ”Bericht”.  I didn’t know what Bericht meant so I looked it up and found out it is a German word for a report or an account or story. The final product of the album is the ”Bericht”. I like that he was very creative with the title and that he went deeper with the originality of it.

As always, when I listen to a song I have a vision of what I’m listening to and create a picture in my mind. As I listen to this song, I thought of it as the background music for a funeral. I pictured a person’s life that has come to an end. A flashback of series of images full of life, laughter and happiness of this person come rushing to my mind during ”the funeral”. My favorite lyric in the album is probably one that comes from this song that goes ”It’s all come down to this What’s gone now somehow exists No one said survive”. That touched my heart and made me realize that no one ever really survives anything in life. There is only one guarantee in life and unfortunately that one thing is death. ”No one said survive” cause that’s not possible in the long run. Our main goal in life is to make an impact and leave something behind that’ll exist forever, even if we’re gone.

I can listen to this song every night for the rest of my life and it’ll put me right to sleep (IN THE BEST WAY POSSIBLE). I expected a lot from this album regarding the sound and why most of the songs are slow paced and depressing but I learned to appreciate it because of this track and I guess because of that I rated this album a little higher this time around. ”It’s all come down to this” is the perfect way to an the album because it really has all come down to this one last song. It’s the ending of a beautiful journey for CANT. He gave life to his music. He put it together and created the album Dreams Come True. The making of the album is gone but the work is done. The album is complete and it’ll exist forever. If someone told me that they think I wasn’t going to be able to handle CANT I’d tell them ”I’m from Brooklyn I think I can survive”.

Sources:

http://dictionary.reverso.net/german-english/bericht

Album Rating : 4+ (What?! A girl can change her mind…)

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You’re going to HOLLYWOOD! …NOT. (TA POST #3)

Ever listened to a song and just asked yourself ”Why?”. You just sit there and listen and think ”What is going on with this song?” This is what I asked myself when I listened to the song ”Bang” by CANT. This is track number four and it’s my least favorite song of the album. I don’t think I’ve listened to a song as weird as this one. The song is called bang. The song doesn’t sound anything the way I imagined it would. Bang means a loud noise or a sudden explosion. There was none of that happening during this song. I thought this song was going to be electro and funky with actual ”bangs” throughout the song. Instead it sounds depressing. It’s a slow song and the vocals sound like they’re in slow motion.

I ask myself ”Why would someone like this song?”. I don’t know why. This song does not make sense to me. He starts off saying ”Up against the wall I heard a sound It woke me up”. Okay there goes the reason why the song is called ”Bang”. I get that but what does that have to do with a couple of lyrics after that lyric saying ”It’s a game inside your head and no one wins Where shame and pride alone will coexist”. Okay, how did this song end up on his album? It’s too slow and too depressing for me. I don’t understand what he’s I like sad songs and songs that make you want to cry but this song just make my ears want to go on a vacation. When I listen to this song I think of a really sad person battling a crisis within him or herself.

As the song begins to drag I mean continue, out of nowhere it transitions to a different beat kind of like a ”bang” and gets a little more upbeat. The instrumentals make you feel like you’re in a twilight zone. Then it becomes a bit louder and he says ”Cross your heart, you’ve lost control again Just hold your chest you’re waiting for it to end”. Yeah, I’m waiting for this song to end!What’s the point of this song? I didn’t feel a connection. There was nothing for me to look forward to. I didn’t get a beat stuck in my head or a lyric that I liked.  I bet there are tons of people that think this song is simply gorgeous or a masterpiece but to me it is not. Maybe I have bad ears or maybe this song is just not my cup of tea. As I’m writing about this song, I’m starting to become less of a fan. I’ve listened to it several times and I am not impressed. I’m no Jennifer Lopez, Randy Jackson or Steve Tyler but if this guy were to perform this song infront of me I’d just say ”Sorry, it’s a NO”. The reason I gave the album a lower rating this time around is quite obvious. I’m not into it. It didn’t have that ”oomph!” in it.

The best kinds of songs are the ones that do not need explanations.  The words and music just melt into your head and you feel the passion that was put into it.  You know exactly how to dance to it, you understand exactly where the lyrics are coming from and most importantly you can likely relate to the song as well.  When you come to the end of a song and find yourself questioning the meaning or the passion behind the track, you will probably discover that you aren’t intrigued.  This sort of response was evoked in me when I listened to ‘Bang’ by Cant.   I found myself with a wide variety of questions that were left unanswered after listening to ‘Bang.’  My original opinion before listening to the song was based off of the title.  What exactly do you imagine when you hear the word Bang?  What comes to mind, in my opinion, is a loud noise, explosion, or maybe just an intense emotion.  However, I felt slightly let down after the song started playing.  The title obviously stems from the lyrics “I heard a loud noise,” however the song does not divulge deeper into the meaning.  ‘Bang’ is not a usual song one would find me listening too.  The lyrics and music were very monotonous, in my opinion, and did not allow me to feel any passion in the music.  I felt myself forgetting, almost instantaneously about the song after it was over.  The music and lyrics were hard to recall, which does not usually prove to be good criticism.  A forgettable song is probably not what most artists will want on their album.  If CANT was going for original though, he nailed it.

As Simon Cowell would say, ”It was bloody dreadful”.

Album Rating : 3 (He’s cute but he ain’t my type anymore!)

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