Capstone Report II: The Kidz Bop Pandemic

“Hey, you know what would be an excellent idea? Remake a bunch of adult-themed pop songs, and clean them up for five year olds by replacing the original lyrics with senseless filler words. Then let’s get a bunch of little kids singing that in an off-key beat. That’ll be sure to sell!”

–  Someone said it

 

A bit of background: today, I had to stand in front of a group of college professors and present my capstone report, a research project I’ve been working on for the past year as a part of my high school study program. My chosen issue was health care in less developed countries. I was incredibly wound up, and though I think I nailed it, I still felt like de-stressing by writing a second report…one covering an issue just as, if not more, critical to our society…

 

 Research Report March 15, 2013: The Kidz Bop Pandemic

Intro to report: Good afternoon, ladies and gentleman. A chosen issue I believe needs more attention is a group of children, disturbingly dubbed “The Kidz Bop Kidz,” and their virulent mass of music that shows no rate of decreasing nor getting remotely better. Aside from teaching America’s children the incorrect way to spell “Kids,” this band of renegades is responsible for taking many popular—alas, sometimes good—songs, and twisting them into deadly pieces of “music” (for want of a better word) known to cause mild to severe vomiting, intense bleeding of the ears, and a general hatred for the music industry unprecedented since the first appearance of Nicki Minaj.

(It should be noted that if one begins to hear a Nicki Minaj song covered by the Kidz Bop Kidz, they should run to the nearest exit and seek shelter immediately. Make no attempt to go back and rescue your friends; if they’ve already been exposed, there is nothing to be done. There are some things that can’t be un-heard.)

In order to write a proper report on this, I spent a substantial amount of time gathering extensive research on this subject to further clarify my points and help me draw a proper conclusion. I present my findings below, with the hope that the committee will realize how serious of an issue this indeed is.

Research: For those committee members unfamiliar with the hooligans known as the “Kidz Bop Kidz,” they sing covers of popular songs with slightly changed lyrics to make the song clean for everyone to hear. I’m sorry…they “sing” covers of the songs with “slightly” changed lyrics to make the song “clean” for “everyone.”

After an hour of picking through various songs (don’t worry, my ears will heal eventually), I’ve assembled a list of some of the most troubling cases, though please note these are only a few examples of hundreds.

1.  “Call Me Maybe,” Carly Rae Jepsen

  • Original Lyric: “I beg and borrow and steal.”
  • Edit: “I beg and borrow and feel.”
  • Comment: Singing about giving out your number to strange men as soon as you meet them? Yeah, no biggie. But mentioning stealing? Not on my watch!

2.  “Telephone,” Lady GaGa

  • Original Lyric: “Out in the club and I’m sippin that bubb, you’re not going to reach my telephone.”
  • Edit: “Out in the club and I’m eatin that grub, you’re not going to reach my telephone.”
  • Comment: I too turn off my phone whenever partaking in grub.

3.  “Glad You Came,” The Wanted

  • Original Lyric: “Hand you another drink, drink it if you can.”
  • Edit: “Hand you another dance, dance it if you can.”
  • Comment: Excuse me, can you hold this dance for me while I tie my shoe? Or just put it in your pocket or something. Because dances are tangible objects. Objects that I can hand to you.

4.  “F— The Pain Away,” Peaches

  • Original Lyric: “F— the pain away, f— the pain away!”
  • Edit: “Chuck the rain away, chuck the rain away!”
  • Comment: Hey boss, I think we’ve got one the kids can cover. What’s it called? Well, I’m working on that. The refrain is filled with cussing and the ejecting of pain, but if we tidy that up and slap a new title on, we should be all good!

5.  “Starships,” Nicki Minaj

  • Original Lyric: “We’re higher than a mother——!”
  • Edit: “We’re Kidz Bop and we’re taking over!”
  • Comment: Dear Lord I hope not.

6. “Raining Blood,” Slayer

  • Original Lyric: “Now I shall reign in blood!”
  • Edit: “Now I shall love my dad!”
  • Comment: No, I’m not making this up.

7.  “Never Say Never,” The Fray

  • Original Lyric: Entire song
  • Comment: No lyrics were changed, and yet still, I literally gagged out loud when I heard the refrain of this version. This is why we can’t have nice things.

Once again, I must note that these are only several examples of a very real and consistent problem. As of this date, twenty three albums in the main series have been released, not including extra disks such as Kidz Bop Christmas, Kidz Bop Dance Party, or the album pictured below that I had to triple check was authentic.

Some men just want to watch the world burn.

Some men just want to watch the world burn.

And indeed, this problem shows no sign of dissipating. New edits are already being made for volume 24, which includes the song “Thrift Shop” with the new lyric—and no, I’m not making this up—“walk into the club like whaddup, I got a cool mom.”

Conclusion: In closing, I ask the committee to not ignore this issue, but to do something about the infection of good, innocent music. This continues to be a problem of our society, and if this pandemic isn’t caught and contained soon, the next generation and future children will be “bopping” into decline.

Thank you for your time and consideration!

*As a side note, I want to be clear that while the lyric edits I presented are very real, this report was meant to be a parody. I understand there are many worse issues in the world than dreadful music.

Movie Review: Warm Bodies

“Why can’t I connect with people? Oh, right, it’s cause I’m dead. I shouldn’t be so hard on myself, I mean, we’re all dead. This girl’s dead. That guy’s dead. That guy in the corner is definitely dead. I have a hard time piecing together how this whole apocalypse thing happened, but it doesn’t matter. This is what we are now. This is a typical day for me.”

–  R

 

Warm Bodies PosterI think that before I review this movie, I should (re)describe who I am, so you know this isn’t a review from some love crazy teenage girl, nor a cranky adult whose favorite movies are historical documentaries. Nope, this analysis is brought to you by a teenage guy who saw the movie mostly because his female friends brought him along, but who ended up liking it more than he expected to. So here’s my objective opinion, more or less, of it. With minor spoilers attached.

The setup: zombie apocalypse, in a nutshell. Zombies have taken over almost everything, and amongst their ranks is R, a young adult who can’t remember any other letters in his name and can do little more than grunt or shuffle around. A few people from a healthy human colony go zombie hunting, including Julie, who is captured by R and brought to his makeshift home.

And then she eventually starts to like him, they run away, forbidden love, etc.

In terms of plot, it’s what you’d expect. Some movies, like National Treasure or Pirates of the Caribbean 1, use up their trailer footage by the first twenty minutes in and spend the rest of the movie surprising us with twists. Those are examples of good movies. This movie isn’t in that category, though that doesn’t necessarily make it bad. I’m just saying, don’t at all expect to be blown away by the storyline.

So what, then, is the value of this movie?

Well, it’s a good concept. The whole ‘zombie apocalypse’ premise isn’t exactly new, but the telling of it from a zombie’s perspective is a unique spin on it. And the minor touches such as the abandoned houses, the flash of a newspaper reading “President Infected,” or the concept of zombies acquiring their victims’ memories when they eat their bodies, are all good. If nothing else, I have to admit that this was quite well-made, adaption-wise.

And of course, the humor. No, I wasn’t laughing out loud the whole time; there were probably two or three lines that were more than snort-worthy. But please believe me when I say that it takes a lot for a movie to make me laugh (okay, except for Vampires Suck, but we all have our weaknesses).

In each of my reviews I try to include what my favorite part of the movie was, but nothing especially comes to mind here. As I said, the plot is nothing to faint in awe over. There are no scenes in particular that I would be tempted to re-watch, if given the chance. It was what I call a one-time watch, if not a quite decent one.

Sorry for the short review, but I’ll close it out by directly addressing those who are probably wondering most if they should see it: other teenage guys.

Hmm. I’m not quite sure what to say. If you were to ask me, my immediate response would be “no,” but I want to give that careful thought before I put it down on my blog. I mean, as I said above, this isn’t a bad movie. It just isn’t all that good. If you’re into zombie apocalypse flicks with interesting narrative voices, this is your ticket. But just know that you’re getting exactly what the trailers make you think you’re getting.

So I guess that’s my conclusion. If you saw the previews and liked them, go ahead and see this movie. And while I can’t really call it good, no movie that delivers on its promise can be considered ‘bad’ in my opinion.

Rate: 5 out of 10.

Apocalypse!

“Don’t worry about the world ending. If the Mayans were so good at predicting the future, there would still be Mayans.”

 

What on Earth are you doing here? The world’s about to end, and of all places, you decide to spend your last moments paroozing through my blog?

I must admit, this whole end-of-the-world business is at least throwing a mildly entertaining wrench in the machine of school life as well as social media. What I find the most interesting is that a few years ago, people were genuinely concerned for the coming end of days. And now that it’s here, it’s suddenly everyone’s shared inside joke. I’m reminded of the dog from the movie Up…“Apocalypse!”

My personal celebration of the end of the world, so far, hasn’t been especially exciting. In fact, last night mostly consisted of me studying for an AP Psychology test and watching the first episode of The Walking Dead (not even because I’m trying to be ironic, either…the DVD just happened to come into the library yesterday).

But, I’m not letting a thing like the end of humanity go unattended by my mind. Today, one of my friends is hosting an Apocalypse Party, in which we’ll probably listen to songs such as “2012 (It Ain’t the End)” by Jay Sean and “4 Minutes” by Madonna. I came up with the event’s tagline: “It’s our party and we’ll die when we want to.”

We’ll also be watching the movie 2012, because who doesn’t want to be seeing that film at the moment it becomes utterly ridiculous?

(Not that it isn’t on its way there already. The whole ‘driving a limo out a three-story window’ bit was already awarded some significant eye-rolls on my part).

Let’s talk about that movie for a second. No, I’m not going to do a review of it on the day of the supposed end of all life. Instead, I’ll just tell you some random facts you might not have known about it:

  • North Korea banned the film, as 2012 is the 100th anniversary of the birth of Kim Il-sung, the nation’s founder, and thus they disapproved of a film that “reflected unfavorably” on that particular year.
  • Due to the movie’s success, there was (and still is) talk of launching a spin-off TV series called “2013.” A little slow on the production there, fellas.
  • It is the only movie I know of that will go from being an action to a comedy in a single day.

I’m reminded of a similar phenomenon back in 2011 involving Harold Camping, a man so good at predicting the end of the world that he’s done it three times now. After one failed attempt, he told us that the world would end back in September 1994. When it didn’t, and after spending millions of dollars promoting the judgement day, he admitted he had made a simple “mathematical error.”

Oops.

But then, after that, he immediately began targeting May 21, 2011 as the new end of the world date. He wrote pamphlets on it, made radio broadcasts…and starting October 2010, he and his followers began driving across the country with signs indicating that the end was near.

 

Well, I was on a campout on May 21, 2011. I had just finished a ten-mile hike and was completely exhausted by six p.m. The world didn’t end then, which was good, because that wasn’t at all the way I wanted to go out.

Harold later admitted that he made—and I quote—“A little bit of a mistake.” Which is interesting, since that’s probably the same phrase I would use to describe leaving my iPod on until the battery runs out.

But anyway. My point in all this is that there will always be predictions about the end of days, and we’ll never really know for sure when it actually is. There will always be those awkward moments after a failed prediction, when you get the chance to yell at the people who were genuinely concerned: “Oh, you sold your house to buy a bomb shelter? Good move! Enjoy your eight hundred cans of corn!”

So just celebrate how you want without doing anything stupid. And if that means dressing up as a Mayan and walking down the street yelling warnings at random people…well, I considered it.

As for me, though, I’ll be using the phrase “it’s not the end of the world” as many times as I can in context. But let’s hope I don’t jinx anything.