Robot Test: Katy Perry

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Too Long For Twitter

Chooch and I accidentally found Comedy Central’s autism benefit, “Night of Too Many Stars,” airing a couple weeks ago and the only thing I can remember about it is Katy Perry’s performance with Jodi DiPiazza, a young beauty with autism. Ms. Perry seemingly forgets that there is a live audience and cameras present for about four solid minutes as the two sing Katy’s song, “Firework.” I was just reminded of it by hearing a slice of the original song and can’t believe I never mentioned it here.

Test Parameters:
If Katy Perry fails to go up in your opinion by at least 1 point after watching this video, then you’re a robot. Even if you don’t like her or her music, which I was not prior to seeing this performance.

Note: The video is 8 1/2 minutes long. For those busy, impatient or not really interested, I suggest an abbreviated robot test, which may be less accurate if you don’t know how music bridges the gap of autism with this young beauty, then you can start at around 3:15 when the bio ends and the song begins.

MORE IMPORTANTLY: If you can spare a couple bucks for the charity, please do. I think the video shows what is possible when opportunities and tools for communication can be given to those with Autism: heart-break, inspiration and bliss. (There is a clicky linky button in the bottom left hand corner of the screen while the video plays.)



SPOILER:
Watch for the smile with adorable dimples when the girl hears the audience cheer her at the beginning of the song.
Now, I’m going off into the corner to sob for a little longer. Honestly, that girl has the voice of an angel that breaks my heart even as it makes it soar with inspiration. And hearing Katy’s voice break (a couple of times?) as she seemingly feels the meaning of every word of the song as she sings with, and to, Jodi as the young girl plays piano. And cynics, even if it is only a performance by that makes it appear that Katy is not a robot, with her full and believable commitment to that role, she deserves a frakkin’ Emmy. And that should also garner her going up at least one wee notch, don’tcha think?

Checking My Watch

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Too Long For Twitter

It has been a long push to this election day. I think we can agree on that, across the aisles, right? Like many, I feel like I’m really running out of patience today and am fighting with myself to read updates from friends, family and followers. I won’t block or unfriend anyone for voicing their opinions that may or may not fall in line with mine, but I will continue light usage until at least after the weekend.

I am no politico but have my own, very strong opinions based on my lifetime of experience that, albeit, had minimal demand by my parents to follow their beliefs. We discussed issues, and while I usually knew their stance, I never felt any pressure to vote or believe exactly as they did. Another family I was close with, however, had extremely strong views and frequent debates. Over a decade or so of it, and I developed an extreme dislike for such discussions and typically retreat and wait patiently for the fun to resume. I respect their desire for the discussion and also respect myself by granting myself peace instead of digging into a potentially heated debate which will not change anyone’s mind (typically).

In addition to those experiences, there is all the research I’ve done over the years, along with all the other inputs that impact my beliefs. I feel no need to explain, debate, justify or change anyone to my political or religious beliefs. After all, one of the thing I love about our county is the non-conformity of its citizens. I find it extraordinary that people raised in very similar times and households as me can have completely opposite opinions and beliefs and I’m almost always open to learning.

Politics are different for everyone, and a highly charged issue for many, which is one of the reasons everyone (tell me if I’m wrong here) is taught that it, along with religion, are not to be brought up in polite/public conversations. Enter Facebook and Twitter, and I feel they have drastically changed the playing field for politics and interpersonal relationships.

I find this to be the first Presidential election where I believe the existence and ease of use and frequency of use have negatively impacted their user base. Family members, old friends and new friends all have a  pissed, and I’m just drained from all the negativity being slung around. The use of both social media sites has become as commonplace as Starbucks and Subway, especially in the podcasting crew I run with. There has been a huge increase in users of both, I unapologetically speculate, happening since the last election. Now there are  people in our workplaces and families and church and neighbors and all those ‘friends of friends’ you know are suddenly “Like”ing and ReTweeting their political beliefs where normally, it doesn’t come up. Particularly if you don’t know their politics.

I am finding a lot of Friends and Followeds have been very vocal about their support of Obama. Far more than Romney, from my general (almost) daily skimming. And everyone that posted about politics, candidates or the election issues is usually passionate on the subject. Am I surprised that Obama was elected? Not really, based on my recollection of the posts I read from easily over 300 people. While not scientific or even terribly useful beyond this post, there was foreshadowing in what I read. The wild card, the electoral college, is what makes election results pretty tough to speculate.

Luckily, most folks seem to be winding down their outrage at their candidate losing or at disappointment over the way “other Americans” are handling it. Now it’s just surviving post-election initial aftermath and we will hopefully move on as a country long before Inauguration Day, when our newly elected President takes office. Reportedly, even Wall Street puked in its mouth a little the morning after the election.

My point is this: I need this to be over. I am embarrassed to even have a Twitter account when election day news coverage reported that (paraphrased) “… it’s time to put the white back in The White House…” was a trending topic. Trending, FFS.

Here’s my proposal: I’ll give you the weekend to get it all out of your system, and get back to <insert appropriate sport>, cool links (Like this one! Yes, I’m slow on the draw but it’s so charming.), the cost of gasoline, your NaNoWriMo word count pride or angst? But, as Glob as my witness, if the vitriol continues, I’ll …

Oh, wait. That Freedom of Speech thing. Yeah, go ahead and speak America. Just remember that while you have the freedom to say (nearly) anything without fear of prosecution, there is no protection from your peers also voicing their opinions. In Facebook or otherwise. Maybe there’s still an option that blocks people from commenting,so maybe some folks should look into it when they post highly contentious items?

And, seriously, all you teens and twenty-somethings need to stop talking about how much weed you’ll smoke when you move to Colorado or Washington states. Have you still not figured out that your posts can be used against you? I’m seriously concerned about the number of Americans that think they have privacy protection on self-incriminating posts ANYWHERE on the web. I don’t care how tight your privacy settings are e in Facebook and Twitter, once it’s posted to one of those sites or any other, it’s searchable by employers, law enforcement, Exes, Futures and even your kids.

Finally, I need to give major props for the metric butt-ton of research done by my hubby, Chooch, in preparation of the election. I feel had a solid grasp on the issues up for election in my district. It’s easily the most consideration, discussion and research I’ve ever had before an election.

See? I understand the importance of this particular election, just not the demonstration of negativity, vitriol, passive aggressiveness and disrespect. I hope, as many others have expressed, that those elected will work together, regardless of party affiliation, to help heal the country.

*tick*tock*tick*tock*

Political Message

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Too Long For Twitter

Other than watching the Daily Show (*gasp* Yes, I’m one of those). I ignore political discussions, watch no pundits and only accidentally watch the debates. As in, I randomly discover it’s on and watch from then on. I refuse to commit to memory anyone else’s political opinions other than my own and the candidates. And even then I prefer text to speech.  Many of our former presidents, not presiding during times of gluttonous portable device ownership, when it was only their printed words, and not their personality, voice, humanizing speech imperfections or knowledge if they ever used illegal drugs.

The reason? Politicians disgust me, almost to a one. I rely on research online (done for my by Chooch this year – long story) and limit hearing the politicians and their rehearsed answers, although I do like to watch at least one debate to get a sense of each of them on a personal level – how do they handle themselves with each other and the moderator? Do they take potshots at the other opponent instead of answering a direct question? That sort of thing. I feel the debates are good. They will either reinforce your decision or decide it. It’s a disgusting display of ego, but a necessary part of our available input – how will the candidate handle himself when dealing with other countries, under the scrutiny of those that elect you.

Whichever issues are most important to you should matter in the voting booth. Forget the archaic political system handed down to us by our parents, part of which required we label ourselves, Democrat, Republican, Independent (Response is typically a puppy dog head tilt.), Conservative, Liberal or Unicornian (Puppy dog head tilts measure far lower than for Independents).

In my opinion, issues must drive elections, hopefully more so than outdated and eternally shifting labels. Look at your life. Are you poor? Then general belief is that voting Republican could keep you poor. Martian? Then you should likely be down on the side of those in support of marriage equality. Admittedly, the debate now concerns same sex unions, but breaking down that barrier will mean that Martian/Earthling legally recognized unions are more likely.
(Note: Feel free to argue my fictional examples. Like my main point, most debate is moot. You are not likely to change my mind, and vice versa.)

So you’ve heard my rant, refusing to join in debates and back away slowly, and it’s likely not for the first time. This is already more than I like to say on the subject. And don’t worry, I’m already regretting it.

With all of this disgust, boredom, disdain and love for our challenging political system, color me surprised when I actually came across a political message I can not only get behind — it had me cheering and rewinding immediately.

Thanks to the insistence of our sons Naughty Bear and LT, Chooch and I have gotten heavily into Adventure Time, on Cartoon NetworkIt’s a favorite go-to show for us, and I get the jones for it daily. The simplicity and inherent truth in the relationship between twelve year old Finn and 4 year old Jake, his yellow dog rock my world.

This is where I found the one Political Rap to rule them all, performed by Jake (beatbox) and Finn (lyricist).

(Note: Apologies for not posting with video or audio, but I can’t find a sanctioned site and am sick of dealing with old broken links, let alone posting future ones. Trust me, it is far more awesome in Jake’s voice. Google it for the freshest video link.)

Lyrics
Yeah,
ugh,
political rap.
Yo yo,
demon apathy,
yo zappity.
Get ready.
Government,
where you went?
Yo, farmer’s market.
Ride bikes.
Get on it.
Geodesic domes,
science.
You heard?