Writing a Dream

Posts tagged “YouTube

Nicole Arbour and How She Won

Nicole Arbour.

Yeah, the woman who did the Dear Fat People video. Youtube removed it and people rejoiced. I think I am the only one not rejoicing. Sure, the things she said offended a lot of people. I get that. What I don’t think other people get is that by removing her video, Youtube essentially condoned censorship.

Yes, they really did.

I have seen some really nasty things on Youtube – very nasty things that I would not want any of my nephews or nieces watching. Yet, a fat shaming video is taken down. I am not agreeing with what Nicole said – not one bit. However, I still respect her right to say it.

Yes, I know Youtube has the final say in what videos stay and which ones go. It’s their business so it’s their decision. Still, we have to remember that good or bad, we still have the right to express our opinions. The past couple of decades we have been slowly censoring ourselves so we don’t offend anyone, yet people are still offended at almost anything they don’t agree with.

That is the world we live in.

You will meet people you don’t like and you will hear things said that will make you cringe. Instead of being offended by everything being said or done, we need to learn to turn the other cheek and simply walk away from the people that cause of grief. It is not our job to police everyone else and make then into who we want them to be. It is, however, our job to take care of ourselves. Sometimes the best way to do that is to pay the people who offend us no mind and just move on.

Some battles are worth fighting…like the war against ISIS and making sure children have enough to eat. We need to pick our battles much more carefully. I think the best thing we could have done when it comes to Nicole was to just look the other way and not react. The reaction she got was exactly what she wanted. Many people think they won this battle against her, but you didn’t. Her goal was to make you uncomfortable and angry and she did just that.

Yes, I know she recently lost a job on a movie over the video. But there will be plenty of other people out there that don’t care about the video, and they will hire her.

All the talk has won her a ton of attention. And, as they say, any publicity is good publicity. Be it from good things or bad, now millions more know who she is.

She won and we condoned censorship. Seems like the “good guys” lost this one and they haven’t even realized it.

Photo via Youtube

Photo via Youtube

Digitech’s Death Metal Guitar Pedal

O wanted me to buy a new guitar and a new pedal. I did both.

The first to arrive was the pedal. I was digging around Guitarcenter.com and found one that we really liked. I listened to a couple of demos on Youtube and it sounded nice and crunchy, just what we were looking for. It’s the Death Metal Pedal by Digitech.

Digitech's Death Metal Pedal (box)


I would have liked to include a demonstration of its metal ripping abilities, but I am without an electric at the moment! The electric I have at them moment is without a decent set of strings and I am having to adjust the truss rod which is becoming a bit of an issue (That’s a whole other post).

Digitech's Death Metal Pedal


I was able to get it for a very reasonable $20 used, but you can’t even tell it was used at all. There are no markings or scratches at all. The box looks like it bounced around a little, but I could care less about that. Here are a few more shots of it.

Side view


Side view


Pedal w/ box


The construction of the pedal is very solid. In fact, even without a battery, the device is quite heavy. I have a Boss Distortion pedal and it’s noticeably lighter than the Digitech. If you are looking for a good demo of the pedal, here is one Jack Black did. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBMdayjisYs

I will post more pictures when the guitar comes in. That should probably around the 27th.

Caroline Lufkin – “Murmurs”

It’s not often that you run into a musical artist with any sort of true talent as far as vocals, let alone writing. In today’s music industry, it can sometimes feel as if we are being spoon fed manufactured pop music which is no better for your soul than fast food is for your health. Through my various ventures in the world of music outside of the United States, I’ve happen upon a handful of truly terrific artists who definitely bring something to the table when it comes to real talent. One of my first discoveries was Olivia Lufkin. With her array of pop, rock, punk, electronica and, at times, borderline metal sounds, I figured her for one in a million. Little did I know that musical talent seems to flow through the blood of not only her, but most of her family. While checking out the latest Olivia news, I came across a lesser know artist which turned out to be her sister, Caroline.

While not nearly as successful as her famed sister, Caroline has slowly emerged as a force in the realm of eletronica and experimental sound. While she did recently release an album in January of this year, I’d like to focus on her first full length album. Murmurs, at a glance, doesn’t seem like much, as it’s cover art lacks the flash and glamor of many Japanese Pop artists. All you see is simply a girl laying about with a flower in her hair, and across the top of her record reads simply “Caroline.” Nothing flashy in the least by todays standards, but this is a classic case of you cannot judge a book by its cover…or in this case, an album. Once you pop in your disc, you are greeted by the warm and, at times, seemingly playful voice of Caroline as she spreads her appeal out for all to admire.

The standout track, which you are sure to find on Youtube, is “Bicycle,” a haunting yet angelic tune that finds it’s way into your heart and proceeds to take you on a journey. It’s softened trumpet opening caresses your ears right before Caroline’s angelic voice pulls you in and asks you to give her your attention. It’s slower paced and story-telling theme almost reminds you of something you may have experienced in your childhood; perhaps the first time a young girl discovers love and the effect it has on her soul. As the song progresses, you are lulled into a sort of trance that envelops your senses and just as you think you have developed a liking, perhaps even a love for the journey, it is indeed over. As soon as it concludes, oddly enough, you may find yourself looking for the back button on your player, the feelings of listening to it again overtaking you.

Another standout is “Drove Me to the Wall” which has faster pacing than that of “Bicycle,” but just as haunting. It’s soft musical accompaniment works well with Caroline’s light voice as she stretches her singing talents, pulling off a superb vocal performance.

“Everylittlething,” which is spelled correctly in this case, introduces a slightly heavier electronica sound. Still bringing the goods vocally, Caroline explores a more playful and somewhat less serious side to her music while still pulling you into her world. The track sounds as if it could evolve into a dance number if she’d decided to speed up the tempo. However, you will find yourself thanking Caroline for keeping it mellow as the song brings a comfort into your heart and lets you relax instead of beating your head against a wall as most dance music seems to do.

While far from mainstream, Caroline lets everyone know that she isn’t just another Pop Princess (she is known for turning down a major label recording contract simply because they wanted to make her “too pop”) as her music and voice are more than enough to make her a well respected artist in the industry. Filled with airy and wonderful vocals as well as soothing and sometimes fragile beats, Murmurs is a rare gem in this watered down, manufactured pop era.

A Victim’s Revenge

I usually cruise through various blog posts and every now and then I find a story or post so interesting, I just have to keep following not only the story, but the writer as well.

In a nutshell, there is a woman named Wendy Cheng and she has a very successful blog. A man by the name of Peter Coffin had decided to start trashing her without even knowing the girl. Well, after a handful of hateful twitter posts, Wendy (who goes by the name Xiaxue) got sick of it and decided to strike back and show this bully that the kitten he decided to pick on had some pretty vicious claws. Below is a link to a post she did a few days ago addressing the situation and her response…and I must say, internet bullies, you all better start watching your backs.


Be sure to check out the post directly after the one listed above. It shows his response to her reaction, and it’s almost sad how awful it is.


Wendy Cheng (Xiaxue)