Tag Archives: Recommendations

Net Neutrality Survey on AllSides

One of my favorite sites that I’ve discovered in recent months since we’ve all become more aware of media, bias, echo chambers, and the like, is AllSides.com. Around before the election last year, it seems to have only grown in notoriety since.

It’s interesting to check out their sample stories, with a headline from the Center, the Left, and the Right; sometimes, the headlines are quite similar and feel mostly factual, and sometimes, the headlines are wildly divergent. You can see the pointed and polarized language much more starkly in these moments. It also feels like their sorting of the different news outlets is pretty close to accurate, as you compare the leaning-left and -right sorts of headlines to the ones further to the extremes, or the ones to the center.

AllSides has apparently been running a survey on Net Neutrality, with introductory arguments on both sides from John Oliver and Reason. They’ve presented their data so far, but the survey is still open (which isn’t very scientific, but that’s fine). They also showed their respondent bias, which is more heavily to the left.

I wonder if the lower level of respondents from the right has to do with them not caring as much about the issue, or whether more people on the right tend to go straight to their preferred news sources than to somewhere like AllSides? That’s all just speculation, and besides the point.

The point is, results were pretty strongly in favor of Net Neutrality, because it’s something people tend to be behind: at a fundamental level, it seems like we’ve reached a point where the Internet is a utility.

But don’t take my word for it… check out the results, and take the survey yourself! And if you haven’t checked out AllSides before, definitely give them a look.

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“I See You” – The xx

An album that I knew was coming last year (at least according to random sources online) and that I was excited for ended up coming out early this year instead… “I See You” by the xx. Like with many albums, I liked this one well enough when I first listened to it, but it didn’t massively stand out. It opened with a great single that I really liked, but not much else took hold.

That one’s an interesting listen. The xx regularly touch on awkward or obsessive love, so the song is right in line with that. However – and the timing is such that it couldn’t mean this but it’s where my head went anyway when listening to it – it sure sounds like the GOP talking about their president…

Sorry, back to the album. This one song is so good that I found myself coming back to the album, and after often listening to it a few times in a row, I let the rest of the album roll over me.

Many albums for me, and probably most people, take multiple listens to really get into. At this point, I’m waking up with different songs from the album stuck in my head… I love it. Excellent stuff. They succeeded at maintaining their old sound, what you’re coming back for as a fan, while giving it a new twist.

I also just love this band at a fundamental level, the duo of lead singers, and they way they often trade off on verses, if not more frequently. Just great stuff. I definitely recommend giving them a listen if you haven’t! Here’s a couple of songs I love from their first two albums:

 

For the Love of Old Hollywood, Part 1

I didn’t realize until a friend of mine was actually really excited to do it, but it’s been hard for me to find people to watch old movies with. And it’s weird, I always feel like I have to clarify, I mean movies older than the 80s, 90s, or even the 60s or 70s. In recent years I’ve noticed a lot of people who consider 80s movies “old” and don’t watch anything older than that. Even with a lot of friends in the past, I’ve only been able to talk them into watching old movies with me if they were Audrey Hepburn films. And the thing is, I love old movies. They’re amazing, and when people complain about Hollywood today (and we’ve talked about Hollywood fatigue here plenty), I always feel the urge to tell them to watch some old movies instead. This also struck me while watching some romantic comedies this week (for Netflix is vast and full of teen memories) that romantic comedies are so predictable now, but their formula came from classic Hollywood. So on a whim, here’s a few suggestions of classic Old Hollywood films that are definitely worth a viewing.

It Happened One Night (1934)

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A Frank Capra film, well known for a few details. It was the first movie to ever be nominated for the Big Five Oscars (Best Film, Director, Writer, Actor, and Actress), and was also the first feature to show a man not wearing an undershirt. In fact, the story goes that undershirt sales plummeted after men saw Clark Gable take his shirt off and have nothing on underneath. Beyond that fun anecdote is actually a very well done film, and as I said, it definitely shows a pattern with today’s rom-coms, but was one of the first to do it so successfully. Claudette Colbert shines as a spoiled rich heiress who just wants to have her way…with everything.

The Dancing Lady (1933)

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While we’re on the subject of Clark Gable, this is one of my personal favorites of his. He and Joan Crawford sizzle in this film, and what makes it so interesting is the subtly modern feminism that runs as a subtext to a lot of the plot. I’d forgotten that until I re-watched it last weekend, and was pleasantly surprised to rediscover its wonderfulness. Joan Crawford is definitely a strong-willed, independent woman in this film, which is refreshing for the time period. This movie is also interestingly one of Fred Astaire’s first ever film performances (he appears as himself) as well as one of the early appearances of The Three Stooges – only at this point they were known as Ted Healy and His Stooges.

My Man Godfrey (1936)

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I absolutely adore this movie. Besides being an oddball rom-com, it actually features a lot of fascinating socio-economic class commentary, hidden underneath the love story. William Powell and Carole Lombard give some of their best performances in this, especially interesting since they had been previously married several years before and were divorced at the time this was made.

Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)

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A definite Cary Grant classic, this dark comedy is screwball and quirk at their finest. Also directed by Frank Capra, we get to see Cary Grant go through a moral crisis when he discovers that his dear old aunts are, actually, serial killers, and insanity runs in his family. Plus, we get to see some fantastic acting from Peter Lorre and Raymond Massey. A running gag is about Massey’s resemblance to Boris Karloff (famous for playing horror roles), who was actually unable to reprise his role from the stage production in the film because he was, ironically, still appearing in the Broadway production of Arsenic and Old Lace at the time.

 

There are plenty more, and I’m sure in the future I’ll have even more to recommend. Old Hollywood was able to crank out films at such a ridiculous rate, there is a plethora to choose from. But in the meantime, happy viewing!

5 Great Bands I’ve found lately – Throwback Thursday

I’ve been wanting to write a post about music, but keep realizing I’ve already talked about these bands! So instead, how about I just share this in case you missed it? Here’s five (with a bonus sixth) great bands to check out!

It’s been a while, but for a time I was blogging music on Sourcerer. Maybe my most successful post – in part because it was open to so many suggestions and wasn’t focused on one artist – was about vocal duos in bands. It’s great and all when there’s just one person singing, but I really like it when you can get two people going, either separately on different songs, or together on one.

In that post I point back to the Raconteurs as the first time I was really noticing and liking this, but afterwards I’ve realized I completely missed the mark there – it would be Fleetwood Mac, a band I grew up listening to with my family and on my own. So I’ve been listening to music like this for a long time…

Between writing that post, and getting Apple Music, I didn’t pick up too much new music – so it’s been an explosion of me finding and obsessing over new bands, and new material from bands I had one album for, ever since! And my jumping-off point has been this post, the idea of these sorts of bands. Several came up in that other post or in its comments, but let’s explore!

Oh and I should note here… I haven’t really watched these music videos, so hopefully they’re not too weird?

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What’s Streaming September 2016

 

It’s a big month for Netflix, with original premieres and lots of movies coming. Amazon Instant and HBO are both heavy on movie premieres, and Amazon will be streaming episodes of new seasons right after they premiere (quite possibly for a price, but episodes of Big Bang Theory Season 10 and Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD will be available for example). Let’s check out what’s streaming!

 

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Jaws, Jaws 2, Jaws 3, and Jaws: The Revenge

Feel like some John Williams and shark attacks? Netflix is bringing them straight to your home! You’ll maybe need a bigger boat for this marathon…And if you really feel like bingeing some shark movies, you can always do a comparison binge between these and the Sharknado movies, also on Netflix. I recommend some sort of strong beverage for the latter…

Practical Magic

I absolutely love this movie. It’s perfect for a girls’ night in, or a night when you miss family or friends. A romantic dramadey starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman, this movie follows two sisters who fumble their way through life and love, and make some witchy mistakes in the process. It’s fantastic. (Also worth a read is the novel of the same name by Alice Hoffman, a comparison of the two is fascinating.)

Sweeney Todd

A Tim Burton movie starring (who else?) Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter, as well as Alan Rickman. If you’re a fan of the musical, this one is worth a watch, although as with most of Burton’s work, you’ll either love his take on it or not.

Top Gun

A classic film from the 80s, if you haven’t ever seen it, now’s your chance, because it’s flying into Netflix on the 1st. (Sorry, couldn’t resist…)

True Grit (1969)

If you love John Wayne or saw the remake from a few years ago and haven’t seen the original, this movie is for you. One of John Wayne’s best, and absolutely worth a viewing.

Galavant Seasons 1&2 (Coming Sept. 7th)

If you loved this show while it was airing or never got a chance to try it out, the complete series will be available to watch this coming month.

Supergirl Season 1 (Coming Sept. 10th)

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If you’re a fan of Arrow and The Flash, Supergirl will be worth watching, especially since it will be moving over to the CW for its upcoming season, which means…Let the insane crossovers begin! Also, this gives you plenty of time to catch up before the season 2 premiere October 10th.

Penny Dreadful, Season 3 (Coming Sept. 17th)

I recently discovered this show when the first two seasons began streaming on Netflix, and I’m incredibly excited that the third (and final) season will be available on Netflix so soon. The creators made the interesting choice to end the story after the third season, so even though it had quite the following, any petitions for Netflix to pick it back up will, unfortunately, not accomplish much. Instead, you can see how the entire show plays out in one weekend long binge. I recommend leaving some lights on.

Gotham, Season 2 (Coming Sept. 19th)

Are you a fan of Gotham? Just your luck then because season 2 will be coming out September 19th, the same day as the season 3 premiere.

New Girl, Season 5 (Coming Sept. 20th)

I absolutely love New Girl. If you’ve ever had roommates or incredibly awkward dates and jobs, you’ll definitely find something to relate to in this quirky and hilarious show.

Zootopia (Coming Sept. 20th)

Although September marks the beginning of the exclusive Disney/Marvel/Netflix contract, so far there has been little to show viewers what that will mean for content being carried. Zootopia however is joining Netflix this month, which definitely shows promise since it is one of their more recent releases.

Longmire, Season 5 (Coming Sept. 23rd)

Don’t worry, Longmire fans, Netflix is indeed continuing the show after that crazy cliffhanger at the end of last season, and you’ll be able to catch the entire 5th season September 23rd.

The Imitation Game (Coming Sept. 28th)

If you’re like me and missed this when it was in theatres, you’ll finally be able to see it at the end of the month on Netflix. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley, it follows Alan Turing’s work with the UK government as a code breaker during WW2.

Marvel’s Luke Cage, Season 1 (Coming Sept. 30th)

The show that we’re all actually waiting for, Luke Cage is finally premiering at the end of September. If you watched Jessica Jones, you’ve been waiting for this since you figured out who Luke Cage is. If you haven’t watched Jessica Jones, you still have time before the Luke Cage premiere. And heck, watch Daredevil while you’re at it too!

Notables Leaving Netflix in September:

The Bridge on the River Kwai

Roman Holiday (Moving to Amazon)

Zoolander

Sept. 4th-11th:

Emperor’s New Groove

Lilo and Stitch

Fringe Seasons 1-5

How to Train Your Dragon 2

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Caddyshack

An absolute comedic classic, Caddyshack will be coming to Amazon streaming September 1st. If you’ve never seen it, definitely watch it.

Interview with a Vampire

Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Kirsten Dunst, and Christian Slater all star in this 90s classic film version of Anne Rice’s classic vampire novel. Check out an awesome vampire movie with a promise of no sparkly vampires!

Doctor Who, Season 9 (Coming Sept. 5th)

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If you also forgot that Doctor Who moved to Amazon Instant Video, here’s a reminder! Season 9 will finally be available to catch up on, so break out some tea and get ready to DO WE OOOOO!!!

The Witch (Coming Sept. 17th)

An independent horror film that’s all about atmosphere and building up suspense, this film won quite a few independent film awards but received mixed reviews from audiences. If atmospheric suspense and supernatural happenings in colonial America sound good to you, though, give this film a shot.

Young Adult

A moody and thoroughly awkward struggling-through-life-in-your-thirties movie, Young Adult stars Charlize Theron and Patton Oswalt. Worth a watch, if anything because of how uncomfortably realistic and embarrassing it is throughout, as well as for some fantastic performances from the two leads.

 

 

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300

THIS IS SPARTA! And also this is a fantastically stylistic cinematic version of a graphic novel by Frank Miller, directed by Zack Snyder.

Children of Men

I still remember chancing on this movie late one night while flipping channels, and it definitely got underneath my skin. If you’ve read the book by P.D. James or if you’re just curious, give this movie a shot. It’s gripping and terrifying, mostly because its content is handled in such an amazing way.

Rushmore

Are you a fan of Wes Anderson? If so, one of his earliest movies is coming to HBO Now/Go, and I recommend checking it out.

The Great Muppet Caper

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Oh nostalgia! This classic Muppet film from 1981 will be coming to HBO this month, so get ready for some childhood flashbacks. Bring some popcorn!

The Princess Diaries

A classic teen movie, if you’re in the mood for something lighthearted and fun, give this movie a watch and see Anne Hathaway’s fantastic breakout role as a girl who gets to be told by Julie Andrews that she’s actually a princess. Awkward teen situations and quirky girl things ensue.

 

For the full list of what’s coming this month, check out the source: http://www.theverge.com/2016/8/27/12666744/netflix-amazon-prime-hbo-now-new-movies-tv-shows-september-2016