Tag Archives: music videos

Pop Culture Mysteries – Case File #004 – Snubbed (Part 3)

PREVIOUSLY ON POP CULTURE MYSTERIES…

Part 1     Part 2

AND NOW THE POP CULTURE MYSTERIES CONTINUE…

It was time to review the evidence.  The tweets themselves.  I stopped by the library in my fancy new ride and asked Agnes to pull them up for me.

This one from MTV stuck out at me like a sore thumb on the hand of man who’s been scratching himself all day:

“I don’t get it,” I said as I stared at the screen of one of the library’s beep boop machines.  “The media’s made it out like this gal was left out in the cold but here a reputable source like Music Television indicates she WAS nominated.”

“I don’t care, Jake,”  Agnes said.  “Music hasn’t gotten any better since Danny Kaye if you ask me.”

I felt a ba-bump in my heart and grinned like an idiot.

“What’s with that look?”  Agnes asked.

“Don’t ever change, Ag,” I said.  “Hell, if your face didn’t look more worn out than the first baseman’s glove during Game Seven of the World Series, I’d propose right here and now.”

“Whatever,”  Agnes said.  “I just wish the city would do something about all the transients who wander in here all day and make me look up nonsense for them.”

I’m pretty sure she was talking about somebody else.

Moving on, I asked Agnes to look up all of the VMA award nominees.  Here’s what I saw:

BEST FEMALE VIDEO

Nicki Minaj – “Anaconda”

BEST HIP HOP VIDEO

Nicki Minaj – “Anaconda”

BEST COLLABORATION

Jessie J + Ariana Grande + Nicki Minaj – “Bang Bang”

“She was nominated three times,”  I said.  “Agnes, can you believe the snow job the press is trying to pull here?”

“Uh huh,”  Agnes said as she pulled up a website called “Jobs-A-Plenty.”

“Let me see if I kind find something for you.”

“Go back to Tweeter,”  I commanded.

“Here we go,”  Agnes said.  “Dishwasher.  Minimum wage.  Will train.  This has your name written all over it.”

“I’m on the job right now, woman!  Will you put the blasted Tweeter-ma-bob back on already?”

“Ugh,” Agnes said as she complied.  “I swear society just doesn’t do enough to help the mentally unstable.”

“There!”  I said, tapping my finger on the screen.  “Right there!”

“So what?”  Agnes asked.  “What is so important about this that you’re interrupting my coffee break?”

This caper had become what I like to call a “Kaleidoscope Case.”  In other words, with every angle, there’s a new point of view.

Some of the ones I’ve heard so far:

  • Minaj is super rich and ultra famous.  Few people ever sniff that rarified air.  A lot of folks who have seen their dreams go bust would love to be in a music video and you wouldn’t hear them complaining about only getting three nominations.
  • Her biggest video is just a bunch of posteriors flapping in the breeze.  (That reminds me, I need to review it again for research purposes.)  Is it really deserving of any award?
  • But then again, she never said she wasn’t nominated at all.  “Nicki Got Snubbed” is just one more example of press hype.
  • What does “different kind of artist” mean?  Is she talking about race?  That she has a little more junk in the trunk than the skinny waifs that dominate the entertainment industry?  Both?
  • Forgetting about the butt content of her video, is it possible to see her tweet as a springboard to a conversation about racial and body type diversity in the music industry?

So many questions.  So little time.  And at the end of the day, I was only going to get five bucks.

I understand the “she’s too rich to complain” argument.

I even get the “Anaconda is just a bunch of butts wagging around and has no artistic merit” argument. (Though I might have to watch it again just to make sure.)

But as for race and body type diversity – I suppose there’s always a need for that conversation.

3.5 readers, you might think things are hunky dory these days, but it’s always a good idea to talk about the past so that it doesn’t get repeated.

Let me tell you about the racism I witnessed in my day.

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Pop Culture Mysteries: Case File #004 – Snubbed (Part 2)

Previously on Pop Culture Mysteries…

Part 1

And now the Pop Culture Mysteries continue…

It was a full moon and like a werewolf, I was ready to howl.

Ms. Minaj’s Anaconda featured a bevy of bodacious booty, so much so that I couldn’t tell if it was a music video or a proctology doctor’s highlight reel.

shutterstock_225997429

“Do pick up your jaw, Mr. Hatcher,”  Delilah scolded.  “I dare say you run the risk of drooling into your ice water.”

Like an adorable blonde bunny rabbit, Delilah munched on a salad.  It must be hard to be a dame like that, barely eating anything just to keep a trim figure.

I skipped lunch and asked for a glass of H20.  I was hungrier than a bear after hibernation, but I had fifteen smackers in my pocket earned by solving three cases for Mr. Battler and my manly pride mandated that I not allow Ms. Donnelly to pick up the check this time.

I handed Ms. Donnelly’s phone back to her.

“I have no idea how to work these damn beep boop machines.  Play it again, will you?”

Delilah scoffed, seized the phone, and tucked it into her designer handbag.

“You’ve already watched it seventeen times, Mr. Hatcher.”

“I’m nothing if not a thorough investigator, Ms. Donnelly,”  I said.  “There’s a clue hiding amidst all those hineys.  I’m sure of it!”

“You’ll have to review it on your own time.  I won’t allow my mobile device to be used for your perversions any longer.”

Delilah passed me a manilla envelope.  I opened it.  A letter from Mr. Battler.

Hatcher,

The Video Music Awards.  They’re a yearly opportunity for ridiculously wealthy superstar musicians who get paid insane gobs of cash to sing songs and prance around in absurd outfits to pat each other on the back for their accomplishments made over the past year.

Naturally, pop culture junkies like myself gobble the spectacle up like rocky road ice cream.

But there’s trouble in paradise.

Pop-rapper Nicki Minaj, whose videos, what with their vivid colors, imaginative premises, and, well, yes, butts, butts, and more butts, was shunned.  Forgotten.  Cast aside.

Some might even say, “snubbed.”

Nicki was none too pleased and took to Twitter with her complaints, charging racism and body type-ism.

Not to be left out of the spotlight, songstresses Katy Perry and Taylor Swift stuck their schnozolas into the mix as well.

Review the tweets, conduct copious research and above all else, inform my 3.5 readers whether or not Nicki Minaj’s snub complaint is valid.

Sincerely,

Bookshelf Q. Battler

Blogger-in-Chief of the Bookshelf Battle Blog

I folded up the note and tucked it into my pocket.

“What on God’s green Earth is a Twitter?”

“It’s a social media website…”

Ms. Donnelly stopped, noticed the dumbfounded expression on my mug, and took an alternative tack.

“People like to talk a lot on their ‘beep boop machines’ as you call them.  They share virtually every last mundane detail of their lives with one another.”

“Are you serious?” I asked.

“Very much so,” Delilah said as she pulled out her phone and snapped a photo of her lunch.

“I can’t believe that,”  I said.

“Yes, just one of the things you’ll have to get used to I suppose.”

Delilah’s dainty fingers typed something on her phone.  Under her breath, I heard her mutter, “Hashtag Worst Salad Ever.”

BQB EDITORIAL NOTE:  Have you eaten a salad worse than Ms. Donnelly’s?  Share it on #WorstSaladEver.

“People have gotten lame if you ask me,”  I said.

“I did not.”

“Sharing a bunch of photos of nonsense,”  I said.  “I’ve never heard of anything more boring.”

“To each their own,”  Delilah said.

“Hell, it used to be if a yahoo tried to show you his photo album, you’d run out of the room like your feet were on fire.”

“Times,”  Delilah said with perfect diction.  “They are a-changing.”

The waitress dropped off the bill.  Delilah reached for it.

“Nothin’ doin,”  I said as I forked over my three fivers.

“Oh honestly, Mr. Hatcher,”  Delilah said.  “I don’t mean to be a braggart but I make so much more money than you.  You parting with the meager compensation provided to you by Mr. Battler is the last thing I want.”

Dames making more than men.  You know what I’m going to say, 3.5 readers.

I’m not against the idea.  I’m just not used to it.

“I won’t hear of it, Ms. Donnelly,” I said and then to the waitress, “Keep the change, dollface.”

“Hooray,” the waitress said as she twirled a finger around in the air as if she were throwing a sarcastic party.  “A whole quarter.”

$14.75 for a lousy salad and a glass of wine.  What a racket.

Ms. Donnelly dropped a fiver of her own on the table.

“I said I’ve got it.”

“It would be tres blaise to leave such a pathetic tip, Mr. Hatcher,”  Delilah said as she stood up.  “You may not care about your reputation but I have built a proper one that I must guard zealously.”

We walked outside the restaurant and stood there for a moment.  I waited for Delilah to unlock the door to the ’55 Caddy but instead, she got on her beep boop machine and did some beep booping.

“Ringing your gentleman caller?”  I asked.

“Not that that would be any of your concern but no,” Delilah said.  “I’m calling an Uber.”

“A what-er?”

“An Internet based car service,”  Delilah explained.  “A company that retains the services of drivers who are treated like independent contractors, thus rendering the need to pay for worker benefits unnecessary.”

“I think I just heard Jimmy Hoffa roll over in his unmarked grave.”

Yeah, I know Hoffa didn’t disappear until the 1980s but what can I say?  I’d been visiting old Agnes the librarian a lot, utilizing her books to bone up on everything I’d missed while I was pulling a Rip Van Winkle.

“Why call a cab when you’ve got wheels?”  I asked.

“I don’t,” Ms. Donnelly said.  “You do.”

The debutante tossed me the keys and I caught them without a hitch.

“I don’t get it.”

“A gift from Mr. Battler.  He figured that if you’re going to solve one-hundred pop culture mysteries for him, you’re going to need a reliable means of transportation.”

Like a cat in a canary cage, I was overjoyed.

“I thought you said the nerd doesn’t have much moolah.”

“He doesn’t,”  Delilah said.  “And though notoriously stingy with his own funds, Mr. Battler and his magic bookshelf do have a certain rare ability to…make things happen when they need to.”

“Magic bookshelf my eye,”  I said.  “I still say our boss is nuttier than a fruitcake.”

“You’re free to think whatever you wish, Mr. Hatcher.”

“I think I’m not going to look a gift horse as sweet as this one in the mouth,” I said as I opened up the driver’s side door. “Cancel your car, Ms. Donnelly, I’ll gladly give you a lift home.”

“That’s quite all right.”

“Are you sure?”

“Positive.”

Huh.  Another piece to the Delilah puzzle.  She obviously didn’t want me to see her digs and I was overcome with a desire to find out why.

But I knew if I pressed the issue, she’d snap up tighter than a Chinese finger trap.

So I did the only thing a gentleman could do.  I waited until her Uber picked her up and then tooled all over town with my fancy new set of wheels.

I used to have one just like it and was touched that Mr. Battler went through the trouble to find a replica.

Maybe my boss wasn’t such a dope after all.

Copyright (C) 2015 Bookshelf Q. Battler.  All Rights Reserved.

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Pop Culture Mysteries Gets Back to Basics

Read the Fine Print Whenever Ms. Donnelly is Involved.

Read the Fine Print Whenever Ms. Donnelly is Involved.

Happy Friday, 3.5 Readers.

Bookshelf Q. Battler here.

Among my many roles as Blogger-in-Chief of a blog read by 3.5 readers, I’m the boss of Pop Culture Detective Jake Hatcher, a hardboiled 1950’s private eye who sniffs out the answers to my questions about Hollywood and the entertainment industry.

Jake and I have never met in person.  Rather, I prefer to dispatch all my inquiries through Attorney Delilah K. Donnelly, Lead Counsel for the Bookshelf Battle Blog.

It’s kind of a Charlie’s Angels situation.  I ask the questions.  Delilah delivers them.  Jake hunts down the answers.  By keeping Delilah as a buffer, I’m able to retain Jake’s services and he’s not able to strangle me until I spill the beans to the secrets I’m keeping from him:

How did he fall asleep in 1955 and wake up in 2014 and more importantly, how can he get back to his own time?

Yes, I can help him with both questions, but I’m stringing him along until he’s solved 100 cases.

Feel free to thank me, 3.5 readers.  Sure, many bloggers put in a lot of work for their fans, but few are willing to extort a 1950s private investigator for your reading pleasure.

He’s gotten a bit carried away lately.  He’s starting writing down recollections of his adventures of a gumshoe.  I think they’re all interesting and worth sharing.

Two of his ideas in particular I hope to turn into self-published books, the profits of which I’ll keep because, you know, when Attorney Donnelly hands you a contract, you’d better read the fine print before signing.

Sorry Jake.

Anyway, the core concepts of this series:

1)  I have questions about popular culture.

2)  Referring to those questions as, “Pop Culture Mysteries” is funny.

3)  A 1950’s hard-boiled film noir style detective complete with trench coat and fedora tracking explaining the answers to these questions in traditional/stereotypical noir style (i.e. longwinded exaggeration and lots of ridiculous comparisons) is funnier.

Planning of novels set in Jake’s world are underway, but before the noble trio of Jake, Delilah, and myself do anything, we need to get a few more Pop Culture Mystery Questions answered and into the can.

Jake needs a fan base before he writes a couple of novels.  Otherwise, who’d buy them?

And how could I cut Jake out of the deal and use that sweet, sweet Amazon moolah to buy myself a Porsche?

Ah, don’t worry, 3.5 readers.

Behind that ice queen exterior, Attorney Donnelly often serves as the moral compass of this blog.

I’m sure she’ll twist my arm and convince me to share some of those book profits with our resident sleuth.

(I’ll need to keep some of it though just to pay Delilah’s latest legal bill though.  Sheesh!  Talk about billable hours!)

Don’t worry.  Jake will get back to regaling you all with The Wrong Guy, the story about how he tracked down the killer of his buddy Lou the liquor store owner.

But first, I need to put him on a more pressing case:

The Nicki Minaj Video Music Award (VMA) Snub – Does Her Complaint Have Merit?

Before Jake pounds the pavement on the trail of this caper, I’d like to take an informal poll:

What say you, 3.5 readers?  Is Nicki right?  Did she lose out because, as she tweeted, only certain “kinds” of artists get recognized?  Or, you know, should she just take all the money she made off of Anaconda and be happy?

Sour grapes or a star treated badly?

And what do you think about Taylor Swift and Katy Perry jumping into the fracas?

You tell me, 3.5.  You tell me.

Image courtesy of a shutterstock.com license.

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