Poptartology: I Beliebe I can fly

2013-05-12 06:00

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Because the internet can

Actor and director Ryan Gosling cannot escape his own memes, hard as he might try. This week somebody (Canadian film maker Ryan McHenry took the time to create eight short videos in which the heart-throb gets petulant when being fed his cereal.

While the internet was at it, someone (Mondo Rizo, a young Japanese designer made a cat font. Just go over to NekoFont and type something in and it’ll pop out spelled with cats.

Blows back fringe.

He must smack his monkey

Fresh from the drama of nearly being hugged on stage in Dubai, Justin Bieber fled the country, setting off several speed cameras. As news broke that he was facing prosecution at home for spitting in his neighbour’s face the badboy-wannabe arrived in South Africa.

Picture: Fame Flynet

Fan hysteria had been rife for days. One girl had an actual breakdown outside Checkers because she couldn’t get Golden Circle tickets. At the Cape Town concert, a team from the comedy outfit Derick Watts & The Sunday Blues went out and interviewed some Beliebers.


Sneakily, some young male Beliebers were asked if they were bi-curious. “Ja,” says a lad, “we wanted to experiment with this concert.”

Asked how he should deal with his abandoned pet monkey if it was naughty, a young girl replied: “He will have to smack his monkey.”

Managing to track down a Bieber hater, a non-Belieber, she posed and declared: “He’s such a poser.” In the end, a trio of fans agree that Justin is a tool. For change in the world.

The real creepy moment, though, is when a Belieber mum is asked if Justin is the son she never had. “He’s the boyfriend I never had,” she says.

Uh. Ja. Uh.

There’s a lot of that, if you go looking for it. Mums who are hot for Bieber. His mother says it’s the mums who are the worst of the fans.

There’s also a site called 50 Shades of Bieber that I cannot rationally discuss.

There are, of course, many gay Beliebers who must’ve been really excited when E! Online’s Twitter account was hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army and declared: “Exclusive: Justin Bieber to E!online: I’m a gay.”

Because the internet hates Justin Bieber, you will also find his most hilarious quotes. Like “My fans are like my glasses. Without them I’d be blurry.” And you’ll see what happens when you faceswap him and Taylor Swift or him and Joffrey from Game of Thrones. But my favourite is still Justin Bieber with Steve Buscemi’s eyes.

Picture: Buscemeyes

And don’t forget the live-updated site of fans begging Bieber to follow them on Twitter which even academics have been writing about. I am being mean. But really. This is someone who may or may not have called himself the Kurt Cobain of his generation, has a hair evolution reminiscent of Vanilla Ice and is definitely trying to mimic the style of Michael Jackson.

The ironies are vast. Jackson, who fetishised young white boys as a way of reclaiming his childhood is now being played by one of them. Pop is sooo strange, dear readers.

Early attack of cyberbullying

The other side of the Belieber coin came to light this week. You’ll remember the video of the clumsy kid pretending he had a lightsaber which was posted by his schoolmates behind his back in 2003. This week, 10 years later, he has spoken about what he went through. He was subject to the first significant mass internet bullying of our time. People were urging him to commit suicide.

As comedian Rob van Vuuren said about the story this week, “The internet is a d*ck.”

Superman in Soweto

Did you know that there was once a comic series of a superhero called Mighty Man who battled evil in Soweto?

The very excellent South African Comic Books blog this week published a chronology of local comics in the 1970s.

Among the entries is the story of Supercomix that reveals the comic was funded by rightwing Americans and part of his duty was to fight the evil of communism.

Speaking of comics, the new issue of DC Comics series Suicide Squad has a recurring poster of Die Antwoord in one of the characters’ prison cells.

Picture: @TaitWritesAgain/Twitter

And blog Africa is a Country this week talked to Nigerian-American brothers John and Charles Agbaje, who are taking African comics global.

Picture: The Elite Comics

Why we can’t have nice things

What happened this week at one of the fashion world’s most trendsetting events – the Met Gala – can best be summed up by this image, lovingly titled “Kim Karcouchian” by World of Wonder online.

Picture: World of Wonder

This is what happens when you let Kanye West dress you. Here’s what Kim looked like for her Met red carpet debut.

The theme of this year’s bash, in case you didn’t notice, was punk rock. Someone stick a safety pin in my arm to wake me up. The event suffered from “an unusually high rate of ugly-dress-per-minute syndrome, as fashion blogger Miss Milli B put it.

Like Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj ...

And Ashley Olsen, who just escaped from a student production of Midsummer Night’s Dream.

And Allison Williams fresh out of a time machine from her matric dance.

Of them all, Madonna probably looked about the best.

The problem with Madonna was that she wasn’t wearing panties. Which is actually not a problem. Unless you callously clamour onto the Temple of Dandur in the Met Museum in order to get a better look at Kanye performing. Who cares that it’s an ancient African treasure, she’s rich and famous and American. As one commentator put it: “This is why we can’t have nice things.”

Poptart of the week: Titica

In the ongoing quest to welcome pan-African poptarts to this country, may I introduce Titica.

Love. Her. Dead. Twice.

Picture: Kilsonfox blog

Titica is 25 and was born in Luanda, where she trained in ballet. She’s one of Angola’s leading proponents of kuduro music, a rap-dance fusion that emerged in the 1980s. Starting as a backing dancer for kuduro stars, she launched a hip-hop career that saw her winning awards and performing at concerts attended by the president.

Her debut album Chão was released in December 2011.

The gangsta pop femme has been quiet this year – touring Europe and America and gaining a reputation as a club sensation. Her last video was released late last year. In Don’t Touch Me she perches on a fancy pink car in pink tights and picks up a hot hitchhiker who takes a shower but mustn’t touch her.


So, Titica is transsexual. You can read a profile on her here. Everyone loves a tranny rapper, no? No. The public at home is divided, writes this blog. “She’s also no stranger to prejudice. Titica has been beaten and stoned before,” writes this one “but growing up in a majority-Catholic country where homosexuality is illegal and punishable by hard labour has not diminished her sexual confidence and electric personality.”

Titica takes it further than any poptart we’ve seen in years. Here she is on her wedding day. The video is for her street hit Olha o Boneco.


“By day, her songs boom from minibus taxis,” writes BBC. “By night, they fill Luanda’s dance floors and, at the weekends, she has become the essential soundtrack for children’s parties.”

Gratuitous newsity

Lauryn Hill dropped Neurotic Society before being ridiculously sentenced to three months jail time for tax evasion – despite having paid up.

Here’s a Skywhale floating over Australia.

The SA Music Awards are helping kill off R&B once and for all says top blog Afripop Mag.

They also interviewed the people behind Decoded, the first music platform to offer lyrics to African songs.

Charles Ramsey, the man who helped rescue three Cleveland women from a life of hell, went viral, with a mix track of his TV interview being dished up online within hours. But it’s becoming a meme too many in the “hilarious black neighbour” theme, says Slate.

The Dalai Lama has gone pop. He’s webcasting his addresses live, tackling climate change and has been seen hanging out at a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert.

This music video is disguised as an aerobic workout video for cats.

In your gratuitous nudity news, Nicki Minaj challenged her fans to post pictures of themselves as naked as she’d been on her album cover. We ummed and aahed but this is our favourite. So far.

In a bizarre spatial anomaly on CNN, two news anchors interviewed one another via satellite – from the same parking lot.

Here’s a clever anti-abuse ad that only kids can see.

And South Africa is to pioneer the beer drones. Drinks will be delivered by parachute – directed by customers’ smartphones on the ground – at the Oppikoppi music fest this year.

How to get really happy in just 15 minutes

The first rainbow moment I’ve had since 1994. And then twice. Two big new collaborations dropped videos on to the internet this week.

Badboy is a Swedish-South African project involving Kwaai, Driemanskap, Syster Sol, Mofeta, Kristin Amparo, Cleo and Kanyi.

And Animals, shot in the Cape Flats, an American-South African rap exchange between HHP, Omar Hunter El, Asheru, Benn Chad, OneTwo, Projector, Zubz, Cassper Nyovest, Nomadic,Element Lehipi Khalil.

And there’s this. Haile Selassie Karate. It was also shot in Mitchells Plain during a visit by the very conscious Pharoahe Monch.

But nothing beats Oskido going back to school in the ridiculously adorable video for Tsa Mandebele Kids, chanted by ridiculously adorable kids.


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