JUST DO IT (wait… maybe don’t just do that?)

Obviously coincidental, but this video just found its way into my life in a way that seems like the universe meant for me to see it.  (but ever since i watched a parody that criticized the fact that all white girlz think the universe revolves around them i have trouble thinking like that without a follow-up cringe. yikes.)

I first want to point out that so many of the comments on this video are positive. People are asking if its a Nike ad.  People are saying its motivational.  The title declares that it’s the most motivational speech of all-time.  I can’t help but see the irony behind the whole thing, and I completely approve of what I think Shia is actually trying to address.

we live in a self-improvement, just do it, endlessly-pinterestable-inspirational-quote world, and it has reached the point of lunacy.  Shia captures this phenomena to. a. tee.

I work at a company that is very much connected to the “just do it” lifestyle.  What started out as a simple and powerful idea has snowballed into a massive movement that I feel has lost its bindings and unfurled into utter chaos.  I believe this lifestyle, although is masked as being empowering, is ultimately unhealthy and aids in creating an unenjoyable life.  The “just do it” lifestyle is a dangerous one.  Shia emphasizes that you have to push as far as you can to your limit, and then push farther, and you can’t just dream but you have to MAKE YOUR DREAM A REALITY.  This leads so many people to exhaustion, drug abuse, unhappiness, anti-depressants, unhealthy food, unhealthy relationships and on and on and on.

“Just doing it” has paired very nicely with consumerism and our need for instant-gratification in that because many people cannot “just do it” it is easy to sell them products that might make them believe for just a moment that they can indeed “just do it”.

And sidenote, this is coming to the girl who has first hand sells people 150 dollar shoes with “new technologically advanced lightweight material in the upper!!!” so that they can “just do it”, when they probably wouldn’t have been able to train any better or worse with the 50 dollar pair of shoes at the outlet store.  So hey, what’s up tyler the creator, i’m a walking paradox as well.

Don’t get me wrong, everyone can “do it” or “do something,” but I argue that most people are not equipped to “JUST do” anything.  Doing things well takes time, and training, and dedication, which I think Nike believed when they first came out with this slogan, but I think our societies interpretation of this slogan along with a constant bombardment of motivational quotes and instagram feeds of people constantly improving themselves has lead for people to feel stress rather than empowerment.

WATCH: Pia Mia Feat. Chance The Rapper – Fight For You

I am loving this track right now. Kanye West recently said that Pia Mia might be the next Rihanna, and although I don’t know if I can totally agree with that, she’s got talent and it shows in this hypnotic song. The song grows on you as you listen to it. It starts off a little shaky with trippy beats and borderline cheesy lyrics from Pia Mia like “We feel the way that we create, who ever knows what’s real?” (suhhhh deep), but then something happens and with the picking up of the beat and her repetition of  “The day’s gonna come”, suddenly the song sounds so genuinely longing and hopeful that it becomes something special.  It starts to work and keeps going until the end.

Chance and Mia Pia are both at the beginnings of their careers right now, so it’s kind of awesome for them to team up for this track. Chance’s verse comes in unexpectedly. The song as a whole seems like it was originally just going to be Pia and perhaps after the fact Clams Casino got chance to come in and lay a verse on the track. The two components feel almost mushed together, but the juxtaposition which that combination creates takes the track to the next level. I read another review of this song which described Chance’s verse as having “island aggression” and that’s a good way of putting it. He plays with pace and pitch, and this verse one of my favorite Chance verses out there (and I really dig Chance so that’s saying something). This song is refreshing and surprising.

WATCH: MUSIC VIDEO “RACOON” BY SHOE

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” title=”WATCH: MUSIC VIDEO “RACOON” BY SHOE”>WATCH: MUSIC VIDEO “RACOON” BY SHOE

This is an old song and video but I just discovered it and I am currently in love with it’s strange beauty.  It takes about a minute to pick up, but once it does it’s completely captivating, hopeful, and sweet.  I’m excited to hear more from the band Shoe.  They are releasing an album in June that I’ve looking forward to giving a listen.  I’m a fan of Jena Malone’s movies so it makes sense I’m into her music as well.

WATCH: TRAVEL WITH STYLE (with jcrew)

How is Casey Neistat so cool?? His Make It Count video on youtube is probably one of my favorite youtubes that exists, and now here he is doing an ad for J. Crew, one of my top five places to buy clothe$ (it’s number 2 on the list right after free people). I’m not a dude, but if I was the first thing I would do after watching this ad is go out and buy a Ludlow Suit. asap. This video is fun (something that often makes me like ads). It also has a major Wes Anderson vibe, which is always a good vibe to have. Love it.

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WATCH: Bell’s Whiskey Spot

What makes an ad good? That’s the question agencies have been asking for decades. That’s the question my professors ask, and will continue to ask, me and the other ad majors at  my journalism school. Whenever I see an ad that hits me in a way where I have to pause, watch it again, and relish it, I ask myself this question.

This ad is great, but what makes it so? Well for one it’s surprising and different. Most alcohol ads today are about partying, hot girls, or warm beaches. All which sell, but by now we’ve seen so many ads like that they all blend together. Bell’s Whiskey takes a different approach. Although male focussed (like most alcohol ads), this ad strays away from a sandy beach party and tell’s a beautiful story about a father.  It’s a story about the love between a father and son and how powerful and motivating that love is. The dad puts in hours and hours to learn how to read so that he can read the book his son has written. This ad promotes self-discipline, motivation, curiosity, and hard work. At 1:37 this ad hits you. This ad isn’t about drinking to get drunk, or to hook-up, or to party all night, it’s about celebrating love, and that’s a beautiful change from usual alcohol advertisements.

WATCH: GIRLS EPISODE “ONE MAN’S TRASH”

Hannah and Joshua in his perfect self-owned brownstone.

I recently got xfinity tv set up online which means now I have access to so many TV shows that were not available on Netflix (hello season 3 of New Girl, and all HBO tv shows I’ve been dying to watch forever).  This means that I may or may have spent the past two weeks watching the entire season of True Detective as well as all of Season 1 and half of Season 2 of Girls.

Let’s talk about Girls.  I heard all about it a couple years ago when it first came out but didn’t get into it at first.   I saw a couple of episodes which I enjoyed, but I didn’t really love it.  I thought it was trying too hard to be quirky and “real”.  With all the episodes at my fingertips now I decided to give it another go, and I’m so glad I did because now I love it!  I think now that I’m slightly older (20 is definitely different than 17/18)  and I actually live on my own away from home makes it easier for me to relate to all the characters.  I see parts of myself and my friends in literally every single one of the characters on the show.

I just watched the episode “One Man’s Trash” (season 2 episode 5) and finished it feeling completely in awe of the show on a new level.  The episode is different than any other Girls episode so far, and I love that the show took that risk to do something new and interesting.  It could have totally failed, but this episode was pleasantly surprising and refreshing.  This episode feels like a short film.  Actually, it really feels like it could be based off of a short story. Out of the usual cast, only Hannah is in this episode so if you had never scene a girls episode you could watch this one without any confusion.

Joshua reading a newspaper and being a perfect adult

The episode is fantastic because it allows for Hannah’s  to have  major character arc within the 25 or so minutes.  The episode also comes completely full circle by the end in subtle yet meaningful way. The episode goes like this:  A man walks into the coffee shop where Hannah is currently working at the start to complain because he has found trash bags from the coffee shop in his own trash bins two blocks away.  He is rightfully frustrated about this and complains, only to be treated rudely by Ray who says he and all his employees would never do that. Hannah then scolds Ray for treating the man so rudely and walks out and heads to a nearby brownstone.  When she knocks on the door and the man who had just been at the shop complaining opens it, we realize that Hannah must be the one who’s been leaving the trash there because she knew exactly which brownstone to go to.  Being awkward and unable to directly communicate, Hannah has weird small talk with the guy and is invited into his home.  It’s a lovely home which Hannah describes perfectly as looking like it’s out of a Nancy Meyer’s film (think the light/beautiful/tooperfectlyperfect decor you’d find in Steve Martin’s house in Father of the Bride).

She confesses to leaving the trash at the man’s house because she lost her garbage key and doesn’t want to tell Ray.  She also admits that she finds it fun and exhilarating to have to sneakily drop the trash in his bins.  They end up have sex in that moment, after which he cooks her a steak on his balcony from which she watches twenty year olds party beneath them.  She spends two days with the man, who we learn is named Joshua.  Hanna and Joshua play ping pong, read the newspaper, have sex, and just do normal and pleasant activities during their time together.  On the final night, Hannah accidentally passes out in his sauna/shower, and we she comes too she confesses to him that he’s and his put together life has made her realize what she wants: a normal happy life.  She’s been searching for experiences and trying to feel so many things, and she comes to understand that she is standing in the way of herself and a happy life.  It is a big moment in Hannah’s life because  she’s realizing something she has never admitted to herself.  Of course this realization doesn’t equal change, but it’s a good start for Hannah.  Joshua, who by the way is 42,  see’s how lost and confused Hannah is (she is only just starting to figure out what she wants, and he’s already there) and is sort of turned off by her after this conversation.  They have one final night together.  She wakes up alone the next day, takes out his trash, and leaves.

Honest introspection – much needed for Hannah.

It’s Girls, so it wasn’t a huge surprise to see a off-kilter episode like this come out of an HBO show that already is “edgy”, I only wish more tv shows would try out riskier episodes like this!

Cookie Dough Oreo

Cookie Dough Oreo

I just saw this video Nytimes did about the new Cookie Dough Oreo (i feel the need to just write that again, the new COOKIE DOUGH OREO).  I was very impressed by this video.  The video was informational, interesting, and fun.  The design aspects were fairly simple, using just pink, green, and white background and simple images of Oreos and ingredients to help tell the story.  I thought it was an awesome “news” piece, and went on to watch a lot of other Nytimes videos like this.  Not only are the videos super cute, but they offer compelling ideas that make you think.

On another note, I need to try these Oreos! I’ve been hearing about them for a few weeks now but haven’t gotten around to buying a pack.  After seeing this video and learning that there aren’t actually many of the ingredients found in cookie dough in the Oreos, I’m only a little less inclined to go out and buy some.   I mean I’ve loved butterfinger candy bars since I can remember, and when I learned that the chocolate coating on them isn’t real chocolate but “choclatey” artificial flavored coating, that honestly hasn’t stopped me from still indulging in the candy from time to time.  It was so interesting how the video pointed out that actual taste isn’t the only important factor for “flavor themed” produces.  Often the company only needs to have an intriguing flavor name/idea and switch up the packaging to make sales.  In other words the quality of the product really doesn’t matter all the much, which is a weird idea!  However it’s easy to see that this is true, because although I have yet to hear anyone rave OMG THIS TOTALLY TASTES LIKE COOKIE DOUGH IN AN OREO reviews of the new cookie, I continue to see countless Instagram posts with friends showcasing their endeavors with the new limited oreo flavor.  It’s just so funny how even though no one has told me they are that great AND from this video I learned that there are no cookie dough ingredients in the Oreos, even I still want to try them!  I don’t know if this is good marketing or just my deep love and desire for anything labeled “cookie dough” but I’m going to go out on a limb and say it’s probably both.

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Chance the Rapper – 10 Day

Last Spring I listened to Acid Rap so much that now I can’t not associate blossoming tree’s with songs like Juice and Cocoa Butter Kisses. Once again we are getting beautiful blue skies and flowers are starting to blossom I find myself feeling nostalgic for the perfection that was last Spring. Good thing I never got around to listening to 10 Day until now, because now is the perfect time for it. Something about Chance’s music, the nostalgia of his lyrics, makes the youth that is so prevalent with the Spring feel just right.

Philip Seymour Hoffman

The Talented Mr. Ripley

Philip Seymour Hoffman was (and it hurts to have to type was) one of the greatest actors of all time.  The combination of drugs with immense talent is one that somehow saddens, intrigues, and baffles me all at once.  The world lost an incredible human being today and we can only be grateful for and cherish the beauty of the work he leaves behind.  When a death occurs in this manner R.I.P. seems to hold a more significant meaning.  Rest in peace, Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Almost Famous

The Big Lebowski

Boogie Nights

Capote

Crave: Nike Free 5.0 Shield

Screen Shot 2014-01-27 at 9.21.57 PM Screen Shot 2014-01-27 at 9.22.19 PMI just got these the other day, and I am in love.  These shoes are the closest you can get to running barefoot, without actually being barefoot or wearing the fivefinger shoes.  This means your feet get to move the way they naturally should while you workout, hopefully helping your feet stay healthy longer.    I’m super excited about the way these look.  The leopard print is subtle enough so that it’s not overwhelming ANIMAL PRINT SNEAKER!!!, but is present enough to add an edge to a simple black running shoe.  I purchased mine from nike.com, but I’ve also seen them at Nordstrom stores.

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