Monthly Archives: September 2012

Red Carpet Massacre

If you’ve read my blog posts, it’s no secret that I am a Duran Duran fan (aka “Duranie”).  I have several t-shirts of Duran Duran, and one day, I wore the tee that the group designed for Playboy’s “Rock the Rabbit” campaign to raise money for music programs in schools.  It was quite simple:  a red Playboy rabbit lying down with a black bar over its eyes.  One of my media teachers asked what that was about, and I explained what it was for and they based it off their current album at that time Red Carpet Massacre…or RCM for short, which features a woman lying on a red carpet with a black bar over her eyes and several women’s feet standing around her in stilettos.  She nodded and said that that sounded like something to talk about later.

Duran Duran is no stranger when it comes to working with women.  That will be talked about in a later post.  But this album in particular was a different piece for them.  They worked with producer Timbaland, who, according to keyboardist Nick Rhodes, was mortified when he saw the guitar, bass and drum set come in because “everything is in a box for those guys.”  It’s kind of humorous when you think about someone being a producer in music and not used to working with real instruments.

There is a theme to the album which is summed up in the title track.

Red carpet massacre
Death stalk paparazzi yeah
Red carpet massacre
Don’t want to mess with you
Now it’s time
Next in line Dark sun rose on the ridge cut clear across the sky
As good a day as any to die
No reservation madam
No reason to know why
Running late stiletto heels
Try to loosen up the wheels

You spend your life in preparation for this day
Breathe in the air; it’s loaded with fame
Check out those weapons sister before you hit the fray
String of pearls meet bits of gems
Enter the battle of the lenses

Red carpet massacre
Don’t want to hassle you
Red carpet massacre
Death stalk paparazzi yeah
Red carpet massacre
It’s going to mess with you
We’re in business
You’re on the hit list

There’s not so many now still standing on their feet
Their knives are out and singing so sweet
Engage with sharper minds that cut you when you meet
Anyplace to mess around
When someone wants to take you down

Maybe you think you’re above this
But baby we know that you love it
Baby you know where to shove it
Apply your lipstick
For dying in public

Red carpet massacre
Don’t want to hassle you

We’re so busted
Done and dusted

It’s a song about the competition on the red carpet to outshine the others and capture the attention of the paparazzi because they will make you or break you.  Another song on the album, still in theme of the paparazzi, is “Zoom In.”

Why?  Duran Duran has been in the spotlight since 1978, some times are brighter than others.  They are no strangers to the paparazzi politics and press.  Lead singer Simon Le Bon married British supermodel Yasmin.  John Taylor, bassist, is currently married to fashion designer, Gela Nash-Taylor, who, with best friend  Pamela Skaist-Levy originally started Juicy Couture but has since sold that and started a new label together called Skaist-Taylor.  Drummer Roger Taylor (no relation to John) married a beautiful, could-easily-be-a-model Gisella Bernales.

Yasmin Le Bon, Gela Nash-Taylor, Gisella Bernales, Julie Anne Rhodes

Nick Rhodes, although now divorced, married a model and aspiring actress and has since dated women that are very beautiful.

Madeleine Farley, Tara Palmer-Tomkinson, Meredith Ostrom, Sara Brajovic, Mary Gray

Not only have they spent time on the red carpet but their wives/girlfriends have also.  It’s a lifestyle of being in the public eye with cameras on you all the time.  And there have been published photos of the group members where the paparazzi haven’t been very nice…similar to the photos that emerged of Kate over in Great Britain.  I think that kind of paparazzi is terrible because it’s an invasion of privacy.  I will be kind and not pass them along.

Red Carpet Massacre is simply a theme and women were used for the cover because more heat and pressure is put on them on the red carpet then men.

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In Reality: The Man You Want or Want To Be??

There are a couple of commercials that comes on somewhat regularly on one of the stations my parents have via their digital antenna television that drives me and my mom crazy, and I’m sure that the guys out aren’t thrilled about it either.  It’s for Ageless Male and Cenegenics.  The first is a pill and the latter is something; not a pill, not a surgery…  It never really comes out and says what Cenegenics is.  Anyway.  It shows these guys in their 40s through 70s with bodies like a 20 year old weight lifter and gym junkie.  To me, that is unappealing but the message is that men have to look like that to get the women.  And the women shown as their partners are hot, young things.  That simply reinforces their main point.

Some men age gracefully:  Sir Sean Connery, Harrison Ford, George Clooney, and can’t forget my guys in Duran Duran.  They are sexy older men.  Not because of their bodies but because they look distinguished in a good-looking, dapper sort of way.  These commercials are pushing men to have the tight, muscled body to get a woman.  Plain exercise and a good diet will get better results IN REALITY that will be more appealing to the majority of women!  I haven’t talked to many guys about this particular portrayal of older men, but in my opinion, it’s insulting to a man.  I wonder if these products really do what they say they will do…  I know that we are a culture wear men and women are pressured to look younger, no matter what your age.  Some people go through great lengths to look younger while the majority of us over the age of 40 don’t think that looking younger is the most important thing on our list.  What do you think??

 

Men over 50 that are sexy just the way they are!

Duran Duran Is “Home”

Home isn’t necessarily a physical place.  In the past 27 years since I graduated from high school, I have had more physical homes than I can count and even remember.  Home, to me, is a place where I am comfortable.  Is it the place where I live?  Sometimes.  I describe myself as being stuck in the 80s.  I don’t run around wearing leg warmers and cut up sweatshirts hanging off one shoulder.  The music of the 1980s, especially Duran Duran, evokes my sense of “home.”  The 80s was a decade of fun, upbeat music, creative music videos, and individualism.  I mean, who can’t help bouncing their head or tapping their toes to “Footloose,” not think of Tom Cruise in his tightie whities when the song “Old Time Rock and Roll” comes on, or smile, remembering when MTV was really all about music videos.  This decade of music is timeless.

I was only 14 when I first heard Duran Duran, and I was immediately hooked.  To me, they epitomized everything the 80s stood for:  awesome videos, great music, and sexy looks.  Their first popular videos were shot on-location in Sri Lanka and Antigua, something that wasn’t heard of at that time.  Their songs were (and still are) addictive; you knew it was a Duran Duran song.  The music had a style all its own, and the lyrics were (and still are) rather cryptic, allowing the listener to develop their own interpretation of the song.   They put out 5 studio albums and 1 live album in the decade of the 1980s.  They were an English/British act who created their own identity and had a vision of the direction they wanted to go.

Duran Duran circa 1980s

As the following decades came and went, Duran Duran continued to put out albums and toured the world.  My admiration and love for the group never faltered.  I am, and always will be, a Duranie.  What has changed over the years is the way I look at their music and lyrics.  I connect with the words and the music more and have more appreciation for the group overall.  We grew up together.  We are like old friends.  I am comforted, relaxed and happy whenever I hear them; whether it is on the radio, seeing them in concert, or on my iPod in my car.  Duran Duran songs are the soundtrack of my life and their songs have gotten me through some rough times in my life.  Is part of it nostalgia?  Hell, yes!  The 80s were a great time period!  But since Duran Duran has been with me for 31 years, they are a part of my life.

Duran Duran 2012

As I grew up and started experiencing new things in life, they did too.  They experimented with different musical styles and evolved yet always kept to their roots.  Every day in the car, they are on.  Every morning when my alarm goes off, they play.  I check my calendar and I see one of their faces looking back at me.  Duran Duran is a part of me and a part of who I am.  “Home” is where the heart is…and “home” is where Duran Duran will always take me.

No Boundaries…

What makes someone an expert?  Good question.  It totally depends on the subject.  An expert at what?  I would consider myself an expert on Duran Duran and pretty darn close to any music of the 80s, but definitely Duran Duran.  After following them for 31 years now, I pretty much know all about them…which is why I am a “Duranie.”  To me, an expert is someone that is educated in a certain field, has researched their area of expertise and is very qualified to do what they do.  I would fully trust a male doctor to treat a woman during her pregnancy.  All of my OB-GYNs have been males.  There is nothing wrong with it, and most females I know have a male OB-GYN.  If you reverse that and ask if I would trust a female doctor to treat a man for prostate cancer, I would say yes.  A woman can be just as knowledgeable, educated and qualified as a male in oncology, but I’m not sure if a man would receive a female doctor for that area of the body as easily as a woman accepts a male doctor.  A particular gender on certain subject matters may not sit well with different people.

There has and always will be a bit of a conflict between genders and certain roles.  Women are crossing over into many areas once dominated by males.  Women are becoming doctors, lawyers, church leaders in some religious denominations, and even so far as infantry soldiers in the Army.  However, men are doing their own crossing over into roles once dominated by women.  They are becoming nurses, stay-home dads and hairdressers.  Stereotyping is saying male hairdressers are gay…which not all of them are.  That’s an entirely different topic.  But what areas does gender really play a role in one’s expertise?  The only thing that I can think is that women are the only ones that are truly experts on having a period and menopause.  Men can know the technical and biological points, but only a woman knows about it from all aspects.

In blogging, there is nothing that I would consider off limits for either gender to write about.  A blog is more of an opinion, and our opinion is something that we are entitled to sharing.  I said “sharing” and that means respecting those that may have opposing opinions.  Men and women are free to blog about whatever they want, experts or not.  In doing so, they must always realize and remember that there are at least 2 sides to everything.