(Roughly) Daily

Notes on Camp…

One suspects that a media form is beginning to mature when it spawns a enough parodies and ironic references to earn their own status as a genre.  If so, then the wave of new media– video games, web sites, and reality TV shows– aimed at Chinese and Japanese teens is getting long in the tooth; it has spawned “Kuso.”  “Kuso” has come to mean “camp” or “parody,” but in Mandarin it is literally “reckless doings”; in Japanese, “shit.”  And to judge from exemplary members of the class, every one of those labels fits…

Consider for example, the leading example of “”Baka-ge” (“idiot game,” a sub-set of “kuso-ge” or “shitty game”), the video game Cho Aniki:  the homo-erotic adventures of musclemen in space…

… or Circus Action, the Taiwanese television celebration of self-injury that may or may not be adapted from Jackass

… or the Back Dorm Boys, the two Chinese students who rocketed to internet stardom with their webcam lip-sync of the Back Street Boys’ “I Want It That Way” and other pop hits…

More?  Click here.

As we lower our standards, we might spare a commemorative thought for “The Star-Spangled Banner,” which officially became the national anthem of the United States on this date in 1931.  The vocally-challenging favorite of sports fans across the nation, the SSB was written by Francis Scott Key in 1814 (on witnessing the British bombardment of Fort McHenry in Maryland). After circulating as a handbill, the patriotic lyrics were published in a Baltimore newspaper on September 20, 1814.  (Key has no real responsibility for the challenging choral character of the anthem: his words were later set to the tune of “To Anacreon in Heaven,” a popular English song.)

Throughout the 19th century, “The Star-Spangled Banner” was regarded as the national anthem by most branches of the U.S. armed forces, but it wasn’t until 1916, and the signing of an executive order by President Woodrow Wilson, that it was formally designated. Then in March 1931 Congress passed an act confirming Wilson’s presidential order, and on March 3 President Herbert Hoover signed it into law.

The 1814 broadside version of the Anthem (then called “Defense of Fort McHenry’)

Written by (Roughly) Daily

March 3, 2009 at 1:01 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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