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Kraggh's Works ♫♪


The Best Ships are Friendships

Posted by Jean Valjean , in Music, Events Dec 05 2018 · 107 views
funeral, president and 3 more...

"I love you, too"



If Russia Hacked the National Anthem

Posted by Jean Valjean , in Music Apr 15 2018 · 162 views
America, Murica, U.S.A., Russia
:kaukau: It's exactly what it sounds like. I have to admit, as a non-musician, I find this pretty impressive. I have no idea if it's impressive if you actually understand musical theory and whatnot. But he definitely managed to use chords that made the Star-Spangled Banner sound rather Slavic.




Posted by Jean Valjean , in Music Mar 16 2018 · 301 views

:kaukau: Not to be confused with 1984. But anyway, it's different how I'm an adult and listening to the song, and suddenly I recognize the meaning of the lyrics "One Prozac a day." It also gets mentioned in the famous comic strip Superman: Red Son, under its more formal name, Fluoxetine.

Also, catchy song. I've been listening to a few nostalgic ones from the early 2000's. Might as well share one. Boy, it's over-the-top:




Posted by Jean Valjean , in Superman, Michael Phelps, Music Dec 02 2017 · 249 views
Iowa, music, Michael Phelps
:kaukau: I have on occasions considered getting a degree in political sciences just so I can run for Governor of Iowa just so I can write an executive order changing the state anthem. But that's a hassle. Much rather, I would elect someone else who's smarter than me and will put up with the terrors of public service who promises me that she will change the national anthem. I'm currently brainstorming a letter, at this very moment, that I can send to governor Kim Reynolds, and to the Senator of my district, Randy Feenstra. I actually kind of know Feenstra, though not as a personal friend. I might also send a letter to my representative, Skyler Wheeler (of no relation to Nancy).

But not quite yet. Among other things, people will start going on recess soon enough, and they're all celebrating Christmas, but I'm thinking that right around New Year's Day, I might be sending out these letters, and additionally, the emails of all of the rest of Iowa's state congressmen are publicly available on the the government website. Until then, I will be thinking through my case so I can build it into something compelling. Iowa has every reason to change its anthem. The main challenge to changing it (and I must admit, my real-world experience tells me that it will be significant) is that people really don't like to change things. Politicians, amirite? Stodgy people who don't take their constituents seriously if they're not petitioning for something that fits into a readily recognizable political narrative. Pfaah!

Anyway, I'm pretty sure it should be self evident to y'all why Iowa's anthem needs changing. Here it is:

Wait, sorry, I had a technical error. This is Iowa's state anthem.

Ho. ly. Cow. I'm sorry if that gave you whiplash. And no, this isn't a joke. I'm not jigging your leg. That's actually Iowa's official anthem. There is literally onely one good thing about that song, and it's Maryland also rips off its tune from "O Christmas Tree", so we don't have to feel so bad. And Maryland has Michael Phelps, Savior of the Universe, King of the Impossible, Medals Be Upon Him, so by a very distant stretch, I guess I could say that Iowans have something in common with The Phelps that most other Americans don't.

But seriously? "O Christmas Tree"? Iowa already has a reputation for being bland and forgettable, and continuing to use this song that nobody cares about only contributes to that. Look at the Kansas theme: "Home on the Range". See? Isn't that much better? People actually know that one and like it! It gives Kansas a good reputation. Plus it's the home of Dorothy Gale and Clark Kent, so they're cultural legacy is set.

Here's an idea: ifi you're going to borrow music, at least borrow music that has something at least tangentially related to their state. West Virginia made "Take Me Home, Country Roads" their national anthem, because they were sensible and realized that people love John Denver and that it basically was the song that best represented their state. West Virginia would be cool if it used that song, so it did. Because why settle for something else when you already have something perfect wrapped and packaged for you? Oklahama is likewise wise, picking what else but the titular song from "Oklahoma!" to be their state standard. Do you see how easy that it?

It might be tempting to give Indiana a similar treatment by paying John Williams some royalties to use that one march of his as their anthem, but as it happens, Indiana already has a decent ballad from the 19th century.

Iowa, however, does not have a decent original ballad, so what are Iowans to do? What piece of music out there is indispensably associated with Iowa?

Ah, remember that Star Trek theme that I just shared? As every Iowan knows, the future Captain James Tyberius Kirk was born in Iowa. Ergo, Star Trek is a quintessential part of the Iowa's state mythology. This is what I personally would make Iowa's anthem. I just need Kim Reynolds to call Jerry Goldmith's estate, and Paramount Pictures, and basically whoever else she needs to sweet talk and pay off in order to get permission to use it when representing the state of Iowa. Aaaaaand BOOM! You have a great national melody. All you need to do from there is replace all of those nonsense "O Iowa! You're so pretty! Ain't we nice? Don't we all like our state? Iowa! O Iowa!" lyrics with something more sensible and imaginative so that you aren't singing about the exact same things as all of the other states. Create lyrics that actually describe what makes Iowa unique! Tell us about how Iowa was founded! Give people a sense of history and identity!

There you go. Except when I write my letters, I will probably have to drop all references to Star Trek if I want to be taken seriously by the politicians who may or may not bother reading them. Which is why I need to take some time to think through a serious proposal and maybe come up with a draft for a song myself, even though I'm not a musician. So by that, what I really mean is that I need to write up some poetry having to do with Iowa's history and then ask a friend who's a musician to compose a hopefully good proposition for a melody to go with it, and then my friend can be a co-signer in my petition. I'm thinking of a march, definitely in major. Hopefully Goldsmith or Williams-esque without overtly lifting anything from them.

And then I'm going to fail, but when I inevitably try again sometime down the road, I will be far more researched and have a serious game plan for changing Iowa's anthem. Because as small and as trivial as it seems, at least I will feel that I made a difference as one person, and I can confidently say that this would be something in history that wouldn't have inevitably happened without me.



2028 Summer Olympics in L.A.

Posted by Jean Valjean , in Music Aug 02 2017 · 152 views

:kaukau: It's been confirmed, eleven years in advance. I'm a bit worried. It will be awesome, of course, but the major question is whether or not John Williams will live to be 96. I sincerely wish to attend an Olympics with an opening ceremony scored by the Maestro.

On a related note, scientists need to invent a cure for aging soon. If you can get John Williams to live forever, you can basically assure world peace.



John Williams is the Man

Posted by Jean Valjean , in Music Jul 11 2017 · 265 views
John Williams, STAR WARS and 2 more...

:kaukau: I remember memorizing all of the lyrics back in middle school or something. Pretty epic stuff. And yet, there's like fifty other epic (non STAR WARS) themes that could have appeared in here. Crazy!



Steven Spielberg on John Williams

Posted by Jean Valjean , in Movies, Music Jun 27 2017 · 229 views
John Williams, Steven Spielberg and 1 more...

:kaukau: This quote is amazing:

"“Without John Williams, bikes don’t really fly, nor do brooms in Quidditch matches, nor do men in red capes.There is no Force, dinosaurs do not walk the Earth, we do not wonder, we do not weep, we do not believe."

If I could just tell John Williams that he makes me cry, not just every once and a while when his movies come out, but every day.



Nostalgia Bomb!

Posted by Jean Valjean , in Bionicle, Music Jun 01 2017 · 277 views
Bionicle, MNOG, music

:kaukau: Bam. You're all thinking happy thoughts now. So am I. Glad we're all on the same page.

Seriously, this music gives me the best feeling. It's my favorite game music of all time, and that means that I even like it more than "Baba Yetu". I love it, and it always inspires me, not just emotionally, but also creatively.

Why hasn't LEGO released an official CD with this soundtrack? I went to put it in one day while I'm on a road trip, listen to it with the highest sound quality, and feel like I'm going on the adventure of a lifetime.




Posted by Jean Valjean , in Music May 02 2017 · 196 views
PSY, Gangnam Style, mashups and 1 more...
:kaukau: In order from best to technically-worst-buut-definitely-still-awesome, I discovered these mashup songs. Man, they're really catchy. I think that if I just put these on a playlist, and put the playlist on repeat and got out a jump rope, I'd find the inspiration to burn a ton of calories every day.

(Why doesn't this have more views?)




Good luck trying to get this out of your head. Psy is love; Psy is life.



Anaconda Music Video Review

Posted by Jean Valjean , in Music, Reviews Mar 13 2017 · 342 views

:kaukau: For years, I have heard of this music video, though I never bothered to watch it myself. What I knew of it came from one of those Fine Bros. videos from the series called "Elders React" — which showed me enough of what I needed to see in order to get a basic opinion.

Recently, I was watching a year-in-review video made back when 2014 was freshly in the grave. Accompanying me was an elder. Except for some political stuff, such as Russia's power play in Crimea. One thing that got him curious, though, was this reference to Nicki Manaj. I tried to explain it to him, but couldn't quite find the words. Based off of the "Elders React" video, I kind of knew what it was, but I knew that you really had to see it for yourself instead of having it explained to you.

So when we were done looking through some old news stories from 2014, we decided to check out the music video for "Anaconda".


My jaw dropped. I knew it was bad, but I had no idea. It is so in-your-face about what it is. The best way I can describe it is that it's almost a parody of what the modern music industry has been perverted into, turned up to eleven. It resembles the descriptions moral guardians use when describing just how deplorable popular culture is — you know, those descriptions that are pretentiously hyperbolic and overstating things for dramatic effect, the type of descriptions that are blatant fear-mongering and creating a straw-man. Except this isn't a parody. This isn't a false hyperbole. This is the real deal. This is a truthful representation of culture as it stands today.

And I couldn't look away because it was like a trainwreck. It was hilarious. Do you ever have it when something terrible happens and you just can't help but laugh? That was my reaction. I've never seen a music video that was so...just so. I don't have a word for it. It was almost surreal.

So yeah, what have you been doing with your elders lately?



Username: Jean Valjean
Real name: People literally don't have names in my family
Age: 24
Gender: Male
Heritage: Half Dutch, Quarter Hungarian, Eighth Swedish, Sixteenth German and Irish
Physical description: Looks like the eleventh Doctor
Favorite food: Chicken, turkey, and beef.
Least favorite food: Vegetables of any kind
Favorite band: Queen
Favorite singer: Billy Joel
Favorite song: American Pie
Favorite movie: Schindler's List
Favorite TV show: Avatar: The Last Airbender
Favorite play: Les Miserables
Favorite color: Silver
Second favorite color: Brown
Favorite board game: Risk
Favorite athlete: Michael Phelps
Lucky Number: 53
Past-times: Writing, reading, drawing
Political Caucus: Iowa Republicans
Religion: Christian
Language: Iowegian

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