Indiana Daily Student

Jock Jams' one-hit wonders scourge on popular music

"Who let the dogs out? Woof, woof, woof, woof." -- Baha Men, "Who Let the Dogs Out?"\nWho let the dogs out? Who wrote this stupid song? Why do the radio and television stations play it? Why does anyone like it? Why does this song get voted onto TRL? Why am I tempted to whack my television with a baseball bat whenever that video comes on? \nBaha Men's "Who Let the Dogs Out" is more annoying than Los Del Rio's "Macarena," Ricky Martin's "Livin' La Vida Loca," Chumbawamba's "Tubthumping," Smash Mouth's "All Star" and Quad City DJ's "C'mon & Ride It (The Train)" played in a row. \nIt's scary why so many people like those songs. And because of these songs, countless songs that are more deserving of airtime never even make it onto the radio and television stations' playlists.\nJock Jams has become such a phenomenon because it has legions of fans who are too drunk or brainless to enjoy anything else. It also creates countless one-hit wonderers who will live for the rest of their lives off the licensing fees of just one song. A song that will be tirelessly played at every single sporting event and fraternity party.\nWhile music critics often enjoy nitpicking the releases of the current crop of teen idols, no one ever bothers to examine the merits of Jock Jam artists. In reality, these girl and boy bands probably have more talent than Baha Men and Quad City DJ. To say the least, Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera have more than one hit. But don't expect Eminem to start lashing out on Baha Men anytime soon.\nHollywood's racism\n"Pay It Forward," this fall's feel-good Oscar bait, will probably make a lot of people laugh and cry. Especially those gifted and hard-working black thespians who are struggling to find a starring role will appreciate the pain and the irony.\nThe film, with a premise reminiscent of "The Man Without a Face" meets "As Good As It Gets," is based on Catherine Ryan Hyde's 1999 novel of the same name. While the film does not actually promote racism, the novel's African-American protagonist is played in the film by white actor Kevin Spacey. The novel's central theme of interracial dating is completely absent in the film. The ethnicity of Spacey's character, an integral element in the original novel, has been substituted by facial disfiguration in the film.\nWhile Spacey does have the talent and the Oscar-minted prestige, there are plenty of African- American actors out there who are as talented and should have been cast in the role. The fact that Hispanic characters in "Shaft" were played by black actors, and the black protagonist in "Pay It Forward" is played by a white actor shows racism at work in Hollywood. \nThe studio executives are not the only ones to blame for assuming the ignorance of the American audience. They are most likely basing their decision on box office drawing power of the stars. Ultimately, it's the middle American moviegoers who are still having a hard time relating to black characters on screen that prevents black actors, as well as Hispanic, Asian and Aboriginal American actors, from ever assuming the leading roles in Hollywood films.

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