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March 16, 2000 - Image 20

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-03-16

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

6B - The Mic~an Daily - Weekend, Magazine - Thursday, Mai 16, 2000

* *$ The Michigan Daily - 'ekend, etc. Mag
D 'Music presents inexpensive alternative fc

I make no attempts to deny it: I am
a child of the pop culture generation.
Having been born in the later 20th
Century, I came of age in an era sat-
urated with the mind-pleasing prod-
ucts of television, film and popular
music. Like the great majority of my
peers, my brain has been exposed
and overexposed to a plethora of
sappy sitcoms, big-budget action
flicks and forgettable FM singles.
Some denizens of a higher society
might look down on my
"Entertainment Tonight" upbringing,
but I embrace it, for it engendered in
me a communication technique
known to us as the pop culture refer-
ence. Virtually nothing delivers guar-
anteed smiles and laughs in both
spoken conversation and the written
word like a sharp, witty mention of a
figure or phenomenon from our col-
lective past.
My column is usually laced with
these allusions, simply because I
love to imagine readers thinking,
"Whoa, I can't believe he referenced

(insert obscure pop culture subject
here)!" And while I'm sure that a lot
of these refer-
ences are lost
on some peo-
ple, I know --
mainly from
cracking up &
over any refer-
ence-laden rant,
by pop culture
czar Dennis
Miller - how
good it feels to
"get it," like Chris Kula
you're on the
cozy side of an Unsung
inside joke.
The thing Ann Arbor
I've become
aware of, though, is that some people
simply don't know what constitutes a
good pop culture reference. And let's
face it: There have been writers for
this very college newspaper with
shamefully little mastery of the ref-
erential arts.

To put it simply, obscurity is the
key. When the time comes for a sly
little reference, dig deep, deep, deep
into your memory for the least likely
of candidates - then go a little fur-
ther back and you should have your
blurb. If you take the easy route and
rip something straight from today's
headlines, not only will it seem dated
later on, but you'll come off sound-
ing like the oh-so-lame Jay Leno.,
and none of us want that.
To illustrate what I 'm talking
about in terms of pop culture obscu-
rity, I put together the following tuto-
rial showing poor ("Sure, I know
him"), fair ("I had to think for a sec-
ond there") and good ("Who?")
examples of referencing. So allow
me to break it down like the Fat Boys
and try to teach you a valuable lesson
a la Miss Bliss.
Poor: Friends
Fair: Webster
Good: Small Wonder

* Poor: South Park
Fair: Thundercats
Good: Jem and the Holograms
Horrible Comedy Actors
Poor: Bob Saget
* Fair: John Stamos
Good: Dave Coulier
Teen Shows
Poor: Dawson's Creek
Fair: Saved by the Bell
Good: Saved by the Bell -The
College Years
Teen Heartthrobs
Poor: Carson Daly
Fair: Jason Bateman
e Good: Richard Grieco
Game Shows
Poor: Who Wants to be a
Fair: MTV's Remote Control
Good: Press Your Luck ("No
whammy, no whammy, no whammy
- stop!")
Game Show Hosts
Poor: Regis Philbin
Fair: the late Ray Combs
Good: Marc Summers (working
in a Marc Summers reference is
often a physical challenge in and of
Late Night Hosts
Poor: David Letterman
Fair: Greg Kinnear on "Later"
(2:30 or 3 a.m. in Metro Detroit)
Good: Byron Allen/Pat Sajak tie
Space Movies
Poor: Mission to Mars
Fair: Spaceballs
Good: Flight of the Navigator

Teen Comedy Films
* Poor: American Pie
Fair: Weird Science
Good: any vintage Corey Haim
Corey Feldman feature
Horror Films
Poor: the Scream triloav
Fair: the Friday the 13th series
* Good: any vintage Corey Haim
Corey Feldman feature
Animated Movie Characters
Poor: Jar Jar Binks
Fair: Stripe the Gremlin
* Good: Howard the Duck
Mainstream Actor
Poor: Bruce Willis. "The Sixth
Sense" era
Fair: Bruce Willis, "Die Hard 2:
Die Harder" era
Good: Bruce Willis. "Moon-
lighting" era
Poor: "Armageddon"
" Fair: "Footloose"
Good: "Top Gun" (any usage of
Kenny Loggins is good for bonus
Female Pop Stars
Poor: Britney Spears
Fair: Paula Abdul
Good: Sophie B. Hawkins (actu-
ally, nearly any artist who charted a
Top 40 hit between '90 and '92 can
pretty much be counted on as a laugh-
inducing pop culture reference)
Latin Pop Stars
Poor: Ricky Martin
Fair: Gerardo
Good: Ricky Martin as a mem-
ber of Menudo
See KULA, Page 108

and lightweight, you can easily slip it into
your pocket. No larger than a pack ofcig-
arettes, it probably wouldn't feel any dif-
ferent to walk around with. The player
comes with a little pouch to store the
player that even makes it more comfort-
able to carry around.
As with any other MP3 player, MP3
files have to be downloaded to the player
from your computer. The Pine MP3 play-
er connects to your computer with a par-
allel cable and some installed software.
Once the bundled software is installed
you can start uploading and downloading
MP3 files to your heart's content - a
process that involves just a few clicks.
The only drawback is, this software only
caters to PC users. Unfortunately Mac
users are left out.
The player contains a internal memory
of 32 MB that is expandable to 64 MB
with a compact flash card. This corre-
sponds to up to two hours worth of
music. You can choose to either repeat
the songs, or have them play randomly.
Of course, if there's one song that you
really love, you can simply choose to
play it over and over again, all with a sim-
ple touch of a button. Every action is dis-
played via symbols on the LCD screen.
Unfortunately the LCD display lacks
backlighting, making it difficult to read
in the dark.
There is a built-in equalizer that allows
you iv : etomize the feel of the music

based on the available settings -
classical, jazz, extra bass, rock and
The earphones that are included pro
high-quality music so there's no nec
go out and get your own. (The h
phones included with the Diamond
are comparatively lacking in pe
One cool feature the Pine MP3 pl
offers is the ability to make voice rec
ings. You can record different voices
up to 2 hours 15 minutes and up
them onto the computer. This is defi
ly a new area that still needs v,
Recordings are difficult to pick up

Courtesy of Pin'e Technologes
The Pine D'Music MP3 player gives comparable performance to the Diamond Rio
yet has a substantially lower sticker price.

By Paul Wong
Daily Online Editor
If you're like most students, you prob-
ably have more than 100 MB of MP3
files stored on your hard drive - files
you can only listen to when you're sitting
in front of your computer. Frustrating,
isn't it?
MP3 players are the future of portable
music players. But it doesn't take long to
realize that you'll have to dish out an

additional $250-S300 for a new
Diamond Rio MP3 Player. With ever-
increasing bills and textbook costs, it
simply makes a difficult task even more
painstaking. The Diamond Rios have
definitely taken the market by storm, but
if you're simply looking for an easy-to-
use, cheaper yet reliable MP3 plaver, it's
worth checking out the Pine D'Music
Digital MP3 Player / Voice Recorder.
Weighing only 62 grams (without bat-
teries), the Pine MP3 Player is so small

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