Category Archives: Pop culture

Galactica: Sabotage smash-up

Wired reports on Katie King’s excellent video Galactica: Sabotage, a kind of mash-up/homage to Spike Jones’ video for the Beastie Boys’ song Sabotage.  The new video substitutes clips from the recently ended Battlestar Galactica series, but in a way that almost perfectly tracks the images from Jones’ original video.

Below is a side-by-side comparison of the original and new video.

I’m glad to see that nothing (yet) has been done to try to take down the video.  The video also makes me wonder about what we mean when we use the term “mash-up.”  As far as mash-ups go, Galactica: Sabotage is dissimilar to Danger Mouse’s mash-up classic Grey Album, which juxtaposed music samples from the Beatles’ White Album with vocals from Jay-Z’s Black Album.  In such a mash-up, you simultaneously hear portions from both sources.  It’s music with music.

However in form (but perhaps not function), Galactica: Sabotage is different.  Same music, but new video clips substituted for the original.  Perhaps such mash-ups by substitution are more like “smash-ups,” i.e., substitution + mash-up.  Like the Grey Album, there’s still juxtaposition, but the juxtaposition is provided by what’s absent rather than by what’s present.


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(Batman’s) advice for new law students, part VI: “always mind your surroundings”

One common mistake of new law students is conclusory argumentation, as discussed in this post on avoiding “Monty Python” argumentation.  Another common mistake is incomplete analysis.  An essay answer might include analysis that scratches the surface but doesn’t explore deeper.  But it’s crucial to consider the strengths and weaknesses of any argument, and to explore valid counter-arguments.

Failure to consider and address valid counter-arguments may leave an essay answer on thin ice, as illustrated by Bruce Wayne in the movie Batman Begins. Below is a video showing Wayne (pre-Batman) being trained in combat by Henri Ducard, who later turns out to be the villain Ra’s al Ghul. Ducard/Ghul reminds Wayne to “always mind your surroundings.”  But Wayne, hoping for a quick and easy win, ignores the fragile ice below his feet, leading to an equally quick and humbling defeat.  At about 1:00 into the video the battle reaches its climax:

Wayne: Yield!
Ducard/Ghul: You haven’t beaten me.  You’ve sacrificed sure footing for a killing stroke.


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