wind it up

Question: when did Gwen Stefani start to reliably produce the worst music ever heard? For many years “Hollaback Girl” held the title of World’s Worst Song. Annoyingly vapid lyrics, even for pop music, an oddly dissonant sample and no particular melody. And now “Wind It Up,” also by Gwen Stefani, has displaced that champion. It has all the advantages of “Hollaback Girl” but with an even stupider hook.

I curse you thus:

Challenge: Watching Spartacus for the first time this past weekend – and what do I have to add to generations of critical acclaim other than “yes, they’re right” – I was struck by the obvious similarities to Gladiator. Not that I find anything wrong with stealing from a classic, provided you steal nimbly and to good effect, but in some places it was obvious.

So I compiled a short list of movies from which Gladiator stole its best parts. Can anyone add to it?

Spartacus: The gladiator academy.
The Robe: The fight scenes in the Colosseum.
Braveheart: The first battle against the barbarians in the forest.
I, Claudius: The palace intrigues; the Emperor decrying the Senate.

Did I miss any? Obvious hits only; let’s not overreach ourselves.

Finally: I’m soliciting investment advice from the Internet. Tell me what to invest in; I’ll do exactly what you say.*


* I can almost guarantee that I won’t do what you say, because (1) it’s my money and (2) you’re all a bunch of trolling wiseasses anyway. But I like to hear differing opinions.

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9 Responses

  1. I will just say that Gwen Stefani has and always will have a special place in my heart.

    Invest in a variety of stuff. Don’t be afraid to invest in some long-term solid / short-term risky stuff. You’re young. That’s all I got. Not very good, I know.

  2. I’m young? You’re young!

    (And thank you – that is sound advice)

  3. Thank you! I’ve tried and tried to explain to people that Gwen Stefani as a solo artist sucks, but no one seems to listen. Her strengths as a front woman to No Doubt were her ability to spout truth about the female perspective (for obvious examples see the lyrics to “Just a Girl”, “Excuse me Mister”, “Hey Baby”, “Bathwater”, “Simple Kind of Life”, etc…) Combine those with No Doubt’s hooks and you’ve got yourself great songs. Her solo efforts are vapid, overly-produced and sound like a whiny 8 year old at a family barbecue angling for attention. Okay, so I liked “Sweet Escape”, but that one song is hollow summer fun. When she was saddled with a group of guys on a tour bus, she was forced to speak up for the ladies, but on her own her message lacks…well, a message.

  4. That could very well explain it.

  5. Well, there’s Fall of the Roman Empire, from which Gladiator basically stole its whole plot: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058085/plotsummary

  6. Oh right! That is Gladiator…sans the gladiators.

  7. Matt – I didn’t click on the link; I thought you meant Gibbons’ history. “Well … yeah …”

  8. Put everything you’ve got into canned food and shotguns.

  9. That Gwen Stefani song is a crime against humanity. The Sound of Music sample? Lordy. Honestly, I kinda like Pharell’s beat for Hollaback Girl, but this is an abomination of the senses that tries to replicate that same vibe and fails horribly.

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