I thought I had somewhat figured out the group Millennium until they invited fans to take a walk on the ‘wide’ side. Their second single ‘Wide Thing’ off their upcoming album is an interesting hip-hop/rock fusion, mildly reminiscent of the Troggs 1966 chart-topping hit ‘Wild Thing’. Like the 60’s anthem, Millennium is betting heavily (no pun intended) on this hip-hop/rock track to have the same, well, wide appeal. Beyond a doubt, this is a song that people can groove to, even as they ponder the possible meaning of ‘wide thing’, sung over and over again throughout the pulsating, bass-heavy chorus.
The official music video for ‘Wide Thing’ has had mixed reviews leaving some listeners shaking their heads in amusement and some shaking their heads disapprovingly. According to Millennium, it is those who find the video humorous who are closer to understanding the intent of the song. So what is the deeper inspiration behind ‘Wide Thing’? Surprisingly, it’s not the young woman in the yellow leotard with the huge ‘badonkadonk’. Let us flashback to the early 2000’s when urban music dominated the airwaves and popular culture. If hip-hop had come to represent anything during that era it was excess, characterized by an obsession with big things. There were hip-hop songs about big cars, big blunts, big money, big bling, and, of course, big booties. Millennium’s single appears to be something of a throw-back to that fascinating era that captivated the world, in all its glory and ridiculousness. Remember diamond grills or the XXXL pants that fell down to the knees?
With or without any deeper meaning behind the song, Millennium does reveal a willingness to take huge risks with their music and to avoid taking themselves too seriously. By the end of the music video it begins to look a lot like a playbook for living young, and wide and free. Or, in view of Stryker and Sapphire’s rampage through fast food hell, how to make a big ass of one’s self (pun intended). Read the full article at: http://www.whoismillennium.com/press_room/party_people_make_way_millennium_releases_wide_thing
Let me let you in on a secret. Being attractive has less to do with how you actually look and more to do with how you act. That ‘it’ factor, that special something that leaves us breathlessly attracted to someone is…sensuality. The ability to be sensual is within each of us. It is a higher order art form that is practiced and crafted to perfection over a period of years. Unfortunately, in modern times the art of sensuality has largely been lost and replaced by its vulgar distant cousin twice removed- sexuality. The words sensuality and sexuality may appear to be similar but in actuality, they cannot be any more different. In an attempt to describe this lost art form, we must in fact argue semantics and there is no way around it. To understand the essence of sensuality, we need to understand sexuality and via comparison and contrast, identify and develop this latent power inside us.
In sexuality, what you see is what you get. There is no mystery or intrigue. Once the other has seen and perhaps experienced what you have to offer, there is a law of diminishing gratification and he or she will look for something else to catch their attention. Both the journey and the destination are all about (meaningless) sex, as indicated in the word sexuality. A person with amped sexuality is a firecracker that fades as quickly as it goes off- a bonfire that is big and bright in one moment, and a pile of embers the next. What is probably off-putting about sexuality is that it is a very masculine type of trait. It is an aggressive, sometimes intimidating, impetuous, in-your-face display that stamps you with an expiration date in the eyes of so-called admirers. Ouch, but true.
On the other more refined hand, sensuality is mysterious and intriguing. It will keep those of both sexes fascinated and wondering what you do to make yourself so damn appealing. Sensual individuals take their time enjoying their movement, radiating a palpable energy. Being sensual is a soundless intimate conversation with another. It is a dance, a duet. And when a sensual being decides to be intimate with someone, it is incredibly pleasurable to both parties and can almost be considered to be a divine act. As opposed to sexuality, sensuality is a feminine trait. It is a warm, inviting, attractive energy that makes others feel privileged to be in your presence.
The issue with today’s single population who bemoan the fact that they are still single is that they are either too sexual or not sexual at all. They do not realize that there is a broader and more pleasing alternative. For decades now, the concept of true sensuality has been lost to the individual. This is probably because its dominant and blatant cousin was more useful in raking in the dollars. Hence the expression ‘sex sells’. Sexuality is connected to almost every product in the market, from video games to cars to cigarettes.
Even pop icons today are notorious for lewd, crass, unapologetic behavior in an attempt to be so-called sex symbols. You have Justin ‘I-can’t-take-my-hand-off-my-crotch’ Bieber, the S & M Queen Rihanna and the twerking, tongue-wagging Miley. Unfortunately there are some things that you cannot un-see. It is all a pathetic attempt to create shock value through explicit sexual suggestion. Their examples of overt sexuality are fostering a generation of both young, awkward nymphomaniacs and young, withdrawn asexuals. Perhaps that is a slight exaggeration but it might not be too far from the truth. In fairness, there are pop artists out there who demonstrate more polish and sophistication without waiving originality and edginess. Whether they possess a higher degree of maturity, self-honesty, or are simply willing to reveal more vulnerability, the net effect is greater sensuality. For example, I came across an up and coming pop duo from Los Angeles called Millennium who is actually a husband and wife team. Looking through their website, it is difficult to find any explicit sexuality in their songs, photos or music videos. And yet, the couple oozes swagness and sensuality and you will not find their music lacking either.
What makes sensuality special is that it focuses on the beauty of one’s inner self, whereas sexuality is focused almost solely on the outer self and is truly superficial. Now that we have extensively defined the two terms, which type of person would you rather be, a sexual or a sensual person? I thought so. While sex does in fact sell, it is cheap and inferior to priceless sensuality.
Welcome to a new year and welcome to a new you. You have got to love the start of a new year, brimming with hope and excitement and ripe with potential. Amazing change is right at your doorstep and it all begins with your New Year’s resolutions, your blueprint to an exciting, new life. I cannot overemphasize the importance of writing down your resolutions. It is the necessary act of articulating what you want and what is important to you. Perhaps you believe that your resolutions are pretty much standard and do not require a lot of thought- lose ten pounds, make more money, find the perfect relationship, etc… Well, if you wrote out your resolutions in such a general way e.g. ‘lose x pounds’ then yes, it is probably on everybody’s list. But what makes written resolutions unique to the individual and an incredibly effective tool in creating life changes are the details. How do you want to lose that extra weight? At the gym, running outdoors or learning to play tennis? How do you want to better your financial situation? Finding a higher paying job, getting a second job or starting your own business? And how are you going to find ‘the one?’ Going out to more social events, getting set-up by one of your friends or online? These choices and all the fine yummy details are staggering and only you can answer them. The more specific the resolution, the greater the chance the resolution will materialize and thus, a happier new you.
I would venture to guess that your response would be along the lines of ‘Well, if resolutions were so important, then why don’t more people change for the better year after year?’ Good question. My answer would be that as people grow older, they become more comfortable with their daily routine, i.e. where they go, what they do and who they see, making change difficult. Interestingly, the people around them are also comfortable with seeing them the same way and may inadvertently keep them stuck in a rut. Even though on the inside they are earnestly searching for something new, different and better, there is a fear of change that keeps them from exploring the world and living up to their full potential. I truly understand the routine mentality. I like knowing what the schedule is days beforehand. Anything less would make me anxious. I do not do well with uncertainty, surprises and spontaneity. But these are the conditions where change thrives. My ninety-year old violin teacher, the sweetest most wholesome woman with fiery Lucille Ball hair once told me that ‘A life without change is a life full of regrets.’ Through the years, I have taken that wisdom to heart and have been less resistant to change. I have come to think of change not as an intruder but more as a welcome visitor.
How does one invite change into their lives, without leaving it all behind to go backpacking in Tibet or riding a motorcycle all over South America? Perhaps the key is allowing a little of the extraordinary to enter your everyday ordinary. I came across an interesting music video the other day where a handsome couple was doing normal everyday errands together such as going to the drugstore, the cleaners and even pumping gas. Seems pretty mundane, however he was dressed as a pimp with a gold silk suit wielding a leopard cane and she had thigh high silver boots and electric blue hair. With their smiles and laughter, they looked like they were having the time of their lives at a space-aged party instead of running around doing chores. The well-chosen title of this video was ‘When We Walk In The Place,’ by Millennium. I am not suggesting that you run to the nearest thrift shop or dye your hair some funky color, although if those actions call to you for some reason, then maybe you should try it. The point is that change first begins with the mind. We can learn something from these ‘Sultans of Swag’ about opening our minds to the multitude of possibilities and realizing that we have some control over our life and happiness. Whether your life is mundane or magical, it is all up to you. I admit I felt a little bit liberated after watching this video.
It is not too late to write down your New Year’s resolutions. Take your time with it and enjoy flushing in the details. Call me old-fashioned but I think keeping that list visible every single day will actually ensure that those resolutions will manifest and not get swept under the rug again this year. It is your personal letter to the universe saying ‘this year is the year that I will make things happen’ and the universe responds with a helping hand or a nudge in the right direction along the way. I wish you all an eventful and extraordinary year!
In an economy where the unemployment rate is high and job growth is slow, it’s no secret that more universities are stepping up their marketing efforts to attract students with the lure of high-paying jobs after graduation. Job placement statistics have become a measure of a university’s competitiveness and are a key component of nearly every university brochure or website. At the same time, there has also been a flood of new entrants into the business of higher education, most catering to students seeking trade or technical training for a specific profession. The combination of these factors makes the short-term trend in higher education crystal clear- universities must produce employable graduates who can fill the slew of entry-level jobs that still remain in the nation’s sputtering economy. The federal government couldn’t agree more, throwing both money and fast-tracking authority behind educational programs with the potential to reduce the nation’s staggering unemployment rate.
However, the entry level jobs that most colleges are now aiming students for are jobs with little opportunity for advancement or career growth. Meanwhile, many layers of middle and upper management, along with many departments, are vanishing as companies find ways to improve and automate their core processes. The jobs that are increasingly available require a sufficient level of technical training and the ability to do repetitive work for a long time – or at least until the company can find a way to automate even those tasks. In an effort to grow enrollment and contain spiraling overhead, universities are falling over each other to capitalize on this trend. As a result of this shift, what is happening to the requirements for obtaining a university degree? Furthermore, for those not interested in working a repetitive job for the rest of their lives, what value does a college degree still hold?
We followed up with a number of graduates in different professions to find out:
Eric, a graduate in Finance from Rutgers State University of New Jersey did a brief stint as a low level analyst at a large mutual fund company before realizing that there was no opportunity for career advancement. He quit and founded his own investment firm, in conjunction with two partners. “I expected things to be different when I graduated, but the economic climate was just not favorable. Much of what I needed to succeed was going to have to be learned out in the field by running my own business. Although the college credentials look good on paper, I could probably have jumped into this straight out of high school.” In spite of this, Eric still endorses the overall shift in higher education, if not slightly tongue in cheek, stating that “I’m glad to see colleges becoming more practical and job-oriented. Especially when it comes time for us to interview and hire more interns.”
Stryker, a graduate in Biochemistry from the University of Illinois-at Urbana Champaign, began working in the nutrition industry before taking an unusual turn to became a singer and producer for Los Angeles-based pop rock group Millennium. “I was lucky to attend a strong liberal arts university before this recent shift in higher education. Universities should not be looked at as job-training. It’s a once in a lifetime chance to broaden your imagination and knowledge in a safe environment. The best thing you can take away from those four years is the ability to learn.” When asked why he took such a radical turn after graduation, he replied calmly “Most people don’t know what they want to be when they go to college. In my case, I knew I wanted to do music but my parents didn’t agree. But that was fine, because I wasn’t there for job training. I was able to get a well-rounded education and write music on the side. Bottom line is this- A degree shouldn’t define a person, it should give them a higher level of freedom.”
Jeffrey, a human resources specialist for one Fortune 500 company agrees and is conflicted over the trend in higher eduation. “On the one hand, we are receiving more specifically qualified applicants for entry level positions each year. On the other hand, many of them may not have the broad-based education and creative communication skills required to take on higher level positions in the future.”