The Final Countdown: February 12th Edition
Let's face it: the other person on this Valentine's Day date is way cooler than you. Your date has been out with legitimately intelligent people; they read books, watch movies, and even have jobs. You? You're a sweaty mess, a biohazard spouting anecdotes you've cribbed from Tucker Max, a cultural void. But all that can change! Your real friends at Culture Blues have put together a weekly rundown of worthwhile topics for you to wow your pretentious date with, and maybe make this the best Casual Encounter ad you've ever answered. Your social redemption starts here.
(10) Do you want to be a member of the Virginia legislature? You can! All you need is a high school education and an unshakable belief in the end of days. This week, the Virginia House of Delegates voted to criminalize the involuntary implantation of microchips in people. Sure, states like California and Wisconsin have already passed similar measures on the grounds of human rights and while that’s certainly an issue for some sane Virginians, some of these people in positions of power are actually more concerned about the antichrist. Here’s a real quote from an actual politician that was seriously elected to office: "My understanding -- I'm not a theologian -- but there's a prophecy in the Bible that says you'll have to receive a mark, or you can neither buy nor sell things in end times. Some people think these computer chips might be that mark." That about says it all, right?
(9) In case you never watch NBC, the Winter Olympics (scored by Sarah McLachlan) kick off tonight. After a historic and very exciting Summer Olympics, these Vancouver games are sure to be extra sucky. But that won’t stop us from participating in some completely uninformed prognosticating (and betting). We’ll take Austrian bad boy Bernhard Gruber in the Nordic Combined, slopes svengali Michael Morse in Freestyle skiing and the heavy underdog in Women’s Curling, the Japanese team.
(8) Want a Lord of the Rings prequel movie? Well, you’re in luck. Because one has already been made by an independent filmmaker who dumped her life’s savings into the project and then put it up on Youtube. Financially irresponsible and super, super nerdy? Most definitely. But it is honestly inspiring to see someone put their time and money where their mouth is and dive into something that they are clearly very passionate about. The film has already scored 500,000 views and seems to be well received. Take that, Peter Jackson.
(7) You know that really useful supermajority the Democrats recently lost in the Senate? You know how one of the very few things they actually accomplished while they had it was to pass that credit card information bill? Well, guess what? That was just a goof. It’s just another example of the Democrats’ inability to do anything right. Sure, it will require credit card companies to put more information on statements we already can’t be bothered to read, such as how long it will take to clear your balance by just paying off the minimum amount due each month (this should at least be entertaining – how much space are they going to allow for this? Will they just round up to the nearest decade? In particularly extreme cases will it says “NEVER” or “∞”?). But it also doesn’t place any cap on interest levels and allows credit card companies to gouge you for even higher interest rates than before when you default on payments. So, lube up America. Visa’s got a raging hard on and they’re knocking on your door.
(6) Fans got their first look at the Forgetting Sarah Marshall pseudo sequel, Get Him to the Greek, this week when a trailer was released. It’s a sequel in the sense that Russell Brand plays the same character. It’s not in the sense that Jonah Hill plays a completely different character from his waiter in Sarah Marshall. The trailer features an uncomfortable number of Puff Daddy scenes (he was actually pretty good in Made so we’re going to try to keep an open mind), but also delivers some laughs. It looks like another typical Apatow affair just with a lot more drugs and a lot less personal growth.
(5) Remember the first time you beat Super Mario 3, or Mike Tyson's Punchout? There was a certain satisfaction to that moment; there was a sense of achievement. That is, until your mother broke the news to you that playing video games would never amount to anything. Well, check this out: 2K sports has announced that they will give the first person that throws a verified perfect game (using the proper difficulty setting, mind you) on MLB2K10 for the XBox360 or PS3 gaming consoles a million dollars. Yes, a million dollars. So you can print this out, and mail it to your elderly mother with a note that says, “eat it bitch”. The contest runs from March 2nd to May 1st. Before you get too excited, rest assured that by the time you get home from the store, some dork will have already won.
(4) Drive Angry 3D is a 3D movie starring Nicolas Cage and William Fichtner about a man waging a bloody road-war against his daughter’s killers. Could this movie possibly sound any better? The answer is no. Jesus Christ, February 11, 2011 can’t get here soon enough.
(3) Marvel Comics and writer Ed Brubaker (one of the men that helped get Captain America elected our biggest badass of the decade) came under fire this week from The Tea Party...uh Party? Is that what they’re called? Anyway, whatever you call empty-headed hillbillies masking racism by marching around with AK-47s and signs about birth certificates and devil rape are mad that a recent issue of Captain America transplanted some of their clever slogans onto signs at a white supremacist rally Cap was investigating. Wackadoo-in-charge Judson Phillips said: "It's really sad to see what has traditionally been a pro-America figure being used to advance a political agenda." So wait... the guy that was created as part of a WW2 propaganda program, that's spent the last fifty years engaged in every kind of American conflict whether foreign or domestic, and that's done it all with a pretty consistent libertarian slant, a guy named Captain America - you're mad that he's been politicized? His very existence is a political statement. What the fuck have you been reading? Wow. We’re not sure why we’re so shocked that the Tea Party guys are already so skilled at being media whores, creating bullshit fusses where there’s no need. I guess we had just hoped that Phillips, or as we like to call him Mr. President-Elect, would bring a little more comic book savvy to the White House.
(2) This week, everyone got into a tizzy because John Mayer compared his cock to David Duke and said a bunch of other stuff that made equally little sense in an interview with Playboy. It was only the latest in a number of recent bizarre quotes from Mayer, most of which revolve around masturbating and having sex with your daughter. We would like to applaud John Mayer. Not for anything he said (his comments were infantile and poorly worded) and not for speaking his mind (people without something worthwhile to say shouldn’t say anything – then again, they shouldn’t be interviewed either). Instead, we would like to applaud Mayer for continuing to champion a movement we feel very strongly about, the “Most Celebrities are Dumb and Vapid” movement. Look, celebrities are people and have a right to say whatever they like. But we, as a society, have fallen into the nasty little habit of actually listening to them, and putting stock in what they say. John Mayer is just some pretty douche who plays the guitar well; why do we care at all what he has to SAY? It has gotten to the point where poor, lobotomy-level dumb Jessica Biel has to go on David Letterman and try to talk about some clean water charity she supports when she’s not nearly intelligent or eloquent enough to speak about it effectively (that was left up to Dave). Let’s all work toward a day when we elevate the prettiest semi-talents amongst us to stardom, and then ignore their “opinions.”
(1) All week, the nation has been rocked by large snowfalls. You know what that means. Put your tape decks on Record! Another club banger! It’s The Blizzard Man!
Jeremiah White, Jeff Hart, and Ben Van Iten contributed to this Countdown.