Pop culture essays, criticism, fistfights

The Final Countdown: February 19th Edition

Let's face it: All the people at this Olympics party are way cooler than you. They are familiar with richie rich snow sports and even know what a Belarus is. You? You're a sweaty mess, making elaborate and unfunny Michael Phelps/snowboarding/weed jokes, 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 these pretentious patriots with, and maybe even get a Gold Medal for small talk. Your social redemption starts here.


(10) Tiger Woods' emerged from his sex-rehab/don't-look-at-me seclusion today and held some sort of contrived televised farce. As we ALL know, Tiger has been in a serious cluster-fuck since Thanksgiving weekend; his particular equation (domestic disturbance + car crash x mistresses n∞(allegedly knocked up porn-stars3) ÷ the worlds largest sports fortune x the worlds highest profile athlete - all dignity = a meteoric fall from grace) has been the biggest story of recent memory and has made Eldrick a laughing stock. So, in the first step at rebuilding his image, his team of PR professionals orchestrated an event that was equal parts prepared statement and love-in (he will not be questioned). With the accompaniment of his closest friends and colleagues/worshippers (yet NOT his wife), Tiger spoke from the TPC Sawgrass. We here at Culture Blues loved the rehearsed faux humility and the choreographed tears, and look forward to Tiger playing at the Masters this year (he still has to catch Nicklaus, after all).

(9) It seems like more people actually care about the Olympics than are letting on. For the first time since man descended from the trees, American Idol lost the prime-time ratings battle; over 29 million sets of patriotic eyes were drawn to their plasmas to watch the half-tape-delayed, half-live recap of what is being considered the most successful day in American Winter Olympics history. With Gold medals from Lindsey Vonn (Alpine Skiing), Shani Davis (1000 meter speed skating), and a truly legendary performance from Shaun White (half-pipe), Wednesday truly was a glorious day for our nations' athletes. No one is happier about this ratings spike than NBC, who had to endure the Nielsen nightmare that was the Torino Olympics (ratings were down 37% in '06) and is using this opportunity to piss off their captive audience with their insultingly hackneyed Jay Leno ads.

"Eeewww, disgusting! You mean... fluid transfer?"

(8) Ever leave the house and wonder, “why are there so many goddamn people out here?” Well get ready to giggle, cause this is about sex. Researchers from the University of Kentucky and the Kinsey Institute for Sex, Gender and Reproduction reported this week that perhaps condom design might be to blame for the fact that so many men refuse to wear them. The study seems to suggest that improving the fit of condoms could have a favorable effect on AIDS and unwanted pregnancy. We here at Culture Blues are looking forward to sweeping condom reform, if only to prevent the dystopian future of sexual intercourse presented in Demolition Man. Almost half of men surveyed had a recent experience with a poor fitting condom. The other half were quoted as saying, “I’m hammered, let’s do this.”

(7) In sad, but hardly surprising death news, Phil Harris, captain of Deadliest Catch crab boat the Cornelia Marie, died at the age of 53 last week from complications of a stroke. Harris will be remembered for endearingly confirming all our suspicions of what an Alaskan crab fishing captain would be like—a constantly swearing, chain-smoking, sleep-deprived, tattooed badass whose off-the-charts level of stress could actually be heard in his raspy voice. Even on his death bed he was cursing out everybody. Our kinda guy. Check out some of the skipper’s best moments here and give a look skyward next time you crack open a king crab at dinner.

Philanthropist. Uuugh!

(6) In an effort to collect dozens of books to donate to kids in Haiti, Lil’ Romeo is throwing a free concert at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Los Angeles. The Rapper/Actor/USC Basketball Player is also calling on the likes of Justin Beiber, the Jonas Brothers, and Nick Cannon to help out; although at time of press it was unconfirmed whether or not they even know who Lil’ Romeo is. We suggest that they check out Lil’s Wikipedia page, which reads: “Romeo miller is one of the youngest inspiration of all times.he's dedicated to school and following his dreams the right way.A legend is born not made.Destiny is something you can not plan.BLESS” We’d like to follow that entire quote with a big, fat [sic].

(5) In news that we hate ourselves for knowing about, the Jersey Shore’s J-Woww and Snooki revealed that despite numerous references made on the first season, they are not Italian. In response to this, several people have written blogs that will make you want to kill yourself. The landmark announcement was made on Fox News' “The Strategy Room.” Culture Blues Senior Bullshit Television Analyst Ben Van Iten could not be reached for comment, as he was last seen lying down in traffic.

(4) Slate broke the news this week that expiration dates on food mean little to nothing. The article claims that conditions are much more important than time and that expiration dates are determined by very conservative estimates based on the grossest kitchen possible. The news was a little late as some of us learned this lesson the hard way when a package of moldy shredded cheese with an April expiration date on it ruined Taco Night this week.

He can't feel his face... because of the novocaine.

(3) Man, Lil' Wayne is having a rough time of it these days! In addition to his upcoming jail-time (which was pushed back recently due to "dental issues"), there is a new legal issue that has befallen dear Mr. Weezy. Wayne has been slapped with a 2.5 million dollar copyright infringement suit by The Royalty Network, which claims that Darius "Dezzle" Harrison, the producer of Mrs. Officer (a hit single off Tha Carter III), owns the rights to the track and has been shortchanged by Cash Money records. According to court documents, Cash Money (a subsidiary of Universal) stopped paying Harrison when they learned of allegations that he stole elements of the track from a song called Crush by a little known artist named Sky (the producer of Crush sued Wayne last year). Nevertheless, Harrison is seeking his share of profits from ringtones and various other media. The misfortune doesn't stop there for Wayne; reports surfaced this week that he is having trouble selling his 4 bedroom South Beach condo due to the fact that it REEKS of marijuana! This is the epitome of a realtor not understanding a property; the pot smell should be used as a selling point, a la "sit back in your own living room and get your contact on!"

(2) It seems that Woody Allen’s next project will star… Owen Wilson?!? An odd pairing that could benefit both men as, let’s face it, their careers are running on fumes at this point.

(1) The new issue of Esquire features an excellent profile of Roger Ebert. The portrait of a great man and national treasure who is, in some ways, a shadow of his former self is beyond heartbreaking. Yet, there is also something inspiring and genuinely life affirming in the way that Ebert has accepted what life has dealt him and has adapted to continue sharing his immense intelligence with us. We will never see Ebert on television talking about movies again, but in the twilight of his life, his writing has become unconventional in terms of format and subject matter. Ebert blogs and tweets about whatever he feels like and we are all richer for it. The article perfectly captures the sadness and triumph surrounding Ebert’s current life and is a must read for anyone, providing you have some tissues handy.

Giovanny Caquias, Ben Van Iten, Zachary Falk, Jason Arican and Jeremiah White contributed to this Countdown.

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4 Responses »

  1. I want to talk about this Tiger Woods press conference. I watched the whole thing thanks to ESPN devoting the first half hour of SportsCenter to replaying it in its entirety. Then they had a body language expert on, Steven A Smith, and some lady that actually said "I didn't feel the remorse." It was a circus. ESPN is an embarrassment. Dan Rydell and Casey McCall would never stand for this bullshit. Oh, they also snuck 30 seconds of Nuggets/Cavs highlights in there. Looked like an awesome game.

    As for Tiger, he seemed like a robot. And robots, philandering or not, don't owe you people any explanation. I was really rooting for him to knock over the podium with a sack of money and tell everyone that he's going back to whoring.

    Also, John Daly seems like a real turd.

  2. The extreme decline of Sportscenter has been absolutely tragic. All I remember from when I started watching in the 90s was highlights from the day's games. And they seemed to show highlights from every single game. Highlights, Plays of the Week and Sunday Conversation (which at the time was a pretty nice change of pace). At 11 pm, it recapped the day for you, plain and simple.

    Now it's some sort of bloated, inbred sports newsmagazine that is just terrible. It's Dateline: Sports. Packed with salacious stories and what passes for analysis in the current sports journalism landscape, I can barely sit through it. I think the (d)evolution is best exemplified by Dan Patrick's return a few years ago. They hyped the hell out of this thing and their 6 o'clock broadcast. At the beginning of every show, Dan Patrick would come out and stand next to that dumb monitor in the middle of the floor and ramble for what seemed like 20 minutes. It sullied the memories.

    I was hoping to find some info about the shift, but wikipedia wasn't very helpful. I did learn that Sportscenter has over 30,000 unique episodes and it has aired more times than any other program in American television (up to 12 times a day).

    They should be ashamed.

  3. Best old school Sportscenter catchphrase was when someone got thrown out at home and Kenny Mayne would just scream: "Those who are late...do not get fruit cup!"

    But yeah, it's gone straight down the shitter.

  4. #10 'Cheetah' Woods