Pop culture essays, criticism, fistfights

The Final Countdown: February 5th Edition

Let's face it:  All the people at this Super Bowl party are way cooler than you. They've experienced seminal moments in sports like The Catch, The Immaculate Reception, The Block and The Time That Guy's Eye Fell Out. You? You're sports illiterate; making jokes about "tight ends" and asking if the Cover 2 can stop that guy from all the commercials, all while hoping no one notices the Football for Dummies app on your iPhone. 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 sports snobs with, maybe even gain back some self respect. Your social redemption starts here.

Lost fans do it live!

(10) Television executives were all shocked this week to find that loyal fans of the hit drama Lost did NOT flock to watch the pirated leak of this week's mind-bending premiere. Perhaps it was the timing of said leak? Fans had already waited months for the show to come back on, so it may not have seemed worth it to watch a shaky, and visually artifacted, bootleg version, when the episode would be playing in glorious HD in a matter of days. Or maybe something can be said for the general notion of "being a part of something" that spawned Lost parties for premiere night, and water-cooler conversations the next day. Whatever the reason, not only did you all not watch the leaks, but the ratings for the premiere were up too! A ton of people even watched the hourlong preview show! This all goes to show that anticipation for this season was at feverish, but still ethical, levels.

(9) To celebrate the iconic board game’s 75th anniversary, Hasbro will release Monopoly Revolution. Unfortunately, the game has nothing to do with toppling the inherently corrupt system of capitalism and establishing a communist utopia. Instead, the game will undergo drastic but joyless changes such as getting a round board, an ATM and debit cards instead of paper money and an electronic banking pod that does the math for you and plays bits of songs to coincide with certain events. Purists are worried the more automated game will not allow for “house rules,” which are just excuses for not knowing the real rules. But what’s most disturbing is that the suits at Hasbro are so delusional they actually think they can pry kids away from their iPhones to play a board game that takes 4 hours and is an incredibly frustrating experience for all but one player. Yeah, good luck with that.

If the dark meat and white meat can coexist, why can't we?

(8) Was it racially insensitive on NBC’s part to dedicate their lunch menu of fried chicken, collard greens, and cornbread to Black History Month? Yeah, probably, although we certainly don’t think that lunch menu was trying to boil down all of black history into a pot of collard greens. On the other hand, all of that sounds pretty delicious. Is it so wrong to honor a culture for their amazing contributions to the culinary arts? Especially fried chicken. Sure, the Scottish are credited with bringing fried chicken to America, but it wasn’t until black people got hold of it that spices were introduced to the batter and the real good shit was born. Frankly, we consider fried chicken a national treasure. We’ve come a long way from bullshit like The Coon Chicken Inn. If anything can heal the racial divides that still exist in this country, it’s a bucket of Popeye's spicy.

(7) The Academy Award nominations were announced this week, and while our resident prognosticator Jeff Hart labeled his October predictions as “disappointing” and “poopy,” we have to admit, we’ve got it. We’ve got the Oscar Fever. It’s all just so exciting. The debates about who should win! The plotlines (divorced couple Jimmy Cameron and Kathryn Bigelow going head to head)! The NBC pimping that hosts Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin are sure to engage in during ABC’s broadcasting of the event! And the dresses! Oh, the dresses! We just hope that this year they are once again able to maintain the dignity and reverence of past years by rewarding the best films and performances.

These people will all be drunk and topless come Sunday night.

(6) SPOILER ALERT!!! As it turns out, we don't even need to watch the Super Bowl this weekend. Once again EA has looked into their digital crystal ball and determined that the outcome will be Saints 35 - Colts 31... You read that right. Despite the line (Colts by 5), the consensus of most experts, and the overall burly-ness of Peyton Manning, the annual Madden simulation, which has correctly predicted the last six Super Bowls not involving David Tyree, is going with the underdog. And what a game it will be! The Saints will start the 4th quarter down 24-21 before Reggie Bush takes a punt return all the way, Manning responds with a touchdown pass to Addai, and Brees puts the final nail in the coffin with a game winning completion to tight end David Thomas in the back of the end-zone. Thanks for this absurd use of your oracular powers EA. I guess we will just have to watch for the commercials now.

(5) Rumors swirled this week that Miley Cyrus' 9 year old sister Noah was modeling for a new line of children's lingerie. Apparently a company named Oh La La Couture (known for making high-priced, boutique, kids clothes) has tapped both Noah Cyrus and the equally young Emily Grace (she plays nine year old Hannah Montana on the show... I think) to peddle a line of suspicious “tutu dresses” sure to give a lot of dads heart attacks. We here at Culture Blues are put in a tough position by this turn of events. There are obviously a lot of off color and what some might consider unseemly jokes that we would LOVE to make, but we aren't really interested in any extra special attention from the Feds. We are just going on the record saying this is totally wrong and leave it at that... Giggle.

The $ stands for $hitty!

(4) Ke$ha is really working overtime to get across the message that she's a wild and crazy, good times party girl whose reckless and meaningless rebellion we should all find adorable. But her most recent attempt, a viral video of a clearly staged prank involving the Hollywood sign, is actually just a rip off of the 90210 kids’ senior prank. And there is nothing less wild and crazy than the 90210 kids, except for when Kelly turned into a cokehead. That was pretty crazy. Or that time Scott killed himself while playing with his dad’s gun. Maybe that’s what Ke$ha should emulate next.

(3) If you’ve been following our Friday Countdowns then you know that as saviors of humanity your friends at Culture Blues have been diligent in our coverage of the upcoming robot apocalypse. What freaky shit do we have for you this week?  How about the Robonaut 2? Designed by NASA and General Motors, its purpose is to do bitchwork in space, assemble cars, and strangle the life from website editors. Robots shaped like people are always super creepy, but this one breaks new ground for two reasons. First, it appears to enjoy lifting weights, really working the cyber-glamour muscles. Second, it has a fucking Metroid helmet! Seriously, the Robonaut will be the last thing that you see before you die.

He suffered so that we wouldn't have to.

(2) When we were children, there was a single moment that taught us everything we would ever need to know about life. It was when we learned that success is fleeting; that nothing lasts forever. It was when we learned that nice guys always finish last. It was when we learned that your more attractive and talented friends are destined to betray you. We learned all this as boys while watching professional wrestling. We were made cynical and bitter on that fateful day when Shawn Michaels turned on his best friend and partner, Marty Jannetty, and pitched him through a barbershop window. It remains one of the darkest days in modern history, the 9/11 of the 80s, a day when the darkest depths of humanity were revealed to an unsuspecting generation of Rockers fans. And weren’t all of us, even those too classy for professional wrestling, Rockers fans at heart? Marty Jannetty, a man who for us epitomizes the idea that the world will ultimately destroy you, turned 48 this week. A broken man, a tragic figure, Jannetty stands as a living reminder of the futility of the human struggle.

(1) In more Super Bowl news, the most intriguing subplot this year might be off the field. College football superstar and future NFL bust Tim Tebow will appear in an anti-abortion ad with a message of “Celebrate family, celebrate life, and celebrate me, Tim Tebow. I’m awesome. Watch me throw this football.” With eye black advertising Bible passages, his well publicized chastity (anal doesn’t count, right?) and now a television ad that will be seen by the largest audience of the year carrying the bold proclamation that the world would have been robbed of his immensely important football playing if his mother had just taken the advise of her doctors and aborted him all those years ago, Tebow is clearly a man who likes to tell you what he believes and we here at Culture Blues would like to applaud him. We now know that as soon as we see his big dumb face on our TV on Sunday, we have 30 seconds during which nothing worthwhile is going to happen. That doesn’t happen often during the 4 hour marathon telecast. Thank you, Tim.

Jeremiah White, Jeff Hart and Giovanny Caquias contributed to this Countdown.

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2 Responses »

  1. What a surprise you managed to Tim Tebow in there! #1 at that. God, that guy for reals isn't doing anything right now and yet we are still talking about him. I can't believe you didn't throw in the gossip about Jeter and A-Rod.

  2. So what did everybody think of that Tebow commercial? I didn't think it was so bad. Him and his Mom are just so adorable, I had no idea I was learning about the horrors of abortion!