Pop culture essays, criticism, fistfights

The Final Countdown: Special Badass Edition

Let's face it: All the people at this John J Rambo victory party are way more badass than you. They have packs of cigarettes rolled up in their shirt sleeves, known how to throw a one-hitta-quitta, and they know how to use curse words instead of punctuation fuck You? You're a sweaty mess; going on about how cool the movie Willow is, trying to pretend you’re not the kind of wimp that shouted ‘baby killer’ when Rambo came back from ‘nam. But all that can change! Your real friends at Culture Blues have resurrected the Friday Countdown in order to give you a list of badass topics to chat up these meatheads with. Your social redemption starts here.

"It's this big."

(10) In political badass news, M.C. Joe Biden got the FCC all up in a tizzy this week as he dropped the F-bomb in order to punctuate his ceremonial hype-man spiel/introduction of President Obama...Um, not really. As he was still in the victorious afterglow of the Obama administration's landmark Health Care reform bill passing through the House of Representatives, Vice President Biden leaned into the President's ear and said "This is a big fucking deal" while still in range of the hot microphone. This use of profanity has been broadcast on every news affiliate that isn't controlled by a Theocratic or Communist dictatorship, and is just the kind of ammunition the Republican Party would need in order to bash the administration and Democratic majority. Except, of course, they didn't need any new material or flavor of the month YouTube clips when there’s so many bricks to throw through windows. The argument has been raised that this vulgarity shows the VP has a lack of class or intelligence (the man is a lawyer), and we here at Culture Blues are above such mean spirited opinions. Of course, we do think it is a fucking huge motherfucking deal.

(9) James Franco does what James Franco wants. A few years ago, it was continuing his education. A few months ago, it was an out-of-left-field stint on a soap opera. And this month, James Franco wants to have a short story published in Esquire. And to have a book of short fiction published in October. Apparently, the story is totally competent (and involves fantasizing about driving your car off overpasses), but who cares about that? James Franco entertains the shit out of James Franco, and that’s all that matters when you're James Franco.

(8) It should go without saying why we need to recognize in this column what would have been the 80th birthday of Steve McQueen this week. We had a cake made, but then we crashed a car through it. Anyway, here’s a clip of McQueen doing something appropriately awesome.

Michael Cera and his flaming sword.

(7) This week, the teaser trailer for Scott Pilgrim vs The World set the internet ablaze. The movie, based on the cult favorite comic series, stars Michael Cera as Pilgrim, a love struck hipster boy forced to do battle with his would-be girlfriend’s seven evil exes. We never thought we’d use Michael Cera and badass in the same sentence, but here it is: Pilgrim is looking pretty badass. This probably has a lot to do with director Edgar Wright of Shaun of the Dead fame being at the helm. If anything should get you fired up for this one though, it’s the chance to finally see George Michael engage in fisticuffs with Bland – we mean Ann.

(6) Charles Bronson is the star of the popular Death Wish vigilante film franchise. But there’s an even more badass Charles Bronson, and for purposes of disambiguation, on Wikipedia he is simply known as “Charles Bronson (prisoner).” Since 1974, he has spent 122 days out of custody. His only crimes in the outside world were armed robbery, robbery and conspiracy to rob. The majority of his jail time is due to crimes committed IN prison, which include wounding, criminal damage, grievous bodily harm, false imprisonment, blackmail and threatening to kill. He’s been moved between prisons and mental institutions 120 times. He’s repeatedly taken hostages including guards, Iraqi hijackers, a civilian education officer and a deputy governor. And buried underneath all the violence, he might just be a brilliant, macho, nihilist philosopher. Or maybe just a sociopath. Last year a film about Bronson was released, titled Bronson, and we’ll be discussing it in our Instant Movie Club on Monday.

(5) What do Napoleon Bonaparte, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Ivan the Terrible have in common with a bunch of your Facebook friends? If you guessed “they’re all badasses” then you’re reading way too much into the theme of this Countdown (and you also don’t know your friends). The correct answer is syphilis! According to some egghead with a calculator and Excel proficiency over in England, cases of syphilis are spreading rapidly in areas where Facebook is most popular. Coincidence? Probably not. Anyway, while this might trouble those of you out there that have loads and loads of unprotected sex (Ben Van Iten), we’re pretty sure the biggest epidemic on Facebook is still Farmville.

Usher seen here illustrating what he'd like to do to your butt, and your friend's butt.

(4) Do you remember when Usher released his last album shortly after getting married? And critics felt the album offered a more mature Usher? Well, last year he filed for divorce when he apparently realized he wasn’t ready to only have sex with one woman, and now he’s released a single, “Lil Freak,” which is not only about threesomes, but about sending a female “friend” out to find another girl, so that you have to do literally nothing to bag two chicks at the end of the night. When asked about the lyrics, Usher said "It happens in this day and time. Those are the best chicks to be friends with, honestly." With other celebrities hiding behind claims both insincere (moments of weakness) and ridiculous (sex addiction), it’s nice to have someone say what we all know: famous men have sex with A TON of women without really trying. Maybe this is a more mature Usher. It’s at least a more honest one.

(3) In movies, soldiers are capable of seemingly superhuman feats. Absorbing tremendous amounts of punishment and continuing to battle. The Tournament featured many such men. But you know what? Those men exist in real life too. Cracked offers up 6 soldiers who continued to fight and kick ass despite getting totally fucked up. The one about the lone shrapnel-faced tank hunter is our personal favorite.


(2) Honestly, when we decided to do a special theme Countdown, we had no idea how difficult it would be to loosely tie around ten news stories from this week to the concept of “badass.” At this point, we’ve been reduced to Google blog searching the word. Which is how we found this picture of a dog in a dragon costume. So, you’re welcome.

(1) Over at Gawker, there’s an interesting article on how the approaching release of the iPad has begun to put Apple at odds with traditional print publishers. All this article does for us is reinforce something we’ve known for awhile now:  Steve Jobs is a mother fucker and Apple is hella evil. Seriously. Just because they’ve personified their corporation with Justin Long and have spent years gently whispering notions to your needy, fragile psyches of how super special and unique you are doesn’t make them any less pervasively awful than, say, Wal-Mart. We saw eighteen people jacked into identical iDevices on the subway this morning, by the way, and all of them – ALL OF THEM – were listening to Imogen Heap. For Christ’s sake people, when did we stop associating consistently wearing a black turtleneck with inherent evil? Has Lex Luthor taught you all nothing? We’re beginning to feel a little bit like Roddy Piper in They Live over here. By the way, stay tuned next week for the launch of the Culture Blues iPhone app. It shrieks incoherently at you when it detects you’re being fucked by The Man.

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

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2 Responses »

  1. Culture Blues is proud to present a special sneak peek at the climactic final fight scene in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. Enjoy! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=thThYiyqPG0


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