Archives for category: Pop Culture

Craig Robertson of Flip Flop Fly Ball, noticed something interesting in Justin Bieber music videos–the Biebs wore different baseball caps in different videos. Craig meticulously watched the videos, took notes and made an information visualization of his findings of baseball caps in Justin Bieber videos. Screenshots included!

Interesting: 20% of MLB teams (that’s 6 teams) are featured in the videos. Craig notes he didn’t include shorter, promotional trailer videos in his sample. The numbers would increase quite a bit if he had.

“Bank this off the back booooooaarrrrd”

I love this. Being a Pearl Jam fan, any reference to the band in pop culture is amusing. Jimmy Fallon takes the tune of Jeremy, changes the lyrics to reference Knicks star Jeremy Lin, complete with Eddie Vedder’s Jeremy video look and spooky lighting and does a good job.

Too often, we’re sensitive to truth and doing the right thing, or in the case of the New York Times, forget our purpose.

I’m looking for reader input on whether and when New York Times news reporters should challenge “facts” that are asserted by newsmakers they write about.

Vanity Fair’s Juli Weiner eloquently, in her best Jonathan Swift form, states, “no shit”.

…we here at V.F. are looking for reader input on whether and whenVanity Fair should spell “words” correctly in the stories we publish.

keep calm and rock out post

The word awesome seems to have become the go to word to describe anything as remotely delightfully cool. In fact, there’s even an Awesome Foundation.

In naming the Awesome Foundation, Hwang said the word captured the organization’s aims perfectly. “Awesome conveys surprise and delight, and that’s at the core of what we’re trying to do. Awesome isn’t necessarily frivolous, but it does convey a sense of fun.” Awesome also co-opts all dissenters. “The good thing is that you can’t really be against the Awesome Foundation, because then you’d be not awesome, and no one wants that,” said Hwang. The foundation’s Toronto chapter had 250 applications for grants in its first month. And two new Awesome Foundation chapters have just started in Beirut and Sri Lanka.

In an insightful piece of enjoying and consuming art (of all kinds), Linda Holmes discusses the sad, beautiful fact that we’re all going to miss almost everything.

Culling is easy; it implies a huge amount of control and mastery. Surrender, on the other hand, is a little sad. That’s the moment you realize you’re separated from so much. That’s your moment of understanding that you’ll miss most of the music and the dancing and the art and the books and the films that there have ever been and ever will be, and right now, there’s something being performed somewhere in the world that you’re not seeing that you would love.

I’ve learned to stop reading books that I don’t like, skip songs on cds that aren’t interesting me, to stop watching tv shows that aren’t engaging. I’ve also learned to take risks with movies and music and books in order to discover something wonderful.

See how SNL’s Celebrity Jeopardy evolved from a means for Norm MacDonald to act out his Burt Reynolds impression to the hilariously absurd Connery-Trebek duels. Videos included of all 14 skits.

The first Celebrity Jeopardy sketch aired on December 7, 1996 with Will Ferrell as Alex Trebek, Norm MacDonald as Burt Reynolds, Darrell Hammond as Sean Connery, and host Martin Short as Jerry Lewis. The categories weren’t as absurdly juvenile as the later sketches (“Potent Potables,” “Movies,” “U.S. History,” “Popular Music”) and Hammond’s Sean Connery was cooperative and inoffensive. Norm MacDonald’s 70’s-era Burt Reynolds is the star here, and after all, MacDonald has admitted to creating the sketch simply to get his Reynolds impression on the show.

Wright Thompson, for ESPN, tells of India, Cricket, the Cricket World Cup and how life and culture intersect.

I turn to Rahul. “Do Indians still love the actual game of cricket?”

There’s a pause.

“It’s a delicate sort of question,” he says.

Another pause.

“The thing about Indians’ love for cricket is a lot of it is having something to support India at,” he says. “A lot of it is celebrity. People in love with [team captain M.S.] Dhoni instead of the actual sport. It happens all the time. In the past five years, you find that matches not featuring India don’t draw crowds. It does seem on some level the love is not for the sport itself but for some of the things it stands for.”

Cricket is everywhere. It’s on 24/7. It’s on red carpets with Bollywood bombshells and in corporate boardrooms. But the more it is, the less it is.

“We’ve been so neutered by cricket now,” Rahul says. “There’s so much of it. It’s reached a point where you can be oblivious to it. Indian fans now just watch India.”

If bands/artists playing intimate shows to 50 people at someone’s house is a trend, that’s a trend I can fully support.

“It was at my friend Bodie’s small apartment in Boulder, and Joe Pug was playing,” said Browne, who writes and edits the popular website Fuel/ Friends. “There were probably 40 people in a tiny one- bedroom apartment. But the energy in there, being so close to Joe when he sang, really startled and impressed me. It was almost uncomfortable how intimate it was.”

“Ex-Heroes” (Peter Clines) tells of a world overrun by zombies, and individuals with super abilities take on a seemingly powerful zombie horde through the streets of Los Angeles.

Led by Stealth, an intelligent and quick female hero, the heroes took shelter within a movie studio compound and provide protection to those they can take in. After a botched mission, the heroes suspect a rival gang is growing more powerful, and yet, the zombies begin acting with intelligence. They begin to believe certain events are related as 60,000 zombies gather and moan outside their compound.

Ex-Heroes is a pulp amalgam of zombie, super hero and pop culture references. The writing is okay, and the plot moves well. Clines stops the story to intersperse first person origin accounts of how each hero came to be. Interesting, but the voice of the characters don’t seem to change.

This is a fun book, good for a mindless read.