There exists a secret debate technique that is unstoppable. Practically no one ever utilizes this trick, yet everybody can do it easily, without any practice at all. Even better: you barely have to know any details about the topic at hand. The next time you argue politics with your drunk Uncle at dinner and he won’t budge on the fact that playing heavy metal causes cancer…break out your smartphone and Google it.
While watching Hulu one day, I came across something curious: an ad. And no, it wasn’t because it’s bullshit that Hulu’s paid service still has ad breaks, when for the same price I can shuffle through 8 seasons of Always Sunny on Netflix without having anything shoved in my face (other than Coors Light product placement, but we’ll get to that). The ad was curious because the content was something I hadn’t really seen before: honesty, with ever the slightest hint of condescension. And by hint I mean Oh God so much.
Sure, calling out the pop music industry for the drivel that it is can hardly be considered “edgy” anymore. However, if you follow me slightly beneath the surface, past all the weird lyrics and the autotune, we”ll look at how rapidly changing technologies and shifting cultural norms are going to have a lasting effect that is changing music forever (and not necessarily for the best). For example:
Anyone who knows me (or reads me), knows I’m a huge fan of the Olympics. They are the only sports I watch, and although I can’t quite put my finger on it, I think the reason they are so compelling is because the stakes appear to be so high. We have entire countries battling each other not with missiles but with the fastest, most athletic people they have. There’s more national pride at stake than any other international sporting event other than the World Cup, except the Olympics don’t suck. And while you’ll never catch me dead watching Couple’s Ice Dancing or Balance Beam Hippity-Hopping any other day of the week, every two years I’ll be glued to the T.V. like glitter on an elementary school art project.
So here we are in the midst of Russia’s Winter Olympics, being held in a town so subtropical it has palm trees. And while lamestream news outlets have been focused on medal counts, the country’s openly-encouraged gay-bashing, or freakin’ Chobani yogurt, many have missed the most ridiculous stuff that has been going on behind the scenes. Not only do these things confirm every stereotype I’ve ever had about Russia, it further proves that the cold war has simply turned into a wintery mix and it’s as awesome as ever. Here’s some of the stuff you might have missed:
Welcome to 2014. I gave it a few weeks just to make sure that the Sun didn’t explode (if you are reading this via time machine, I guess I was wrong). A lot of you have made resolutions that you very likely have already broken. Many have fallen for the big sale at the gym, where if you had taken ten seconds to do the math out you would have realized that it would cost you 17 dollars every time you go. So what’s the problem? Maybe you feel lazy, or unmotivated, or have one more Animus Fragment to collect in Assassin’s Creed. But I’m here to tell you that there’s a way to take those negative characteristics and put them to work for you.
Other than sending our tax money to the Pentagon, there is nothing we Americans do more mindlessly and without regard for consequence than listen to Christmas music. For some reason, we’ve been throwing on the same records for decades without any irony at all but somehow we haven’t taken two seconds to ask ourselves why we are still listening to them. Now that we have the Internet, there is no excuse for this, and the first step for all of us was to admit that “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” was really about a woman who is unable to leave a man’s house after drinking a mystery cocktail. Here’s a few more that we should leave to history.
For the vast majority of my life, I’ve been scared of horror movies. I can’t even remember the first one I ever saw, but it must to have been bad enough to turn me off of them forever (maybe Grease 2? That was a horror movie, right?). For years, I had avoided every Friday the 13th, every Nightmare on Elm Street, every Saw, and every music video by Marylyn Manson. That was until my friends forced me to watch Saw II. I did not want to. I pleaded and pleaded. I would rather have eaten off-brand Boo Berries in a bowl of spoiled milk. But they had me outmatched. So, in protest, I watched the entire movie through a little slit in my fingers with morbid curiosity like an 8-year-old girl.
Oh, also, I was a freshman in college.