I don’t wanna be one of those guys that puts together a stupid year-end thing that just lists the most popular stuff that occurred that year, nor is this going to be full of resolutions and other crap. Instead, I’m going to look back and tell you what I think wins the most important shit of the year award that I just made up. These are the things, people, and media that, in my opinion, 2014 will actually be remembered for. Hopefully. If you are reading this in the far future from one of our Mars colonies, haha I was kidding! Who’s Nicki Minaj?
Happy Hallow’s Evening. What an awesome time of year! As you sit down this evening for a Ghost Hunters marathon or whatever, be sure to go outside first to experience the natural seasonal cycle of Mother Earth. Who can ignore the beauty of the falling leaves, the crisp air, or the New Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino (TM) Blended Coffee Beverage from Starbucks (sorry folks, gotta pay the bills).
And now I’d like to present my entry into the annual festival of every website trying to get sweet Halloween traffic by running stupid slideshows of real haunted stuff, except I actually did real research and am totally not trying to ride on the popularity of Disney as a search term. Here are three attractions that may well be haunted, for realsies.
If you’re from the Northeast U.S. like me, your summer news cycle was likely taken up by the Market Basket protests. If you are from anywhere else, you probably have no fucking idea what I’m talking about, so I’ll try to get you up to speed.
I am a smart person, but even I have a major cognitive weakness. It’s called the appeal to authority. If someone who should be trusting, like a doctor, says something that seems like it’s right, why would I question it? The problem is that sometimes I’m too trusting and then feel like an idiot afterwards. If he tells me Flintstone’s Vitamins prevent colds, then by God I’ll throw the whole family in my mouth every morning.
On Sunday night, to kick off their annual Shark Week event, Discovery Channel aired a special called
Sharknado, sorry Submarine: Shark of Darkness. The documentary supposedly told the story of a whale watch in South Africa that hit some rocks and sank earlier this year. Two people were attacked and killed by a giant 40-foot shark named Submarine. The most amazing part is that almost all of it was caught on cell phone footage.
The show was riveting. Some things about the story did seem a little weird. Like, given what I knew about how rare shark attacks were, it’s amazing that this wasn’t a bigger news story especially since it was all captured on film. Or the fact that someone on the boat pulled out their phone on the off the chance that Jaws was real. Why was a whale watch boat driving through a place known as Shark Alley? Never mind. They had experts, and scientific analysis. To someone who doesn’t know that much about sharks (me) it all just seemed right. Why would I question it? It’s not like a science channel would knowingly air a fake documentary. I wanted to find out more about this Submarine shark!
Well don’t I feel dumb.
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: