The Internet is awash in “thinkpieces” — posts (sometimes columns, but often blogs that don’t want to be called blogs) that dig deep into some pressing issue that’s on everyone’s mind. Like who’s responsible for the water in Flint. Or how privilege keeps us in the dark when it comes to how life is for people of other backgrounds.
But, most of these are about movies and television, and yet written with the same level of thought and seriousness as what the 2016 election really means for Coal Country.
Regardless of topic, they all follow the model of TED Talks — the famous series of presentations by people passionately speaking on everyday topics to change the way we think about them. Which is great if we’re thinking the wrong way about climate change, but ridiculous if we’re thinking the wrong way about critics’ relationship with the DC Cinematic Universe.
So, in that spirit, I present my very first NED Talk — in which I elucidate on a topic of great importance only in my head and some studio executive counting Yuan in Hollywood.
I accidentally sat next to a bag of drugs on the train home yesterday. For a couple stops, I was sitting in a row with someone next to me, then I noticed a woman get up and get off the train, leaving her row empty. I moved over and noticed a shopping bag with some containers and a couple pill bottles. Oh no, someone left their medication on the train! I picked up a bottle to find the owner’s name and contact information, except there was no label — same thing with the other bottle. They contained pills and powder. What if I just stumbled into a drug deal dead drop? I thought about taking the bag and selling the drugs, but as a suburban 30-something parent, I don’t exactly have the connections to move product like that. So I left it there. Someone’s big weekend plans are definitely ruined. If you were busy giving your buddy the Presidential Medal of Freedom this week, odds are you missed it.
Going for gold
This week, CNN and BuzzFeed reported that President Barack Obama and President-elect Donald Trump had been briefed on a series of unverified memos from a former British spy claiming that the Russians were trying to get dirt on Trump to use as leverage against him. One of the leaked documents said Russian spies had recorded Trump getting a golden shower from some prostitutes while in Moscow. Of course Trump likes golden showers. Have you seen his mansions? Golden everything!
Bots tweet about droids
Computer scientists stumbled across a large botnet of Star Wars-related Twitter accounts, it was reported this week. The researchers were taking a sample of Twitter accounts, when they realized they’d come across over 350,000 automated accounts all tweeting random quotes from Star Wars novels. The bots were created a few years ago, and stopped tweeting months after that. They were probably upset that they were no longer canon.
Gone to that big theme park in the sky
SeaWorld held its final killer whale show on Sunday, marking the end of an era. The final show came just couple days after Tillikum, the killer whale in Blackfish, had died. SeaWorld’s really serious about retiring these whales, aren’t they?
Well look who finally got on the “this year sucked” train. I’ve been doing this for years, everyone just finally caught up. I have a theory that 2016 was the Rapture. Everyone you love who was good is gone. Now we’re just in a hollow wasteland, and there’s the devil about. Either that, or we’re old enough that famous people we’ve heard of are starting to die off. This year was a lot like 1941 — we all knew there was conflict, and the headlines were really interesting, then an awful day toward the end of year made nothing feel the same again. This was indeed the worst year yet. Kim Kardashian had something bad happen to her for once. We cheered for sad sack teams. The Supreme Court became an octet. We held a months-long funeral for a gorilla we’d never heard of. We bought some Cuban cigars. We stood really still in videos. Let’s do to 2016 what it did to a lot of famous people, shall we?
Let freedom wear a c@#k ring
The armed hicks occupying a tiny federal office building at a remote Oregon wildlife sanctuary complained in a video that people keep sending them sex toys, including a whole bunch of dildos. The group made an appeal to “real patriots” to send them supplies, as they were so busy packing their guns they forgot to bring food and water for their camping trip. America responded by sending them plastic penises, which is a phrase I’ve waited to write my whole life. Upon hearing the news, Cards Against Humanity co-founder Max Temkin, really, sent the occupiers a 55-gallon barrel of lube.
Blowing up the airwaves
North Korea said it successfully tested a hydrogen bomb, but experts weren’t so sure it worked. In any case, the test marked another act of defiance of international sanctions. In response, South Korea set up loudspeakers along the border and began blasting K-pop. These two countries are like feuding neighbors in an apartment building. One keeps making the floor shake with loud thumps, so the other cranks their music, in this case, Psy.
From Mexico with love
After capturing escaped drug lord El Chapo, Mexican authorities published his text messages on his phone. Many were shocked not only to see that he was in contact with Mexican actress Kate del Castillo, but that his texts were quite romantic. He told her, “I’ll care for you more than my own eyes,” and even suggested having her meet his mother. Maybe we’ve got these guys all wrong. We just need to help these drug cartels find love and they’ll stop massacring entire towns. Continue reading You Missed It: End of 2016 edition
Late night talk shows have to have celebrity gimmicks now. They’re all doing games with celebrities, or singing in cars with celebrities, or doing fake singing competitions with celebrities. These things are funny once or twice, but after a while the shows lean on them like a crutch. I don’t know, I’m a sucker for comedy writing. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but maybe Jay Leno wasn’t so bad. If you were busy waiting to go see a Star Wars movie that’s about Star Wars but not one of the real, numbered Star Wars movies this week, odds are you missed it.
Report: Trump was right about the election being rigged
This week, the FBI backed a CIA report that Russia hacked the U.S. presidential election in favor of a Trump victory. It’s also been reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin was involved in the decision to hack. But Republicans have decided it’s not a concern, as they cannot find a way to blame Hillary Clinton for it, yet.
Stocking the Cabinet
President-elect Donald Trump announced that he will nominate former Texas Gov. Rick Perry to head the Department of Energy, or as Perry calls it, “The uh, ummmm, the–I can’t, oops.” Trump also nominated ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, a friend of Putin, for secretary of state, rejecting a CIA report claiming Tillerson had been hacked by the Russians.
Optimism is overrated
And finally, a new report this week found that trying to always find the silver lining when things don’t go your way could actually bad for you. If that’s the case, 2016 has been a landmark year in mental health.
At some point, Star Wars fans need to admit to themselves that they like the Empire better. Most of the merchandise you see, and all of the memes people share, are about storm troopers or Darth Vader. Do we even know why the Empire is bad in the first place? All we (and by “we” I mean people who haven’t read the books, because we’re not nerds) really know is that the Empire is dealing with a rebellion has a thing for blowing up rebel planets. Seems pretty reasonable for an intergalactic war. If you were busy saying you didn’t say what you said about Second Amendment people this week, odds are you missed it.
Sexism is the newest event
The Olympics are a sporting tradition like no other. Once every four years, the world comes together act like it cares about swimming, gymnastics and women in sports in general. NBC took a fair amount of criticism for sexism from the commentators during its coverage of the first week of the summer games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. NBC apologized for any accidentally sexist comments, and insisted it has no problem with covering girls as they compete in their own separate but equal little events, but it’s going to be tough to keep from getting excited during the women’s trampoline competition, ya know?
Women continue to be in movies
This week, cast members of Ocean’s 8, an all-female remake of Ocean’s 11 (the good one) were announced. Meanwhile, all-female reboot of Ghostbusters is rumored to not be getting a sequel, following a loss of $70 million. I don’t know. I think they’re going to keep making these types of movies because they’re trying to reach an underrepresented audience and want to do a decent thing. Or they just realized they can pay actresses way less than men.
Concertgoer smokes weed
Malia Obama, the president’s oldest daughter, was seen in a video leaked to the media taking a drag of what appeared to be a marijuana joint while attending Lollapalooza in Chicago. People who took offense to this took to the internet to express their outrage, but then asked what a “Lollapalooza” is.
Baseball is back, and old people could not be more excited about it. I’m a casual observer of baseball until after the all-star break, because really those are the only games that matter in a 162-game season. About half the opening day games were postponed because of torrential snow or rain. I think it was a wise move for the MLB to call these games early. If they hadn’t, they would have lost some fans to exposure. Old people are fragile. If you were busy proposing on top of a mountain this week, odds are you missed it.
The side project awakens
This week, the trailer for Rogue One, a new Star Wars movie that takes place around the time of the first trilogy, hit the internet. And because it’s the Star Wars, the internet went bonkers. However, Trump supporters said they have had enough of the liberal Rebellion media coverage. They declared it was bad trade deals that brought down the Old Republic establishment, and the galaxy far, far away needs a firm, authoritarian hand to unite it.
Gays now welcome in Catholic Church
Pope Francis released a letter this week calling for the Catholic Church to be a more welcoming place. He called on priests to be more accepting of single parents, divorced couples and most notably, gay couples. In the very same week it was announced the pope was considering visiting, and this is true, the island of Lesbos. Who’s got the stones to tell the infallible guy it’s not what he thinks?
Racist charicature to get own movie
Warner Brothers confirmed that it is working on a movie about Speedy Gonzalez of Looney Tunes fame. Some people say it’s a bad idea, but I’m excited about a dark, gritty reboot of the cartoon character–sort of like what Warner Brothers did with Superman.
When I was in sixth grade, my friend Michael explained to me that there were supposed to be more than just three Star Wars movies. His uncle worked at Industrial Lights and Magic, and was involved in the animation of the light sabers and blasters. He explained that the reason the original (and then, the only) trilogy had episode titles was that George Lucas had a master plan for trilogies to take place before and after the movies we knew.
Less than a decade later, the world had three new Star Wars films to enjoy. They weren’t worth the wait, but that didn’t stop fans from keeping up their appetites for more. When The Phantom Menace was released, everyone hoped the next one would be better, then they hoped the third one would be the prequel they had dreamed of. It didn’t happen that way.
There are people camping out for the new Star Wars movie. The movie isn’t coming out until next Friday. That means these people are going to be outside in December for a week to see a new movie. They don’t even have to. A ton of people pre-ordered tickets to the first showings of the film, but even so, that’s only a maximum 20% of the seating available. You can show up the night of the first showing and still get a seat. Let’s hope it’s not next to the guy who hasn’t seen a shower in a week. If you were busy being named Time‘s person of the year this week, odds are you missed it.
Well he did rise from the dead
It’s Christmas time, and that means people are putting out all sorts of decorations. It also means that those people’s neighbors are getting pissed off with all of those decorations. Some tightasses in Ohio recently made headlines over complaining about their neighbors zombie nativity scene, complete with the zombie Holy Family. Despite a constitutionally guaranteed right to freedom of expression, the man’s town is fining him up to $500 per day that he had the scene up. Some people have no appreciated for The Nightmare Before Christmas.
GOP candidate says more crazy stuff
Walking Drudge Report wet dream and presidential candidate Donald Trump this week proposed that the U.S. stop allowing Muslims to enter, as well as a whole bunch of other outlandish claims you’ve already heard about. In response citizens in the U.K. are trying to get their government to ban him from entering their country. Folks, if this keeps up, we may really be stuck with him.
Admiral loses sea legs
U.S. Navy Rear Adm. David Baucom was attending a conference in Florida and decided to have a few drinks. And because he’s mentioned here, you know it was a few too many. According to reports, Baucom got so drunk at a party that he wet his pants. He was then taken back to his hotel room, but his night wasn’t over. Baucom got up to go to the bathroom during the night and accidentally locked himself out of his hotel room, naked. His actions have prompted the Navy to ask itself, “What do you do with a drunken sailor?”
The Democratic and Republican presidential debates serve as a reminder that for some reason portions of us think these people are worthy of leadership. The rest of us just have fun watching Jeb Bush humiliate himself. But even so, it’s nice to know that politics aren’t all prim and proper overseas, either.
Angela Rayner is a member of parliament in the British House of Commons. She wanted to buy a pair of shoes, but they were sold out. So she wrote a strongly worded letter to the shop that sold the shoes, and did so on House of Commons letterhead. An MP used official letterhead to complain about shoes. Scandalous, right? She was complaining that she wasn’t able to buy some high heels with R2-D2 on them.
This is the internet, so nothing Star Wars is outrageous for many people. But can you imagine if Nancy Pelosi strolled into the Capitol one day in shoes that had C-3PO on the heel?