Category Archives: Pop Culture

Charlie Hebdo Remembered

Terrorists attacked the Paris headquarters of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo earlier today.  12 people are known dead with a few more currently in critical condition.  While details are sketchy and the attackers are still on the loose, it seems certain that this was in retaliation for the paper mocking Islam and printing multiple Mohammad cartoons.  This is tragic and incredibly stupid.  How anyone thinks that someone putting pen and pencil to paper should be met with violence is beyond me.

How does one respond to such inanity?  To me, a perfect response would be for every newspaper in the free world to pick a day and, as a sign of unity, print one of the Charlie Hebdo cartoons.  This one is my favorite:

“Love is stronger than hate”


Maya Angelou And Dave Chappelle? Yes Please!

You should watch this.  It’s from a show called Iconoclast.  Dave Chappelle meets Maya Angelou in her home and they just talk.  It’s beautiful.  I wish they’d release all of the footage that they gathered from the meeting.


Anyone Remember These Commercials?

I was in the shower this morning when this randomly popped into my head:

I have no idea why that popped into my head.  It’s best not to ask questions of my brain.  It’s an incredibly creepy but effective ad.  That sent me spiraling into a Youtube vortex of Mormon commercials from the 80s.  Remember this one:

Or this one:

The last one is interesting because it features a black kid.  Why is that interesting?  Let’s just say the Mormons aren’t know for their racial sensitivity towards Blacks.

There are other commercials too, but the above are my favorite.  They’re simple, catchy, and tell an important moral lesson without being preachy aside from the memorable “From the Church of Jesus Christ of Later-Day Saints, the Mormons!” at the end.

Russell Brand Should Vote

This video of Russell Brand talking about being a political editor is making the rounds.  There’s a lot of stuff that he says that is quite true.  He nails the biggest societal problems and berates the current political systems for completely ignoring them quite effectively.  I don’t agree with all his revolutionary conclusions, but he and I agree about the things that need to change.

The one thing that I vehemently disagree with him on is his decision to not take part in voting.  His reasons for not voting are mostly valid, but there is still something to be said about the gesture of voting.  Get out there, get a ballot and turn it in blank.  Show your disdain for the system that way at the very least.  Really, though, if you can’t find even one person worth voting for (or at least against in terms of judges), you really are part of the problem.  The national political stage does suck.  It’s filled with prima donnas and sociopaths.  Someone may come around once in a while worth voting for, but that is not the norm.  Local elections, however, are arguably more important and can easily become a source of candidates worth voting for.  There’s your revolution.

Give ‘Em What They Want!

Kevin Spacey says something that I’ve been saying for a long time:


People, in general, don’t want to steal.  They want to reward artists for their efforts.  They won’t do so if you put too many requirements on their purchases.  Most of what the music industry sells is crap and the package it with one good song and expect people to buy the whole crappy package.  Most of what the movie industry sells is crap and they want to dictate to you how and when you can watch their crappy product.  That’s why Netflix has been so successful.  Sure, a lot of their offerings are crap, but you can watch their crap at a time and place and device of your choosing.  People love watching crap, just look at how many Anime fans there are.  They will even be willing to pay for crap if you give them the freedom to watch it their way.

Michael Douglas Is A Cunning Linguist

It’s not often that important news comes from celebrity, but this certainly qualifies.  In a recent interview, Michael Douglas talked about his recent fight with throat cancer.  He reveals that the likely cause of his throat cancer was HPV caused by cunnilingus.

Now, people will snicker, but this is actually really important as far as education goes.  Studies show that 80% of women will contract HPV by the time they are 50.  HPV can cause many, many health problems for women.  As we see from Michael Douglas, it can also cause problems for men.

All of these problems should be immaterial within a generation or two because we have a vaccine for HPV.  The CDC recommends girls get vaccinated around their teenage years, but I’d like it to be taken a step further.  Making this vaccine mandatory for both boys and girls would prevent countless pointless health problems and save many lives.

Unfortunately, America still thinks sex is icky and if people don’t want to get HPV they simply shouldn’t have sex.  They also think that giving kids the vaccine will make teenagers sex crazed lunatics who will hump anything that moves.  Newsflash, they already are.  The only thing the vaccine will do is prevent them from spreading disease.

Men only think of health problems when it affects them.  Maybe Michael Douglas’ bout with cancer will make politicians stop giving women a tongue lashing (ha!) and get on board with vaccinating this easily preventable disease.

Rage Of Thrones

For all you “Game of Thrones” fans who haven’t read the books.  NSFW language.


Because There’s A Ryan Gosling Tumblr For Everything

Hey girl, you know you want to check out the programmer Ryan Gosling Tumblr.

My personal favorite: Hey girl, did you lose a timestamp?  Because I’m pretty sure it’s DateTime.Now().

It should be criminal for someone to be as hot as Ryan Gosling.  Seriously, dude, save some hansom for the rest of us.

Deep Space Nine

Back when Deep Space Nine was on the air, I quickly gave up on it.  I just couldn’t get into a show about living on an immobile space station week in and week out (this from a huge fan of Babylon 5).  My choice was almost certainly encouraged by the abysmal choice of an opening sequence.  Spend two minutes panning around the outside of a mostly deserted space station while playing a beautiful, but incredibly down beat musical score (this was before DVRs when people used to actually watch shows when they were on).  Everything about it screamed boring.

The only reason I decided to give it another try was a friend who claimed that DS9 was easily the best Star Trek TV series ever made and Captain Sisko was by far the best captain.  Speak words like that in the wrong Trekkie bar (if such things existed) and you’re bound to start a fight.  He warned me that the first season was pretty slow, but it would get much better.  I have to say he was right.

The first season was, once again, pretty boring.  In retrospect, I’m sure they wish they had done a better job of it, but it is what it is.  The Deep Space Nine universe is much more complicated than the other Star Trek series.  If you look at season one as setup for what is to come, it becomes tolerable.

I would also add season two as a setup season, but it definitely gets moving nicely.  It is in season two that you start to get a feel for how dark the series is going to be.  You have a Bajoran civil war, Federation citizens turned terrorists, and a mysterious super race of soldiers of a mysterious empire called the Dominion from the Gamma Quadrant.  You can just tell that the fun has just begun.

The Federation has always been this ridiculous ideal and that is certainly part of the charm of the Star Trek universe.  That is completely thrown away in DS9.  The Federation becomes as morally ambiguous as all the other races which would certainly be far closer to the truth in any real world situation.  As soon as the pretense of an idealistic Federation is thrown away, Deep Space Nine really starts to shine.

And Captain Benjamin Sisko?  Badass.  How badass his he, you ask?  The man poisons an entire planet making it completely inhospitable for humans while it is currently inhabited by humans!  On purpose.  He is the first captain that actually seems human.  Most Star Trek shows have vanity episodes that focus on just how human the captain actually is, but almost every episode of DS9 shows Sisko’s humanity.  Warts and all.  That’s how captains should be portrayed.

If you are like me and gave up on Deep Space Nine, I highly recommend that you go back and watch it if you have access to Netflix.  If you’re not into the whole Star Trek thing, Deep Space Nine is different.  It’s well written, well acted, and well directed.  At seven seasons, it’s a big commitment, but I think it’s one that’s worth it.