More and more reality television caters to armchair sadists—and these people are probably going to LOVE the newest incarnation of that old MTV chestnut The Real World. The show is flipping the script this coming season by choosing a house full of sexy young recent singles... and then inviting their exes to live in the house as well. If you're a fan of "AWWWWKWARD" and watching dimwitted beefcakes struggle valiantly to express their feelings, there's a good possibility you'll love this... you SADIST.
#FollowFriday RT @SFWish: Here he comes!!!! #SFBatkid pic.twitter.com/pMn3gRHcLo
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) November 15, 2013
San Francisco—and the whole internet—stopped today to bask in the adventures of Batkid. The Daily Beast has a roundup of the day's events.
Two of the internet's favorite grumpy grouches finally face off in a to-the-death grumpy grouch-off! In this corner, it's reigning heavy-weight grumpy champion OSCAR THE GROUCH. And in the other corner, it's brash young upstart and internet-beloved grouchy feline, GRUMPY CAT. Who shall emerge victorious?!? (Trust me, you will. Because this is nothing but goddamn adorable.)
Hooray for Jennifer Lawrence! She's sincerely and thoughtfully answering questions about role models for young women and body image on her PR tour for the new Hunger Games movie.
Boo for Toys R Us! Their newest ad feeds into that stupid "science is boring and normal kids hate it" stereotype. This ad is practically an illustration of our nation's shameful anti-educational decline.
That last video is via George Dvorsky at io9, who explains exactly why this ad is anti-science bullshit.
Now... RUN GET YOUR TROPHY! Run! Run! Run! Run! RUN!!!
Okay, maybe not that fast. Jesus, you fucking people can't do anything right.
It's the 15th birthday for the video of Britney Spears' iconic first smash single, "...Baby One More Time"—which started with the 16-year-old wearing a Catholic school girl shirt tied to expose the abs, and eventually led to Spears shaving her head and smashing a SUV with a golf umbrella. But "Baby" is where it all started, and The Beast interviews the video's original director to get the skinny on how it all came to be. Here's a taste:
The iconic part of the video, obviously, is the school outfit. Whose idea was that?
That was Britney’s again.
So she’s the one who wanted to wear that!?
Well, I directed the wardrobe person to go and get wardrobe that I felt and thought kids would wear at school. And, again, being a grown man, I didn’t spend my time hanging out in kids’ schools. But you drive around, you see kids coming back from school, catching the bus, and what not. And they all seemed to wear jeans and t-shirts and have backpacks on. So we got a whole bunch of stuff like that. Britney took one look at all this and said, “Well, wouldn’t I be wearing a schoolgirl outfit?” I sort of went, “uhh, I don’t know about that.” Both my producer and the lady from wardrobe thought it was OK.
Why didn’t you think it was a good idea?
I raised a red flag and said, “Let’s take a step back for a minute. Are we sure this is a good idea?” And, of course, then, being women, they saw a completely innocent version of it. Then we went with it.
Read the rest here, and check out "...Baby One More Time" for old-time's sake. Brit's dead-eye stare and one of the best group dance sequences outside of "Thriller" is still there, joyfully intact.
So in this video you'll hear the tail-end of what the mom says was an epic, hour-long, scream-at-the-top-of-her-lungs temper tantrum thrown by a six-year-old. Unable to talk her down, this funny (and honestly, kind of hot... blush) dad does the only honorable thing in a no-win situation: Make merciless fun of his daughter. Watch.
Someone pretty closely affiliated with Portland State seems interested in my work! Or at least a couple of the stories I wrote this summer! And also in finding old pictures of me!
This is what I look like now, by the way. Except I've shaved. That's okay. Because it's still the best DMV picture I've ever taken.
You ask a toddler to eat peas and carrots. The toddler agrees to eat peas, but not carrots. Both sides are happy with this compromise—until the toddler suddenly changes her mind, deciding she will neither eat peas or carrots. And in addition? She decides to burn down the house that contains the peas.
Does this remind you of anyone?
It is generally agreed that "DayMan" from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is one of the greatest musical moments television has ever produced. And now it's being covered by Japanese kindergarteners. Why? Because this world is no longer as shitty as it was this morning. Enjoy.
Everything about this is perfect.
The AP wants you to know that your special delicate snowflake butthole is causing a problem:
BEMUS POINT, New York (AP) — Increasingly popular bathroom wipes - pre-moistened towelettes that are often advertised as flushable - are being blamed for creating clogs and backups in sewer systems around the U.S.
Wastewater authorities say wipes may go down the toilet, but even many labeled flushable aren't breaking down as they course through the sewer system. That's costing some municipalities millions of dollars to dispatch crews to unclog pipes and pumps and to replace and upgrade machinery.
Quit it with the "flushable" wipes. You're not an infant. And if you are an infant who is somehow reading this right now, you should be throwing the flushable wipes away with your diapers, anyway.
In smacking down a mocking Gen Y meme today, Adam Weinstein pretty eloquently sums up what it's like to be a) a Gen Y-er struggling to pay for basic living expenses on stagnant wages, and b) a struggling modern-day journalist (otherwise known as a successful modern-day journalist). His message is depressing and if you're young, it's not particularly revelatory. But I find myself in a similar conversational run-around frequently with older folks ("If you're not making enough money, why don't you work harder/quit your job/ask for more money?" and "I didn't have that much debt when I was your age, I don't know what you could be spending your money on." etc, etc.), which is why this bears repeating:
"Stop feeling special" is some shitty advice. I don't feel special or entitled, just poor. The only thing that makes me special is I have more ballooning debt than you. I've tempered the hell out of my expectations of work, and I've exceeded those expectations crazily to have one interesting, exciting damned career that's culminated in some leadership roles for national publications. And I'm still poor and in debt and worked beyond the point where it can be managed with my health and my desire to actually see the son I'm helping to raise.
... Last weekend my baby had a fever, and we contemplated taking him to the ER, and my first thought was—had to be—"Oh God, that could wipe out our bank account! Maybe he can just ride it out?" Our status in this Big Financial Game had sucked my basic humanity towards my child away for a minute. If I wish for something better, is that me simply being entitled and delusional?
... I once listened to a professor, who is in his sixties, read us the first published piece he'd been paid for, in the late 1970s. A thousand words or so. The rate, he says, was something like two bucks a word. That's four times what the Village Voice pays today, even for an award-winning investigative cover story. It's geometrically greater than what most writers can earn today writing daily brilliance for nationally renowned publications online. And writing daily brilliance, which many of them do, is hard goddamned work.
If I had a dollar for every older writer or editor who confided to me that "I don't know how young writers do it today; I certainly couldn't," I could buy every property that publishes them.
So no, we shan't be doing as well as our parents, and no, we shan't be shutting up about it. If anything, those of us who have been cowed into silence because college-educated poor problems aren't real poor problems should shed our fears and start talking about just how hard it really is out there, man.
This state of affairs does not exist because we're entitled and have simply declined to work as hard as the people that birthed us. American workers have changed from generation to generation: Since 1979, the alleged Dawn of the Millennial, the average US worker has endured as much as a 75 percent increase in productivity…while real wages stayed flat.
I'm tempted to quote the whole thing but you should just go read it on Mother Jones yourself.
I'll come out and say it: Kids need to set reasonable goals for themselves—but! Sometimes they need help! Check out this list of goals written by a third grader, and supplied by I Heart Chaos.
But what's this? Looks like the third grader is drawing a blank on goal number 7! So let's help him out, Blogtown! In the comments below, finish the following goal sentence: "Learn how to...." (And remember: he's already covered black holes, time travel and ribs... so be original.)
I do I do I do I do I do I do I do I do I do I do I do I do I do I do I do I do I do I do I do I do I do I do I do I do I do I do I do I do I do I do I do I do I do I do I do I do I do I do I do I do I DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!
1) They nail the tone of the American O.C. perfectly, however...
2) Where the hell is Captain Oates??
To get people to check out their new "Ideal Org"/L. Ron Hubbard's Ghost Office, the Church of Scientology's put some sweet new ads up around town! This one's at SW 2nd and Oak. THERE IS NOTHING CREEPY ABOUT THEM AT ALL.
Dear Mercury friends!
Tonight is the Ethos Karaoke Charity Marathon (called Ethos-a-Roke) which means TODAY is your final chance to sponsor the Mercury karaoke team (called Team Mercuroke) and help us raise money for this awesome local non-profit!
If you're unfamiliar with Ethos, they supply music instruction to local kids in the community who are underserved. And since budgets across the nation are slashing arts curriculum, organizations like Ethos are more important than ever. Do you want a new generation of awesome Portland musicians or what??
Then please help us support Ethos by sponsoring Team Mercuroke. Give $5, $10, $20, $50... whatever you can spare, and rest assured it's going to a great cause and we'll sing the crap out of some songs tonight in your honor.
This is the last chance, and I swear I won't bug you again (this year). DONATE TO ETHOS BY SPONSORING TEAM MERCUROKE HERE.
Thanks for being so generous, Blogtownies! You're the best!
yer always pal,
Wm. Steven Humphrey
You know... at first I was going to write, "This guy is trying too hard." But you know what? THE REST OF US ARE NOT TRYING HARD ENOUGH! Keep up the good fight, Unicycling Darth Vader with flaming bagpipes!!
FRIENDS OF THE MERCURY!
As you know we give, and give, and give, and rarely if ever ask for anything in return. (Aren't we awesome?) BUT! Today we're asking Blogtown readers for a special, very rare favor: Sponsor Team Mercuroke in the Ethos Karaoke Marathon!
Ethos—of course—is the absolutely terrific local non-profit that provides music instruction and education to kids and underserved communities. I don't have to tell you all the great things a good music education can do for children in need, so all I'll do is ask for your help in supporting Ethos by donating to this super fun fundraiser!
Ethos is holding a Karaoke Marathon next Thursday, September 12 and we here at Team Mercuroke need your sponsorship! Donate $5, $10, $20, $50... anything you can spare—and rest assured that our crack team of vocally challenged singers will croon a beautiful song in your honor. (Not Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines," promise.)
DONATE TO ETHOS BY SPONSORING TEAM MERCUROKE HERE! Or if you hate everyone except me, donate to my personal sponsorship page here. All the money goes to Ethos to make sure that local kids get the music education they deserve!
Thanks so much for your support! (Please use the comments to let us know what karaoke songs to sing, and which to avoid at all costs.)
In 3rd grade, we used to play this game called Butts Up. You threw a tennis ball against the wall and if you missed, you had to stand against the wall like you were getting arrested... while the others players took turns throwing tennis balls at your ass as hard as they could.
It's a game… with a punishment phase. I can't imagine why it never caught on as a pro sport.
And we played it AT SCHOOL. It didn't teach me "character." It taught me that I didn't have a great throwing arm, and that I wasn't ever going to be into S&M.
In 6th grade, still bored out of our minds waiting for Snapchat to be invented, we started playing "Bloody Knuckles." You spin a quarter and if you mess up—the punishment phase—the other person flicks the quarter at your knuckles as hard as they can. And you bleed. In the knuckle area. Hence the name. It was a brutal game and I played it all the time. Do Kids These Days still play Bloody Knuckles? Of course not. They've got pictures of their junk to text to each other and they're better off for it.
Violent playground games didn't turn us into better adults. As a modern adult, you're better off knowing how to stay entertained with just your phone than how to keep a quarter spinning. There are no adult games with a punishment phase. Yeah, if somebody beats you at beer pong, you drink more beer. Poor baby. If my friends invented that game as kids, it'd be called Kick In The Nuts Pong. You can figure out the rules.
I tell you all that to tell you this: Fifth Harmony are appearing at the Clackamas Town Center this Wednesday, August 14 at 4 pm. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! As someone who is more or less baffled and amused by the mall-pop phenomenon—I guess I can't believe it still exists—this gets an initial shrug from me, followed by a total thumbs up. Clackamas Town Center (which could probably use some cheering up) will no doubt be a mob scene, filled with shrieks and tears and gasps and all kinds of things that make manufactured pop stars interesting for their brief shelf lives. Check out the video for "Miss Movin' On" below. It's sorta good, maybe! Fifth Harmony are coming! Get excited!
Finally an award-winning advertisement for the rest of us. I kinda wish it featured women too...
Rhett & Link—the geniuses behind tons of viral videos—have topped themselves and everyone on the planet by making this gem titled, Breaking Bad: The Middle School Musical. If you've ever wanted to watch kids sing and act their way through Breaking Bad seasons 1-5, then your dream has finally come true because this... is... so... AWESOME. (Especially the kids who play Jessie and Gus Fring! Get ready to fall in love!)
Ten years ago tonight, the FOX network debuted a teen nighttime soap called The O.C.—and the world irrefutably changed forever. Here's a great montage of early season one clips set to The O.C.'s theme by Phantom Planet:
AND here's my list of the top ten greatest characters from The O.C. in ascending order of greatness:
10. Kevin Volchok (AKA surf nazi, AKA guy who killed Marissa!)
9. Marissa (after she was dead)
8. Alex Kelly (AKA Olivia Wilde, AKA Marissa's lover before she was dead!)
7. TIE: Princess Sparkle (Summer's toy horse), and Pancakes (Summer's real bunny)
6. Ryan Atwood (not bad for a walking bar of soap)
(Check out my top five after the jump!)
The internet was thrilled last week by the victory of adorable 7th grader Skyler Hornback—the all-time winner on Jeopardy's "KId's Week." HOWEVER! The internet was less thrilled by Jeopardy's treatment of kid contender Thomas Hurley III, who, because of poor spelling, had victory snatched from his grasp. Here are the deets:
As the final buzzer sounded, the 12-year-old penned his answer for the "Famous Documents'' question about the 1863 document Abraham Lincoln said was a "fit and necessary war measure.''
The correct answer: Emancipation Proclamation.
The studio and viewing audience saw that, despite the scrawl of an extra "t'' in Emancipation, the 12-year-old had the correct answer.
Even game show host Alex Trebek read it correctly at first, but then swiftly disqualified the boy's answer, saying he so "badly misspelled" the word it would cost him the $3,000 bet he placed on the answer.
Hurley lowered his head in defeat upon Trebek's pronouncement. Trebek then praised winner Skyler Hornback for his answer, which he noted was spelled correctly.
Today Hurley fired back at the show, claiming he was "cheated."
"I was pretty upset that I was cheated out of the final `Jeopardy!' question. It was just a spelling error."
WAS HURLEY CHEATED? Or should he shut his stupid cry-baby mouth and accept responsibility for his loss because he's such a lousy speller? LET'S GO TO THE POLL!
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