January may be nearing its end, and you may have already given up on your New Year’s resolutions, but that’s no excuse to shirk your pop culture responsibilities. In case you’ve been under a rock or buried in winter quarter p-sets, here’s what you need to know. And remember–you weren’t one of 7 percent selected to just turn out a philistine, even if you are pursuing your CS degree. Read on, you uncultured yahoo!
The Nike+ Fuelband counts. Nike’s latest technological project, a bracelet that measures everyday fitness–“fuel”–and promotes a healthy lifestyle, is almost as cool as its promotional material. In addition to the “#makeitcount” hashtag for the fitness equipment complete with its own Apple-engineered iPhone app, YouTube videos have caught the eyes of slothy bloggers and fitness gurus alike. The best of these videos, “Counts,” lists all the activities that count in terms of Nike+ fuel data, set to videos clips of Serena Williams, “Rocky,” “Edward Scissorhands” and a myriad of other popular and obscure titles and characters. Groove Armada’s “I See You Baby” hypes the band with appropriate intensity and playfulness. If not for the fitness benefits and the chance of actually keeping up with your New Year’s goals, get this Fuelband and resolve to stay stylish.
Re-cut trailers revive old favorites. Remixes to old videos are no new phenomenon in a world of YouTube, but re-cut trailers for familiar favorites provide a unique pleasure when the genre morphs completely. “The Shining Trailer” by FinalCut6 encapsulates the magic of re-cut trailers, with a genial voiceover fit for a ‘90s family flick and the mellifluousness of Peter Gabriel’s “Solsbury Hill.” Heck, if we didn’t know that Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining” is one of the most celebrated horror films ever, we might have taken our kid nephew to the Sunday matinee of this happy “Shining.” But let’s be honest, knowing just how psycho Jack Torrance goes and the burning image of Jack Nicholson popping through a door makes this re-cut trailer that much more satisfying.
“The Dark Knight Rises” is up for grabs. Yes, Disney recently re-released “Lion King 3D,” and, yes, Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Rises” will complete the revamped trilogy this summer, but this trailer is about neither and both of those movies at the same time. Brad Hanson synced the audio of the “DKR” trailer with visuals from “Lion King” and from that embryo came sweet, mashed up film nectar. While our fancy for literary criticism compels us to draw extensive comparisons between “Batman”, “Hamlet” and “The Lion King”, we’ll leave it at the wonders of parody. Other than the hilarious pairing of indulgent melodrama and animated innocence, “The Lion King Rises” proves that much like its record-breaking predecessor, “DKR” is fair game for lionizing and lampooning alike. Also see “Tangerine: Fall On Your Sword.”
We’re still listening to “Sh*t Girls Say.” You might still have a flip phone if you still aren’t aware of the “Sh*t ____s Say” meme happening (see our cover story last week on Stanford’s own incarnation), in which case, put the scrunchie down and get yourself to the 2010s. If you are aware of this phenomenon, click over a few YouTube channels and start surfing the update: it’s all about the sh*t people say to specific groups. “Sh*t White Girls Say…to Black Girls” offers first-person political commentary on friendships between white and black girls, but with the same humor and candor as the most frivolous of YouTube vids. As with any “Sh*t” video, the deepest of laughs come from the humbling realization that you have actually said many of the satirized comments, which in this case may offer some racial insight. Warning: upon viewing, you may consider yourself a white girl. Consult sequel.
Lana Del Rey Bombed on SNL. But we still love her. In our first edition of this year, we called that Del Rey would be big on oh-12. Unfortunately, so far it’s for wailing worse than Kanye West after that whole “808s & Heartbreak” singing stint. She may have sounded like a drunk girl passing out in the back of a cab, but with her first album “Born to Die” set to release on Jan. 30, we’re waiting until the lady sings on the album before we count her out. Hey, Kanye’s still popular. Right?