Tragically Mainstream

No guilt, only pleasure.

Month: July, 2013

Cancelling the Apocalypse: Why Pacific Rim would be better as a TV show

by Henry Gorman


Don’t let the title give you the wrong idea.  I loved Pacific Rim.  It’s a simple film, but, to borrow words from Terry Pratchett, it’s simple in the way that a sword is simple or an ambush is simple. Read the rest of this entry »



by williedollars

Taylor Swift’s 22 vs. Miley Cyrus’ We Can’t Stop: which video featured the least worst fake house party, scientifically speaking. Part 1 ended with the score tied at 2-2. We have five more categories with which to decide a champion. There will be a champion. I’M SO EXCITED I’M JUMPING RIGHT INTO THE SHOWDOWN:

EXERCISE METHOD: It’s not a party until that point past midnight when people start doing weird non-party-related things. Like exercise. Because they’re drunk. When drunk people get this urge, they most typically tend to wander outside and, voila, this is where we find the lovely Ms. Swift and a few friends piggy-back racing bicycles through her backyard.

Taylor's the one raising her arm. Because she's, uhh, the "fun" one. Yeah.

Taylor’s the one raising her arm. Because she’s, uhh, the “fun” one. Yeah.

Obviously this doubles as both orthodox exercise and an odd mating ritual, but alas it’s not particularly inventive. (You might ask how I can be so harsh judging drunk people’s inventiveness, but then I’ll show you this map of the world and you’ll shut up.) While the bikes place a nice modern spin on the practice, teenagers and twenty-somethings have been playing chicken in pools for awhile now. The fact is that Swizzle’s form of exercise still perpetuates old-fashioned gender norms and is waaaay too complicated for the average drunk person to pull off. The second part is more important. I’m about to call bullshit on this ever happening because somebody had to fall down, right?

Whereas on the other hand, it doesn’t take that much concentration to put together a good twerk. I mean, it’s not like it’s simply easy–you need a modicum of consciousness to do it right–but at least no one’s going to fall off your shoulders and onto her face if you slip up a second and also it’s not like Miley hasn’t been practicing this move lately. And why wouldn’t she be practicing it? It’s of the moment, the movement of 2013, which reminds you to ask yourself: What kind of music do I want to dominate the party? The newest, hottest stuff that me and all my friends know or some random 70s Beach Boys slow jam? Taylor’s exercise is the equivalent of the latter while Miley’s is way more fun and, well, fun to watch too. Swift 2 / Miley 3

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MCHG: Jay-Z needs a mid-life crisis more than we need this album.

by sethisan

It took me a while to decide what I felt about Magna Carta… Holy Grail.

The album is currently on display next to one of the original manuscripts of the Magna Carta in an English museum. Would MCHG make it to any sort of museum on its merits? Not really.

It wasn’t bad. It wasn’t great. There’s a Tate Modern reference. There’s yet another foray into the dad-rap genre. There’s the (obligatory) Frank Ocean and the (new BFF) Justin Timberlake as guest crooners.

It feels almost impossible to talk about Magna Carta… Holy Grail in a void, devoid of comparisons with Yeezus. These are their first albums post the Throne collaboration, and while Kanye is going strong, crafting novel soundscapes and an exhilarating new anti-corporate manifesto, Jay-Z is another matter.

Mr. Z, for a man who once spoke the lines:

No lie, just know I chose my own fate
I drove by the fork in the road and went straight

as a promise of artistic coherence and integrity, now seems to be in a place in his career where the case for taking a wrong turn or two is getting stronger with every album he puts out.

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by williedollars

You know what’s tough? Throwing a good house party. There are lots of variables in play here: you have to have a house, friends, alcohol and… uhh… well, uhh… I guess there’s actually not that much to it. So scratch that. It’s not that hard to throw a good house party. But I’m already on this train of thought and dammit I’m going to stay on it: It is difficult to throw a house party that anybody outside of the people who attended, literally anybody, would ever care to watch a video of. Ever had someone show you some video on their phone from this one time when everyone was drunk and you watch a bunch of kids giggle for like two minutes forty seconds and finally you get a “man, you really just had to be there.” BITCH IF YOUR VIDEO HAS FEWER THAN 20 THOUSAND VIEWS ON YOUTUBE IT JUST WASN’T THAT FUNNY AND YOUR PARTY JUST WASN’T THAT GOOD AND I DON’T WANT TO SEE IT.

This guy is one of the few who've passed the test. Well done Corey Worthington. Click the picture.

This guy however is one of the few who’ve passed the test. Well done, Corey Worthington. Click the picture.

This year Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus both decided to be that girl. And well, yeah, they both got a few more than twenty thousand views, but they’re Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus and that baseline doesn’t count. Of course YouTube views alone can’t determine the quality of  house parties when we’re talking about the house parties filmed as the music videos for 22 and We Can’t Stop, both of which are great (yes, great) pop songs from ridiculously famous (and great?) pop singers. Taylor and Miley decided to film their parties for everyone to see and we just don’t have a good, objective way to determine which was the least worst. Which of these girls would I be least likely to backhand after she finally removed her S4 from my face?

I guess I’ve been left with no choice.

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