Onion Ring Instagrams and Other Secret Celebrity Accounts

Celebrities, they’re just like us.

The MSM (Mainstream Media, you dummies) has been under a lot of heat from the current administration, and maybe it’s about time they look to international news outlets, where they’re getting down to the nitty gritty.

Perhaps they can learn a thing or two from New Zealand’s news site Newshub, which was the first outlet to report that their native daughter Lorde may just be secretly running a food-related Instagram account.

While the state of our nation continues to slowly disintegrate into tatters of the United States constitution, the MSM  has at least one priority straight – the alleged secret Instagram account run by Taylor Swift’s BFF Lorde.

New Zealand news site Newshub first reported the story on Tuesday, with the headline “Is this Lorde’s secret onion ring Instagram account?”, noting they received a tip from a 17-year-old fan. The account, @onionringsworldwide, seemed fairly new, with only four posts and 24 followers, including Lorde and a number of her friends.

While @onionringsworldwide, whose bio read, “Every onion ring I encounter, rated”, only had four posts, those four posts each gave plenty of clues leading back to Lorde, according to this 17-year-old fan. Like any good food Intagrammer, each caption included the name of the restaurant said onion ring was acquired from, and a review of the ring. That alone, plus knowing where Lorde is on her promotional tour (and knowing the look of her nails?), helped the fan build a strong case that this account was actually run by Lorde.

Even more evidence that this account was run by non-Royal Lorde? Newshub reached out to her management and they didn’t respond. Instead? The account has since been deleted.

Newshub contacted Lorde’s management to ask whether Lorde likes onion rings, whether she prefers a light batter on her onion rings, and whether she runs the account.

Management had not responded at the time of writing, but shortly after questions were sent through, we’re sad to report the onionringsworldwide account was removed from Instagram.

A few things about this: A) why does it matter if she secretly runs this innocent account? It’s not going to effect her popularity. Why are they treating this like she ran a pro-life Instagram? B) why didn’t her management give a statement or respond at all to Newshub? C) She reviewed a Burger King onion ring, and that just seems like a lost cause.

Listen, if Lorde wants to have some semblance of normality in her life, let her just have an anonymous account, maintaining it while she flies private between Bonaroo and Bev Hills. But she can’t be the only celeb who has a secret social media account, right? I don’t know for sure, but here are my best guesses as to what type of accounts these famous people are managing under the shroud of internet secrecy.

EDIT: LORDE IS ON JIMMY FALLON AS I’M WRITING THIS AND SHE CONFIRMED IT WAS HER ACCOUNT.

She said, “I sort of naively didn’t realize it would be a thing.. it was like a good past time… I deleted it because now people are going to be throwing onion rings (at me) on tour… I don’t think they get enough credit for how delicious they are.”

Ugh. Well, I’m guessing fans are still going to throw onion rings at you. But enjoy this post anyways.

Taylor Swift // Bughead Tumblr

When Taylor is active on her official Tumblr, it’s actually her and she knows how to use those hashtags, so it would only make sense if she had another Tumblr. I imagine she’s one of those hardcore shippers on the site, maybe for Riverdale, specifically for OTP Bughead aka Betty and Jughead. It’s mainly a fanfic site, but she’ll RB a gifset or two – maybe even featuring her own song lyrics.

Kylie Jenner // LOL GOP Twitter

I have no doubt Kylie can be savage af, but it would delight me to no end if she was super into politics and anti-GOP to the core enough to run this account.

Zooey Deschanel // Miniature Food on YouTube

It’s just so twee, just like Zooey’s whole aesthetic.

Adam Scott // Fat Jewish-esque Instagram

I hope that macaroni guy wins 🇫🇷

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If you follow Adam Scott on Twitter, you know two things about him: 1) he’s not afraid to say how much trump sucks balls. 2) he is ridiculous and absurdly funny. I will never forget this dumb peanut butter and jelly joke that lasted lit’rally two years. So it’s not entirely out of his realm to run a comedy/meme account on Instagram.

Rosie O’Donnell // Toy Review on YouTube

We love Rosie. We loved her talk show. As tweens, we were enamored with her love for not only kids like us, but she had a kidlike quality that enabled her to constantly shoot koosh balls in the audience without it being awkward or gimmicky. Plus she loves a good nostalgia item, so these reviews of old toys would be right up her alley.

BJ Novak // His Teen Sister’s Twitter

Well, OK, this is actually true. BJ has been running an account under the name “Keough Novak”, who is supposedly his snarky teen sister. I started following her years ago, when I noticed that BJ’s BFF/Soup Snake Mindy Kaling had been tweeting at her a lot. I obvs stalked her profile and thought she was funny, and it wasn’t until like 2 years later that I found out that BJ had been running the account with his two brothers – I grew suspicious after realizing she wasn’t getting older an was a perpetual 16 year old. BJ said of the account, “If I have a thought that’s superficial or immature, that’s a good thing for Keough to say.” Not only that, but HE DOESN’T EVEN HAVE A SISTER. Lies. Deceit. Hilarity too. Bless.

Kanye West // Slime Shop on Instagram

He may have quit Twitter, but for a guy who calls Steve Jobs one of his idols, I hardly believe he’s completely off social media. Plus, given his love for art, and creativity, I can picture him making these popular slime videos – and perhaps even selling tubs of them out of their Bel-Air mansion.

Barack Obama // Secret Snapchat

In general, he just has a secret Snapchat account. Followers include Malia, Sasha, Joe Biden and Jay Z (who also has a secret account).

 

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Best of 2016: Hamilton’s Cabinet Battle #1 (As Kanye Rant Tweets)

We all know Kanye West isn’t afraid to hold back from saying what he wants both in life and on the Internet, and it was no different when he went on a rant against Wiz Khalifa – his ex Amber Rose’s ex. Naturally, we combined this Twitter rant with our recurring series Hamilton Explained, where we break down tracks from the hit musical’s soundtrack to give more background and insider info on the lyrics. Oh Kanye, history has its eyes on you, even a year later and years to come.


Hamilton Explained: Cabinet Battle #1 (As Kanye Rant Tweets)

Welcome back to Hamilton Explained! It’s been a minute. When the Hamilton soundtrack was released all of these historical and musical references were jumping out at me and I wanted to start unpacking some of them here. I wasn’t counting on a whole community of people doing this very thing over at Genius. Instead of duplicating the efforts from Genius (check out their annotations if you haven’t!) here’s Cabinet Battle #1, explained through tweets from Kanye West’s epic January 27, 2016 rant against Wiz Khalifa.

Stand with me in the land of the free
And pray to God we never see Hamilton’s candidacy
Look, when Britain taxed our tea, we got frisky

7th I am your OG and I will be respected as such

— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) January 27, 2016

Imagine what gon’ happen when you try to tax our whisky

6th don’t ever come out the side of your neck at me

— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) January 27, 2016

WASHINGTON:
Thank you, Secretary Jefferson. Secretary Hamilton, your response

HAMILTON:
Thomas. That was a real nice declaration

Welcome to the present, we’re running a real nation
Would you like to join us, or stay mellow
Doin’ whatever the hell it is you do in Monticello?

That’s Professor Angelina Jolie to You

Angelina Jolie recently announced she’s going to be a professor at the London School of Economics. Yeah, you read that right. Ok, I guess there’s more. She’ll be a visiting professor at the school and will teach a master’s class at the Center for Women, Peace and Security. Angelina is expected to discuss the role of women as they work alongside governments and the United Nations. If you’re wondering, the job is unpaid. So that all checks out.

I can only imagine that first class – as a student, impatiently waiting for a full-blown Hollywood superstar to come through the door and teach you about the world. It would be surreal and I don’t know how anyone could manage to easily pay attention. And that’s Angelina Jolie. I don’t even fangirl for her that much. But what if your faves stood behind a podium and taught you a college course? Or ever worse – one of your least faves walked in to give a lecture?

I’ve compiled a list of just some celebs I think would be great professors, and some… that should maybe stick to their day jobs.

Best: Lin-Manuel Miranda

Fact – Lin used to be a substitute English teacher at his former high school, so he already has the skills to be a real professor. He’s always engaging, always interesting to listen to and is a literal genius. Not to mention he’s already taught millions of people around the world about an American founding father. Sure, we might have known he was shot in a duel, but without Lin’s creative way of infusing history into pop culture, we would probably never known Angelica Schuyler’s full story or stanned over a real dude named Hercules Mulligan. Lin’s a professor of life, y’all.

Worst: Quentin Tarantino

I just imagine him talking way too much and spending an extra 45 minutes over class time explaining why The Grim Reaper is the most underrated of all of Bertolucci’s films.

Best: Bryan Cranston

He played a high school chemistry teacher, so why not? You know, if you forget the whole drug dealer lit’rally breaking bad thing. IRL, Bryan never fails to entertain – I dare you to find an interview in which he’s not charming and hilarious. He’d be the cool professor that would be okay with you stealthily drinking wine out of a tumbler.

Worst: Kanye West

A 45 minute rant on art and business and fashion? Pass. I’d be ok with a 45 minute concert from him tho, TBH.

Best: Kerry Washington

Ah the queen. She’s obviously a phenomenal actress, but her philanthropy and passion to speak out about important causes like women’s rights and equality and education is energizing and I just want to learn how to be as much like her as possible.

Worst: Stacey Dash

I think that speaks for itself.

Worst: Idris Elba

Training for my next Film. Bastille Day. Grinding.

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Let’s face it, I wouldn’t get anything done. I’d spend the whole class picturing him naked, which is probably not a good way to pass a class. Maybe auditing is the way to go.

Hamilton Explained: Cabinet Battle #1 (As Kanye Rant Tweets)

Welcome back to Hamilton Explained! It’s been a minute. When the Hamilton soundtrack was released all of these historical and musical references were jumping out at me and I wanted to start unpacking some of them here. I wasn’t counting on a whole community of people doing this very thing over at Genius. Instead of duplicating the efforts from Genius (check out their annotations if you haven’t!) here’s Cabinet Battle #1, explained through tweets from Kanye West’s epic January 27, 2016 rant against Wiz Khalifa.

WASHINGTON:
Ladies and gentlemen, you coulda been anywhere in the world tonight,
but you’re here with us in New York City.
Are you ready for a cabinet meeting???

The issue on the table: Secretary Hamilton’s plan to assume state debt
and establish a national bank.
Secretary Jefferson, you have the floor, sir

JEFFERSON:
‘Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’
We fought for these ideals; we shouldn’t settle for less
These are wise words, enterprising men quote ‘em
Don’t act surprised, you guys, cuz I wrote ‘em

8th I made it so we could wear tight jeans

— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) January 27, 2016

JEFFERSON & MADISON:
Oww

JEFFERSON:
But Hamilton forgets
His plan would have the government assume state’s debts
Now, place your bets as to who that benefits:
The very seat of government where Hamilton sits

HAMILTON:
Not true!

JEFFERSON:
Ooh, if the shoe fits, wear it
If New York’s in debt—
Why should Virginia bear it? Uh! Our debts are paid, I’m afraid

Don’t tax the South cuz we got it made in the shade

Oh niggas must think I’m not petty cause I’m the best that’s ever made music

— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) January 27, 2016

In Virginia, we plant seeds in the ground
We create. You just wanna move our money around

14th Nigga it’s called creativity #youshouldtryitsomeday

— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) January 27, 2016

This financial plan is an outrageous demand

Second, your first single was corny as fuck and most there after

— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) January 27, 2016

And it’s too many damn pages for any man to understand

3rd no one I know has ever listened to one of your albums all the way through

— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) January 27, 2016

Stand with me in the land of the free
And pray to God we never see Hamilton’s candidacy
Look, when Britain taxed our tea, we got frisky

7th I am your OG and I will be respected as such

— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) January 27, 2016

Imagine what gon’ happen when you try to tax our whisky

6th don’t ever come out the side of your neck at me

— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) January 27, 2016

WASHINGTON:
Thank you, Secretary Jefferson. Secretary Hamilton, your response

HAMILTON:
Thomas. That was a real nice declaration

Welcome to the present, we’re running a real nation
Would you like to join us, or stay mellow
Doin’ whatever the hell it is you do in Monticello?

If we assume the debts, the union gets
A new line of credit, a financial diuretic
How do you not get it? If we’re aggressive and competitive
The union gets a boost. You’d rather give it a sedative?
A civics lesson from a slaver. Hey neighbor

11th I showed you respect as a man when I met you

— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) January 27, 2016

Your debts are paid cuz you don’t pay for labor
“We plant seeds in the South. We create.”
Yeah, keep ranting
We know who’s really doing the planting

Bro first of all you stole your whole shit from Cudi

— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) January 27, 2016

And another thing, Mr. Age of Enlightenment

Don’t lecture me about the war, you didn’t fight in it

10th don’t you ever in your fucking life speak sideways about a nigga that’s fighting for us I do this for all of us

— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) January 27, 2016

You think I’m frightened of you, man?
We almost died in a trench

maybe I couldn’t be skinny and tall but I’ll settle for being the greatest artist of all time as a consolation

— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) January 27, 2016

While you were off getting high with the French

15th Nigga I tried to call you and you changed your number

— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) January 27, 2016

Thomas Jefferson, always hesitant with the President
Reticent—there isn’t a plan he doesn’t jettison
Madison, you’re mad as a hatter, son, take your medicine
Damn, you’re in worse shape than the national debt is in
Sittin’ there useless as two shits
Hey, turn around, bend over, I’ll show you
Where my shoe fits

Don’t ever ever ever come out the side of your mutherfucking neck bro or bruh or however you say it Mr. Waves

— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) January 27, 2016

WASHINGTON:
Excuse me? Jefferson, Madison, take a walk! Hamilton,
take a walk! We’ll reconvene after a brief recess. Hamilton!

HAMILTON:
Sir!

WASHINGTON:
A word

MADISON:
You don’t have the votes

JEFFERSON/MADISON:
You don’t have the votes

JEFFERSON:
Aha-ha-ha ha!

JEFFERSON/MADISON:
You’re gonna need congressional approval and you don’t have the votes

JEFFERSON:
Such a blunder sometimes it makes me wonder why I even bring the thunder

MADISON:
Why he even brings the thunder…

WASHINGTON:
You wanna pull yourself together?

HAMILTON:
I’m sorry, these Virginians are birds of a feather

WASHINGTON:
Young man, I’m from Virginia, so watch your mouth

9th me and Cudi created this shit

— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) January 27, 2016

HAMILTON:
So we let Congress get held hostage by the South?

WASHINGTON:
You need the votes

HAMILTON:
No, we need bold strokes. We need this plan

WASHINGTON:
No, you need to convince more folks

HAMILTON:
James Madison won’t talk to me, that’s a nonstarter

WASHINGTON:
Winning was easy, young man. Governing’s harder

HAMILTON:
They’re being intransigent

WASHINGTON:
You have to find a compromise

HAMILTON:
But they don’t have a plan, they just hate mine!

You have distracted from my creative process

— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) January 27, 2016

WASHINGTON:
Convince them otherwise

HAMILTON:
What happens if I don’t get congressional approval?

WASHINGTON:
I imagine they’ll call for your removal

HAMILTON:
Sir—

WASHINGTON:
Figure it out, Alexander. That’s an order from your commander

You’ve Got A Lot To Live Up To, Saint

If you’ve been keeping up with the Kardashians as of late, you know Kimye welcomed their second child over the weekend. And after two days of speculation of what baby boy’s name would be, Kim finally revealed their son’s name:

Naturally, anyone’s first reaction is of confusion.

Then the realization it’s legit:

and acceptance:

So I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been seeing it everywhere since Monday, but I think the name is actually growing on me? I had a similar reaction when they announced North West, but the winning point for me was that they would be calling her Nori, which is adorable. Saint, though? First of all, someone let ‘Ye pick the name. Second, what would his nickname be, if anything? Third, Saint is like, not a name. To be fair, *what even is a name anyways*??

However, to put things in perspective, Pete Wentz (Fall Out Boy rocker, ex-husband to Ashlee Simpson, father of son Bronx Mowgli) and his girlfriend had a son last year and named him Saint Lazslo, but the reaction was definitely not as fervent as it has been with Saint West. Kim and Kanye are an easy target, so unless they named their son Robert (after Kim’s late dad) as rumored, they would’ve gotten shit for anything they named him. But who even remembers the fact Pete Wentz named his son Saint a year ago? No one.

To also give Kim and Kanye more props, let’s be honest here – it could be worse. His name could’ve been Audio Science or Pilot Inspektor. Now those are REALLY not names in the slightest. With Saint, it implies a greatness to be achieved, whereas Audio Science, Shannyn Sossamon’s son, could be a major at MIT. There is of course a caveat to having a name like Saint – it gives him a lot to live up to. Just like being a Kennedy or even a Kardashian, there’s a stigma and pre-judgement that comes with a name that you have no control over. So if Saint West needs any advice on how to live up to a name larger than life, he can consult with these other celebrity babies who have just as odd if not more odd names than him.

Royalty {Daughter of Chris Brown}

Chris didn’t actually have anything to do with the naming of his daughter, since he found out she was his well after her birth, but it somehow seems exactly the right name that he would give her anyways. He’s also been treating her as such ever since the truth about his paternity came up, so much so that he’s named his upcoming album Royalty, and in the spirit of philanthropy, he’s also donating proceeds of the record sales to the Children’s Miracle Network hospital. He’s a *changed man* y’all.

Messiah Ya’ Majesty Harris {Son of T.I.}

That is not a typo, that apostrophe belongs there. Perhaps it was because it was T.I.’s first kid that he thought he needed to go big or go home, so he went for our savior, Lord Jesus Christ as the name for his baby.

Mary, did you know that your Baby Boy is Lord of all creation?

Mary, did you know that your Baby Boy would one day rule the nations?

Valor {Son of Emile Hirsch}

Valor {noun}: great courage in the face of danger, especially in battle.

Valor {proper noun}: Hufflepuff.

 

Happy Hinds {Son of Macy Gray}

Wouldn’t it be great if he could just change his name depending on his mood? Today he’s Happy, tomorrow he’s Outraged, next week he’s Flabbergasted.

King Cairo {Son of Tyga and Blac Chyna}

Is he just supposed to be treated like a king in general, or is it that he rules over the city of Cairo?

Atlas {Son of Ed Norton}

Despite what you may thinking, Ed Norton’s son wasn’t named after the huge ass book of maps, but rather the Greek god who was condemned by Zeus to hold up the sky forevs. TBH, this seems like the most difficult of all the names to live up to, since your name LIT’RALLY means to hold the world on your shoulders. I can’t even wear heavy coats.

Titan Jewell Witherspoon {Son of Kelly Rowland}

Although Kelly’s said the name itself has to do with family, it still bears heavy on the kid, since Titans were Greek gods of incredible strength. Sure you want your kid to be strong, but what if he’s a crier and a chess player? Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Moxie Crimefighter {Daughter of Penn Jillette}

For a little backstory, Penn and his wife EZ (those are her initials) wanted to use a “purely American” name like Moxie to represent spunk and energy. As for the CrimeFighter part, Penn’s wife thinks middle names are stupid and they chose “CrimeFighter” as a joke. A JOKE. Who’s going to be laughing when there’s a murder to be solved and the only person who can seek retribution is Moxie CrimeFighter?

Kal-El Cage {Son of Nicolas Cage}

Literally his son is a superhero. He is Superman.

Pop Culture Extra Credit: College Edition

A couple months ago, my alma mater, Emerson College, announced that starting in the Fall of 2016, there will be a new major available to students – a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Comedic Arts, AKA a degree in comedy. Emerson is a communication and arts school where being a musical theatre major doesn’t make you a nerd and Quidditch is the top sport. We’re known for having unusual or quirky things that you wouldn’t find at a “normal” college. When I first heard the news, I thought, ‘Oh, that makes sense’. The school already offers classes on things like puppetry and “Queer TV After Ellen Came Out”, so yeah, a comedy major sounds about right.

However, it was a much bigger question mark to the rest of the world who went to schools that had classes like Accounting and football teams. Emerson even got a mention from Seth Meyers who suggested students can “just take your tuition money and burn it in front of your parents.” Fair.

So with kids heading back to college over the next few weeks, I thought that there must be other schools out there that offer odd, or pop culture-centric classes. Luckily, the American educational system did not let me down. Here are just a few courses you can take right now – did you guys take any weird classes in college?

Emerson College {Boston, MA}

TV Creators: Understanding the Whedonesque

Description:

This course will use the career of Joss Whedon to introduce students to the variety of positions in the entertainment industry and their potential for fulfilling and creative work… By examining his work at various stages, students will better understand auteur theory, modern industrial entertainment production, and artistic production across media. Works covered include: Roseanne, Alien: Resurrection, Buffy the Vampire Slayer as a film and TV series, Angel, Firefly and Serenity, Dollhouse, The Cabin in the Woods, The Avengers, Much Ado About Nothing, Buffy: Season Eight, and Astonishing X-Men.

Class Notes:

Surprisingly enough, I’m not too familiar with the Whedonverse. The closest I’ve ever gotten is watching Dr. Horrible multiple times over. Back in my day, this class was specifically about dissecting Buffy, and not any of Joss Whedon’s other works. My friend (who shall not be named because in her words, ‘I have a reputation to uphold’) took the Buffy class and had this to say about it: “12-year-old me couldn’t believe she was watching one of her favorite shows in class to achieve a real college degree, but it was surprisingly one of the most demanding classes (work load wise) that I have ever taken.” As I think we’re going to find with the rest of these courses, it may sound silly at first, but it’s probably really interesting and a lot of work.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology {Cambridge, MA}

Topics in Comparative Media: American Pro Wrestling

well this is frightening

Description:

This class will explore the cultural history and media industry surrounding the masculine drama of professional wrestling. Beginning with wrestling’s roots in sport and carnival, the class examines how new technologies and changes in the television industry led to evolution for pro wrestling style and promotion and how shifts in wrestling characters demonstrate changes in the depiction of American masculinity. The class will move chronologically in an examination of how wrestling characters and performances have changed, focusing particularly on the 1950s to the present. Students may have previous knowledge of wrestling but are not required to, nor are they required to be a fan (although it is certainly not discouraged, either).

Class Notes:

Exactly what major is this class fulfilling? I particularly like the disclaimer at the end. ‘You don’t have to be a fan of WWE… except you should probably be if you’re spending money on this class.”

Rutgers University {New Jersey}

Feminist Perspectives: Politicizing Beyoncé

Description:

Calling all the single ladies: this exploration into Queen Bey’s influence on feminism, race, gender, and culture helps students become more aware of the way in which pop culture shapes society. Most classes that are named for celebrities deal with sociologies of fame or psychologies of human behavior, but Kevin Allred’s version zeroes in on politics. By juxtaposing Beyoncé’s song lyrics with readings by distinguished black leaders like Sojourner Truth and Octavia Butler, students ask and attempt to answer the question, “Can Beyoncé’s music be seen as a blueprint for progressive social change?” Yet the more appropriate question may be: Who runs the world? Beyoncé.

Class Notes:

Sign. Me. Up. The person who wrote this description is clearly a member of the BeyHive, so that’s already a plus. But like previously mentioned, this class sounds hard as shiiiit. But that’s what you get when you break down the genius that is Queen B.

Georgia Regents College {Augusta, Georgia}

Good Kids, Mad Cities

Description:

Taking its name from Kendrick Lamar’s 2012 album, this course will examine the role of urban living on the development of young people. In Kendrick’s case, “the streets sure to release the worst side of my best” (Lamar 58). By studying and analyzing various literature, films, and K. Dot’s album, we will consider what effects our characters’ surroundings have on who they become as adults. The cities we will be visiting, in our imaginations, are Dublin, New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles.

Class Notes:

This class should be offered at more colleges, TBH.

Middlebury College {Middlebury, Vermont}

Urban America & Serial Television: Watching The Wire

Description:

Frequently hailed as a masterpiece of American television, The Wire shines a light on urban decay in contemporary America, creating a dramatic portrait of Baltimore’s police, drug trade, shipping docks, city hall, public schools, and newspapers over five serialized seasons. In this course, we will watch and discuss all of this remarkable-and remarkably entertaining-series, and place it within the dual contexts of contemporary American society and the aesthetics of television. This is a time-intensive course with a focus on close viewing and discussion, and opportunities for critical analysis and research about the show’s social contexts and aesthetic practices.

Class Notes:

I would take this class for one reason, the same one reason I watch the entirety of The Wire in the first place: Mr. Idris Elba. God bless.

Colorado College {Colorado Springs, Colorado}

Queen Bees, WannaBees, and Mean Girls

Description:

Queen Bees, WannaBees, and Mean Girls explores the means and motives behind why women seek authority and the actions they are willing to take in order to hold onto it. Students will examine this concept through the use of literary works and movies, such as the 2004 film Mean Girls.

Class Notes:

Temporarily ignoring the fact that first sentence makes it seem like this class is slightly sexist, it would be interesting to take a look into this culture of mean girls. And obviously, the class would have to be held on Wednesdays.

American University {Washington, D.C.}

Contemporary American Culture: Hunger Games

Description:

The Hunger Games trilogy is a publishing phenomenon that has dramatically impacted American popular culture. Using the series as a case study, this course examines the interplay of class, politics, ethics, and marketing. Topics covered include oppression, feminism, food deserts, rebellion, the publishing industry, and social media marketing. 

Class Notes:

Hunger Games isn’t just for kids, y’all. I also read “food deserts” as “food desserts” and immediately started to think what significance desserts had in the books, scouring my brain to remember Katniss’ fave food – then I realized it said “deserts” as in, the lack of food pretty much everywhere besides the Capitol. The Hunger Game isn’t just for kids, y’all.

Georgetown University {Washington, D.C.}

Philosophy and Star Trek

Description:

Star Trek is very philosophical. What better way, then, to do philosophy, but to watch Star Trek, read philosophy and hash it all out in class? That’s the plan. This course will center on topics in metaphysics that come up again and again in Star Trek. In conjunction with watching Star Trek, we will read excerpts from the writings of great philosophers, extract key concepts and arguments and then analyze those arguments. Questions we will wrestle with include:

I. Is time travel possible? Could you go back and kill your grandmother? What is time?
II. What is the relation between your mind and your brain–are they separate items or identical? Can persons survive death? Could a machine someday think? Is Data a person?
III. What is a person? Must you have the same body to be you? Same memories? When do we have one person, and when do we have two (think of the episodes where people “split” or “fuse”).
IV. Do you have free will, or are you determined by the laws of nature to do exactly what you wind up doing (while believing you have free will)? Or both? What is freewill?

Class Notes:

This description is VERY thorough. Not only that, but seems questionable. For instance, why is one of the questions, “Could you go back and kill your grandmother?”. First of all, it should be “Would”. Second of all, what? Is this a plot point in the Star Trek series? If yes, WHY? Also, “What is a person?” ??? This could be a very deep and depressing conversation I personally wouldn’t want to have in a classroom setting.

Georgia State University {Atlanta, Georgia}

American Poetry: Kanye vs. Everybody

kanye vs

Description:

According to the syllabus, Kanye makes for a useful lens through which to “investigate the continuous development of African American poetry and poetics—the uses of language and literature to represent blackness and Americanness in particular—observing shifting meanings in and of the text with important considerations of race, class, gender, and sexuality.” Throughout the semester, students decode Kanye’s work and interviews, which Dr. Heath believes help draw a line from the Harlem Renaissance to the black nationalist era to current-day hip-hop.

Class Notes:

Can’t tell if Kanye would love this course or disagree with it so much he’ll interrupt during class to say just how much he hates it. Is that a dated reference? Him and TSwift are all good now? Ok.

University at Buffalo {Buffalo, New York}

Breaking Down “Breaking Bad”

Description:

“Breaking Bad” was one of the most spectacular narrative achievements in television. Its five seasons comprised some 60 hours of a single narrative arc, something no film or television program (cable or commercial) has ever accomplished… In this seminar, we’ll take a close look at all the components of the series; we’ll talk about what was done, how it was done, why it worked. There is one prerequisite: that members of the seminar have seen the series before the seminar’s first meeting. We’re going to be studying it, not greeting it. We’ll look at some segments during the semester, but only so we can deconstruct the work. I’ll expect participants to do class presentations on different aspects of the epic, and a term paper on a topic of their choice.

Class Notes:

Unlike the American wrestling course, watching the series IS a pre req to being in this class. Luckily, most people on this planet have watched Breaking Bad. There’s gotta be something meta about teaching a class about a show that features a chemistry teacher who isn’t the greatest teacher.

University of California, Berkeley {Berkeley, California}

Arguing with Judge Judy: Popular ‘Logic’ on TV Judge Shows”

Description:

TV “Judge” shows have become extremely popular in the last 3-5 years. A fascinating aspect of these shows from a rhetorical point of view is the number of arguments made by the litigants that are utterly illogical, or perversions of standard logic, and yet are used over and over again. For example, when asked “Did you hit the plaintiff?” respondents often say, “If I woulda hit him, he’d be dead!” This reply avoids answering “yes” or “no” by presenting a perverted form of the logical strategy called “a fortiori” argument “from the stronger” in Latin. The seminar will be concerned with identifying such apparently popular logical fallacies on “Judge Judy” and “The People’s Court”and discussing why such strategies are so widespread. It is NOT a course about law or “legal reasoning” Students who are interested in logic, argument, TV, and American popular culture will probably be interested in this course. I emphasize that it is NOT about the application of law or the operations of the court system in general.

Class Notes:

As the lawyer of this Cookies + Sangria duo, I’m sure Molly can support or oppose this much better than I can, but in theory, this class actually sounds more interesting than it should? Although I hate watching court show, I’m sure there’s a psychology to it that can be studied. Or just a reminder of how stupid Americans can be.

 

Playlist of the Month: Songs by 2015 Grammy Nominees

The Grammy Awards are this Sunday, and the nominees always remind me how much music I’m not listening to. There are whole categories – chamber music, regional roots, children’s  – that I can honestly say I haven’t played once in the past 12 months. Neither of us is concerned with what music is supposed to be highbrow or cool, which is probably why you won’t see anything from the more esoteric categories. We just like what we like. Here’s what we liked from the 2015 Grammy nominees:

Molly’s Picks

Jackie And Wilson by Hozier {Song Of The Year}

I have a rule that if there are more than three songs I want to download from an album, I just buy the whole thing. That was the case with Hozier’s self-titled debut. We all know Take Me To Church, the song for which he was nominated and the Top 40 constant for the past 3 months. But this is an album with, like, 10 standout tracks. It was hard to pick just one, but it felt right to introduce everyone to one of Hozier’s more uptempo tunes.

Bed Peace by Jhene Aiko ft. Childish Gambino {Best Urban Contemporary Album}

If you can watch this video without wishing that Donald Glover and Jhene Aiko would just be a couple already, I can’t relate. As someone who listens to a lot of … um… urban contemporary? music, Sail Out is really refreshing because it’s sort of floaty and beachy in addition to the typical rap solos and R&B beats.

Seriously. Does anyone still say “urban music” though?

Afterlife by Arcade Fire {Best Alternative Music Album}

Also, does anyone still say “alternative music?”

Usually I listen to Arcade Fire when I feel like revisiting 2005 (see also: Bright Eyes, Motion City Soundtrack). While Reflektor still sounds like Arcade Fire, they’ve definitely moved further into the synth-y, electronic, dancey direction.

Bad Blood by Bastille {Best New Artist}

It always feels like the Grammys use some fuzzy math for what’s a “new” artist. So, yeah, Bastille’s been around for a minute. I’ve been watching Twin Peaks so I had to pick the song named after pretty, dead Laura Palmer, even though this one sounds sort of surprisingly Phil Collins-y.

Severed Crossed Fingers by St. Vincent {Best Alternative Music Album}

I’ll admit it. This is my least favorite St. Vincent album. But it’s still really good, and I’m always in favor of artists trying new things instead of spitting out what they think their audience wants.

Traci’s Picks

3005 by Childish Gambino {Best Rap Performance}

Being a fan of Community, I was an early adapter to Childish Gambino. I saw him live in 2010, and as he became more popular over the past few years, the venues started getting bigger and, for some reason, the audience kept getting younger. Anyways, I was a hardcore Gambino Girl back in the day and am particularly partial to his earlier stuff. His Grammy-nominated album (!) because the internet was clearly an evolution of his sound, and although it was good, I just personally liked the tracks off Camp and his EP better (Kauai is really good too, tho). But one song I couldn’t (and still can’t) stop playing is 3005, which is reminiscent of that early sound I loved. A fun thing to do is listen to it on your car and when the beat kicks in on the chorus, turn the volume way up and then immediately turn it back down because you are old now.

New Flame by Chris Brown featuring Usher & Rick Ross {Best R&B Performance}

UGH CHRIS BROWN. STOP MAKING MUSIC I LIKE, BECAUSE YOU ARE LIT’RALLY THE WORST. But hi Usher. UGH CHRIS BROWn,.

Rather Be by Clean Bandit featuring Jess Glynne {Best Dance Recording}

I was in the unique position of reading about how this song was burning up the UK charts prior to actually hearing it. I decided to see what all the fuss was about, and immediately got addicted to it, and now am a fan of both Clean Bandit and Jess Glynne. Her voice is perfectly suited for Clean Bandit’s sound, and vice versa.

Something in the Water by Carrie Underwood {Best Country Solo Performance}

I’ve mentioned on this blog before that I’m particular to Carrie Underwood, specifically that hearing her sing usually makes me cry. This song is no different. It was a track she released in conjunction with her greatest hits album, and like a couple of her other songs, it’s classified under the Christian genre, and she even samples Amazing Grace towards the end. That song is so traditional that it can be overplayed and overused, but Carrie makes it sound brand new and makes you feel something within, no matter what you believe.

Day Drinking by Little Big Town {Best Country Duo/Group Performance}

So it’s February, and there may or may not be a blizzard going on outside your home right now, but if you want to feel like it’s summer and you’re throwing back a few margs or beers or alcohol of your choice, just listen to this song.

Honorable Mentions:

Bound 2 by Kanye West featuring Charlie Wilson {Best Rap/Sung Performance}, Ain’t It Fun by Paramore {Best Rock Song}, Automatic by Miranda Lambert {Best Country Song}

Class of ’04: What’s My Age Again?

You can tell me that we graduated 10 years ago, but I still have a difficult time convincing myself that that much time has passed since I last used a locker and attended a gym class (note I didn’t say ‘participated’). And when looking back at pop culture a decade ago, it’s hard to believe that some of these things happened so long ago. Here’s a list of just a few things that happened in 2004 that will make you want to pull out your Sony Discman and blast Blink-182 in an attempt to reclaim your youth.

Oops… I Did It Again

January 3rd: Britney Jean Spears decided to go to Las Vegas and marries her childhood friend Jason Allen Alexander at The Little White Wedding Chapel, the same place where Paul Newman married Joanne Woodward and Pamela Anderson tied the knot with Rick Salomon (the first time).

January 5th: Brit filed an annulment petition stating she “lacked understanding of her actions” and two hours later, her marriage was completely dissolved.

July 5th: Brit gets engaged to dancer Kevin Federline, whom she met three months earlier. Besides the fact that their relationship was on the fast track to marriage (read: divorce), they were under a lot of heat since Kevin’s and his ex-girlfriend Shar Jackson was still pregnant with their second child.

September 18: B & KFed get married. This is a picture that was taken during the reception.

Nipplegate/Boob Bowl

February 1: Ah yes, the floppy breast that all Americans young and old were exposed to during Super Bowl XXXVIII. As we know, JT ripped off a piece of tear away material covering Janet’s (Ms. Jackson if you’re nasty) right boob, and in their defense they deemed it a “wardrobe malfunction”, but conservatives called it “a sign of decreasing morality in the national culture”, while others just said to “calm the fuck down”. The legal ramifications from the FCC and subsequent lawsuits seemed to be never ending – in fact as recent as 2012, the Supreme Court declined an appeal from the FCC over the $550,000 fine on Nipplegate.

Kanye Drops College Dropout

February 10: Kanye West releases his debut album, The College Dropout, which hits the top of the charts and receives critical acclaim. It’s hard to believe there was a time when we ALL liked Kanye because his music was so good, but then he started talking too much and grabbed the mic from Taylor Swift, etc. and he became one of the most polarizing artists in music. But no one can deny just how freaking good this record was. Even the weakest track on the album was better than most of the rap songs released that year.

You Go, Glen Coco

February 20: Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen was the first of two leading roles Lindsay Lohan had in 2004, which is considered her breakout year. After appearing in Freaky Friday in 2003, Linds landed another Disney movie with the teen musical that pitted her against a young Megan Fox.

April 30: You know it, you love it, you wear pink on Wednesdays. Mean Girls was released and became a defining teen comedy of the 2000s and launched LiLo into superstar success.

May 1: Luckily, Lindsay had connections at Saturday Night Live thanks to Tina Fey/Mean Girls, and hosted the show for the first time, AKA the show with the most epic (and first) sketch of Debbie Downer.

June 5: Linds becomes the youngest host of the MTV Movie Awards at just 17 years old. Meanwhile, I think I was busy “studying” my Sparknotes for my AP English exam.

December 7: Lindsay’s first album, Speak is released and surprisingly gets certified platinum. I’m not going to lie to you, she has some pretty catchy tunes that may or may not have been downloaded via Napster. But seriously though – Over?!

Jimmy Meets World

May 15: Jimmy Fallon makes his last appearance as a cast member on Saturday Night Live, closing out his six-season tenure with a rousing all cast musical rendition of Grease’s Summer Nights, with his leading lady, Tina Fey.

You Can’t Be Sirius

May 23: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azakaban hits theaters. I admit, I was such a late bloomer to HP. Like I didn’t start reading until the day the 7th book came out :\ I hang my head in shame (And I also blame my parents who I’m convinced believed that reading the books legit made you some kind of witch frreal). Anyways, the Alfonso Cuaron-directed installment grossed a total of $796.6 million worldwide, making it the lowest-grossing in the whole HP film series, but still ranks it the 44th highest-grossing film of all time. Whatever. This was my favorite movie up until the last one, and arguably my favorite book.

I Believe In Miracles

May 26: Fantasia Barrino wins the third season of American Idol in one of the most memorable and dramatic reveals in all of television history. Reminder that this is the same year Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson placed seventh and Diana DeGarmo was the runner-up. (Sidenote: I just saw Diana and hubs season 5 Idol alum Ace Young in the Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat tour and like a fine wine, her voice has just gotten better with age. Ace, maybe not so much. They’re cute tho. Go go go Joe!)

Closing Time

Our beloved Friends came to a close (which you can reminisce over at our Friends 10 Week tag), while shows I was too young to watch (Ed, Sex and the City, The Practice) and shows I was too old to still be watching (Lizzie McGuire, Hey Arnold!, Rugrats, The Wild Thornberrys, CatDog) also met their demise. RIP Lizzie + Gordo, forever in our hearts.

Meet Michael Phelps

August: The 2004 Summer Olympics are held in Athens, Greece and the main takeaway is that America came out with a new sports legend in Michael Phelps. At just 19 years old, he won 8 medals, 6 of which were gold, the other 2 bronze, well on his way to becoming the most decorated athlete in Olympics history. In the video above, Michael wins his 5th gold of the games in the 4×200 relay, helping his team edge out Ian “Thorpedo” Thorpe and the Australians by a hair. UGH I miss the Olympics.

Pieces of Me

October 23: Ashlee Simpson gets caught lip synching on Saturday Night Live and I have second hand embarrassment for all involved.

Beyonce Realizes Her Full Potential

November 16: Destiny’s Child releases their fourth and final studio album, Destiny Fulfilled. This record is not as solid as The Writing’s On The Wall (but really, which DC3 record is?), but it has one of my all time favorite Destiny’s Child Songs, Girl, as well as Cater 2 U. It’s fine, they all did well after the breakup. Right, Michelle?

Ken Jennings Makes Jeopardy! Event Television

November 30: Ken Jennings’ 74-consecutive win streak finally ends at the hands of competitor Nancy Zerg. He’s won a total of $3,196,300 from the show, which is… a heck of a lot of money and knowledge. Question: Where is Nancy Zerg now?

BriWi Takes Over

December 2:  Tom Brokaw resigns as anchorman of NBC Nightly News after 22 years at the desk and is replaced by Brian Williams. Love ya Tommy B, but if you didn’t retire, we would have never been able to get MC BriWillie out of his shell.

 

Playlist of the Month: Jock Jams

The 2014 Olympics are in full gear and athletes are already nabbing medals on the podium. But what gets these sportsmen/women pumped before they compete? In 2008, when Michael Phelps was in his prime in Beijing, he was seen listening to something on his iPod, headphones glued to his ears and there was one question on my mind: WHAT THE HELL WAS HE LISTENING TO?

I wasn’t the one wondering, the reporters at NBC were wondering too, and apparently the answer is a lot of techno and rap (Lil Wayne). Even Bob Costas said one of the rules to living life during the Olympics in ’08 was “Crank up your iPod and listen to anything Michael Phelps listens to.”

Michael Phelps chose techno/dance and rap to get pumped, and in the 1990s so did the folks who compiled the popular Jock Jams CDs.

I’m assuming none of the athletes are listening to ‘I Like To Move It’ or ‘ ‘Tubthumping’ in 2014 (although after the techno soundtrack at the opening ceremony, maybe they are), here are a few of our suggestions for a new Jock Jams compilation for 2014.

Listen to the whole playlist on Spotify!

spotify:user:122917273:playlist:2fhbugwUTY4LPdrkQmnPAz

Traci’s Picks

H.A.M. Kanye West & Jay Z

This track says it all in the title: H.A.M. = Hard as a Motherfucker. Go big or go home, guys.

Live It Up by Jennifer Lopez & Pitbull

So as previously mentioned, Jock Jams was a mix of techno, rap, dance, and pop. For me to excited, I also like listening to a song that makes me feel good and happy and positive, and that’s how I feel about this song. Like, how can you not want to dance to this?

Wings by Little Mix

Along the same lines as upbeat, fun songs, I present you with Wings. This was a mild hit over the past year, by Little Mix who won The X Factor over in the UK. You may also know member Perrie Edwards as ‘the girl who stole Zayn Malik’s heart and ruined Directioners everywhere’. Anyways, this song is great and so are they.

Let’s Go by Ne-Yo & Calvin Harris

The lyrics are literally, ‘Let’s go, make no excuses now, your time is running out.’ Olympians, you’ve been training all your lives for this moment. Don’t screw it up.

Work Bitch by Britney Spears

You better.

Molly’s Picks

Shawty Get Loose – Lil Mama

In case you haven’t noticed, we like techno, hip hop, and pop for our jock jams. This track combines all three – and who could forget Lil Mama’s star turn in that TLC tv movie?

The New Workout Plan – Kanye West

Say what you will about Kanye, this song gets you moving.

The Anthem – Pitbull ft. Little John

I think the double Pitbull on this list just highlights how suited he is to the Jock Jam genre.

Je Veux Te Voir – Yelle

The fact that the music vid features gym equipment and 80s aerobic fashions says it all. Nothing like a good smack-talk song for motivation, right?

Get Me Bodied – Beyoncé

Beyoncé isn’t just the queen of everything (so much so that WordPress automatically adds the accent to her name), she’s the great motivator. A Beyoncé song on my iPhone takes my regular elliptical and weights routine and makes me feel like ‘hey, maybe I could be an Olympian or something.’ Like all great Olympians, B is a team player — this track features her Destiny’s Child friends and her sister Solange.

Keeping Up With Kanye: Twitter Style

If you’ve been Keeping Up with the Kanye (see what I did there?), you known that he was recently involved in an utterly bizzare Twitter feud with Jimmy Kimmel. Yes, you read that right, late night TV host/comedian Jimmy Kimmel. Basically, Yeezy got mad that Jimmy made a spoof of one of his recent interviews where he goes off about leather jogging pants, among other things, and Jimmy used two kids to repeat verbatim when Kanye told the interviewer.

Ye wasn’t delighted about this for some reason and went on Twitter to go OFF on Jimmy. This is just a snippet:

Kanye graciously agreed to appear on Jimmy’s show and worked it all out, but good LORD the guy can talk. You know how some people type in all caps to express a point? Yeah, Kanye does it IRL. The entire interview was like a stream of consciousness and while he did bring up some valid points, it was still exhausting to watch.

And while this is the most publicized Twitter feud Ye’s had, it’s certainly not the least entertaining of his tweets. Despite taking a long break from Twitter, he still managed to come up with some of the most ridic comments about life, society, fashion and music.  Here are just a few of my faves from the past few years.

I love commercial art!!! I know that sounds like an oxy moron and if I spelled that wrong I just sound like a moron lol!!! —Sept. 23, 2010

You basically can say anything to someone on an email or text as long as you put LOL at the end —Sept. 16, 2010

When he has celebrity problems:

Fur pillows are hard to actually sleep on —Aug. 1, 2010

Man…whatever happened to my antique fish tank? —Sept. 9, 2010

I ordered the salmon medium instead of medium well I didn’t want to ruin the magic —July 29, 2010

Do you know where to find marble conference tables? I’m looking to have a conference…not until I get the table though —Aug. 28, 2010

Is illuminati and devil worshipping like the same thing…do they have a social network that celebs can sign up for? —Oct. 24, 2010

When he just types words:

When he thinks he’s a stand-up comic:

Man…ninjas are kind of cool…I just don’t know any personally —Sept. 23, 2010

Imma make a book of my tweets.. tweetbook —Aug. 10, 2010

Don’t you hate when people clap to loud in the car…it’s like yo this is a closed area.. your clapping is waaay to loud!!! hahahahahaaa —Aug. 15, 2010

I would like to thank Julius Caesar for originating my hairstyle —Jan 21, 2011

When I feel like we could be the same person:

Sometimes I push the door close button on people running towards the elevator. I just need my own elevator sometimes, my 7 floor sanctuary —Aug. 4, 2010

When he talks about his craft:

And when he’s just all around hilarious: