The Underground – Issue #3
Everything you need to know about in this weekly series: A popular pirate website gets shut down, President Obama makes an appearance on a popular nightly series, the new Mad Max trailer, a look at the new movie Exodus: Gods and Kings, cops doing nice things, and a ranking of the best companies to work for in America.
At Social Underground we go beyond the mainstream stuff and see what’s underneath the surface. What should we get into, listen to, read, eat or watch?! If there is something in our culture that needs attention, dammit, we will bring it to your attention. With The Underground, we mean to do exactly that: Show you the underground things that you need to know about. Books, music, television, movies, comedians, art, and whatever else we can find to get you into something you never knew about.
Don’t you remember the time you heard that first song from your current favorite band? You made the decision to jump head first into that first album and then delve deeper into them. Now, you don’t remember a time where you haven’t listened to that band. If you play guitar, you don’t remember the time where you didn’t know how to play. We want to bring you new stuff that you didn’t know you need in your life to the point where you can’t remember not knowing about it. That’s The Underground.
1. Torrent site The Pirate Bay was taken down when the Swedish Police unleashed a crackdown in Stockholm, Sweden in a server room. The site is one of the biggest piracy sites on the Internet.
“There has been a crackdown on a server room in Greater Stockholm. This is in connection with violations of copyright law,” read a statement from Paul Pintér, police national coordinator for IP enforcement.
Police are staying quiet on the exact location of the operation and the targets involved but the fact that the national police IP chief is involved at this early stage suggests something sizable.
In addition, expert file-sharing case prosecutor Fredrik Ingblad has commented on the raid, further adding weight to the incident.
“There were a number of police officers and digital forensics experts there. This took place during the morning and continued until this afternoon. Several servers and computers were seized, but I cannot say exactly how many,” Ingblad told SR. (Via Torrent Freak)
If you don’t know what The Pirate Bay is, it’s a site where you can download movies, music, TV, books, porn, audio books, and whatever else you can think of. Guess what? Most of it is illegal content like movies that are still in theaters, full albums, and basically everything you’ve heard on the news about piracy on the Internet.
2. The President of the United States took over The Colbert Report with his own version of “The Word.” I’m going to have to say it… this is one of the coolest things I’ve seen President Obama do since giving me health care.
Sure, you have your political differences, but Colbert is ending his show in the next few days, the President coming onto one of his Colbert’s broadcasts is pretty amazing. Seeing him poke fun at himself the entire time behind the desk of Stephen Colbert is particularly hilarious.
What sucks though is that this event moves us even closer to the end of the Colbert Report and losing Stephen Colbert’s genius and purposely dimwitted, right-wing take on Bill O’Reilly. His final show will be Thursday, Dec. 18th at 11:30 p.m. ET on Comedy Central.
3. HBO’s The Wire is coming back to TV in glorious remastered HD. Now you can hear your friends tell you to watch it all over again before rolling your eyes telling them you’ll get to it eventually.
When most think of things being remastered, they think of George Lucas taking the original Star Wars films and shitting all over them. I wouldn’t mind Star Wars getting converted to HD, but they added Stormtroopers riding big monsters for no reasons within scenes that didn’t really need anything at all. David Simon, creator of The Wire, defends HBO’s remastering of the decision because “Omar is coming!” in HD and you better recognize how great this will be:
First, there were many scenes in which the shot composition is not impaired by the transfer to 16:9, and there are a notable number of scenes that acquire real benefit from playing wide. An example of a scene that benefits would be, say, from the final episode of season two, when an apostolic semicircle of longshoremen forms around the body of Frank Sobotka. Fine as far as it goes, but the dockworkers are all that much more vulnerable, and that much more isolated by the death of their leader when we have the ability to go wider in that rare crane shot.
But there are other scenes, composed for 4:3, that lose some of their purpose and power, to be sure. An early example that caught my eye is a scene from the pilot episode, carefully composed by Bob, in which Wee Bey delivers to D’Angelo a homily on established Barksdale crew tactics. “Don’t talk in the car,” D’Angelo reluctantly offers to Wee Bey, who stands below a neon sign that declares, “burgers” while D’Angelo, less certain in his standing and performance within the gang, stands beneath a neon label of “chicken.”
That shot composition was purposed, and clever, and it works better in the 4:3 version than when the screen is suddenly widened to pick up additional neon to the left of Bey. In such a case, the new aspect ratio’s ability to acquire more of the world actually detracts from the intention of the scene and the composition of the shot. For that reason, we elected in the new version to go tighter on the shot in order to maintain some of the previous composition, albeit while coming closer to our backlit characters than the scene requires. It is, indeed, an arguable trade-off, but one that reveals the cost of taking something made in one construct and recasting it for another format. And this scene isn’t unique; there are a good number of similar losses in the transfer, as could be expected. (Via)
Check out the trailer for the remastered version of The Wire, which will start its 5 day marathon on December 26th on HBO:
4. Exodus: Gods and Kings comes out this week and no one liked it. It’s currently rocking a 44% on Rotten Tomatoes and gets a critical consensus of “While sporadically stirring, and suitably epic in its ambitions, Exodus: Gods and Kings can’t quite live up to its classic source material.”
Classic, meaning it’s from the Bible. I’ve read the Bible 5 times. Yep. FIVE! Why? Because I want to see what everyone is going crazy about. I was dunked in the magic water when I was little, too, but never really read it when I was little. I just heard the inspiration bits, but never heard a few of these choice bits during sermons at my Church…
The Bible on Rape (Deuteronomy 22:23-24 NAB):
“ If within the city a man comes upon a maiden who is betrothed, and has relations with her, you shall bring them both out of the gate of the city and there stone them to death: the girl because she did not cry out for help though she was in the city, and the man because he violated his neighbors wife.”
The Bible on Polygamy, Rape, Baby Killing, and God’s “Forgiveness” (2 Samuel 12:11-14 NAB):
“Thus says the Lord: ‘I will bring evil upon you out of your own house. I will take your wives’ while you live to see it, and will give them to your neighbor. He shall lie with your wives in broad daylight. You have done this deed in secret, but I will bring it about in the presence of all Israel, and with the sun looking down.’
Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” Nathan answered David: “The Lord on his part has forgiven your sin: you shall not die. But since you have utterly spurned the Lord by this deed, the child born to you must surely die.”
Hmm, sounds like something my kids should read. What about Exodus?
The Bible on Sex Slaves (Exodus 21:7-11 NLT)
“When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. And if the slave girl’s owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter. If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife. If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment.”
COOL. Sounds like a fun movie.
I know that sounds a bit preachy, but the movie looks and IS not very good. I love Ridley Scott’s early work, but lately he seems to just be getting lazy. He took what he read in the Bible as way too literal when some of it is meant to be symbolism. He also put all white people in it which is pretty messed up. Have a look at the trailer below and expect to hear many stories after the premiere about people being upset with the depiction of the Bible on screen.
Hell, the story of Noah is only a few paragraphs, and Darren Aronofsky managed to make a movie that didn’t suck from that. Russell Crowe’s narration of the first days of creation over a montage of Evolution was also one of the most sarcastic things I can remember, but it was also fantastically done.
5. Police from the city of Lowell, Michigan are pulling over drivers… to give them gifts. 2014 is a time where police have been especially crapped on due to certain actions and misdeeds, but that doesn’t mean the majority aren’t great people.
Getting pulled over by the police is the worst! If you get a ticket, you’re out hundreds of dollars. If you have a pot roach in your ashtray, you might as well be a murderer on the loose that needs rehab and years in jail. But this time when you get pulled over, you get gifts and a big smile on your face. Hugs for all!
The holidays make people all giving and such. I don’t mind people tricking others with wonderful acts of kindness. Way to go, Lowell police.
6. The new trailer for Mad Max: Fury Road debuted and it’s AMAZING. A few months ago the first trailer debuted and the internet went nuts. We’ve waited so long for a new Mad Max movie but we weren’t sure if it would happen ever since Mel Gibson said he wasn’t sure if it would, and his whole, “JEEEEEWWWWWWS!!!!! AHHHHH!!!!” tirade.
Tom Hardy (Inception, The Dark Knight Rises) stepped in as Max and what we get is this:
This may sound like hyperbole, but at the ticket counter at my local IMAX theater, I will just turn my wallet upside down and let everything pour out. It could be $20 and a gift card to Target or it could be $500 and all my credit cards. Either way, I’m getting in there and sitting in the exact middle of the theater.
7. Are you looking for a new company to work for that isn’t Comcast or Sprint because DERP. Well, Glassdoor — a company that is basically Yelp for companies — has released a top 50 list of the best companies to work for.
Surprisingly, a lot of companies made the list that you might not of thought could. In-N-Out made the list above companies like Facebook and Apple. In-N-Out — A fast food company, where you slave over a hot grill and boiling grease to make food for morbidly obese men, women and children — beat out FACEBOOK and APPLE as the best places to work at in America.
Comcast and Sprint come in at number (*looks at list* nowhere. They’re not on the list. They’re both companies that suck to work as an employee and suck to use as a customer. You can check out the list below to see where you should send your resume:
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Jeff Sorensen is an author, writer and occasional comedian living in Detroit, Michigan. You can look for more of his work on The Huffington Post, UPROXX, BGR and by just looking up his name.