The Underground – Issue #4
Everything you need to know about in this weekly series: A highly controversial movie has been scrapped, an app that helps rescue dogs and cats, a book that will take up most of your time, the scariest horror movie in years, the 10 best Christmas movies to watch over the holidays, and a TED-Ed on the Science of Attraction.
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 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. The Interview was scrapped entirely by Sony. North Korea is basically the YouTube commenter of countries. Since they allegedly hacked Sony, we’ll not be seeing the film starring James Franco and Seth Rogen about a trip to the most isolated country in the world with one of the most portly dictators on the planet.
What’s odd about this movie is that there has been much worse parodies about North Korea. Team America: World Police made Kim Jung-Il look more insane than he really was. Well, not really, he was super insane. Once you believe you’re a God, something like that Waco incident will eventually happen.
The Sony leaks are the worst thing to happen to the company since they thought The Amazing Spider-Man and its sequel were good ideas. Hasn’t Sony been through enough, North Korean hackers?!
I think I know why Kim Jong-Un did this. Ever since Rodman left, he’s had no one to talk to. No one to hold hands with as he starves an entire country. Kim Jong-Un just needs a friend. I think his Father said it best:
ALTERNATE THEORY: All that being said, within the last hour or 2 of writing this, I saw an advertisement for the movie on TV. Then, within the past hour, a new ad was posted and then taken down. This means that either it was set to publish and ignored, done purposely, or it was just an accident. You’d think a major motion picture studio would pull all advertising if the movie was being scrapped, right?
The biggest stories in the media this past week:
- Sony Pictures Hacked
- ‘The Interview’ being scrapped due to the hack
- North Korean hackers threatening 9/11 type attack
- New U.S./Cuban relations
Those 4 things have been on a constant loop on every news/entertainment channel, every webpage and radio station. Sony was just hacked and is getting majorly bad publicity from all of this cyberattack nonsense. Sony pulling the movie has only made things worse. Celebrities and pundits are lighting up social media to say America lost the cyber war, something about Obama letting this happen, Sony being cowards, and so on… but what if Sony pulled the ultimate dupe?
Sony was hacked. There’s no doubt about that, but what a marketing 180 degree turn would it be to just say “Screw it” and release it on Christmas as planned. The word-of-mouth this film has gotten because of it being scrapped has been immense. Non-stop coverage from every major news outlet for free? Releasing it would make Sony look good for:
- Not bowing down to terrorist douchebaggery
- Telling North Korea to f*ck off
- Making Sony look good after the hacking debacle
Money is the big thing. I wasn’t really interested in seeing the movie until this all began. Now, I will skip my family Christmas to see it. This is all a theory, but I’d like to think it would be an amazing thing to watch unfold next week.
The sad thing is, some theaters were planning on playing Team America: World Police instead, but I guess that is being shut down also. And it seems no company like Netflix is stepping forward to stream it. This leads me back it just being canceled altogether.
2. Woof Rescue is the app you need to find and save a dog or cat this holiday season. Dogs and cats suffer big time during the holidays if they have no one to rescue them from shelters or the cold conditions outside. Think about when you’re watching a rerun of The Simpsons and then THAT commercial appears with sad music, a voice begging you for help, and then a montage of sad faced dogs and cats. Just when you think it’s over, more sad dogs!
The commercial has a point besides shaming you as you watch TV. If you’ve always wanted a dog or cat, don’t go to a breeder. I know it’s cuter to have a newborn puppy around that you have to train and let run around the house, but there are dogs that need help right around where you live. Woof Rescue helps you find the type of dog or cat that you want.
So, instead of paying out a huge amount of money this season to a breeder, try getting a rescue dog or cat. You’ll have the feeling you actually did something good and you and your family will have a new part of the family. Head on over to the App Store to download Woof Rescue.
3. MUST-READ BOOK: The Visual Miscellaneum: A Colorful Guide to the World’s Most Consequential Trivia.
In a world filled with almost non-stop statistics being thrown at you, a helpful guide must exist that can help you sift through it all and understand it. As Amazon’s description puts it:
The Visual Miscellaneum is a unique, groundbreaking look at the modern information age, helping readers make sense of the countless statistics and random facts that constantly bombard us. Using cutting edge graphs, charts, and illustrations, David McCandless creatively visualizes the world’s surprising relationships and compelling data, covering everything from the most pleasurable guilty pleasures to how long it takes different condiments to spoil to world maps of Internet search terms.
It’s like the coffee table/bathroom book that will entertain you and teach you things. The reviews have been stellar thus far:
“Dangerous…to have on your desk if you have other work to get done….[T]he visuals will draw you in, and the sharpness of the questions some of them attempt to answer—and the efficiency with which they can communicate complex comparisons in a single page—will keep you hooked.” (Omnivoracious)
“For those drowning in the digital age’s information glut, Visual Miscellaneum, the new eye-popping book of infographics …makes the perfect antidote. … By turns alarming and humorous in its revelations, it’s a timely, if meandering, look at the state of our world.” (Coolhunting.com)
“…like a Harper’s Index that’s sprung to life….For a book that’s as much about the online universe as it is a product of it, The Visual Miscellaneum is surprisingly timeless….The Visual Miscellaneum is not only required reading, but a book that rewards any number of re-reads.” (EyeWeekly.com)
It feels like this book is a modern day Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy. It’s a must-have for your home, but maybe not so much for your work because of procrastination. You already have Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr getting in the way of your job, why have a book get in the way?
Wait, ignore that. Replace all of that with this book. You can buy it on Amazon right now.
4. The best horror movie in years is one that you have to watch alone in the dark: The Babadook. Most horror movies in recent years have either been torture porn (The 654 Saw films/Hostel franchise) or movies that make you jump with loud music at the time of a cat jumping in front of the camera. Horror lost its basic formula of making the viewer scared and uncomfortable.
This movie aims to bring us back to our childhood fears.
Amelia who lost her husband in a car crash on the way to give birth to Samuel, their only kid, struggles to cope with her fate as a single mom. Samuel’s constant fear of monsters and his violent reaction to overcome the fear doesn’t help her cause either which makes her friends distance themselves. When things can not get any worse, they read a strange book in their house that talks about the ‘Babadook’ monster that hides in the dark areas of their house. Even Amelia seems to feel the effect of Babadook and desperately tries to destroy the book, but in vain! The nightmarish experiences the two encounter form the rest of the story. (Via IMDB)
The movie constantly keeps you looking away because you expect some lame jump scare to get you. Not that type of movie. The entire movie is creepy and off-putting. It takes you back to when you were a little kid and you’d stare at the closet waiting for a hand to grip the door. The only thing you can think to do is to hide under the covers or run to your parents’ room. That’s The Babadook in a nutshell.
5. The 10 best Christmas movies you can watch over the holiday season. Chances are that you have some time off for the holidays. A few days off to drink too much eggnog and eat enough ham to put you into a coma. Before that big day hits, you may want to let loose at the club, go out with friends, or stay in by your television and watch your favorite Christmas movies — Not A Christmas Story since that movie get 24 hours on Christmas.
- Bad Santa — Billy Bob Thornton plays a drunken con-artist Santa that robs shopping malls. It has all the Christmas cheer of watching your Uncle fall down drunk while your Aunt apologizes to everyone.
- Home Alone — A young kid who is left at home by his negligent parents must defend himself from 2 burglars who can’t leave one home untouched.
- Elf — Will Ferrell plays a human Elf that goes to New York. Chances are you’ll see it at some point in the next few weeks on purpose or on accident.
- Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang — Robert Downey Jr. is a small time thief that accidently gets thrown into being an actor that shadows a detective (Val Kilmer) during the Christmas season. Everything about this movie is wonderful.
- Trading Places — A rich man trades his lavish life with a poor man because two even richer men have a bet on them. Rich people, man. Rich people.
- It’s A Wonderful Life — No list can go without it. It’s one of the best Christmas movies ever made…
- DIE HARD — THE BEST CHRISTMAS/ACTION MOVIE EVER MADE.
- Scrooged — Bill Murray as Scrooge. Again, Bill Murray as Scrooge.
- National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation — One of the best in the Vacation series. It features Chevy Chase before everyone realized how much of a dick he is, but still amazing as the bumbling Clark Griswold.
- The Santa Clause — Treat this like The Matrix: Only the first one exists.
6. A fantastic TED-Ed feature on the Science of Attraction. I find this video amazing in so many ways. First, it tells me things I already knew, but then goes on to explain the feelings of why the first kiss is a major part of the beginning of a relationship and what happens chemically in the body during attraction.
Romantic chemistry is all about warm, gooey feelings that gush from the deepest depths of the heart…right? Not quite. Actually, the real boss behind attraction is your brain, which runs through a very quick, very complex series of calculations when assessing a potential partner. Dawn Maslar explores how our five senses contribute to this mating game, citing some pretty wild studies along the way. (Via YouTube)
Of course, this video doesn’t address many things that people in the dating world know now:
- Mental Disorders
- One Night Stands
- All of the above
Yeah, your five senses can tell you a lot about a person. You may fall in love with this person within the first month you meet them, get to know them, meet their family, and talk about a future… but when it turns out most of that stuff was a lie, well, that’s where the 6th sense come in: Remembering your past dates and applying what you know. Even that doesn’t work most of the time. Thanks, Brain.
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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.