The Underground – Issue #5
Everything you need to know about in this weekly series: A look back at the 90’s, a comedian that you should know about, Sony releases a movie they said they wouldn’t dare (and Social Underground predicted the outcome), a few recipes to up your cooking game, a war documentary you should watch, a start-up company you should support, electric cars, and bad gifts for your girlfriend.
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 90’s was a fun and strange time. Mental Floss compiled a video of 90 facts about the 90’s that you should know about. I grew up in the 90’s, and it’s the only thing I know. We sorta had internet and computers, but they were slow and boring compared to what we have now. Hell, my brother and I would be using an old Commodore with no knowledge of how to use MS-DOS and we tried to play a game. We’d put the floppy disk in and have no idea what to do next. Now I see my little cousin rocking an iPad and a smartphone like it’s no big deal.
The 90’s were a time where you had a pager and had to stop at a payphone to call the person who just paged you. I had a pager in 10th grade that told me the weather. It was the most high-tech thing I thought I would ever have. Now, I have a tablet right next to me that I use to watch videos, browse Reddit, and stream stuff on my Chromecast. We’re in the future, but since we were slowly were introduced into it, we just became accustomed to it. Imagine bringing yourself from 1995 into the year 2014 and having to explain everything toy ourself. Your younger self would be floored, but then before you send them back, remember to say, “DON’T DATE THESE VARIOUS GIRLS! DON’T DO IT!!!”
Check out this solid vid on the 90’s:
2. Johnny Taylor is a comedian that you need to hear. Everyone has heard comedians like Bill Burr, Anthony Jeselnik and Louis C.K., but Johnny Taylor should be one that you know about, too. Watch him kill it at the San Francisco Punchline. One joke he has about clothing hooked me immediately.
Self-depreciating? Yes. A comedian willing to make fun of himself is a comedian I can get behind. Taylor recently released his debut comedy album “Tangled Up in Plaid,” and you should immediately head to iTunes and buy it. He’s also on Twitter so you can read his funny tweets: @Hipsterocracy
3. Sony caved and released The Interview. In our last issue of THE UNDERGROUND on Dec. 20th, I threw out a conspiracy theory that the movie would be released on Christmas day despite the threats:
The big news today is that indie theaters and multiple streaming services will offer the movie on Christmas — or now — just like I predicted. You can’t have a movie get that much free publicity worldwide and just leave it on the shelf. I’m hosting Christmas for my family tomorrow and plan on buying the movie and having it play on repeat throughout the night. No Christmas music, just The Interview on repeat? Why? Because this is America!
4. Learn how to cook some food that isn’t ramen or old pizza. Let’s face it: cooking is annoying. It’s easier to microwave or order takeout than it is to actually prepare something yourself. If you’re in college and you’re eating ramen… you can do better. Also, don’t buy that garbage case of beer. You’ll understand in a few years.
I’ve compiled a few recipes so that you can make food that doesn’t make you feel like garbage in the morning, will impress a significant other, and also give you a little bit of culture. It seems odd that people have — in the past decade — bragged about being bad at cooking or bad at math. Both of these things involve following directions. If you don’t follow directions correctly, you won’t find “X “or you’ll end up with crappy food.
Check out a few delicious recipes:
Sorensen’s Low Carb Pizza:
- 1 La Tortilla Factory tortillas
- Pizza sauce
- Mozzarella cheese
- Meat/veggie topping of choice
Put a little bit of olive oil on a baking sheet. Then place the tortilla over it. This will make the crust extra crunchy (if you don’t like that, disregard the oil). Then, apply the sauce evenly, drop some cheese on that bad boy, put on your toppings (if it’s bacon, cut that up and cook before hand), and throw it in the oven at 400 degrees until you think it’s ready. I wait till it looks burnt and take it out. Choose your own preference.
With this pizza, you’ll be eating healthier than ordering that greasy pizza from the corner, but it still tastes amazing.
Sorensen’s Chicken, Cheese and Broccoli:
- Chopped head of broccoli (I mince it so that it’s tiny for fiber purposes)
- 2 Chicken breasts
- Handful of Sharp Cheddar
- Ranch dressing
Yeah, it sounds pretty simple and I have a really bad recipe that is meant strictly for losing weight and training, but this is delicious.
Start by cutting up the chicken into tiny pieces and then cooking it. As soon as you do that, throw the cut up broccoli over it and mix it up. As you see that everything is all good and hot, now toss on the cheese and turn the stove off. The cheese will melt into it like a sexy glue and you have yourself a cheap, healthy and tasty meal. If you want to add ranch to it, it will taste better. But, adding ranch dressing in anything tastes good. How come there isn’t a ranch vodka? Get on that, companies. We have pumpkin spiced everything. WHY NOT RANCH?!
5. One movie on Netflix that you should watch immediately. Korengal is a documentary sequel to the critically acclaimed Restrepo. Both films follow troops as they set up camp in the most dangerous area of Afghanistan: “The Korengal Valley.”
Both movies are on Netflix, so I recommend watching Restrepo first and then Korengal. It really shows you the Hell of war and soldiers that really didn’t know what they were getting into, how they deal with loss, how they’re constantly on edge, and what the shock of war really does to you.
Check out the trailer for Korengal below:
Both Restrepo and Korengal remind me of the end of where The Hurt Locker should’ve ended.
SPOILER ALERT FOR THE HURT LOCKER: Near the end of the movie, and what is mentioned many times in both documentaries, is what it’s like coming home. The scene near the end of The Hurt Locker has Jeremy Renner shopping at the grocery store with his wife. A month before, he was risking his life disarming bombs. Now, he’s just trying to decide what type of cereal to buy. That’s where I thought the movie should’ve ended.
That is the reality with people who survive war: You’re getting shot at, your friends are dying all around you, you sit and wait for it to happen again and again for months, and then suddenly you’re sitting in your backyard listening to the birds chirp and listening to stories about nothing you care about anymore. This movie illustrates it perfectly.
6. A startup company named Seeo from Cali has developed a solid-state lithium battery that would double the range of electric cars. That’s bonkers! I just filled up my 2000 Cadillac Eldorado with $35 and got a range of 225 miles. Wait, that’s like the range of the Batmobile?
What’re the specs on this?
An experimental lithium-ion battery based on materials developed at a U.S. Department of Energy lab stores twice as much energy as the batteries used in most electric cars.
If the technology can be commercialized, it could give affordable electric cars a range of over 200 miles per charge, says Hal Zarem, CEO of Seeo, a startup that’s working on the technology. Today the cheapest electric cars, which cost around $30,000, typically have a range of less than 100 miles.
Alternatively, the improved storage capacity could be used to cut the size of battery packs in half while maintaining the current driving range, making electric vehicles considerably cheaper. A conventional battery pack with a range of 100 miles costs roughly $10,000. (Via Technology Review)
So, my Caddy that burns gas like it’s no big deal — with the cheapest gas prices in years — would pale in comparison to a cheaper electric car? As long as it has a cassette tape deck, I think we’re all good here.
7. Christmas shopping for your wife/girlfriend is impossible. As this video shows, it’s a nightmare shopping for your significant other. That’s why I suggest giving her an envelop with money in it… but they may make her feel like a hooker. I have a bad history and the last time I gave a girl I loved a gift, I got, “I break-up with guys who give me gifts.”
There were no right answers. Each gift could end in a stabbing and follow-up Dateline special. Enjoy:
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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.