The Underground – Issue #14
Everything you need to know about in this weekly series: The whole “-gate” extravaganza, all of the stuff in The Lord of the Rings explained, the new Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer, a book you need to read, a recipe for weight loss, a video that can help your sex life, and a popular talk show host heads to Cuba.
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. Educate yourself with the “-gate.” Ever notice how every single controversy has ended with a -gate? Watergate, where two politically motivated burglaries took place in 1972. Watergate was a major political scandal that occurred in the United States in the 1970s as a result of the June 17, 1972, break-in at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C., and the Nixon administration’s attempted cover-up of its involvement. The Watergate scandal ultimately led to the resignation of U.S. President Richard Nixon on August 9, 1974. Thus began a never ending usage of -gate to big controversies.
Let’s look at the biggest in recent memory:
Closetgate (2006) – South Park released the episode “Trapped in the Closet” which lampooned Scientology, Tom Cruise and John Travolta with a scathing episode that brought Scientology back to the mainstream. I have to admit, this episode was one of the funniest and best satirical episodes they’ve done.
On a personal note, when I was 16-years-old, I did one of their personality tests. It was around 250 questions long and seemed harmless. I did so because I loved science and thought that this was what this organization was about. Days and weeks later led to my phone being bombarded by phone calls to come in for an auditing. It started getting scary… change your number scary.
Climategate (2010) – Emails that were hacked remotely from the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia were publicized by climate change denialists alleging a global warming conspiracy theory: the allegations against climate scientists were subject to eight investigations, which found there was no evidence of fraud or scientific misconduct. Take it away Bill Nye:
Gamergate (2014) – A controversy regarding sexism in video game culture. It garnered significant public attention after August 2014 when several women within the video game industry, including game developers Zoe Quinn and Brianna Wu and feminist cultural critic Anita Sarkeesian, were subjected to a sustained campaign of misogynistic attacks. These attacks, initially performed under the Twitter hashtag #gamergate, were later variously coordinated in the online forums of Reddit, 4chan, and 8chan in an anonymous and amorphous movement. The harassment included doxing, threats of rape, and death threats, including a threat of a mass shooting at a university speaking event.
This is basically an event in which a bunch of losers on the Internet harassed women because of “Videogame Journalism.” If you threaten women with the most horrid of crimes based on videogames, you’re a horrible person. This type of thing is why I gave up on playing video games on the Internet or on a console. It seems to be a dying culture. The worst part of it seems to have the misogynistic Men’s Rights Movement latching onto Gamergate. I think I’ll let Leslie Knope from Parks and Rec sum this all up:
2. The One Ring explained from The Lord of The Rings. I’ll be honest, I watched the movies and a lot of it left me confused even though I loved them. There were so many names and places mentioned that you had to read the appendices within the novels to know what was going on. It wasn’t until the extended editions that I learned more and more. After that I read all the novels, The Similarion, and even more books that explained the history. Fans want The Similarion to be adapted into a film, but since it covers 10,000 years, I’m guessing it won’t, but then again MONEY!
Skip all of that and let this video and the videos attached to it explain the history of Middle Earth. If you think George R.R. Martin can build a world, let J.R.R. Tolkien show you how it’s done.
3. Marvel released the new Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer. When you combine one of the best writer/director’s in the business with a franchise full of superheroes that he loves, nothing can go wrong. We’ve seen Joss Whedon combine all the storylines in the Marvel Universe in the first Avengers, and he seems to have a lock on doing it again.
If you don’t know who Joss Whedon is, first off, run away from me because I will be running at you with a hardcover book to hit you over the head. If you escape my rage, check out Firefly, Serenity (the opening tracking shot is genius), Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Dollhouse, The Cabin in the Woods, Angel, Toy Story, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
4. Culture Jam: How to Reverse America’s Suicidal Consumer Binge–And Why We Must is the book you need to read.
America is no longer a country but a multimillion-dollar brand, says Kalle Lasn and his fellow “culture jammers”. The founder of Adbusters magazine, Lasn aims to stop the branding of America by changing the way information flows; the way institutions wield power; the way television stations are run; and the way the food, fashion, automobile, sports, music, and culture industries set agendas. With a courageous and compelling voice, Lasn deconstructs the advertising culture and our fixation on icons and brand names. And he shows how to organize resistance against the power trust that manages the brands by “uncooling” consumer items, by “dermarketing” fashions and celebrities, and by breaking the “media trance” of our TV-addicted age.
One of my best friends let me read this book through a tumultuous time in my life. I got a shitty job as a security guard on weekends from 6pm – 6am, and I really didn’t know what I was doing. I sat in my car, freezing, and reading this book because there was really nothing else to do.
Each chapter in this book made me re-think previous opinions, or clarify the ones that I already had. If you want to read a book that makes you yell out loud with opinions about a book, I recommend this one.
You can head on over to Amazon and pick this book up.
5. The low-carb recipe that you need to lose weight. I’m pretty much an expert when it comes to losing weight. There are so many special things on the Internet that are wrong and you shouldn’t pay attention to.
The secret? Diet and exercise. No special pills, no bullshit tricks by that quack Dr. Oz. Nothing. Don’t subscribe to special programs online, just listen to me. Here is one recipe that is cheap and good for you. Does it taste good? Yeah, it’s great, but the point of it is to turn food into a routine instead of an indulgence. To win against bad food, you must turn it into fuel for your body. A necessity. Here we go:
The Sorensen Broccoli/Chicken or Beef Special
1 Chicken breast or equal amount of Steak cut up into small pieces
2 cups of finely cut broccoli
1/2 cup of soy sauce
1/2 cup of Italian dressing
1 cup of stir fry Marinade/Stir fry of your choice
2 handfuls of cut up lettuce
Cook the chicken/meat until browned, add the broccoli and the mixture of sauces until thick. Turn off and let cool for a few minutes. Pour cooked food upon plate of lettuce.
There you go. It’s not the most amazing thing of all time, but it is the best thing I have ever created that satisfies you and helps you lose weight. Also, buy some Psyllium husk for fiber and a multivitamin. That’s it! Good food, diet, fiber, lots of water, and veggies. There is no secret to weight loss, just hard work and dedication. You can’t pop a pill and eat pizza whilst expecting changes. It is hard at first, but it will become as routine as taking a shower or waking up in the morning.
6. Can science improve your sex life? Science is constantly giving us the best thing that the human brain can think of. Whether it’s the discovery of the Higgs Boson or the Dorito Taco, we are getting non-stop discoveries of greatness. Now, science brings us a way to improve your sex life. Why pop a blue pill that will give you an erection for 4 hours when there is a better way? Even a way to help women? Huzzah for science!
Watch the video below to get a better understanding:
7. Conan O’Brien heads to Cuba. In December of 2014, President Obama eased relations with Cuba after decades of most of us forgetting why we had a problem with Cuba. Conan took advantage of this by immediately going there and filming. We’ve detailed his past remote segments, but this one probably tops all of them.
Check the video below and get a glimpse of Conan proving that he is the best late night host in the game. Then watch this On Demand or anywhere else you can find it. You won’t regret it.
FOLLOW JEFF SORENSEN ON TWITTER
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.