The Underground — Issue #33
Everything you need to know about in this weekly series: The biggest anime on the planet debuts its live-action adaptation trailer, a legendary actor you may not know by name has passed, a book that has 100 stories that will change your view of historical events, why college is so expensive, and a look into the evolution of one of animation’s greatest directors.
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 that’s our job: 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. That’s The Underground.
1. The Attack on Titan live-action trailer debuts and doesn’t disappoint. Attack on Titan is arguably the biggest anime and manga on the planet right now. It was revealed last year that a live-action adaptation was coming out this year, but it remained to be seen how any studio could actually pull off an adaptation that was actually going to be good. I waited 10 years for a live-action version of Dragonball Z, and what I got was one of the worst pieces of sh*t ever produced by a studio.
The more we’ve seen of the AoT footage gives me hope that the film will be just as good and as terrifying as the anime. If you don’t know what Attack on Titan is about, here’s a quick summary:
Set in a fantasy world, mankind is driven to the brink of extinction by mindless, man-eating giants known as Titans. In defense, all of humanity retreated to a civilisation contained within three concentric 50-meter Walls: Maria, Rose, and Sina. In the year 845, after nearly a century of relative peace within the walls, a 60-meter “Colossal” Titan materialised at and destroyed the outermost gate, ushering in hoards of smaller Titans. Witnessing the fullness of the Titan horror first-hand, a young and tenacious Eren Jaeger vows to rid the world of all Titans and win back freedom for mankind. He is joined by his adoptive sister, Mikasa Ackerman and their friend, Armin Arlert as they set out to fulfill this shared dream.
It’s one of the greatest fears that humanity has told in stories over and over again: The “Fee-fi-fo-fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman, Be he alive, or be he dead, I’ll grind his bones to make my bread” but even more terrifying story. These titans don’t talk, they seem to have no motivation other than to eat human beings, and their faces will give you nightmares.
Have a look at the trailer for Attack on Titan below, and look forward to it coming to theaters here in the U.S. around December.
2. Legendary actor and original SNL cast member George Coe has passed away. Many kids nowadays may not recognize the actor by name, but when you see his face, you’ll immediately think, “Oh, that guy has been in everything!” Indeed, Coe has been in an astounding amount of film and TV. His most recognizable roles have been in films like The Stepford Wives, Kramers vs. Kramer, The Might Ducks, Nominated for an Academy Award for the short film De Düva: The Dove, The Omega Code, The Mighty Ducks, and Big Eden.
He’s also been in dozens of famous TV shows like Saturday Night Live, Hill Street Blues, Moonlighting, Family Ties, Dallas, L.A. Law, Magnum P.I., The Golden Girls, Columbo, Matlock, Murder, She Wrote, Murphy Brown, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Night Court, Law & Order, Home Improvement, The Practice, The West Wing, Smallville, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Bones, and most recently Archer as Woodhouse.
Try to hold back your tears with FX’s tribute to George Coe:
RIP Coe, you’ve been amazing in everything you’ve been in. Archer will never be the same without your voice.
3. The Greatest Stories Never Told: 100 Tales from History to Astonish, Bewilder, and Stupefy is a book that you need on your coffee table.
One of my favorite pastimes is listening to someone tell a historical story and then having me sh*t all over it because they don’t know what they’re talking about. This book was made for me because every time someone is telling a story, I can just point at the book.
History isn’t always made by great armies colliding or by great civilizations rising or falling. Sometimes it’s made when a chauffeur takes a wrong turn, a scientist forgets to clean up his lab, or a drunken soldier gets a bit rowdy. That’s the kind of history you’ll find in The Greatest Stories Never Told.
This is history candy — the good stuff. Here are 100 tales to astonish, bewilder, and stupefy: more than two thousand years of history filled with courage, cowardice, hope, triumph, sex, intrigue, folly, humor, and ambition. It’s a historical delight and a visual feast with hundreds of photographs, drawings, and maps that bring each story to life. A new discovery waits on every page: stories that changed the course of history and stories that affected what you had for breakfast this morning.
- The Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock because they ran out of beer
- Some Roman officials were so corrupt that they actually stole time itself
- Three cigars changed the course of the Civil War
- The Scottish kilt was invented by an Englishman
Based on the popular Timelab 2000® history minutes hosted by Sam Waterston on The History Channel®, this collection of fascinating historical tidbits will have you shaking your head in wonder and disbelief. But they’re all true. And you’ll soon find yourself telling them to your friends.
There is so much embarrassing history that people regard as fact when there is a lot more to what happened. So much of it is overlooked, and reading more into it makes history that much more interesting and amusing.
You can head on over to Amazon and pick the book up. I recommend buying the hardcover. It’s one of those books you like to pick up and skim through on a daily basis.
4. Learn why college is so damn expensive. One of the biggest walk of shames in college — besides those many walk of shames due to other reasons — is the walk to the bookstore knowing that you will drop hundreds on books that you probably won’t even read, but will need the questions in the back to answer for homework. Then comes the second walk of shame back to the bookstore to find out that new editions of those books are coming out, and you don’t get any money for them. Since Pluto has new information coming daily, expect new editions of astronomy and science books to be screwing you for the next 16 months. Thanks, Pluto.
This video explains why college is so expensive. Trust me, the longer you watch the video, the more you will be shaking your head to the point that you’ll need to take an aspirin.
5. Witness the evolution of genius animation director Chuck Jones. It doesn’t matter if you’re a kid or an adult, everyone knows the name Chuck Jones. If you’ve watched any Looney Tunes cartoon, you’ve seen “Directed by Chuck Jones” in the opening credits.
He is to the direction and style of the cartoon as Mel Blanc was to the iconic voice of almost every character. If you can think of your favorite short in a Looney Tunes episode, he was most likely the genius behind it. He directed many classic shorts starring Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote, Pepé Le Pew, Porky Pig and a bunch of other Warner characters.
Before I introduce the video, I want to show you some screencaps that EVERY Looney Tunes fan will instantly recognize from Chuck Jones:
Chuck Jones transformed characters into the ones we know today. With Chuck Jones, Bugs Bunny never walked up to annoy the hell out of someone for fun, he would have to been provoked first and would then retaliate. Daffy Duck was just an insane duck before Chuck Jones transformed him into being the butt of the joke instead of the one laughing at others. His motivation now was to always get money and be famous. Daffy is essentially Bugs Bunny’s opposite since he was the one always doing the provoking. You can see it in shorts where the two face off against each other.
Chuck Jones was simplistic, yet he brought physical comedy to animation like no other director has. Behold the influence that Chuck Jones has had on the animation community since he revolutionized it decades ago:
FOLLOW JEFF SORENSEN ON TWITTER