THE UNDERGROUND — ISSUE #60
Everything you need to know about in this weekly series: Why does alcohol burn your throat when you drink it, how Star Wars: The Force Awakens pull off the practical and special effects, the genius of director Edgar Wright, and a documentary about how big oil conquered the world.
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. Why does alcohol feel like it’s burning your throat when you swallow it? If you’ve ever done a shot of liquor, chances are that there is a burning hot feeling that goes all the way down your esophagus. If your friends decide they want to do a Fireball shot, politely say no because there is absolutely no point of doing those shots. They burn, taste awful and generally leave a bad taste in your mouth.
But why exactly does alcohol do this? It’s a little bit complicated, so I’ll just let this handy video explain the reasons why drinking alcohol will give you that burning sensation when you drink it. Once again, don’t drink Fireball. It makes no sense at all to do it.
2. Check out how they pulled off the practical and special effect in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. There has been a lot of fuss made about the amount of practical effects that J.J. Abrams insisted on using in the new Star Wars film, especially since the prequels used so many special effects that practically the entire film was a green screen. You can go on YouTube and look at the making of the prequels and see Lucas just hunched over in his chair with gigantic green screens all over the place. Imagine being an actor reacting to nothing but tennis balls and reading bad dialogue? Woof.
What Abrams and his team did so well was to blend the practical and the special that you couldn’t really tell which was fake and which was real… I mean the space battles were obviously CGI, but a lot of the sets were all real with overlaid special effects that you couldn’t tell, and that’s the point. The only glaring CGI mistake was probably Supreme Leader of the First Order Snoke. The moment you see him, it almost takes you out of the movie… almost.
Check out how they did it and be happy that Star Wars is back in capable hands.
3. Edgar Wright is the best director of comedic films in the business. If you don’t know who Edgar Wright is, well maybe I should name off some of his movies: Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World, and The World’s End. He was also supposed to direct Ant-Man, but Marvel doesn’t really like directors that, you know, are really good at their jobs and have a vision. He also directed every episode of the UK television series Spaced. I urge you to find that and watch it immediately.
What Wright does right is he knows how to take the simplest things in a script and turn it into a clever directing trick. For example: In the video below, The film The World’s End depicts a scene in a pub where all the actors order a pint except one who orders water because he doesn’t drink anymore. A hack director would merely show the bartender from a typical angled shot fill up the beers, then the water, and then go to the next scene showing the aftermath. Wright takes that simple premise and turns it into something really funny.
He’s a visual storyteller like no other. He doesn’t just show a person move from one place to another with a few street signs and helicopter shots, he makes you feel the experience of travel like he does in a scene from Hot Fuzz. Every damn scene he films is so wonderfully set up and knocked down that he is bound to win some huge awards… when the voters actually stop f*cking around. It really makes me sad that he didn’t do Ant-Man. What we got was someone trying to imitate his style and failing miserably.
Watch the brilliance of Edgar Wright below, then go watch his movies!
4. How Big Oil Conquered The World is a chilling film that shows the far reach of the industry over a hundred years. Everything around you has some attachment to oil. When you hear that oil prices are falling and the gas prices don’t go down at the corner gas station, you get pissed off. There is a lot more to it because oil is really involved with everything. You know that electric car you drive and are so proud about? How was it made? What are the tires made of? Yeah, oil. You can’t escape it. We have become so dependent on it… and the big oil industries know it.
Premise: From farm to pharmaceutical, diesel truck to dinner plate, pipeline to plastic product, it is impossible to think of an area of our modern-day lives that is not affected by the oil industry. The story of oil is the story of the modern world. And this is the story of those who helped shape that world, and how the oiligarchy they created is on the verge of monopolizing life itself.
If you feel content not knowing about how much oil has control over you, I suggest skipping the video below. If you want to know about how oil is basically like 100 pieces of chewing gum stuck to long flowing hair, then watch the video. It’s basically like watching Food Inc. while trying to eat a steak.
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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.