The Underground — Issue #70
Everything you need to know about in this weekly series: The history and impact of Adult Swim, how the original Superman shorts in the 1940’s shaped the modern superhero, a memorable song that is used in various movies and trailers, and the benefits of marijuana for cerebral palsy.
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 history and impact of Adult Swim. I was born in 1985. This means that I was in my teens and early twenties when Adult Swim first came on the scene. Cartoon Network was starting to hit its stride, and then they introduced this mature block of cartoon and wacky comedies at night. Let’s just say that is you smoked marijuana, you knew every show on Adult Swim by heart.
Soon after they got into a groove, they started playing Japanese Anime. One show that first came out onto Adult Swim was Cowboy Bebop. I was into a Japanese Anime that was on earlier in the day on their Toonami block called Dragonball Z, but Cowboy Bebop at me at their opening theme song. The music in the show was not just a good soundtrack for the show, it was enough for me to jam in my car on a sunny day. Adult Swim kept bringing on more anime and even more comedies that complimented each other quite well.
Below is the history of Adult Swim and how late night television has been radically changed by a couple people with almost no budget.
2. How the original Superman shorts in the 1940’s shaped the modern superhero. Decades ago, the saying “Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings at a single bound!” it meant exactly that. Superman was just that fast, that strong, and could ONLY jump higher than a tall building. Meaning that he couldn’t fly. In the original Superman series by Max Fleischer, Superman could only jump high, which meant to get around the city to save people, he was jumping from building to building. Each episode was already hitting around $500,000 in today’s dollars for a 10 minute episode, so they decided to just have Superman fly to save on costs of drawing all of that scenery.
Yep, Superman only flew to save money. Now practically every superhero flies because of this simple change. That radically changed all superheroes. The rest of this documentary really shows how Fleisher and his brother changed animation and film as we know it. He invented rotoscoping, which is where animation races over live images. If you watch how Superman moved in the original series, it looks like a real person moving. Hell, if it wasn’t for rotoscoping, most of the movies now would look weird.
For more, check out the doc on the golden age of animation that Superman helped create.
3. Adagio in D Minor is to go to song for movies and trailers. Chances are that you’ve heard an epic song played in a film or over a trailer that you’ve heard before, but you can’t quite place. Well, that song is actually from a fantastic movie called Sunshine. It came out in 2007, was largely overlooked because studios can’t market good movies well, but it featured a song by John Murphy which played during a major part in the film.
The song’s influence has gone beyond playing in just one movie, it’s played all over the place. Where?
- A trailer for the movie The Big Picture, original title ‘L’homme qui voulait vivre sa vie’
- A trailer for the movie Blindness
- A trailer for the movie The Adjustment Bureau.
- A trailer for the movie “Like Dandelion Dust“
- A trailer for the movie X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
- A trailer for the IMAX documentary Hubble 3D.
- The unaired pilot episode of the television series Fringe.
- The season finale of the 2009 television series V (season 1, episode 12: “Red Sky”).
- Multiple episodes of the television series The Walking Dead (season 1, episode 5: “Wildfire”; season 2, episode 1: “What Lies Ahead“).
- An NBC feature on speed skater Apolo Ohno that aired on 14 February 2010 during the network’s coverage of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
- The 2009 film The Lovely Bones
- The advert used in Cineworld cinemas
- The soundtrack for the movie “Kick Ass“
- Episode 2 of BBC 2’s How to Grow a Planet
- The opening segment on HBO’s 24/7 Rangers vs. Flyers series that debuted in December 2011.
- “View from the ISS at Night” – A Timelapse video of the Earth compiled by Knate Myers from still photos taken from the International Space Station and archived at the Image Science & Analysis Laboratory at NASA.
- A trailer for the movie The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.
- A trailer for the movie Star Trek Into Darkness.
- A 2012 advert for Dior perfume “J’adore”.
- A 2013 advert for a Samsung Smart TV.
- BBC Documentary Asteroids – The Good the Bad and the Ugly
- A TV spot for the 2013 film Gravity
- A trailer for the movie X-Men: Days of Future Past.
- A 2013 NASCAR/ESPN advert
- A 2013 Nike Canada advert “All Ice is Home Ice”
- A 2014 advert for the U.S. cable network History
- A trailer for the film Unbroken, released on Christmas Day, 2014
Recgonize it yet? Give it a listen, then ask yourself how this song wasn’t nominated for an Academy Award. Then ask yourself how Sam Smith won an Academy award for that crappy James Bond theme. What the hell?
4. How medical marijuana benefits people who actually need it. Marijuana is a schedule 1 drug in the United States. That means it’s up there with heroin in how dangerous it is for you. Meanwhile, alcohol and cigarettes are sold at the same places you go to pick up your medications…. which may be just as bad for you as heroin. Weed, which actually helps people, could lead you to go to jail if you get pulled over and have a joint on you. The problem with this is EVERYTHING.
Marijuana helps a lot of people. It helps people get their appetite back if they have cancer, helps peoples eyes, and most impressively, it helps people with cerebral palsy. Below is a woman who has it, and has an obvious and debilitating stutter, and her right hand is stressed to the point where it looks like she is permanently clenched. She has to drive a distance to find marijuana that can help her condition. Does it work? Hell yeah!
The moment she takes three hits, her speech is normalized. Her right arm tension has decreased and she seems incredibly released. If you want to see a night and day change because of the power of weed, watch the woman below use it for the health benefit. Also, get off your rocker, govt. This is obviously a medicine for people in need.
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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.