I’m convinced that about a quarter of our population genuinely enjoys rioting

Monday night’s unpopular grand jury decision in the shooting of Michael Brown ignited a series of riots in and around Ferguson, Missouri, where Brown, an African American, while unarmed, was shot and killed by white police officer Darren Wilson last August.

Flipping to any news channel after 10 p.m. revealed utter chaos. Residents were looting businesses, starting fires, Fergusonand causing damage to anything they could get their hands on. Newscasters were being harassed. Some were drenched in tear gas.

The rioting hasn’t stopped. There’s more than 2,000 troops in Ferguson as I type this, and it’s not only happening there. From coast to coast, people are expressing their discontentment. Even made up cities, like Springfield in the television show The Simpsons, are probably a shit show.

It begs a question. People are obviously upset. Any high profile racial incident is going to evoke a lot of passion. Because it stands for much more than just one individual.

But are people really this upset?

Or do they really just enjoying throwing shit around and acting like buffoons? I’m convinced it’s a little bit of both.

It’s not every day people get to take part in an angry mob. Our society is built on order, on enforcement, and on the expectation that we, the people, will police ourselves and behave at all times.

So is it really hard to believe that there’s a small group of people who are constantly chomping at the bit to lash out against the system? People who just need the slightest incentive to run amok?

Well, these Ferguson riots gave them that opportunity. I’m certain there was at least a few people who were completely oblivious to the decision on Monday night, looked out their window and saw the looting, and went, “Aight. Count me in.”

I’m not discrediting the indignation that people felt following this ruling. I understand that plenty of the rioters are genuinely fed up with our legal system and the police.

But for every one of those rational protesters, there’s an anarchist, who’s trying to overturn a car without any real idea why their doing other than because they feel like it.

And then there’s the other half of our population, who were just pissed off that NBC cut away from State of Affairs starring Katherine Heigl to show the Ferguson coverage.

Those people are what this country is really about.

 

Why didn’t anybody tell me about this Jennifer Lopez/Iggy Azalea music video?

I was watching the American Music Awards last night when I learned of the existence of a song called “Booty,” by Jennifer Lopez and featuring Iggy Azalea.

After hearing the song title, I thought, this must be some type of elegant ballad cautioning against the destructive tendencies of people who over appreciate the value of money. Or perhaps a song about pirates.

J-Lo and IggyThen I went over to YouTube and saw that it is, in fact, a song that is about nothing else than women’s asses. I took further notice in the fact that the music video is barely a step above porn.

I have since watched it 11 times.

It basically comprises four minutes of Lopez and Azalea, clad in skimpy attire, grinding their backsides all over one another. After finally straying my eyes away from the video and onto the rest of the YouTube page, I noticed that the video was actually released two months ago.

Why didn’t anybody tell me? When a video like this exists, I feel it is obligatory for every man to inform at least one other man of it. Sort of like a cult.

I assume the song has lyrics, too. I wasn’t really paying attention to that part.

But then, after I snapped out of my trance, I thought about the deeper effects this video could have on our society, and realized that it’s a continuation of a recent trend.

Every so often you hear a woman of prominent stature speak publicly about how females are objectified in the media and popular culture. Especially after “The Fappening” scandal a couple of months ago.

The media obviously shoulders a significant portion of that blame. Look no further than magazines like Playboy or Maxim for evidence.

But what if it’s … women … who are also to blame for their own public image?

Take a look at recent items in popular culture that painted woman as nothing more than sex symbols: Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” video. Kim Kardashian’s Paper Magazine photoshoot. And now this.

Also, Jennifer, you’re 45. You have two children. Put on some pants.

Anyway, one can certainly argue that these are simply instances of artistic expression. Or you can say that it’s perpetuating a stereotype, and doing more harm for females than good.

Either way, I’m a dude. So it makes no difference to me!

 

 

People need to accept that 2015 will be the year of Benedict Cumberbatch.

2014 was a big year for a lot of people. Ariana Grande. Meghan Trainor. Princess Elsa from Frozen.

But it was not bigger for anyone more than Matthew McConaughey.

His Academy Award win for Dallas Buyers Club propelled him to mega stardom. His acceptance speech, featuring the Sherlock - Series 2now heavily-quoted “All right, all right, all right,” only furthered his popularity. After that, he co-starred in one of the biggest first seasons of a television show ever in True Detective, and probably would have won the Emmy if it didn’t fall in the same year as the final season of Breaking Bad.

And he capped the year off by starring in what might be the year’s most talked about film in Interstellar.

His resurgence was so sudden, and so prominent, that it was given its own name: the McConaissance.

Not too shabby of a year.

Now that it’s drawing to a close, it’s time to wonder: who will be the Matthew McConaughey of 2015? Who is some one that is already a borderline household name, but will soon take the next step in ultra fame and become revered by the general public?

I’ve got it. Benedict Cumberbatch.

Aside from having one of the most interesting names possible, Cumberbatch is already popular for his role in the British television series, Sherlock. He also has had recent notable roles in big blockbuster and critically acclaimed films Star Trek into Darkness and 12 Years a Slave.

But what is missing from his resume is that big dramatic starring role that will earn him international accolades. That is, after all, what gave Matthew McConaughey instant credibility.

Enter The Imitation Game. In theaters on Nov. 28, Cumberbatch plays Alan Turing, an English mathemetician who helped crack the Enigma code in World War II. He’s already being listed as a strong possibility to win Best Actor in a Leading Role at the next Academy Awards, with some pegging him as the favorite.

If he gets it, you can expect a full-on Cumber… assaiance.

And even if he doesn’t, it’s still evident that he on the verge of stardom. He’s being featured heavily on major talk shows, he’s well spoken, he enjoys photobombing U2, he does solid celebrity impressions and again, he has an awesome name.

Now is his time. The stars are aligning.

You heard it here first. 2015 … will be the year … of the Cumberbatch.

It rolls right off the tongue.

 

HOLY SHIT IT’S COLD

Let’s see, Bill Cosby is an accused sex offender, famed murderer Charles Manson is marrying a girl who’s less than one-third his age, and President Obama is taking a hard stance on immigration reform.

But who has time to think about all of that when IT’S GOD DAMN FREEZING OUTSIDE.

The one good thing about the cold is that it serves as a distraction. We don’t even have the mental capacity to think Wintry Weather New Yorkabout anything else that might be bothering us, because all of our attention is focused towards not being freezing.

It’s so cold that you wonder why any one would ever even think about going outside. And when you do see somebody braving the outdoors, you stare at them as if they’re insane. A few hours ago, I saw a group of girls actually running outside. All I wanted to do was roll down my window and throw hot chocolate at them.

At least some parts of all 50 states have experienced freezing temperatures below 32 degrees in the last two days. But central and western New York is getting the worst of it, most specifically southern Buffalo, where seven people have died.

Up to six feet of snow in some areas has blockaded people in their homes and engorged vehicles, all because of a lake effect.

Wait, a what? That sounds like a crossover of a Sandra Bullock and Ashton Kutcher movie.

I’m pretty sure meteorologists are just making shit up at this point. Last year it was an arctic blast, and now it’s a lake effect. I mean, they’re wrong half the time anyway, so they might as well create scientific names just to make themselves sound smart.

Next winter, get ready for the tectonic skullfreeze, or a zooming frostswell.

And because human beings have totally screwed up our weather systems, of course the forecasts call for 50 degree temperatures by this weekend. If that doesn’t provide bait to all the people who jump at every opportunity to cry climate change, than I don’t know what will.

If I’m being perfectly honest though, I don’t hate this cold. I mean, I don’t love it, but I can more than tolerate it. First of all, bundling up is comfortable. I enjoy wearing sweatshirts and heavy coats.

Skullcaps? Hell yeah, bitches.

Also, I can drink as much hot coffee and Swiss Miss as I want without being judged.

And the best part? This isn’t the 1840s, where we’re all living on the frontier and literally trying to survive the winter. Once you’re home, you can throw on some sweatpants, cover yourself in a heavy blanket, curl up in front of the television and remain in the same exact position for seven hours. Basically, we become a cat.

And that sounds purrfect to me.

 

When did Anonymous become real life superheroes?

Anonymous, a seemingly untraceable group of hackers who pretty much have the capabilities of doing whatever they want on the Internet without any repercussions, has always been very mysterious.

Who are they? How do they organize? Where do they operate?

AnonymousThose are some of the questions that usually arise regarding the self-proclaimed “hacktivists.”

They’ve brought down PayPal. They’ve conspired against government websites. And yet, they’ve never been caught. So if they’re that powerful, that they can attack major corporations and federal institutions, and not be punished, then it’s only natural to fear them, right? Who would want to get on their bad side?

But the public attitude towards Anonymous seemed to shift dramatically two years ago, when the group hacked the website of and published private information about the Westboro Baptist Church, after the church announced its intention to picket the funeral of Sandy Hook victims.

Everybody hates the Westboro Baptist Church. It’s one of the few things people universally agree on. So any enemy of theirs is a friend of ours.

Suddenly, Anonymous was seen in a whole new light.

Now, Anonymous just earned another round of public approval by hacking everybody’s least favorite thing whose initials start and end with the letter K.

No, unfortunately it’s not Kim Kardashian. But hopefully that is next.

On November 16, the Klu Klux Klan’s official Twitter feed  became under Anonymous control. The attack came after the KKK said it was going to use lethal force against Ferguson protesters. Additionally, they provided links to social media accounts which contained photos, addresses, phone numbers, ages, workplaces, of KKK members, as well as photos of their children.

Obviously, Anonymous does not screw around.

But the point is, in a society that glamorizes the idea of “superheroes” in popular culture — crime fighters who go above the law to thwart villains — why are we looking any further to find the actual living version of that than Anonymous?

They neglect the law. They don’t get caught. They take on groups that are universally hated.

That’s so superhero, that I can’t even.

Yup, I’m so passionate about this that I even talked like a teenage girl to prove my point.

 

More people should probably care about the comet landing

On Nov. 12, a robotic space lander that was attached to a spacecraft landed on a comet that is moving more than 80,000 miles per hour.

I’m not even going to pretend to know exactly how this happened. I could read an article, and essentially copy and paste. But instead I’m just going to appreciate the accomplishment, and leave the logistics in the hands of the people behind it.

Artist rendering of the Philae landing by the ESA

ESA’s artist rendering of the Philae landing

Those people are the European Space Agency, headquartered in Paris, who launched the Rosetta spacecraft in March 2004. Just over 10 years later, the Philae lander detached from the Rosetta and touched down on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, which, coincidentally, is what I plan to name my first child.

It’s the first time that a spacecraft has ever landed on a comet nucleus.

Sadly, Kim Kardashian’s  ass — also of meteoric proportions — won the headlines last week, overshadowing this achievement. But the general public is as much to blame for that as Kim Kardashian is, but let’s not get into that.

As amazing as this accomplishment is, it didn’t go without some complications. Solar panels on the Philae were designed to keep its batteries running. However, the lander ultimately settled in a shadowy part of the comet, and thus scientists were only able to retrieve information from it until its charge expired. But apparently it was a lot of data, including the first ever images from a comet’s surface.

The Philae, which if said aloud might be confused with a cut of meat, went silent on Nov. 14. But it’s believed that by around August 2015, when the comet has moved closer to the sun in its orbit, the lander’s solar panels may receive enough light to function again. Or at least that’s what Wikipedia says.

Oh, and the lander has its own Twitter feed. The mission also has its own page. The comet has yet to engage in social media, but I do think I came across it on Tinder the other night when I was drunk.

Any data that the ESA makes public will probably be so scientifically advanced that it’ll be meaningless to me, but I think even us simpletons can appreciate the incredible magnitude of this undertaking: a 10-year mission, to land a 200 lb. device on a freaking comet some 500 million miles away from Earth.

I mean, couldn’t we make the argument that this is mankind’s greatest achievement to date? I don’t see how anybody could strongly disagree with that. And if that’s the case, why aren’t we talking about it more?

Oh, right.

Kim K.

 

 

The saddest thing that’s ever happened on the Internet

Yesterday, Kim Kardashian created a buzz when a magazine cover featuring her exposed derriere surfaced on the Internet. The photo seemed to polarize people, some of whom voiced their admiration for Kim’s audacity, and others who denounced it as just another headline grab.

Today, a new topic has captured the Internet’s attention for a totally different reason.

A newly widowed father was videotaped singing the Beatles’ “Blackbird” to his newborn son, Lennon, who was barely clinging to life. Lennon died a day later.

I will go on record right now in saying there will never be a more heart-wrenching video ever made. Not that I want there to be such a competition for that. But to hear the heartbreak and emotion in the voice of the father, named Chris Picco, singing to his baby as he’s connected to machines, strikes the soul. You simply cannot watch that and not be affected.

The story goes that Chris’s wife, Ashley Picco, required an emergency Caesarean section to save her son. Lennon was born, but Ashley died shortly after in her sleep. Days later, Lennon followed her, but not before he received one last serenade from his father.

It’s things like this that help you realize how fleeting life really is. We’re constantly reminded of it, since sad things happen every day, but it’s easy to forget. Just 24 hours ago, I was seething about Kim Kardashian, and after learning this story, it seems so trivial.

But some good has come out of this tragic situation. On a memorial page dedicated to Ashley, who was 30, comments from friends and strangers alike are pouring in with people offering their sympathies.

A fund for Ashley’s family has already raised $90,000 as of Thursday night, and I’m certain it’ll continue to grow.

And I have a feeling that Chris Picco will be making appearances on some television talk shows, and that he will embraced by people worldwide. Indeed, this is a guest made for The Ellen Show. Ellen, make it happen.

Next time you’re downtrodden, or feeling down in the dumps, just think of Chris Picco, who only wanted to share his love for the Beatles with his son. And for a short while, he did.