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The IITS 2007 Pop Culture Hall of Fame Nominees: Miscellany

Posted by Andrew Unterberger on December 15, 2007

The school books say it can be here again

Possibly our last day of nominees here–we might have one more category, I’m not sure yet–and this time we’re talking about..well, all the stuff we didn’t talk about in the last four days. The sports, the viral videos, the scandals, the non-depressing news stories, and so forth. If you don’t know the deal by now, you probably never will, but please don’t forget to vote and such–up to five, with an optional write-in vote (though several of you have been writing-in several, which I guess is OK), either in the comments box or to fadeout95@gmail.com. And if you want, you can wait until the end of the week, when I’ll compile a list of the nominees, and you can just submit one big ballot. And thus:


Don’t Tase Me, Bro

See, this is what happens when college kids listen to too much Rage Against the Machine. Andrew Meyer was doing all right, I think–maybe a little overdramatic–up until the part where he started screaming for help and flailing around like a jackass. Who did he think was coming to his aid, exactly? The rebel freedom fighters? That’s not to say that the cops are entirely blameless here, however–if they had just answered to his pleas of “Don’t tase me, Bro!” with a calm, rational, “OK, we won’t tase you, but that means you have to stop screaming for help and flailing around like a jackass! You can’t have it both ways!” then the clip at least could’ve ended without the half-minute of Meyer wailing in pain, amidst horrified shrieks from the audience. Truly, what we had here was a failure to communicate–albeit one that made for good T-Shirt slogans.


“Doesn’t Anyone Fucking Knock?”

How many of you knew what the term “cottaging” meant before Larry Craig made headlines for all the wrong reasons this year? How many of you still didn’t know what it meant until you looked it up five minutes before writing this article? All right, that one might just be me, but still–you gotta give Craig props for making bathroom-cruising fashionable for the first time since a similarly high-profile bust nearly a decade ago. It’s too bad that Craig, unlike George Michael, seems unwilling to at least make the most of a bad situation–he could’ve had a great cameo in the “Oustide ’08” vid.


Woah There

To me, the most surprising thing about skateboarder Jake Brown’s unbelievably horrific 45-foot free fall at the X Games this summer is that this sort of thing doesn’t happen more often. Which isn’t to say, of course, that wiping out is anything new in extreme sports. But I’d never seen anything quite like this before. Most cringe-worthy sport moments are a second long, tops–a bad landing, a rough hit, a small drop. But once the board flies out from under Brown’s feet, you’ve got a good three or four seconds of him swinging his legs wildly, hoping, praying that he can somehow find the board under them (which is, by now, pretty much halfway across the room) before he action hits the ground. And as if that wasn’t enough, upon the dreaded landing, Brown’s shoes fly off–I mean, fly off, I didn’t even know that was possible. I do after watching the clip about a dozen times straight, though.


“I’m Not Taking That Chance At All! Never in Life! Never! Never!”

One thing you do have to say for Dog the Bounty Hunter, he’s pretty good at gauging potential public reactions. Just days after predicting that his career would be over if anyone ever heard him use the word “nigger”–his reasoning for why his son can’t date a black girl, or at least can’t bring her within earshot of his racial epiphet-spewing celeb dad–his career was in fact over, A&E having spended his show and Dog’s reformed Christian rep coming into, ahem, minor question. Sad as it should be that Dog’s son sold him out so explicitly (to the Enquirer, no less), it’s impossible not to appreciate the double-irony of the whole thing. Plus, compared to this guy, Don Imus is practically Susan Sarandon.


“You Know, Roger, This Could Give Your Career a Real Shot in the Ass”

A late-bloomer for 2007 Pop Culture Hall of Fame contention for sure, but a year seems too long a time to wait before putting it on the ballot. Despite what your opinions might be on the overall worth of the Mitchell Report–overhyped, under-researched and largely unrevelatory as it may be–this was pretty big, to consider that now both the best hitter and the best pitcher of the last 20 years have at least half of their output, and consequently, their entire careers, called into question. Personally, I found the inclusion of Lenny Dykstra to be far more discouraging, but somehow I don’t think that his discrediting has quite the same ring of epoch to it. (Oh, and feel free to throw Bonds’ record-breaking / indictment in there too, didn’t seem like there was a point in making two separate entries for this).


Ahmadinejad Outraged About America’s Rude Treatment of Guest Speakers, Holocaust Myth

After weathering a storm of controversy about his decision to invite Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadeinejad to speak at Columbia, University President Lee Bollinger nonetheless decided to call Ahmadenijad out himself in his introduction speech, calling him a “petty and cruel dictator.” His ambush tactics were seen so unfavorably by the public that even the Iranian Jewish community decried them, saying that the President’s comments “prove once more that those claiming to be peace loving people have no real grasp of the concept.” When you’ve openly referred to the “myth” of the Holocaust and the Jewish people still have your back, you know America dun fucked up. The whole incident was big enough to inspire an SNL digital short, the touching Ahmadinejad ode “Iran (So Far Away)” (the millionth piece of evidence this year that Adam Levine wants to be Justin Timberlake), which contains the immortal line: “I know you say there’s no gays in Iran…but you in New York now, baby!


And I Think It’s Gonna Be a Long, Long Time

Ten years from now, there will be no better answer to a base-level trivia question than Lisa Nowak. Did you remember what her name was? I forgot it, and I had just looked it up the night before. Anwyway, in an extremely rare case of truth actually being stranger than fiction (seriously, this happens maybe three times a decade), Nowak managed to do for diapers what OJ did for white gloves a decade ago in her cross-country race to break up an affair between Colleen Shipman and fellow astronaut William Oefelein. This would’ve seemed a more romantic gesture had Nowak not packed various knives, guns, tools for kindapping and body disposal, and (allegedly) a set of diapers, which Nowak believed would cut down on her trip’s time. In the words of the always topical Liz Lemon, “That was a lady with a plan.”


The Patriots and the Dolphins Maintain the Karmic Balance of the Universe

This one is (sort of) a risky proposition, considering that there are technically three weeks left in the season, and stranger things have probably happened. But unless Eli Manning can do what big bro failed to in October, Eric Mangini actually gets vengeance for whatever exactly it is he’s feuding with Bill Belichick over, or the Dolphins catch the Ravens or Bengals on particularly dispirted weeks, 2007 will have the dubious distinction of being the only year in NFL (or indeed, major sports) history that there will be both an undefeated and a winless team in the same year. Of course, this is without mentioning the last, and least likely possible outcome–that the Dolphins actually manage to beat the Pats in week 16–but that in itself would probably be Hall of Fame worthy, so.


Let There Be Rock

OK, you had to know that this was coming at some point. Sure, the XBox might’ve had a couple other notable releases this year–Bioshock, The Orange Box, Halo 3 of course–but ultimately, there’s only one that was of actual consequence to this blog. Whether Rock Band will really go on to be as world-changing as was initially speculated is, as far as I can tell, still unsure–sales reports appear to have been guardedly enthusiastic, at the most positive–but I know that I had a moderately attended party based around it (the only excuse I’ve had thusfar to drag so many people out to Brooklyn), and even the girls kept telling me how awesome it was. That’s popular culture for you, motherfucker.

Honorable Mention:

Dumbledore outed
Colorado Rockies: On a Mission From God
The YouTube Shreds Series
Chocolate Rain” (Sorry, Josh, I didn’t even know what this was when you mentioned in on Monday–I always figured it was R. Kelly-related in some capacity)
Filipino Inmates do Thriller
Black People Can Coach Football, Apparently
Vanessa Hudgens’ nudedness (hhn: Zac Efron’s “Come and Get It, Ladies” RS cover)
Anna Nicole Smith dies, becomes famous
Alec Baldwin’s tough love parenting techniques
Gilbertology

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9 Responses to “The IITS 2007 Pop Culture Hall of Fame Nominees: Miscellany”

  1. buckworth said

    1. Gil Arenas
    2. Dog the bounty hunter
    3. Don’t Tase Me Bro
    4. X-games dude
    5. Mitchell Report

  2. dan e said

    music:

    1. T-Pain
    2. Amy Winehouse
    3. Soulja Boy
    4. Britney

    movies:

    1. Superbad
    2. The 3
    3. Simpsons
    4. Scorsese

    TV:

    1. Strike
    2. Flight of the Conchords
    3. Nerds
    4. Caveman

    commercials:

    1. Go-Kart kid
    2. Derek Jeter

    miscellany:

    1. Ahmadinejad
    2. Astronaut lady
    3. Mitchell Report

  3. Haley said

    Damn dirty astronauts
    Don’t Tase me, Bro
    Anna Nicole
    Dog Hates black people
    Larry Craig

  4. Garret said

    I’m going to vote for one per category, how about that for some shit.

    MOVIES – Young Seth in “Superbad”
    TV – Flight of the Concords
    COMMERCIALS – (write-in vote) Starburst Berries & Cream with the merry Davy Jones-ish dude completely spazzing the fuck out
    MISCELLANY – “Don’t tase me, bro!”

  5. Victor said

    Lenny Dykstra doing steroids is about as shocking as John Kruk being fat.

    The guy would eaten a live kitten if it meant a 20 point rise in his batting average. But, that’s what made him such a fan favorite.

  6. Sonja said

    1. Lisa Nowak- awesome
    2. I cannot for the life of me understand how you didn’t know about Chocolate Rain. I give it like eight votes, and a ninth for “*I move away from the mic to take a breath”

  7. Millie said

    1. Lisa Nowak
    2. Dog the Bounty Hunter
    3. Don’t Tase Me
    4. Mitchell Report
    5. Larry Craig

  8. Dan said

    Guitar Hero
    Mitchell Report
    Pats and Fins
    Ahmenijad
    Larry Craig

    My personal favorite is Gilbertology

  9. Anton said

    1 – Ahmadinejad
    2 – “Don’t tase me, bro!”
    3 – Larry Craig
    4 – Dumbledore outed
    5 – write-in: Celebreality dating (I love NY 2, Rock of Love, A shot at love, etc.). Either we’re in for a long long string of these shows, which will be weird, or they will die abruptly and we will always remember how weird it was that shows like that not only existed but were monstrously popular.

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