Tag Archives: pop culture

People Tell Us About the First Time They Felt Old

If you're looking for a quick way to depress yourself this weekend, you're in luck: Just open up Google and punch in "things that happened 20 years ago."

Yep. With just a few keystrokes, you can be reminded that "Backstreet's Back," "Song 2," and "Hypnotize" all turned 20 this year, or that "Hot in Here," The Royal Tenenbaums, and the first Harry Potter movie turned 15. You too can feel thoroughly ancient in the knowledge that "Back to Black" and There Will Be Blood are now ten years old, and that it's been two decades since Notorious B.I.G. was murdered, 17 years since Bush's first term, and 14 years since this happened.

Think of them as pre-senior moments: not quite on par with forgetting why you walked into a room or shitting yourself in a movie theater, but a quick and painful reminder that it's now been almost two decades since anyone uttered the word "Willennium."

The good news is, we're not alone.

In order to stave off your approaching existential dread, we've collected anecdotes from folks who feel just as elderly as you do. Our peers have dug deep to share their very first pre-senior moments, whether they be physical (things breaking or aching), psychological (Dear God, people born in 2000 are approaching legal drinking age), or simple realizations, like the fact that the cast of Buffy the Vampire Slayer now look like this.

Because while we may not look like older generations—with their stable incomes, reasonable tuition fees, and actual shot at home ownership—by God, do we ever feel like them.

Xander, 34
"Last spring, I passed a group of teens smoking weed on a bench, and they attempted to hide it when they saw me. Most people know I smoke, and even two or three years ago, kids that age would have invited me into the circle. Now I'm clearly seen as an old man. Whatever. Like I'd smoke with them, or have anything to do with their bunk-ass herb."

Mitch, 31
"The first time I felt old was at a lesbian event. This woman was hitting on me hard, and I knew she was way too young for me. I finally said, 'You're sweet and attractive, but you're much too young.' She said 'No, I'm not.' Then I told her what year I was born. She looked horrified and said 'So was my mom.' Needless to say, she backed off."

Cynara, 34
"When some kids 'ma'amed' me in a hotel lobby in SoHo while trying to convince me to buy them booze at a nearby bodega. This was like five years ago, so I was still in my 20s."

Nate, 28
"One morning, I woke up extremely hungover, with no memory of the night before, and I was startled to discover I couldn't move. My back had seized, and I had to yell for my roommate to help roll me out of bed. I was 24."

Jason, 34
"Meeting a girl in a bar who, after running her hand along my abs, assured me she was 'actually a big fan of the dad bod.'"

Souzan, 32
"A day or two after my 30th birthday, I passed the mirror and suddenly realized my ass was a different shape, and I had laugh lines. It was like a switch went off after 30, because I'd never noticed either of those things before."

Melissa, 33
"When I was walking down the hallway at my work—which also happens to be my alma mater—and I saw kids pointing at grad photos and laughing at the old styles, I thought to myself, I remember doing that in high school. Then I got closer and realized they were looking at my grad class."

Tara, 29
"A few years ago, I threw my back out while trying on shorts."

Aliez, 33
"Being identified as the 'slender, dark-haired, middle-aged lady' at work. Then being told it was meant as a compliment."

Billeh, 38
"I was teaching a college class and mentioned Corey Hart in reference to a student writing about sunglasses. Most of the class looked at me like I was speaking Latin. I asked them to raise a hand if they knew who Corey Hart was. Only two of them knew. This was a few years ago. Now I feel ancient."

Dana, 30
"When my kids told me I was an adult."

Rachel, 24
"I threw my back out in the middle of downward dog and couldn't straighten out. I basically just toppled over onto the floor, wheezing because it hurt so much, and I couldn't figure out why. I was 22."

Eve, 44
"When I became invisible to anyone under 35."

Nat, 31
"When I realized that almost every athlete at the Olympics was younger than me. Also, when I had to explain who OJ Simpson and Tonya Harding are to a college kid."

Dina, 29
"When I started considering that some dresses might be too short for me to wear. I still wear the short dresses, but a few years ago, I thought twice about it."

Ashley, 35
"I threw my back out bending down to get laundry out of the washer. I had to walk with a cane for a day or two."

Matt, 32
"Making Simpsons references and having people—even people in their 20s—ask what I'm quoting. Am I so out of touch? No, it's the children who are wrong."

Bill, 52
"I own a 1965 Mustang (same production year as me.) Back in 2002, a lovely woman in her mid 20s was admiring the car. She asked about the year, I told her. She asked if it was an antique, and I said 'yes.' Then she asked if I was the original owner."

Natalie, 33
"I woke up in a hurry, didn't stretch, and literally couldn't move my knee. It hurt so much, and I ended up on the ground in the fetal position wishing I was dead. At first I thought, Shit, I must have twisted my knee. Nope. I did nothing during that week that would involved any kind of knee activity. I'm 33 this year, and my knees will be 75."

Amanda, 29
"A few days ago, after IDing someone born in 1998, then giving them alcohol. Which led to the realization that in less than two years, people born in the year 2000 will be almost old enough to drink."

Marc, 37
"Getting hurt and it never healing. Stepped on a rugby field five years ago for the first time since 1996 (literally). Missed a tackle, slipped, tweaked my medial ligament. Still hasn't healed. Also, the time I got told that I was hot... because she was 'totally into older guys.'"

Harla, 32
"I went cliff-jumping with a 20-year-old and fractured my spine while the 20-year-old was fine. It was a pretty bad compression fracture. Some bone was sticking out toward my spinal cord, which caused some worry at first. I hobbled out of water and back to the car with the help of the other 20-year-old, and I was taken to the larger hospital in Sydney. I was then strapped to a spinal board. I had a back brace for about a month and a half and then restricted mobility for another month and a half. Again, the 20-year-old was totally fine. The worst part is, I was in better shape than they were, but apparently that didn't matter to my bones. This was two weeks after my 30th birthday. That's when I learned that our warranty expires after 29."

Britney Spears Is Still Trapped by the Stigma of Her Breakdown

Top photo: Screenshot from the video for "Everytime." YouTube/Jive Records

It's been ten years since Britney Spears shaved the hair off her head, leaving her scalp and her soul bare to the world. Ten years since she made her exterior match what she was feeling inside. Ten years since she attacked a paparazzo's car with a broken teal umbrella in a fit of rage, when we can only assume she was trying to reclaim her privacy and, in turn, herself. 

To mark the tenth anniversary of Spears's momentous breakdown, on February 18, Lifetime released the unauthorized biopic, Britney Ever After. Eight seconds into the trailer, actor Natasha Barrett (who plays Britney) has already gotten out the shears. The Britney shears. And so, right at a moment when Spears seems to be relatively stable, her breakdown is dredged up all over again.

That year—2007—was a dark time for Britney: She had lost custody of her two sons and was put under a conservatorship, which signed her life and fortune over to her father and her lawyer. The legal framework for conservatorships is usually reserved for extremely ill people, and it basically stripped Spears of the right to make any decision in her own life or access her immense fortune.

A 2016 New York Times article revealed, shockingly, that Britney is still under this conservatorship, and that it may last her entire life. The extent of it is far-reaching; Britney basically cannot make any choices for herself. From the article:

Ms. Spears cannot make key decisions, personal or financial, without the approval of her conservators... Her most mundane purchases, from a drink at Starbucks to a song on iTunes, are tracked in court documents as part of the plan to safeguard the great fortune she has earned but does not ultimately control.

She seems contented enough, though, with a plush residency at the biggest theater in Las Vegas, her kids back by her side, a coy Instagram presence, and rave reviews for her most recent album, Glory. She has, by all the usual criteria, come back. Her story has become one of survival, resilience, and redemption. But, we have to ask, redemption for whom? Redemption for Spears or redemption for us?

It was us, after all, who destroyed her. She didn't crumble in isolation or simply of her own volition; she overdosed on fame, and we were complicit in that. We made her the single most-watched human being on the planet and then, gleefully, watched as she nearly died from overexposure. We celebrated her ascent to celebrity and then punished her for attaining the very perfection we demand.

As Sady Doyle, journalist and author of the book Trainwreck: The Women We Love to Hate, Mock and Fear, says: "To see the impossible, sexist ideal of Britney Spears become human, in front of us—someone who went to 7/11 for snacks, or had bad relationships, or gained weight during a pregnancy, or just didn't always wear makeup at every hour of the day—was so shocking that people wanted to punish her."

As it became clear that Britney was probably dealing with substance issues and mental illness, all of our revulsion for "crazy" women—and for women who are stereotyped as "crazy" when they dare to have feelings or flaws in public—just poured out onto her at once. We wanted her to be perfect or be nothing. We wanted to idealize her or annihilate her. There was no in-between.

A ruthless 2008 episode of South Park summed up exactly that: Spears tries to kill herself, survives, walks around with the top half of her head missing, and is finally sacrificed to the gods for a good harvest.

Screenshot from South Park/Comedy Central

This was possibly always her fate: a woman destroyed by the very people who loved her, for the brazen act of being female, beautiful, successful, and human all at once. Pop-culture scholar Dr. Marc Brennan says that the tragedy of Spears was, at least in part, to do with her being female.

"The world's fascination with her breakdown could be read as an opportunity to witness the destruction of artifice—something that many would argue was the embodiment of Britney Spears and possibly American popular culture more generally. To the more sympathetic, the narrative provided a cautionary tale of the perils of fame and celebrity. Britney, to me, is emblematic of how women are 'tamed.' Since her breakdown, she has been controlled by a court-approved conservatorship. This is something that it is unparalleled with male entertainers. If there is a moral to this story, then it is one that reminds us of the unequal rights between men and women in our society."

Where male stars would have been able to continue their careers as damaged, fallible human beings, Spears had to be contained and returned to the form in which we first worshipped her. That's why she's still gyrating on the stage in lingerie. Her flawless physical form is the only way we can measure that she's "OK" again.

She has, as Dr. Brennan said, been "tamed." She has had huge commercial success since her 2007 breakdown (Glory got some of the best reviews of her career, including Rolling Stone comparing her to David Bowie), yet in the public consciousness she is still treated like a 2000s relic. Compare Spears to her contemporaries from that first round of fame—people like Beyoncé and Justin Timberlake. They've become nuanced megastars where Britney is somehow staid, still being judged on her mental health as much as her performances.

She is a celebrity divided. Part of her is present here in 2017, and another is stuck in her pre-2007 image. She is still being punished for what we did to her.

Follow Kate Leaver on Twitter.

Here Are the 2017 Oscar Nominations

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences: What Do They Like? Do They Nominate Things?? Let's Find Out!

The 2017 Oscar nominations were announced this morning, and if you didn't get up at the near-literal crack of dawn to watch them announced in real time, we've got you covered. Check out all the noms below, and start your betting:

Best Supporting Actor

Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water
Lucas Hedges, Manchester By the Sea
Dev Patel, Lion
Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals

Best Cinematography

La La Land

Best Documentary

Fire at Sea
I Am Not Your Negro
Life, Animated
O.J.: Made in America

Best Short Documentary Feature

4.1 Miles
Joe's Violin
Watani: My Homeland
The White Helmets

Best Foreign Language Film

Land of Mine
A Man Called Ove
The Salesman
Toni Erdmann

Best Live Action Short Film

Ennemis Interieurs
La Femme et le TGV
Silent Nights

Best Actor

Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge
Ryan Gosling, La La Land
Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington, Fences

Best Sound Editing

Deepwater Horizon
Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land

Best Sound Mixing

Hacksaw Ridge
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
La La Land
13 Hours

Best Production Design

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Hail, Caesar!
La La Land

Best Visual Effects

Deepwater Horizon
Doctor Strange
The Jungle Book
Kubo and the Two Strings
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Best Costume Design

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Florence Foster Jenkins
La La Land

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

A Man Called Ove
Star Trek Beyond
Suicide Squad

Best Original Score

La La Land

Best Original Song

"Audition (The Fools who Dream)," La La Land
"Can't Stop the Feeling," Trolls
"City of Stars," La La Land
"The Empty Chair," Jim: the James Foley Story
"How Far I'll Go," Moana

Best Original Screenplay

Hell or High Water
La La Land
The Lobster
Manchester by the Sea
20th Century Women

Best Adapted Screenplay

Hidden Figures

Best Animated Feature

Kubo and the Two Strings
My Life as a Zucchini
The Red Turtle

Best Animated Short

Blind Vaysha
Borrowed Time
Pear Cider and Cigarettes

Best Supporting Actress

Viola Davis, Fences
Naomie Harris, Moonlight
Nicole Kidman, Lion
Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

Best Editing

Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
La La Land

Best Lead Actress

Isabelle Huppert, Elle
Ruth Negga, Loving
Natalie Portman, Jackie
Emma Stone, La La Land
Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

Best Director

Denis Villenueve, Arrival
Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge
Damien Chazelle, La La Land
Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea
Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

Best Picture

Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
Hidden Figures
La La Land
Manchester by the Sea

Here’s Every Pop Culture Anniversary Retrospective You’ll Read in 2017

This article originally appeared on VICE Canada

It is a cold, hard fact that the Internet journalism economy is built on the three pillars of cat videos, hot contrarian takes and ridiculously long pop culture retrospectives timed to the anniversaries of movie, TV and albums' release dates.

With 2017 just beginning we thought we'd put together this handy guide for all the articles you'll see on your Facebook timeline throughout the year, so that you'll be able to adjust your expectations accordingly. (If we missed something, don't freak out, just write your own goddamn story.)


10th Anniversary of the iPhone
Some prick is going to write 'Here's Why the Original iPhone was the only good iPhone' for Slate.

20th anniversary of Dennis Rodman kicking a cameraman in the nuts during a game
Before he was an unofficial ambassador to North Korea, Rodman was also a terror on the court.


25th Anniversary of Guns N' Roses 'November Rain' Video
It's hard to overstate how important this video—at the time the most expensive/ridiculous music video ever made—was to 14-year-old boys in 1992. 25 years later, we are still confused about the 'plot.'' We eagerly anticipate Chuck Klosterman's 10,000 word essay for AV Club.

10th Anniversary of Prince's Super Bowl performance aka pretty much the only good Super Bowl Performance
This one still hurts.

10th Anniversary of Britney Spears Shaving her Head
Remember when it seemed that Britney would win the Justin-Britney breakup?

25 years since Kriss Kross released the video for "Jump."
You know, that brief period in time when everyone started wearing their clothes backwards because fashion.

50th anniversary of Mr. Dressup's debut
Still the only good CBC show that's not The Kids in the Hall.

25th anniversary of Tiger Woods' PGA debut
He was only 16. What the fuck were you doing at 16?

25th anniversary of comedian Bill Hicks' breakthrough album Relentless
"I have never heard one reason that rang true why marijuana is against the law… I mean marijuana grows everywhere, serves a thousand different functions—all of them positive. To make marijuana against the law is like saying God made a mistake." Bill was a visionary and don't fucking forget it for a second. RIP.


10th Anniversary of LCD Soundsystem Sound of Silver
What happens when nostalgia-obsessed art becomes nostalgia? We'll find out soon, Brooklyn!

20th anniversary of the death of Biggie
Notorious B.I.G., aka Christopher Wallace, was gunned down in his SUV while leaving the Soul Train Music Awards in LA. He was only 24 years old. His killer was never caught. We highly recommend this gets the American Crime Story treatment.

25th anniversary of Body Count's Cop Killer album.
Still powerful after all these years, the album is most famous for inciting a massive First Amendment debate and for Ice T eventually being forced to remove the title track due to pressure from his record label.

25th anniversary of Basic Instinct
It's definitely time for a reappraisal of the Hitchcockian brilliance of this film (see also: Adam Nayman's appreciation of Verhoeven's Showgirls)

25th anniversary White Men Can't Jump
Though, Grantland already did the definitive oral history. RIP, Grantland.

10th anniversary of New York Times Magazine 's epic Arcade fire profile
Pegged to the release of Neon Bible and how amazing Montreal is for creative indie types, it has spawned countless stories during the past decade about Montreal being a creative hotspot in Canada.

20th anniversary of the premiere of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on TV
As if the world needs a reason for any more Buffy thinkpieces. (Counterpoint: yes, it does.)

30th anniversary of the album Joshua Tree
This was the easiest part of the research for this article. Thanks U2!


20 years since Ellen DeGeneres' "Yep, I'm gay"
In an iconic Time Magazine cover story, a memorable Oprah Winfrey Show appearance, and "The Puppy Episode" of her popular sitcom Ellen, DeGeneres announced to the world she is a lesbian.

25th anniversary of Metallica releasing the video for "Nothing Else Matters"
AKA the moment when Metallica officially "sold out."

25th Anniversary of Beethoven (the movie)

25th Anniversary of the First NHL Players' Strike
It lasted 10 days and it was so horrific we knew that there would never be another NHL work stoppage again.

25 years since the LA riots
Following acquittal of the four police officers accused of brutally beating a black man named Rodney King (which was caught on videotape and widely circulated), rioting and looting began in South Central LA (as it was called at the time). During the six days, thousands were injured and 55 killed, with damages estimated at $1 billion.

10th anniversary of Tay Zonday's "Chocolate Rain"
111 million views and counting.


25th Anniversary of Wolfenstein 3D
It's never been more relevant than now.

50th anniversary of Jimi Hendrix's Are You Experienced
Get ready for a battle of the cover stories between Guitar Aficionado and Guitar World.

40th anniversary of Star Wars
Nerds are going to go all out this year celebrating something that came out an even longer time ago in a galaxy that's more frequently being recreated for immense profits. May the 4th be with you indeed. Faaaaaaack, sorry.

25th Anniversary of Billy Ray Cyrus' debut album Some Gave All
Yes, the one with "Achey Breaky Heart."


20th anniversary of Mike Tyson biting a part of Evander Holyfield's ear off in the ring
Later that year, Tyson evaded four years of jail time for cocaine possession, being sentenced to a mere 24 hours plus probation. So, all in all, a pretty solid year for Iron Mike.

50th anniversary of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles
This might be one of the last chances for boomers to brag about how their generation created the greatest pop music the world has ever seen—before they are all long gone.

Radiohead's OK Computer turns 20
Radiohead is officially classic rock now.

10th anniversary of the end of The Sopranos
Spoiler alert, Tony totally...

15th anniversary of the debut of The Wire
As if that dude lurking near the keg at every party you've ever been to needs another reason to talk about how this was the greatest show on TV.

10th anniversary of Flight of the Conchords' HBO Show
Between Peter Jackson and these guys, New Zealand was almost relevant for a while there in the mid-2000s.


20th Anniversary of Limp Bizkit's debut album Three Dollar Bill, Y'all$
I can't wait for someone to attempt to over-intellectualize the importance of "Stink Finger" on the 21st Century.

20th anniversary of the all-female Lilith Fair's debut
Sarah McLachlan ruled and fuck you if you think otherwise.

20th anniversary of Stargate SG-1's debut
Remember when Sci-Fi fans only had Stargate, Babylon Five and Star Trek: Voyager to argue over? How did we survive the late 90s?


25th Anniversary of Mortal Kombat (the Game)
The Oral History Behind Why It Is Spelled Kombat, Not Combat.' I'd read that.

20th anniversary of the premiere of South Park

Shit. Really? OK, now I feel old.

25th Anniversary of The Larry Sanders Show HBO Debut
"How Larry Sanders Built HBO into the Cable Giant It Is Today." There you go, free headline for you there, freelance culture writers.

25th Anniversary of Unforgiven
Didn't it feel like Clint Eastwood was a really, really old man when this was made?

10th Anniversary of Bioshock
Maybe even more relevant than Wolfenstein in our current political climate.


The 25th Anniversary of the 1992 MTV Awards AKA the One Where Kurt Cobain and Axl Rose Nearly Killed Each Other
Very curious if anyone will let Steve Hyden write a book on this defining cultural event of the early 90s.

10 years since Carly Rae Jepsen was eliminated from Canadian Idol
Four years later, after meeting the devil at the crossroads and making a deal for her eternal soul, she would resurface with the catchiest earworm in the history of the universe, "Call Me Maybe." Totally worth it.

10-year anniversary of Kanye's Graduation
Hands up if you thought Kanye would still be the biggest rap artist in the world 10 years later.

20 years since Princess Diana was killed in a car crash fleeing from paparazzi
Celebrity culture is no less insane. Apparently no one learned anything from this.

10th anniversary of Feist's "1234" iPod Nano commercial
At least one of those three things is still amazing.

20th anniversary of debut of Ally McBeal
That dancing baby is still creepy as hell.

25th Anniversary of Batman: The Animated Series
Better than Christopher Nolan's trilogy, tbh.

50th anniversary of The Prisoner
Hey, it's the original thing JJ Abrams remade as his own.


25th Anniversary of the Toronto Blue Jays winning their first World Series
Aka the last time I felt joy.

10th anniversary of Radiohead surprise-releasing In Rainbows and effectively giving it away for free
Radiohead created a revolution in fanfare-free album releases and thwarted illegal downloaders by not bothering to worry about making money off of digital music releases (unless anyone picked their own price that was more than £0.00).

10th anniversary of Drake (aka, Aubrey Graham, aka Jimmy Brooks) dropping his verse to "Tell Me Lies" on TV
The one when he saves Ashley from a bombing set by joining her on stage for the part of the song he wrote with her but she had deleted. Started from the bottom indeed.

10th anniversary of Keeping Up with the Kardashians
Kim, Kourtney, Khloe and Kris literally redefined the world of reality television and spawned an entire universe of copycat shows, brands and gym bodies. No one thought the series would get renewed for a second season, let alone have a decade's worth of staying power. Ten years later, a new generation has picked up where the older three left off, gifting us Kendall and Kylie. Here's to another 10.


One-Year Anniversary of Supreme Commander Donald Trump Winning the Election in a Landslide
All hail the Golden Lord!

20th anniversary of Shania Twain releasing Come on Over
Remember when Shania was the biggest country music star in the universe? Timmins represent!

20th anniversary of Tenacious D's HBO Series
It wasn't the first web series but it sure looked like one.


10th anniversary of R. Kelly's Trapped in the Closet DVD release
The first 21 episodes in one place.

50th anniversary of Guess Who's Coming to Dinner / The Graduate
Can't wait to read another piece about how important the 1960s were!

20th Anniversary of Titanic
Rose totally had room for Jack on that plank. What an asshole.

25th Anniversary of Dr. Dre's The Chronic
Whatever happened to Dre?

Follow Josh Visser and Chris Bilton on Twitter.

Lead illustration via Joe Frontel.

Fun Video Edits Together Your Favorite Movie Characters Into One Awesome Bathroom Scene

Fun Video Edits Together Your Favorite Movie Characters Into One Awesome Bathroom Scene

As a continuation to last year’s classic video edit Hell’s Club , where Antonio Maria Da Silva of AMDS Films stitched together famous movie characters into one tremendous club scene, comes this epic bathroom scene. Characters like Tony Montana from Scarface and Tyler Durden from Fight Club can get into a brawl, while Jack Torrance from The Shining breaks down the door to peer in on Arnold in True Lies fighting some damn monster. Oh yeah, and Mr. Bean is over there trying to pat himself dry.