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Archive for December 2008

RA’s 2008 Favorites: Trends

Filed Under: Pop Culture

Believe it or not, but thick plastic frames were once called “emo glasses.” This is, of course, before everyone from Bono to Kanye West to your very own mother started wearing them. Trends come and go, and in the case of atrocities like JNCO jeans, we can only hope they’ll stay gone. And while it seems like everybody was riding a fixed gear bike this year, there were actually a few other things that were popular as well, and not all of them so prone to killing their overeager adopters in traffic.


2008_url
imamoron.com
I’m old enough to remember a time when the most valuable thing on the internet was a short and succinct domain name. In 2008, however, the hottest thing in marketing seemed to be registering an overly specific and disposable domain name. Eventually showmehowtosavemoneyonmycarinsurance.com and whatisthecloverfieldmonster.info became fodder for cheeky college kids (and campaign staffers), creating the easiest laughs in 2008 - ironicphrase dot com. — lou


2008_gladiator_sandals
Gladiator Sandals
Typically when I daydream about obnoxious 20-something females getting their limbs caught in high-powered escalators, there’s no real chance of my fantasies becoming reality. But when gladiator sandals hit the streets this summer, suddenly seeing a fashion-forward hipster lose their leg to heavy machinery wasn’t such a far-fetched idea. You know who actually wears gladiator sandals? Gladiators. You know who should wear gladiator sandals? No one. — kira


2008_voting
Voting
It was a tough decision between voting and neon colored wayfarers, since god knows everybody couldn’t get enough of those this year. Ultimately, however, voting’s sudden popularity benefited the world just a little bit more. Whether it was due to everybody simply being terrified by the hot breath of Armageddon on our necks or because, this time, Puff Daddy wasn’t threatening to kill us if we didn’t vote, we may never know. But at least one thing is for certain: the world is still very much ending. Does anybody else miss Pogs? — aaron


Well fellow patriots, that wraps up our favorites for the year. Thanks for reading… if you actually did, that is. Now, don’t forget to get good and plastered tonight, throw up all over your nice new dress, and in general make a fool out of yourself in front of everyone you know. You gotta have some fodder for those New Years resolutions, after all.

 
aaron

9:30 AM on December 31st, 2008 | 

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Best Mind Your Manners

Filed Under: Sign Language

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kira

1:48 PM on December 30th, 2008 | 

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RA’s 2008 Favorites: News Item

Filed Under: Politics, Pop Culture

Whether you were most moved by Heath Ledger’s death, the Myanmar Cyclone, or Miley Cyrus’ breakup this year, or if you were perhaps literally moved after your life savings disappeared and your house was foreclosed upon, there is no doubt that 2008 was a banner year for disasters. Good thing, too, otherwise karma might not have rewarded us with that nice black man who will be occupying the Oval Office in a few weeks. Nonetheless, this will surely be a year that we will not soon forget… despite how much we might all want to.


2008_economy
Economic Catastrophe
That whole subprime lending crisis and subsequent economic holocaust sure was a riot, wasn’t it? And the funniest part about it? It’s only going to get worse! LOLz up in here, my friends, LOLz. Ahh, I kill me. No… seriously, I might have to kill myself over this. — aaron


2008_wealth
The Excessively Wealthy
Ever since the vast majority of Americans started needing Kleenex just to read their 401(k) statements, the mainstream media has cast a critical and accusing eye at those in this country, however dwindling their ranks are, still rolling in dough. ‘Merka still has its fair share of multi-millionaires - and nowadays it’s totally okay to hate their guts. $100,000 shopping sprees? Seven beach houses? Corporate jets? Burn in hell you heartless motherfuckers. The best part is that these people have always existed, they always will, and in some sick way, they have to. We need them to hate …and to continually provide casting options for The Real Housewives of Orange County.kira


2008_hillary_clinton
Hillary Clinton’s Campaign
One of the two great train wrecks of 2008 was the first loss to some black Muslim extremist trying to jihad his way into the Black House. Secretary of State-appointee Hillary Clinton’s crying, backstabbing, massive debt, and subtle racism made for the most interesting primary election maybe ever. My favorite part had to be that week or two after she had mathematically lost the race and refused to concede in case someone assassinated Obama. As always, Clintons = Classy. — lou

 
aaron

9:30 AM on December 30th, 2008 | 

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RA’s 2008 Favorites: Food and Drink

Filed Under: Food and Drink

The fact of the matter is, we’re not all cyborgs yet (unfortunately), so the periodic intake of nourishment is kind of a must in order to, you know, continue living. There are people who dedicate their entire lives to the pursuit of food — they’re known as food bloggers… and also the morbidly obese. So, whether you were sampling the Crème brûlée wherever all the rich assbags are having their meals lately, scraping cold SpaghettiOs out of the can, or shamelessly polishing off an entire tin of chocolate frosting before throwing it back up, here’s what had us licking our chops in two thousand and eight.


2008_calories
NYC mandated calorie counts in restaurants
Listen, I know Chipotle is bad for me. But I don’t need to be reminded that a burrito and a soda is 4,000 calories. That is all. — lou


2008_nyc_pizza
New York Pizza
It’s a classic, but who could deny the timeless perfection of Brooklyn style pizza? I’m not talking about the pizza you order from Dominos.com at 2 in the morning when you’re stoned claiming to be “Brooklyn style” — I’m talking about the baseball-pennant-sized slice of grease and early-death you pick up from the poorly lit health code violation on the corner of Church and Coney Island Avenue. Moving to Chicago, where everybody is under the impression that “pizza” actually means “a circular loaf of bread with sauce smeared on top of it” has only solidified that when it comes to pizza, New York City has all the fixings (Ed. note: That “zinger” is the STUPIDEST FUCKING THING I have ever written). — aaron


2008_sparks
Sparks
In a fitting tribute to the end of the period in my life where it’s really and truly okay to party until 6 a.m., Miller agreed this year to end the six-year run of Sparks, an alcoholic energy drink that gave me massive headaches and tasted like condensed Sweet Tarts. Now young adults devoted enough to mix caffeine with Friday-night rabblerousing will have to go the old fashioned route: cocaine. — kira

 
aaron

9:30 AM on December 29th, 2008 | 

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I Got it On Sale

Filed Under: The Future Freaks Me Out

upl84e3-449x359My defenses are down. On an impromptu outlet shopping adventure this week, I found myself considering all manner of unnecessary purchases, things I couldn’t even begin to claim I “need” - sneakers, jeans, jewelry, wholesale quantities of chocolate truffles. Surrounded by a triple threat of pricing markdowns - outlet, recession, Christmas - I was unprepared to bring forth the will power necessary to just say no. To half-price Nikes, to $20 Chuck Taylors, even - in a moment of sheer nostalgia - to $15 Pacific Sunwear jeans.

If this is shopping now, when the recession is little more than a buzzword for middle America, and “depression” still associated with 1929, bread lines and our grandparents’ complaining, I find myself increasingly concerned that next year, and the unavoidable economic melee sure to come with it, will yield another flurry of discount shopping - one which I might find myself even less capable of evading. Read More ›

 
kira

10:00 AM on December 28th, 2008 | 

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Knick Knack Pattywack

Filed Under: Zero Tolerance

dscn0010-337x450There are a lot of things I plan to own when I’m old that would be considered unacceptable at the ripe age of 23: orthopedic shoes, canned prunes, a subscription to AARP. But while growing older justifies more than a few forays into the realm of the uncool, there are some things it’s never acceptable to possess, and nonsensical Christmas paraphernalia is at the top of my list.

It’s not that I have anything against Christmas decor, per se. As we speak, my apartment is decked out with a whopping three items: a one-foot-tall knit Christmas tree that, despite a 100+ year presence in my family, somehow ended up in the hands of the person with by far the least Christmas spirit; a cheap Santa hat draped creatively over a lampshade; and a $5.99 stuffed dog on a sled that barks “Jingle Bells” when you pinch his ear. Which I bought primarily in an effort to frighten the cat.

As you can see, I am nothing if not festive. It was in fact that very holiday spirit that temporarily desensitized me to the abundance of Christmas decor in my mother’s house - that and the beeline I made for the eggnog. But upon closer inspection, of which I have had plenty of time to conduct being trapped in suburbia without friends for three days, I began to notice that my house has at some point in the last few years become a veritable dumping ground for the detritus of every Christmas kiosk in at least a 50 mile radius.

For one, there are at least three decapitated Santa heads, though I’ve chosen to photographically document only that which I have long considered the most creepy and least jolly. It appears as though someone found a miniature Santa, threw him in the guillotine, and mailed the result to my mother as a pint-sized bundle of Christmas joy. Dude doesn’t even look cheerful. Read More ›

 
kira

10:00 AM on December 27th, 2008 | 

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RA’s 2008 Favorites: Television

Filed Under: TV

In a culture full of vacuous forms of entertainment, television, particularly due to its current trends, is quite possibly the most baseless (aside from competitive eating, solicited sex, basically all forms of gambling, watching pornography, shopping, professional wrestling, and sitting on your couch smoking weed all night). Indeed, we are a people addicted… now, if only addiction didn’t feel so goddamned good.


2008_theoffice
The Office
With the world collapsing around them, The Office, in its 5th season, is regrouping in Scranton and putting on a brave, sarcastic face. My favorite line of the season: “I think I never processed 9/11″ — Ryan, temp receptionist and recovering coke addict. — lou


2008_chocolate_news
Chocolate News
2008 was the year I finally accepted that Dave Chappelle would not be finishing the 3rd season of his show, and with MTV’s doubtlessly upcoming Meet The Obamas no where to be found, there was a void in my heart where insightful black comedy is supposed to live. Then along came Chocolate News. Its mixture of hilarious characters, DAG’s unique intonation, and shameless puns up the ass like a prison rape is a winning combination for those of us who read the morning paper with a cup of Cristal. — aaron


2008_true_blood
True Blood
With blockbusters like Big Love and Sex and the City in its corner, HBO has long since become the go-to channel for high drama, high action, and borderline pornography. Still, I approached True Blood with trepidation, to say the least. Though vampires in theory are mysterious and chic, vampires in practice — and by practice I mean as portrayed by the media — are more often than not camp, melodramatic and a teeny tiny bit gay. Yet while True Blood is hardly an exception — it’s chock full of the audible hissing and sped-up action sequences popular in modern vampiric depictions — neither is it an exception to HBO’s tradition of developing compelling and potentially addictive television. After the first episode, I was seemingly irrevocably stuck on the mediocre acting and circa 1999 special effects. By the fifth episode, I had myself a TiVo season pass.
kira

 
aaron

9:30 AM on December 26th, 2008 | 

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RA’s 2008 Favorites: Music

Filed Under: Music

By this time next year, we’ll all carry personal auto-tuners around with us and even the fucking Beatles will be reuniting. It was a weird year for music, and it’s hard to say where the industry is headed (I mean, other than down). But one thing is for sure, those iPod earbuds still look great with some dark denim and a Palestinian kaffiyeh (that trendy scarf you’ve appropriated and know nothing about). Here are our picks for this year’s music that’ll rock you harder than a suicide bombing.


2008_lil_wayne
Lil’ Wayne
I don’t care if its The Carter I, II or XXLVVII, if Weezy is spitting hot fire, I will be there, guns blazin’. Okay, so I don’t have any guns, but if I did, this is exactly what I would use them for — to shoot in the air as I rapped along about gangster themes like drugs, girls and being an alien rapper from outer space who came to Earth to literally eat the sub-par hip-hop competition. Vibe magazine readers may have named Eminem the best living rapper, but I would bet cash money (millionaires) that’s because they haven’t listened to “Shooter” while smoking a joint on the fire escape.
kira


2008_hood_internet
The Hood Internet — The Mixtape Volume 3
My debilitating lack of attention span means I generally get bored of an album after only a couple weeks, leaving me an insatiable fiend always itching for his new fix. Having The Hood Internet’s third mixtape on my iPod is like walking around with an endless methadone IV attached to my arm. The Chicago-based DJ Duo are producing some of the most innovative mashups in the supersaturated genre, and their albums are consistently more surprising and more accessible than King Girl Talk, who, on his own solid release this year, started to wander off into the land of Bar Mitzvah Top 40. — aaron


2008_beyonce
Beyonce — Single Ladies
The song’s retarded but clearly it wasn’t made for the radio; it was made for YouTube. The video is ridiculous, her ass is ridiculous, and the fan videos make the original seem like a masterpiece. Absurd doesn’t begin to describe it. — lou

 
aaron

11:30 AM on December 25th, 2008 | 

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Now We Can Play Our Games From Blockbuster

Filed Under: Pop Culture

The Holidays are the perfect time for nostalgia — like remembering what it was like when you could actually afford to buy presents for people — so here’s an oldie that never gets old. Don’t worry, you don’t have to say “thank you”… but you can scream it 20 times in a row.

Enjoy your coal today, dear readers. Meanwhile, this will be me in approximately five hours since my dumb mom said I can’t go downstairs until it gets light out.

 
aaron

12:00 AM on December 25th, 2008 | 

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News From Places Other Than Civilization

Filed Under: Pop Culture

ring_popHere’s a cheery story to warm your frozen hearts this Christmas Eve. A Saudi court has rejected a plea to annul an 8-year-old girl’s arranged marriage to a 58-year-old man, because, after all, raping children is okay as long as the girl’s father got paid!

I know what has to be done about this atrocity — obviously, invade Iraq!

The court’s official reason for the decision is that the case should wait until the girl reaches puberty, since, after all, by age 11 I’m sure she’ll have come to her senses. No word on why you can’t get a divorce before you hit puberty while you can get married. But I guess you don’t need logic when you’ve got all the oil!

The girl’s father made a cool eight grand from the deal, which includes a verbal agreement that the marriage won’t be consummated until she’s 18. Sounds like an ironclad contract if you ask me. Apparently, the father was having financial problems and needed some extra cash. Travel Tip: always good to have some kids hanging around when you’re in a pinch in the Middle East!

Although, let’s go easy on the Saudis here — they’re our allies in the Middle East! Plus, they’re lucky to not have leftist nutjobs spreading their damned Will & Grace agenda, trying to redefine marriage and turn the youth of the nation into limp-wristed, lisping fairy-boys, right? America should be thanking them for showing us what traditional marriage really looks like.

Merry Consumerism’s Superbowl everyone, the world is a sty.

 
aaron

2:30 PM on December 24th, 2008 | 

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RA’s 2008 Favorites: Movies

Filed Under: Movies

This year, there’s been a lot of talk out there in Blogsylvania about how much everyone loves reading annual “Best Of” lists. Let me make it clear that this is a complete fabrication. I’m willing to concede there may be some people, either driven by a deep-seated masochism or perhaps just fairly routine work-related boredom, who actually do enjoy reading Best Of lists. Even still, that is far from “everyone.” I believe the proliferation of this lie is a strategy created by the blogs who continue the unfortunate tradition, in order for them to keep doing so. That said… here’s ours!


2008_zohan
You Don’t Mess With The Zohan
While this masterpiece will almost certainly be passed up by the Academy (physical comedies driven by silly ethnic accents are notoriously overlooked), it definitely tops my 2008 best movies list. How can it not? The movie had me at “Scrappy Coco,” but where it really took off was how easily they solved the Israeli/Palestinian awkwardness. All it takes is some comedic gerontophilia and Robert Michael Schneider. — lou


2008_wall_e
Wall-E
While everyone was looking for the next Academy-Award-winning performance from a beaten-down Hilary Swank or gangster Mark Wahlberg, Pixar was knocking it out of the park… again. I went into this movie, albeit a little high, expecting campy dialogue and childish moral resolutions, and came out with a refreshed environmental idealism and an Icee-induced brain freeze. To all the 20-somethings who think they’ve outgrown the realm of animated movie-making: Trust me, you haven’t.
kira


2008_dark_knight
The Dark Knight
Looking back, it kind of feels like a lot of mediocre crap came out in theaters this year, although in truth, there were plenty of films that I really enjoyed. Iron Man, Pineapple Express, and Tropic Thunder were all good fun. Wall-E was great too… if you’re a fucking baby or something, that is. Of course, The Dark Knight was a fantastic movie, in part thanks to the incredible performances by Christian Bale, Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman, and Aaron Eckhart… and… I feel like there was somebody else too? Whatever. The only reason this movie doesn’t overshadow the others completely for me is because, honestly, I feel like Batman’s savage growling wasn’t quite pronounced enough this time. I just wasn’t getting that “I’m a lunatic and have gone entirely feral… also, I smoke two packs of Marlboro Reds a day” impression this time around, what can I say.
aaron

 
aaron

9:30 AM on December 24th, 2008 | 

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Is It Stalking If You Tell People?

Filed Under: Pop Culture

facebookOne of the many pleasures afforded me by the ubiquity of Facebook is the ease with which I can keep track of the personal lives of people I barely know. Although privacy issues, coupled with long-overdue common sense, have yielded an abundance of secret profiles, there was a time in Facebook’s adolescence when everyone friended pretty much everyone.

As a result of my own early Facebook whoring, I happen to be friends with a girl, let’s call her Sally, whose life is no longer in any way tied to my own. Based on our shared friends it would seem we attended middle school together, but I could neither confirm nor deny this from seeing her picture now. If she were to pass me on the street, I would consider her a stranger.

So it was with trepidation, and no small amount of shame, that I began earlier this week following what I will call the Saga of Sally’s Wedding. See, Facebook has of late developed a “note” function, where users can post their ramblings for any of their friends, and potentially the world at large, to read and comment on. Some might consider this – the constant public disclosure of one’s random thoughts and complaints to the entire digital community – a bit inane, or a least vain. We here at RA call it blogging.

Since Sally’s Saga has become quite heated, I felt it high time I shared it with an even larger population, at the risk of both violating her privacy, and getting sued. But hey, who doesn’t want to be part of a precedent-setting Facebook lawsuit? I anticipate making millions.

See, Sally is marrying ….Fred. And Fred’s sister, Lucy, hates Sally. With a passion. I’m not entirely sure why, since Sally is, let’s say, less than articulate and the whole thing is still hazy to me. But Sally is now debating whether or not to invite Lucy to her wedding, since she hates Lucy. Fred, surprisingly, seems ambivalent about his sister’s attendance – so Sally is seeking advice from friends and peers as to how to approach the situation. For the record, Sally is 23. Read More ›

 
kira

2:30 PM on December 23rd, 2008 | 

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