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The Friday High Five
On the Misappropriation of Seashells, Raw Dogging, and Hot Shots
Every Friday I share 5 things I enjoyed this week. Also, high fives are inherently cool, and I think we can all agree Friday is the bestest day. Hence the Friday High Five. 🙏🏻
This week’s High Five comes from the 1993 film Demolition Man. And, as you can see from the image, this high five is so bizarre it requires a gif to properly grok. Demolition Man is one weird movie. It’s been a really long time since I’ve seen it, but I’ve never forgotten they use seashells in lieu of toilet paper. Which frankly just raises more questions. Mostly: How???
Totally unrelated—it takes more than weird butt stuff to get my muse out of bed—you can be sure Demolition Man is on a short list of films I’m considering writing on in the near future. Speaking of which! I recently dropped a poll requesting your guidance on my next project. It’s early days but I’m frankly shocked my autobiography is leading the vote.
Voting closes Wednesday, April 5th.
Have a great weekend! High Five!
5 Things I Enjoyed This Week:
Harrison Ford, Comedian 😂
Great Pop Culture Articles 🔥
A Galaxy Not So Far Away 📖
Point Break 🙃
Harrison Ford, Comedian
I mentioned in a previous High Five that I was loving Shrinking, a new comedy on Apple TV. Sadly, we finished the first season and I am currently in that grief-like state whenever a really good show finishes.
Harrison Ford plays a crotchety psychiatrist, but he absolutely steals the show with his one-liners and his body language. Trust me—I’ve been a life-long fan, and I’ve seen almost everything he’s been in. But I’ve never seen him like this. Whether he’s telling someone to “stop raw dogging me” or inhaling a package of Fun Dip like it’s candy cocaine, I don’t think he’s ever been better. One of the funniest performances in recent memory.
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Great Pop Culture Articles
The best part about running a mid-sized pop culture publication is that people routinely send me amazing stuff to read. Here are three recent articles I published at Fanfare that I really enjoyed.
Not to bring up Point Break, again… but I’m briefly going to bring up Point Break again.
Here’s an unpublished blurb from my draft article (I promise this will tie directly to Speed shortly).
Point Break doesn't rise above its B-movie trappings without Patrick Swayze. Yes, Keanu Reeves is the co-star and the hero. But—spoiler alert!—Keanu's acting in this film is awful. It's so bad! Point Break inspired a parody stage play where a random audience member fills the Johnny Utah role and reads their lines from cue cards. The performance is not demonstrably different from Keanu's. That's the point.
I didn’t remember Keanu being a terrible actor. I started wondering when his acting leveled up, and decided to fire up Speed for educational purposes. (These kinds of off-road wanderings is part of the reason this article is taking so long, but I also know enough to trust my instincts. If something seems interesting, it probably is.)
Speed released 3 years after Point Break, and it also features Keanu playing an adrenaline junkie law enforcement officer. But his performance in Speed is actually good, which allowed me to just enjoy the movie. I sorta forgot what a thrill ride Speed is. It’s just a good time. Probably not in the top 20 films I’d like to cover for All the Fanfare, but I could see doing it eventually.
(Btw, I’m rewatching Bram Stoker’s Dracula next to see how Keanu fares in that film, which released just a year after Point Break.)
A Galaxy Not So Far Away
If you’ve followed me any length of time—at all—you know I’m a Star Wars fan. Here’s the beginning of my About Me on Medium:
I was born 9 months after Star Wars premiered in 1977, which naturally suggests my mom’s womb quickened on its own after she saw the film. I get it — these movies make me feel things too. I learned about all the gender parts in health class but they neglected to teach us how babies are really made.
I’m not saying I’m a Chosen One, only that I wasn’t ready to be born into a world without Star Wars.
I was browsing the library stacks a few weeks ago and came upon this treasure: A Galaxy Not So Far Away. It’s a collection of essays on the films. The book released in 2002, shortly after Attack of the Clones, so it feels almost like something out of a time capsule. The writing definitely feels 20 years-old, but because Star Wars is eternally relevant, it also remains topical.
The essays are smart, funny, and incredibly dorky. Which is, like, my entire bag.
Case in point: there’s a 30-page essay on the enduring popularity of Boba Fett (written before we knew his origins) that is some of the smartest Star Wars writing I’ve ever encountered. Just marvelous. I’m about halfway through the book. The other stories I’ve read have been more personal in nature but just as great. (Other than the introduction, which is about 20 pages too long and clearly written by someone a bit skeptical of Star Wars.)
At this point, I’m starting to question Point Break’s assumed position in this list of five. “Love” and “enjoy” aren’t exactly the way I feel about the film right now. More like “oh, you again,” and “sonofa…”
I recently posted a sizable excerpt on All the Fanfare. It’s one of my favorite bits, and it’s also the most polished section (because I go over it first thing every time I open the document… because it’s one of my favorite bits). The excerpt is a good representation of the finished article. Thoughtful hilarity is the angle I’m chasing. You’ll laugh, learn, and—hopefully—love.
As I was posting the excerpt, it dawned on me that I haven’t yet considered a crucial part of this whole thing: What do I name the stupid article? It may not seem terribly important if you’ve never published anything online before, but titles are a Big Deal. They can easily make or break an article. Doesn’t matter how great the writing is if the title sucks and nobody clicks on it.
That’s a problem for future Eric. This Eric has to finish the darn thing first.
What are you into at the moment? Leave a comment and let me know!
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