What a Week! May 24-30

Cicadas have emerged from their underground lair; GIF celebrated a birthday; Harambe was honored on the one-year anniversary of his death.

May 31, 2017 at 2:02 pm

click to enlarge They're baaaaack - Photo: Bruce Marlin
Photo: Bruce Marlin
They're baaaaack

ABC’s Dirty Dancing TV adaptation premiered Wednesday, and you don’t need to have seen it to know it was a hot mess. These TV musical reboots are generally SAD, especially when they try to recreate the magic of Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze/comment on 1960s underground abortions. And it didn’t even have the benefit of being live (like the recent Grease and Hairspray specials) as an excuse. At the end of the day, Little Miss Sunshine is no Baby, the classic “I carried a watermelon” line was botched and the ’60s soundtrack consisted of all covers by contemporary artists like fucking Karmin. Let’s just say people did not have the time of their life watching. Someone put this movie in the corner! OK we’ll stop now. But the TV musicals won’t — look forward to a live-action/animated Little Mermaid coming in October. 


There are many ways to champion marriage equality — voting for politicians who support it, donating to LGBTQ organizations, hell, remember when Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie said they wouldn’t get married until everyone in the U.S. could? (They ended up getting hitched about one year before the Supreme Court decision… is that why they were doomed?) We’ve got this right in the States for now (side-eye to the Trump administration), but Australia is another story. To protest this, ~enlightened~ ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s is banning two scoops of the same flavor until same-sex marriage is legal down under, encouraging customers to write to members of the parliament. The trivial move got plenty of support — more than 70 percent of Australians support marriage equality — but it wasn’t without critique. “Keep politics out of my dessert!” cried one unaffected American who’d never even tasted Phish Food.


Well, cicadas are fucking back. The buzzing, red-eyed bugs have emerged from their underground lair four years ahead of their anticipated 2021 return. Thanks, global warming! The insects are mostly a mild annoyance, but make sure your dogs don’t eat them — cicadas are NSFP (not safe for pets). But that doesn’t mean you can’t chow down on them! Westside ice cream joint Putz’s Creamy Whip is serving up cicada cones topped with candies shaped like the infamous creatures. Now that’s so Cincinnati.


Happy Birthday, GIF! The short, looping animated images that provide perfect reactions when words fail turned 30 years old this week. Steve Wilhite, the granddaddy of the GIF, created this format while working at Compuserve as a way to display sharp images over slow connections that would work on any computer. Early GIFs include “Under Construction” banners and the dancing baby made famous by Ally McBeal. Today we have GIF keyboards on our phones. They’re a bonafide method of communication today. And while Wilhite might insist on pronouncing it like “jiff,” GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format and, thus, must be pronounced with a hard G, less you be perceived as a monster.


Fiona the hippo and other cute Cincinnati Zoo babies like the flamingo that recently hatched on Facebook Live have provided such positive zoo narratives they got us like, “Harambe who?” (Cut to Thane Maynard invoking a Simpsons Mr. Burns GIF: “Excellent...”) But that can’t stop us from paying respects to the big guy on this, the one-year anniversary of Harambe’s death. As if it bears repeating, last year on May 28, a child fell into the zoo’s gorilla enclosure, drawing the attention of the 17-year-old gorilla, Harambe. He began flinging the child around, so zookeepers shot Harambe and saved the little boy’s life. The event prompted reactions from animal activists and parent-shamers, and even more faux-outrage on social media, elevating Harambe to viral meme status. One year later, the only thing more shocking than this story is the fact that Harambe didn’t become an alt-right symbol like Pepe. At least some things are still sacred. So pour one out (or pull your dick out) for Harambe on this solemn day. 


Lifetime aired its long-awaited (jk) Michael Jackson biopic on Monday. If there’s anything more uncomfortable than looking back on MJ’s sad fate and ever-changing looks, it’s watching someone else try to recreate his Silly Putty face (we’re still personally victimized by the 30 seconds we saw of Joseph Fiennes’ performance as Jackson in that canceled British miniseries earlier this year). But Lifetime’s Michael Jackson: Searching for Neverland stars Navi, the self-proclaimed best Jackson impersonator in the world and the only one who has actually worked for his idol. It comes from the perspective of the King of Pop’s two bodyguards and closest friends. You probably think you know everything about MJ, but there were some interesting nuggets served in this steaming plate of Why?: Jackson liked hot sauce on his popcorn and would bring his own to movies (the original “hot sauce in my bag swag”?); like Britney and JLo today, he was in talks for a Vegas residency that could revive his career and get him out of debt, but he felt such a performance schedule would kill him; and he carried a Gone With the Wind Oscar statue and a briefcase with $200,000 and passports in case of emergencies. That’s our kind of bug-out bag.


Still recovering from your #MDW? Veterans and their families are upset that Memorial Day has turned into a party-drinking holiday (cue the “millennials ruin everything” rant!) when it’s supposed to be a day of somber reflection, but that isn’t stopping people from boozing it up on a three-day weekend. No matter how you celebrate, there’s no excuse to drink and drive. Unfortunately, Tiger Woods missed that memo when he went and got himself a DUI this weekend. (Pro tip: Holiday weekends are prime DUI-gettin’ time. Don’t drive!) And, dayum, he is looking RUFF. Police spotted Woods in his Benz, asleep behind the wheel with the engine running and his turn signal on. While he wasn’t drunk, he was reportedly on a mix of prescription pills that effed with him. Apparently even golf champions forget Uber exists.

CONTACT T.C. BRITTON: [email protected]