We Recommend: Your Friday Freebies
Junkee-endorsed bits and bobs to make your weekend better. Including Katy Perry's new clip, a incredible profile of Donald Trump, and Space Jam's epic battle played out on NBA 2K14.
Each Friday, our contributors send in a bunch of (legally) free stuff they’ve come across this week to help you waste your weekend. You’re welcome.
Recommended by: Edward Sharp-Paul (‘Everything You Need To Know About The W.A. Shark Cull‘)
As the name suggests, this blog is the work of a weird American who’s obsessed with Australia. It’s sort of like someone live-blogging their Wikipedia research, and it’s sort of like a stream-of-consciousness about things that this person likes and dislikes (Likes: Offspring, Evita. Dislikes: art photography, sport). Mostly, though, it’s just the wife of a man who loves to cook and the mother of a super-smart home-schooled child, howling into the void. It’s ludicrous, kinda raw, and quite addictive. This rather intense post, ostensibly about The Chaser‘s Andrew Hansen, is a pretty good place to start.
Video: ‘The Evolution Of Hip-Hop Dancing’, With Jimmy Fallon & Will Smith
Recommended by: Michelle See-Tho (‘The Bitching On ‘My Kitchen Rules’ Is Starting To Get Bland‘)
This week, Jimmy Fallon kicked off his reign as Jay Leno’s successor on The Tonight Show. Here’s a video from the debut episode, with Fallon and Will Smith showcasing some excellent hip-hop dance moves. If you were a fan of the ‘History Of Rap‘ series from Fallon’s Late Night, you’ll love popping, locking and Humpty-ing to this.
Knives: ‘In a Mass Knife Fight To The Death Between Every American President, Who Would Win and Why?‘
Recommended by: James Douglas
What if history came alive, and then stabbed itself to death? Such was the essence of the scenario posed to some obscure corner of Reddit in 2012, which invited readers to speculate upon the bloody outcome of a mass brawl between American presidents 1-44. This inspired an insanely detailed blog post from Canadian Geoff Micks, which proceeds through the presidents in order of inauguration and calmly discusses their chances of survival. The historical insight brought to bear may surprise you, as might the bloodthirstiness of some of the earlier commander-in-chiefs, and the whole piece is pitched perfectly at the funny side of obsessive. If you’ve ever spent hours (days?) debating the eternal caveman vs astronaut question, know that the joy is not gone, only forgotten.
Just don’t read too deep into the comments.
Short Doco: ‘The Finish Line: Episode 1’, From Grantland
Recommended by: Rob Moran
Back in 2009, ESPN columnist and Grantland founder Bill Simmons teamed up with Canadian hero, former NBA MVP, and current Lakers salary cap villain, Steve Nash, for what “could have been, potentially, one of the great sports books” (Simmons’s words, obviously). Unfortunately, due to the prickly nature of a guy that’s still playing openly talking shit about other guys who are also still playing, the project was shelved. Instead, we get this tiny but quietly illuminating behind-the-scenes doco on the twilight of a fading sports star (Nash is currently 40, and the oldest player in the NBA), all injury struggles and butt injections and daily battles between self-doubt and determination.
Profile: ‘36 Hours On The Fake Campaign Trail With Donald Trump‘, by McKay Coppins for Buzzfeed
Recommended by: Steph Harmon
“When Mr. Trump’s 757 was unable to land at Laguardia because of poor weather and was diverted to Palm Beach, Mr. Trump graciously invited Mr. Coppins to stay at his club, eat his food and drink,” Donald Trump’s advisor, Sam Nunberg, explained in an email to CNN, following the publication of McKay Coppins’ brilliant, damning profile late last week. “While I in no way think this gracious gesture should guarantee favorable coverage by Mr. Coppins, I do think it is poor form to accept to Mr. Trump’s hospitality and then shit on him in print.”
‘Shit on him in print’ is putting it lightly. The 6000 word profile was written on the heels of Trump’s latest series of public political events, each organised with the aim of stoking speculation that perhaps this time, finally, he would actually run for something. But the journalists were losing interest, and Trump was getting desperate. He invited Coppins back to his gigantic mansion in Palm Springs, assuming him to be “the biggest blogger in the world. (“It used to be the New York Times, now it’s BuzzFeed,” Trump explains. He pauses a beat, and then adds, almost wistfully, “The world has changed.”)
And so, thanks to a heady cocktail of ego and presumption, a huge amount of access is granted to a deeply unsympathetic reporter, who is not at all impressed by Trump’s “white carpet, gold fixtures, and tiny bottles of Trump-branded hair conditioner” — and who instead finds him to be entirely ridiculous.
Blaming himself for setting up the initial interview, Nunberg offered his resignation. Trump chose to fire him instead.
Music Videos: Katy Perry & Michael Jackson Do Ancient Egypt
Recommended by: Alasdair Duncan (‘Junk Explained: How The Queensland Government Is Planning To Poop On Your Party‘)
The video for Katy Perry’s ‘Dark Horse’ dropped this morning, and it’s really something. Perry plays the queen of a gaudy, CGI ancient Egypt, with buff minions bringing her platters of Twinkies, and rappers leaping out of sarcophagi. It’s fun and everything, but it falls a little short of the definitive ancient Egypt-set pop video, Michael Jackson’s ‘Remember The Time’.
The song and its video raise a lot of pertinent questions. Do you remember the time when record labels had infinite budgets to blow on epic, nine-minute videos, complete with dialogue and lavish sets? When Eddie Murphy was sill a hugely bankable star? When Michael Jackson was crushing it in his new jack swing period? The ’90s were a different time, man.
Podcast: ‘The Cracked Podcast #8: Lyndon B. Johnson’
Recommended by: Joe McKenzie
Here’s something for all the House Of Cards binge-watchers — a podcast about how good Lyndon Johnson, the original Frank Underwood, was at exercising power. The podcast is an interview between Cracked.com’s Editor-In-Chief Jack O’Brien and comedy writer Dan O’Brien (no relation), who has written extensively about American presidents in general. Like House Of Cards, it is not safe for work — it’s like watching The West Wing, but knowing what Bartlett has nicknamed his penis.
Video: Somebody Made A Space Jam Mod For NBA 2K14, And Simulated The Greatest Basketball Game Ever Played
Recommended by: Cameron Tyeson
By creating modified characters for both team rosters (yes, including Bill Murray), some absolute genius has inserted the Tune Squad and the Monstars from Space Jam into NBA 2K14 and simulated the game, which turns out to be a double overtime epic. The modded characters are kind of wholly disturbing, but totally brilliant and I’d like to know where to send my money to.
With that said, it obviously differs from the film in the sense that the NBA 2K series is a true sim, so there’s a lot less cartoon tomfoolery and a lot more actual basketball (though that long range 3 from Monstar Bupkis late in the 4th quarter is goddamned criminal). Still, there’s something really calming in the concept of Bugs Bunny setting a hard screen for Elmer Fudd. Peace, love and understanding through the majesty of basketball. Bliss.
Tumblr: ‘Reasons My Son Is Crying‘
Recommended by: Elizabeth Flux (‘Protests In Pastels: ‘Love Child’ Shines A Light On A Troubling Period In Australian History‘)
This Tumblr isn’t exactly new, but laughing at small, upset children doesn’t go out of date. While it’s probably not the most wholesome activity one can partake in, ‘Reasons My Son Is Crying’ kind of makes it somewhat okay. I think. It’s made up of a series of pictures of kids weeping and scrunching up their faces in different situations, with a caption underneath each one explaining why. Sometimes it’s because dinosaurs are extinct, sometimes it’s because they’ve been forbidden from eating chair stuffing, and sometimes it’s because their parents wouldn’t play ‘Du Hast’ for a third time.
You’ll laugh, they’ll cry, and everyone will sing ‘Shadenfreude‘ from Avenue Q.