PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

50 Things That Sucked In 2008

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Into each year a little suck must fall, and 2008 was certainly no exception. There were plenty of things/places/people and events that sucked in 2008. Let me strap on my curmudgeon hat, as here, in no particular order, we present the PopCult Universe list of 50 things that sucked in 2008.

1) We have to start off heavy.  The death of Randy Lee Walden sucked. I did not have the honor of knowing Randy for very long. Mel and I recorded the first performance by his new band, Quick and Dirty, in May, and in early July we attended his funeral in Poca. Randy was a major talent on the verge of breaking through in the Charleston music scene, and PopCult extends its deepest condolences to Randy’s family and band-mates. We are planning to do a second tribute episode of Radio Free Charleston dedicated to Randy early in 2009.

2) The economy. The reasons are myriad, the blame easy to spread around. All we know is that things are tough all over.

3) Black Ice. You can take your White Christmas and Winter Wonderland and stick them up your….

4) Steve Gerber dies. The creator of Howard the Duck and one of the most original writers in comic books. Sadly, most people will know him from that awful movie that George Lucas made out of “Howard.” Nobody who saw that movie should have been surprised by Jar Jar Binks.

5) Computer programs that automatically convert emoticons into little graphics of smiley faces. I mean, seriously. The whole idea of an emoticon is only marginally clever as it is. “See, if you look at it sideways, it’s a smiley face!” Do we really need to dumb it down even farther?

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50 Cool Things About 2008

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There were many cool things/events/people and places that we encountered this last year, and here, in no particular order (the numbers are for my convenience) is The PopCult Universe list of 50 Cool Things about 2008:

1) IWA East Coast, West Virginia’s premiere indy wrestling fed, capped off a stellar year by announcing two cool things: They now have an official MySpace page maintained by none other than IWA EC’s Mad Man Pondo (right) . and their next show, in February, will see the IWA EC debut of WWF/WCW/NWO stalwart Scott Hall.

2) Wal Mart continued their program of carrying cheap reproduction GI Joes. This year they re-released the 1960s-style guys with painted hair and hard hands, along with four uniform sets, all for a mere ten bucks a pop.

3) Barack Obama elected in the first untainted election since 1996. Local legend Lady D is chosen to perform at his inauguration.

4) The Concept released “The Empire Penguin Strikes Back.” See the review here.

5) The Police reunion tour continued.

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Ramblus Interruptus

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Tonight’s scheduled Ramble Week post on comic books turned out to be so rambling that it’s going to require extensive rewriting in order to be fit for human consumption. It will now be posted sometime Friday.

Check back Tuesday for “100 50 Cool Things about 2008.”  Wednesday will see “100 50 Things about 2008 That Sucked.” You won’t want to miss what made those lists!

In the meantime, watch this video of a monkey washing a cat…

Monday Morning Art: Passion

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The last Monday Morning Art of the year is a digital painting I did based on an old sketch from 1989. It’s abstract enough that I’ll leave it to your imagination to figure out.

Technical issues mean that this one won’t go up in the MMA store until later in the week. You can, however, click to enlarge it.

Sunday Evening Video: Send Lady D to DC

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The video you see above is Lady D, Doris Fields, performing her song “Go Higher” at the Unitarian Universalist Church last February. We included this great inspirational tune in episode 37 of Radio Free Charleston. As you may have heard, this song was chosen in a national Internet poll to be performed at one of the Inaugural Balls for Barack Obama in a few weeks.

However, some money needs to be raised to send Lady D and her band to Washington D.C.  There are a couple of fundraising shows this weekend, and for full details direct from the Charleston WV Blues Society, follow the jump.

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2009: The Year In Review

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It’s hard to believe 2009 is over already. What an amazing year. Quite the roller-coaster ride. I’m not going to go too deeply into details about how great everything has been since I’m saving that for the Radio Free Charleston Year In Review special on CBS.  If someone told you all the cool, strange, and unexpected twists that happened in 2009, you would have thought they were crazy. Let’s just take a month by month look at some of the highlights of the coolest year ever.

January: Who can forget the amazing sight of Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey joining West Virginia’s own Doris Fields onstage at the Inaugural Ball, performing her award winning song, “Go Higher”. Even more amazing was when Stevie Wonder, Bono, Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Prince, and Aretha Franklin rushed the stage halfway through the song and joined in.

The Inauguration of Barack Obama instilled in the country an overwhelming sense of hope. Something that was much-needed after the record layoffs and strange lights in the sky that started the new year.

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Soupy Sales, Obama, and Very Large Breasts

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Today’s post is about hit counts.

If you are one of those people who regularly check the comment section here at Popcult, you may have noticed that the hit counts on the posts in this blog fluctuate wildly. Sometimes, I’ll bang my heart out, creating what I think is one of my finest posts ever, and hardly anyone will read it. Other times, I can fart out something effortlessly in five minutes and people will flock to it like it’s manna from Heaven.

At one point, I thought this might have been due to the counter here at the Gazz.com not being accurate. To be honest, I still have my suspicions. But I can’t blame conspiracy theories for every bit of strangeness in my rather strange life.

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World Gone Mad

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The video you see above is Sean Richardson’s performance from Episode 26 of Radio Free Charleston. The song is called “World Gone Mad” and it kicks off today’s rambling essay, which is about things that are wrong with the world. It’s a great tune, and is actually an example of one of the things right about the world, but it’s late and I’m grasping at straws here.

There are five things wrong with the world (actually, there are way more than that, but while this is a rambling essay, I have no intention of turning it into a book length one). In no particular order, here are the five things wrong with the world:

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Ramble Week

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This year in the week between Christmas and New Year’s, PopCult presents “Ramble Week,” a series of seven rambling, barely coherent essays about a diverse array of topics. The first Ramble Week essay, “World Gone Mad”, will be posted in a few moments. It was supposed to be posted on Friday, but evil forces kept the internets from working properly.

Merry Christmas From PopCult and Radio Free Charleston

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Above is the now-classic video of RFC Big Shot Melanie Larch singing “Ave Maria” from our first Christmas episode of RFC. We shower upon you our fondest wishes this holiday season.

After the jump, check out the giant stocking that Mel’s getting this year, plus take another look at our other Christmas shows. 

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