Several Popular Things I Know Nearly Nothing About

At age twenty-seven, I have somehow slipped into grumpy old mandom. Sometimes I hear about things that are cool, but I don’t really understand what they are. Please help.


Dubstep, I believe, is a genre of music. Right? My impression is that it’s like robot reggae. But we already have reggaeton, so that should be covered. How many varieties of reggae do we need? Sometimes even one seems like too many. We could cut the whole deal down to four Bob Marley songs and the soundtrack to The Harder They Come, and I’d be a happy dude.

Anyway, dubstep. It’s music. I don’t know of any artists that perform said music, except possibly Skrillex, whose name I assumed for months belonged to some sort of abrasive cleaning product. Something like a Brillo pad full of its own liquid detergent. Like a Gusher, which is a candy from back when I still understood new things.


Ke$ha is someone I know a little more about. I know she did that pretty catchy “Tik Tok” song, and she spells her name with a dollar sign like Ma$e did in the late 90’s. Her hobbies seem to be dancing, blacking out, and drunkenly forgetting what her other hobbies might be. Probably they are sexy things, we are led to believe. I’m not sure where she came from or what her other songs are, even though I’m sure I’ve heard them because I’ve been in grocery stores and my car and other places where the radio plays.

Much like reggae, the genre of “drunk party girl” could stand for some consolidation. Can’t Ke$ha and Katy Perry join up with Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas? Maybe in each song two of them can sing verses about getting wasted and puking in an aquarium, and the third one can sing a chorus about being the designated driver and making sure that her friends get home safely.

Jeremy Renner

My girlfriend assures me that Jeremy Renner is the next zeitgeist of male hotness. I know he was in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, so I respect that. I also have heard (maybe?) that he was in Inception, which is a movie that I have not seen, but only because it’s not on Netflix: Watch Instantly Protocol yet. If you are wondering why I didn’t see it in theaters, I was probably watching The Shawshank Redemption on TNT over and over again like some kind of idiot. I missed the boat.

I’m always blindsided by what guys are hot nowadays. I didn’t understand the whole Ryan Gosling phenomenon until he came crashing down upon us in an ab-alanche of muscles and charisma. And that does not come from a place of jealousy. I really enjoy Ryan Gosling’s work. I just never could have guessed that he would come to occupy eighty percent of the entire internet. To be fair, I also don’t know which women are hot. I’m still not over my longstanding crush on Julianne Moore.

Recently, I was blindsided by the groundswell of ladylove for Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch, who I was entirely sure was not a human at all but a cartoon rabbit, just based on his name. Which reminds me of the time I thought Bruno Mars was a crime-solving dog from outer space. True story.


Twitter is a thing that I can get on board with. But when people start using Twitter to talk about other, more niche internet things, I get completely lost. Klout, from what I can tell, measures how “influential” a person is about a topic. That is a sentence that seems to not mean anything at all. I don’t know whether I’ve ever been “influenced” by anything on Twitter. I don’t know Klout’s algorithms, but I imagine they are entirely arbitrary and were made up on a whim. Watch this. I just invented Chunk. It’s an online diagnostic tool that you use to measure how “delicious” you are on Facebook. I just gave myself +3.141 Chunk points for posting a status update about pie.

The Hunger Games

I know that there are three Hunger Games books. If I had my say, they would have been called: The Hunger Games, The Hungerer Games, and Hunger Games With a Vengeance. From conversations I have overheard, I imagine that the themes of the books include: girls kicking ass, dystopian society, hunger, games, independence, love, and archery.

I am sure that I will be forced to see the movie when it comes out, and I’m reasonably confident that I will enjoy it. I will, however, be really bummed out if “Hungry Like the Wolf” by Duran Duran isn’t on the soundtrack.

Please do not think that I think my lack of knowledge makes me cool. Mostly I try to learn the words to Mystikal songs from the year 2000 and obsess over my floundering fantasy basketball team. If you are planning to go to the Hunger Games movie or start a Ke$ha cover band, please include me. I would like to be influential about something for once in my gosh darn life. TC mark


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  • guest

    i enjoyed this. nicely done

  • Ruth Tam

    “I just gave myself +3.141 Chunk points for posting a status update about pie.” hahahahahhahaa

    • Sammy G

      I see what he did there. Clever.

  • A-W

    Currently experiencing gushers nostalgia. mmm.

  • Lol

    hahahahahahahaha @ chunk

  • Kai

    I feel like I’m old enough to not have to be too aware of The Hunger Games, but my friends seem to disagree.

  • guest

    ahahahahh loved this

  • MM

    haha I love the mention of the Hunger Games!  (Big fan)

    but I agree with Dubstep…i never really got it. 

    oh and Jeremy Renner was in The Hurt Locker, not Inception but he was nominated twice for Hurt Locker and The Town…he is gonna be in the reboot of the Bourne Legacy. 

  • A.

    I almost died. This was great.

  • xra

    lol just looked up that klout shit, sounds like the most devious attempt to manipulate human psychology for cash since reality tv

  • timbrepanic

    Inventing Chunk gives you +1 influential. 


    Very nicely written, for being a grumpy old man :D
    Though I am now curious, what your music tastes are?

    • Joshgondelman

      I’m big into golden age – early 2000’s hip hop. And I like kind of big, sincere rock like Bruce Springsteen, Weezer, and the Hold Steady. Also Creedence and Tom Petty. I’m like someone’s dad, for real.

  • jamie


  • nina

    I thought Dubstep was a techno band. shoot.

  • Moon Temple

    I don’t really get the Hunger Games thing. I mean, it’s teen lit. There’s no getting around it. And if it’s sci-fi people want, there’s sooooo much better sci-fi out there. Hmph.

    • GUEST

      teen lit is cool too

    • sg

      I’m don’t catalog the history of literature but I’m pretty sure the Hunger Games was groundbreaking in terms of teen lit… the first time anything so #dark was written for teens. Man, I devoured those books like they were my last meal. 

      • Michael Z

        I put off reading the 1st one for so long just because I was reading other things. I finally read it and it was AMAZING! I can’t wait to see the movie.

  • Elis

    Chunk. HA! That’s great.

  • Lu

    For some reason, I read this as if the author had a very slow cadence and very calming voice…
    2nd. Hunger Games is everywhere and I love it.
    Last, Benedict Cumberbatch = hot.  and laughed out loud for a full minute after the rabbit/bruno mars comment.
    Great thoughts.

    • Lu Han

      I hope your name is actually “Lu” and not short or abbreviation for anything. I have never met anyone else (anyone white or in the West) with the same name as me 

  • karyn

    as i read this, i cringed at the thought of the flurry of comments that would live below, things like “you=such a moron! get a fucking clue, losertic.” and i was quite pleased to see that the maniacs have lay silent and let this piece live and let live, without ripping it or you to bits. this made me laugh. thank you. just last night i thought to myself, “hunger games? is there some memo that people get every now and then that gets sent to my old address or something? why does every person know and love this shit? why did it come on all of a sudden like a 24 hour flu?” and then i went back to watching downton abbey, which i heard about at the golden globes so i’ve been desperately trying to catch up on that. the golden globes, of course, not exactly the most cutting edge place for tips on what’s cool now. so. i relate. thanks again. 

  • Waicool


  • Sean Cheah

    well done but dubstep is beyond that 

  • Andrea Koroknai

    I will, however, be really bummed out if “Hungry Like the Wolf” by Duran Duran isn’t on the soundtrack. :)))))))) so will I.

  • Guest

    I laughed out loud at this several times, but it is possible that I am still drunk.  Actually very likely that I am still drunk.  The thing about Chunk, though.  ohh man i kind of lost it.

  • AK

    “Anyway, dubstep. It’s music. I don’t know of any artists that perform
    said music, except possibly Skrillex, whose name I assumed for months
    belonged to some sort of abrasive cleaning product. ”

    SO DID I. Until my 7 YEAR OLD niece told me it’s a person.

  • Sahar Soos


  • Jeff

    Jeremy Renner is the new Jason Bourne, literally.

    I like this piece a lot! What a tribute to not being up on the latest shit.

  • Geraldine

    Hur. I like how you’ve got Benedict Cumberbatch in there. 

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