This week, Cornell staff and students have been inundated with information, reported cases, and mass hysteria centered around the dreaded swine flu. Forget budget cuts and that there are now two salad lines at Statler – we’ve got the urge to oink.
But what did a little swine ever do to you, besides giving you a temperature high enough to miss your sorority’s annual wine tour? Pigs were dealt the short end of the stick, and have paid countless contributions to our daily lives. Need proof? I present…
The Top Five Pigs (Swine) in Popular Culture…
NUMBER 5: WILBUR (The Literate Pig)
It wouldn’t be right to have a pig countdown without this porker on the list.
I returned this May from a semester studying abroad in St. Andrews, Scotland, and immersing myself back into American culture has been unexpectedly seamless. Despite having an unbelievable time jigging to bagpipes, slinging whiskey, and pretending to like mayonnaise on everything, I’ve had no trouble adjusting to the good old U S of A.
Because of the United Kingdom’s close proximity to Ireland, one would be inclined to think that St. Patrick’s Day would be an enormous celebration here. And it is – for Americans. Although I am surrounded by Scots, Englishmen, and both Irish and Northern Irish alike, I was forced to orchestrate my St. Patty’s Day plans with my American friends. The others followed suit, but couldn’t for the life of them understand why St. Patrick’s Day is such a huge deal in American metropolises spanning the nation at large. But deciding to forgo all questioning in favor of libation, the celebrations commenced for all.
Allow me to preface this entry by letting the reader know that I am abroad in Scotland for the semester. Without that information, you may find yourself terribly lost. I have stepped outside of the culture I know all too well and revel in all too often, and have embarked on a journey to the birthplace of the bagpipe.
But what does an American pop culture pill-popper slash blogger have to write about the United Kingdom? Well, I’m not really sure either. Even though I am studying at the University of St. Andrews, the alma mater of Prince William, English royalty and tabloid extraordinaire, I’ve had a hard time coming up with comment-worthy banter for the Cornell Sun (and for that, I’m sorry, web editors).
It’s no secret – we’re different from our friends across the Pond. But the differences transcend politics, pastimes and accents. The United States and United Kingdom have incredibly divergent forms of entertainment. HBO tried to bridge the gap this year, after seeing New Zealand’s Flight of the Concords’ great success, with another series – Little Britain USA.
Every generation leaves its mark on the world. As we move on to modernity, and as each passing ideology becomes archaic and passé, we phase out that which precedes us. But each time this happens, a period’s entertainers seem to have a much more lasting impression on the culture they leave behind than anything else. The names speak volumes – “Old Blue Eyes” Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe…David Hasselhoff? They’ve all added something to the very media in which they were once relevant.
But today’s entertainers are of a different caliber. Not worse, per say, but different nonetheless. In an age dominated by the Internet and technology, of which we’ve all been reminded countless times, the media-based realm is steadily changing.
The country (read: the Electoral College) has spoken – Obama and Biden 2008. But I’m not about to write about what this decision means for social security, the War in Iraq or our public school system. I’d rather delve into what it means for Saturday Night Live.
To be frank, the show was in a Dark Age before Tina Fey donned the Sarah Palin wig and Amy Poehler dusted off her Hillary Clinton shoulder pads. Saturday Night Live was dominated by skits that weren’t funny, characters who were overused and Kenan Thompson, whose career peaked with genius alongside Kel Mitchell in Kenan and Kel. But since all the Election 2008 shenanigans began, the show has risen from the ashes as a real tour de force for sketch comedy.
There’s no better time to celebrate television than around the holidays. But you don’t have to wait until December, because the television-watching community celebrates literally any special day, from Chinese New Year to Kwanza, and especially Halloween. [img_assist|nid=33115|title=Zeke the Plumber without a nose.|desc=|link=node|align=right|width=|height=0]
The Halloween Special is a delicate art that has been poked and prodded for longer than TV executives would like you to believe. To pay tribute to their hard work, I have compiled a list of my Top Four Halloween Specials. Get your candy corn ready because this could get messy.
[img_assist|nid=32853|title=Nick Hogan is greeted by his sister, Brooke, this past Tuesday after being released from jail.|desc=|link=node|align=right|width=|height=0]This past Tuesday, October 21, Nick Hogan was released from jail after just 166 days–and that’s after sending his best friend, John Graziano, into a vegetative state after a bout of reckless driving, culminating in a crash.
Hogan has been released due to “good behavior,” but we common folk are skeptical. It’s no secret that celebrities get out of all kinds of trouble. After all, money may not buy you happiness, but it sure does buy you freedom. The youngest Hogan reportedly arrived home to a party, but quite obviously, Graziano was unable to attend.
[img_assist|nid=32699|title=A guess at the new album’s artwork.|desc=|link=node|align=right|width=|height=0]For the first time in my career as a Sun blogger, I’m going to write about government and political issues – that’s right, Chinese Democracy.
Okay, so it’s not really a world issue, but the release of the long-awaited Guns N’ Roses album, Chinese Democracy, is finally on the horizon. After wavering between
a few release dates in mid-November, Axl has finally decided on November 23rd. The upcoming release will be the band’s comeback into the major rock scene since its disappearance in 1991, and close friends of the band say that it will be the first of a trilogy of three new albums.