Nostalgia is a funny thing. We can often look back at our youth and say, “things were better then” when compared to today. With that attitude in mind, on this episode Greg and Chad talk about what items we have today that didn’t exist during their childhoods they would delete if possible. Even though the item might make some part of life better, the negative effect it’s had might be greater the good.
It’s the holiday season and what goes better with the holidays then a discussion about politics? @chadsmart invites political junkie Brandon Cooley to the show for a new series called Politicalamity. While covering a wide array of political topics, Chad and Brandon show that it’s possible to have a reasonable, friendly conversation even when you don’t agree on everything. Is there that big of a difference between President Trump and President Obama? Should President Trump step away from Twitter? Why does Congress have such a low favorability rating yet has a huge re-election rate? Should Congress have term limits? These are just some of the topics covered in the first installment of Positive Cynicism’s newest themed edition.
*There were some technical issues and the audio does have some static issues throughout the show. We’re working to fix this on future episodes.
Social media is a tricky minefield to navigate. This edition of Question Everything, @chadsmart has the founder of Harness Digital Marketing, @iTomHarness on to discuss the reasons for why an online presence is important as well as how to brand yourself successfully. In addition to social media, the discussion also touches on Tom’s latest endeavor with a friend to start the Southern Illinois Film Commission in an attempt to bring more film production to the region known for it’s scenic beauty.
Has a celebrity said something that offended you on social media this week? Why do we care what celebrities do or say? What happens when something someone did in the past that wasn’t socially acceptable comes to light? Should all actions and words be held against someone no matter how much time has passed? On this episode of Positive Cynicism, @chadsmart and @kevinhunsperger look at recent social media outcries involving celebrities.
From Hulk Hogan’s reinstatement into the WWE Hall of Fame after a three year suspension due to using the N-word in a private phone call to James Gunn being fired from directing Guardians of the Galaxy 3 due to old tweets involving rape and pedophilia being thrust into the spotlight, plenty of online discussion has been spent debating whether the penalty fits the crime. In each situation, there seems to be an underlying layer to people’s reaction. Personal fandom and politics taint the opinions of justifiable penalty or overreaction. Should this be the case or should their be a universal standard for reacting to hurtful or inappropriate words? That’s the answer Chad and Kevin try to determine.
@chadsmart and @mikedekalb return with another edition of Wonder Why. This edition features a listener suggested One Hit Wonder Choice. Chad and Mike break down the 1979 hit song What You Won’t Do for Love by Bobby Caldwell. While Mike was familiar with the song, Chad had never heard it before. What opinion do they have of the song and the debut album which included the song?
In addition to the discussion of Bobby Caldwell, @chadsmart continues the #SummerOfPositivity #GiveawayGalore by offering a unique prize which ties in with Bobby Caldwell’s late 1980s era. This is one giveaway on which you don’t want to miss out.
For the wrap up segment, @mikedekalb chooses the options for the June edition of #WonderWhy and Mike and Chad give their #PicksOfTheMonth. What albums do they think you should be listening to this month? What do bicycles have in common with both their picks?
When we publish a new episode on a Monday, you know that the train has essentially jumped the tracks. How and why we ended up recording at about 11:00 on a Sunday night definitely is mentioned. But what wasn’t mentioned was the fact that we should really try to plan better.
BUT TODDLERS DON’T CARE ABOUT YOUR PLANS!
Moving on…a new Husker commit sent out an interesting tweet in response to “keyboard tough guys” (my word, not that of Cam Jones, a new commit at Safety who, according to Hoss, could transition to linebacker if necessary). He’s a big body, physical playmaker. But less about that and more about the tweet…copied and pasted here.
Y'all get so caught up in stars its crazy u get a 5th star if u basically camp all summer n hype yo self lol going for 5 stars is probably why Nebraska wasn't Nebraska anymore u gotta get dawgs not stars lol film is wa u gotta look for man
So I’ve dropped this topic on a few recent episodes of the podcast, I’ve hinted at an upcoming episode I’d like to have where I discuss some parts of some classic Disney movies that are overlooked in the grand scheme of the story. At the time, I told you to give me a classic Disney feature animation, and I’d find at least one thing to complain about.
Well, y’all forgot to submit your entries to be a part of the show, so I’m taking matters into my own hands.
There may be more to this down the road, but these are two big issues I have with two high-profile Disney cartoons from my childhood. But they are things I didn’t really consider until recently.
In 1989’s The Little Mermaid, Ariel escapes to her cave of wonders, where her collection of human trinkets is, well, it’s massive. She has more crap that she found on the bottom of the ocean than I packed up and put in the moving truck last year when we relocated. In her song Part of That World, she sings:
Look at this stuff, isn’t it neat? Wouldn’t you think my collection’s complete?
Wouldn’t you think I’m the girl, The girl who has everything?
Look at this trove, treasures untold. How many wonders can one cavern hold?
Lookin’ around here you’d think ‘Sure, she’s got everything,’
I’ve got gadgets and gizmos aplenty.
I’ve got whooz-its and whatz-its galore.
You want thingamabobs? I got twenty.
But who cares? No big deal. I want more.
Now, I’ve never been a sea princess. I haven’t been a land princess for that matter, either. But what does it tell the young, impressionable children watching this movie? “No matter how much you have, it’s not enough.” Now that can be interpreted in a variety of ways. You can work hard to achieve your goals.
But that’s not how the movie plays out. With the help of the sea witch Ursula, she trades her voice for some legs. And then with the help of her friends, she tries to get Prince Eric to fall in love with her. It is complicated when Ursula shows up, yadda yadda, you know the story.
It just seems to me that the “I have so much, but I need more to be happy” mentality is part of this wave of entitlement that has been around out society for much of this millennium. Now I’m not blaming Disney, but it could certainly be a factor. Also…that’s very old-man of me. And I get that. And it’s not a plot hole, unlike our next venture.
The second part is this post centers on Beauty and the Beast, and is all plot hole. Recall if you will that Belle leaves the castle to go check on her father. While there, Maurice is about to be taken to the asylum. Belle pleads on behalf of her father, who had already claimed to see a beastly, monstrous creature. No one believes him. So when Belle whips out the magic mirror to prove her father isn’t crazy. They see the Beast in the viewer, and of course, it’s the wild-eyed, evil Beast. Not the calm, more sophisticated Beast that Belle grew to love. What happens next?
Gaston whips the mob into a frenzy, saying the Beast needs to be killed before he wreaks havoc on the village.
That spell has been on the castle for a decade, and the villagers didn’t even know about it. They had no idea there was a Beast. They go from clueless to concerned in just a few seconds. Aside from a couple images of a creature on the magic mirror, there has been no proof that the Beast is dangerous. Furthermore, the Beast has no history of attacking the village.
Seriously…with absolutely no cause other than to puff his chest out and add a trophy to his wall, Gaston incites a riot and marches on the castle, and his undoing.
It’s just a problem I’ve encountered with Beauty and the Beast. It unnerves me more than the Stockholm Syndrome aspect.
So that’s what I wanted to talk about today.
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It’s celebration time this week on Positive Cynicism. Host Chad Smart celebrates the ten year anniversary of moving to Los Angeles with some anecdotes about experiences he had in the City of Angels. After reminiscing about the last decade, it’s time to look towards the future and the next crazy sports trip. This one may be a bit too extreme. As always, the episode ends with the “Question of the Week.”
What if you had a podcast and no one listened? How well do you know your “friends” on Facebook? In this week’s episode, Chad examines the love-hate relationship he has with social media. On one hand, social media is a necessary tool to build a brand. On the other hand, social media has become a wasteland for one sided non-conversation postings. Is it possible for the two sides to co-exist? Listen and find out. Plus, the random question of the week looks to the future.
Welcome to a brand new episode of Nerds United. In Episode 59, I’m talking with Irish filmmaker and writer James Mulholland.
James’ path to comic book writing is unconventional. Despite writing his whole life, it was just a recent introduction to comics and their characters through the films of Hollywood that sparked an interest in comic books.
Hear James’ story from his “small town” (only 40,000 people, making my town of 7,500 a “village” or worse) to film school. Learn about some common themes in his writing, and the very personal stories from which they are derived.
Be sure to Like James on Facebook and check out his work on Comic Fury. (Definitely check out “Minority.” Great art with a gripping story that I’ve only just begun.)
And if you’re in the social media mood, follow James on Twitter.
Might as well Follow me on Twitter as well. Yes…I tweet.
I also Periscope on occasion, but I’m pretty bad at that. I’ll share that when I have more confidence.
Hanna-Barbera was living right, dominating the world of animated entertainment for decades. Many of the cartoons I watched as a child were Hanna-Barbera creations. Think back. I bet you can say the same. It’s okay, I’ll wait.
See? I was right!
These two families were two of HB’s more popular characters.
The Flintstones consisted of your every-man Fred, his wife Wilma, little girl Pebbles, and pets Dino and Baby Puss. I include Baby Puss because one of my favorite parts of the cartoon was always the ending credits when the sabretooth cat hops back in the house and puts Fred out for the night.
The Jetsons featured George as the patriarch, Jane as the mother, Judy, the firstborn, and Elroy, the inquisitive and somewhat brainy younger son. (The other way to introduce them is “Meet George Jetson. His Boy Elroy. Daughter Judy. Jane, his wife.”) The Jetsons also had a pet, a dog named Astro. And they had an in-home robot maid, Rosie.
Fred Flintstone was a quarryman, working construction. His time-rock got punched twice a day, and then he would head home to his family. Fred’s best pal, Barney Rubble, also worked at the quarry. The two were bowling buddies and members of the Loyal Order of Water Buffaloes. Barney had a wife, Betty, and an adopted son, Bamm-Bamm.
George Jetson worked at Spacely (Space) Sprockets, where he got blamed for a lot! His at-work companion was R.U.D.I., is a computer with a human personality. And while I recall an episode where some bad programming meant some unfortunate things for George, R.U.D.I. was primarily a human-friendly computer, unlike this program…
Outside of work, George didn’t have much of a life, except for the time he spent zooming around trying to keep his family safe. It just seemed that Fred had a bit more downtime to enjoy some of the finer things in life.
In all actuality, maybe these two shows were inadvertent metaphors for life with and without technology. The Flintstones seemed to have more fun, and even though they faced their share of challenges, they each had time for hobbies. The Jetsons were seemingly always getting into trouble, and George was fired from his job in an unfair amount of episodes.
In a way, I empathize with George a bit more than Fred. George seems like a tough-luck loner. Fred at least had Barney. George didn’t really have anywhere to turn when he needed to vent his frustrations.
And let’s not forget the very real fact that these two families met once.
Before I render a verdict, I do want to include quite possibly the best result of either of these two storied franchises.
You’re damn right I’m talking about sugary cereals. And ever since I was a kid, that particular commercial has stuck with me. I can practically recite it word for word, playing all three roles.
This week’s decision really comes down to a topic I mentioned above – technology and the speed of the world with it and without it.
I have essentially been raised with technology. I had a Nintendo Entertainment System and an MS-DOS computer (only one of those I’d take back). I have had many types of cell phones over the years. That’s not to brag. In fact, I have had the same phone for several years (thank you Otter Box). But for the last fifteen years, I’ve had cell phones and other mobile devices, desktop computers, laptops, etc.
I’m connected. Often, I think I’m too connected.
That’s why I’m calling this week’s #ToughCallTuesday for the Flintstones, and it’s a direct result of my own personal longing to be just a little less plugged in. It’s a difficult task, certainly, because my job requires me to maintain the business Facebook page, I have my own business page as a sales consultant, plus there’s the Jittery Monkey Podcasts and Nerds UnitedFacebook pages and Twitter accounts.
And I’ll always have that, especially if I’m ever a business owner myself (Nerds United – The Store…it’s happening…someday).
Here’s my only question though…
We’ve seen two live action Flintstone movies. Where’s our Jetsons movie? Sci-fi is at an all-time high. And these are some iconic characters due for a big screen moment. I mean, everything else from our childhood has its own movie now, so what’s the worst that could happen?
Agree? Disagree? You know what to do. Sound off in the comments. What’s your preference? Flintstones or Jetsons? And do we deserve a Jetsons movie?
Also – your topics for #ToughCallTuesday…I WANT ‘EM!
I mean, that’s the entire point of this series of blogs. It’s named a “tough call” for a reason.
Last night, the new Star Wars Episode VII The Force Awakens trailer debuted on Monday Night Football and the Internet reacted in fine fashion. Here’s the trailer in case you missed it (so I could say you were possibly entertained by at least one thing on this post):
So that happened. And tomorrow is the day that Marty McFly visits “the future” from 1985.
Now I know what you’re thinking. “There have been 816 days in the last decade where Marty McFly was “supposed to arrive.” You saw them on social media going back to the MySpace days. But I assure you – tomorrow is the day:
So that brings me to this week’s debate: Which is better, Back to the Future II or Back to the Future III?
Back to the Future II has:
A presented time period, in fact the ONLY time period, we were able to experience. Let’s face it, unless someone has a working temporal displacement device, no one here is going back to the Old West.
Alternate timelines – and let’s face it, we all love a good dystopian future. Mad Max: Fury Road, The Hunger Games, Idiocracy (which, sadly, we’re already closer to that future than we are to the 2015 presented to us in BTTF2).
Lea Thompson’s ginormous additions!
Hoverboards. I don’t care if they don’t work over water. I thought they were the coolest part of that movie when I was a kid watching it for the first time.
More classic cars from the 1950s. Think about it, In BTTF2, Marty travels from 1985 to 2015 to alternate timeline 1985 back to 1955. And the climactic scene with Marty and Biff, the convertible, the hoverboard, and the sports almanac – well that’s just some great storytelling.
A basic understanding of time travel.
“Great Scott! Jennifer could conceivably encounter her future self! The consequences of that could be disastrous! The encounter could create a time paradox, the results of which could cause a chain reaction that would unravel the very fabric of the space time continuum, and destroy the entire universe! Granted, that’s a worse case scenario. The destruction might in fact be very localized, limited to merely our own galaxy.”
Here are the offerings of Back to the Future III:
Clint Eastwood. Well…sort of. Remember that was the alias Marty gave to Buford “Mad Dog” Tannen when he was asked.
Clint Ea-…Marty had to wrangle (no pun intended) some Western duds in a time period where, how do I put this gently…they didn’t give a crap about historical accuracy.
No George McFly incarnation. I mean – where was Crispin Glover? Why was Michael J Fox his own ancestor?
Lorraine’s gigantic knockers – What can I say? They are both fascinating and hauntingly inaccurate. That is…unless the goal was to make them not at all resemble actual breasts. Lea Thompson is a far underrated actress in my opinion. She’s a doll. I enjoy her work in just about everything I have seen. And if you’re a fan, I encourage you to listen to her conversation with Chris Hardwick on the Nerdist Podcast.
The time machine locomotive – that beautiful piece of wonder looked like it was taken right out of a novel by Jules Verne. And oddly enough, that was the name Doc Brown and Clara chose for their two sons.
The final resolution – Back to the Future III was the finale of a tremendous trilogy that didn’t need to be a trilogy. If Back to the Future ends with Marty and Jennifer going out to the lake as planned, and now with the Doc racing in at the last minute and whisking them away to the future, it’s still a wonderful movie that is likely treasured for the ages. But it didn’t, he did, and we got two more movies of time-jumping and everything else that I’ve stated above. And that’s fine. But when the train comes through and obliterates the DeLorean, that’s it. No more time travel. Well, I mean, aside from the aforementioned locomotive. But that’s too bulky for every day use. The future is set right based on the destruction of the DeLorean and Marty not giving in to Needles’ challenge.
Both of these movies have their pros and their cons. For example, Back to the Future III relied on the same (yet still hilarious) gag about Biff/Buford being driven into a wagon of manure. Still hilarious. But it is also low hanging fruit.
Meanwhile, Back to the Future II had the Chicago Cubs win the World Series. And as a St. Louis Cardinals fan, that is very difficult to ignore. It is magnified by the fact that the Cubs eliminated my beloved Cardinals from post-season play last week. However, the movie was written, filmed, and released before Major League Baseball altered the playoff structure to include the Division League Series. So while the movie Cubs win the World Series on October 20, 2015, the real life Cubs trail the New York Mets 2-0 heading into tonight’s Game 3. And I think it’s just unfair to give Cubs fans false hope like that.
Also, where are the auto-fitting jackets and auto-securing shoes? It’s true that Nike was working on the shoes, but they aren’t produced or priced to be available to mass audiences…just yet.
The verdict – as it were:
I’m going with Back to the Future II. Despite the Cubs prediction and Jaws 19, there is just a ton of story packed into this movie. And its ending is so incredible. Marty sees a floating DeLorean with Doc Brown struck by lightning. The DeLorean vanishes. A minute later, a Western Union representative delivers a letter. And, well…good times occur.
“He’s in the Old West, but he’s ALIVE!”
Plus, it gets a moment in a Family Guy parody.
Now where’s my affordable hoverboard, dammit?
As always, if there’s a topic you want me to discuss in a future feature, let me know in the comments.
In Episode 42 Kevin is trying something different. The show is completely generated by your questions via Periscope, Twitter and SnapChat. The talk revolves around Kurt Angle and his future and the upcoming Night of Champions event. Thanks for listening and sharing.
Grab your overalls and cowboy hat: we’re heading down to the farm! The guest this week is Farmer Billy Hills. He has made a name for himself on the Indy scene in the Midwest and Midsouth areas. Farmer has a big benefit show set for July 26 in Harrisburg, Illinois. Look up Farmer Billy Hills on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Meet Jay Peteranetz, a lifelong comic book reader (mostly Marvel) and artist who has helped take comics to an unprecedented medium – playing cards.
Welcome to Magicians Must Die:
Jay grew up reading a ton of Marvel, including X-Men and the Cosmic Marvel books, including Guardians of the Galaxy. So naturally we talk about the marvel Cinematic Universe and OMG DID YOU SEE ADAM WARLOCK?
There is a lot covered in this episode, and I’m pumped for future conversations with Jay, who will be appearing at the Denver Comic Con in May. So go check him out there.
ALSO – if we get Jay to 250 Twitter followers in the next two weeks, he’ll hook me up with all four issues (sets) of MMD, autographed, and ready to giveaway on the show. He wins, we win. GET IT?!?