4 Pop Culture Arguments That Need to be Retired

There was one question on my job application for Cracked: "How is Space Jam really a convincing argument for communism," and I needed three of those little blue essay books to complete my answer. Arguing about pop culture isn't just fun for me; it's the entirety of my job.

That said, I've been doing this for a while now, long enough that I've noticed the few pop culture arguments that come up over and over and over again. And I'm getting pretty tired of these boring, repetitive, non-Space-Jam-related arguments.

#4. Women Aren't as Funny as Men

Vanity Fair

What You Say:

"I'm not sexist, or anything, I'm just asking: would Stripes have been as good had it starred Meryl Streep instead of Bill Murray? No, probably not. And I think it comes down to the gender roles that are assigned to us as children; boys are rewarded for being funny, girls are rewarded for being pretty. Society just happens to value- [and then whatever they say next. My brain actually shuts off whenever people start a sentence with 'Society' so I never know how these arguments end.]."

What You (Unconsciously) Mean

"A woman made me laugh in a movie and instead of just accepting that she was funny, I decided to hold this public discussion on the idea of funny women, because one time I read an article that talked about pre-assigned gender roles and I'd really like to tell everyone about it."

People love talking about whether or not women are funny. I don't know why. At some point when I was a kid, I, like you, met a girl who was funny and was like "Oh, case closed," and that should have been the end of it, but it wasn't. Comedy supersite Splitsider hosts this discussion a lot. It was covered in the New York Post as recently as June. 30 Rock did a whole episode about it last week.

I'm just so tired of it.

"A new study says women can also tell jokes? You don't say."

There are lots of people who are smarter and all around kinder than me, and I'm sure their reasons for wanting to end the "Are women funny?" argument are sensitive and important (sexism, and so on). I don't have any meaningful reasons; I'm just absolutely sick of this argument. It has been covered so often and from so many different angles that everything -- everything -- has already been said on the topic. Every new discussion can't help but being a round-up of past talking points, and if you still need to ask if women are funny, then there is no information that I could possibly bring you to change your mind.

The problem is that the people who have this argument don't actually want to change any minds; they just like having this particular argument. Over and over again. And, to be clear, my problem isn't that the argument is idiotic (though it is); my problem is that it's boring. I'm sick of seeing articles titled "Are Funny Women Finally Mainstream?" and "Finally, a Hangover Movie for Girls" and "Look! Boobs that Joke!" every time a female-centric comedy does well at the box office.

#3. They're Making a Sequel/Remake of [X]? UGH!


What You Say:

"Wait, they're making another Ghostbusters movie? Why? Why!? I already saw the amount of Ghostbusters movies that I'm comfortable seeing, so why would they keep making them?! Why don't they just come up with some NEW ideas in Hollywood? Is it because I also complain that the new ideas aren't as good as the old ones? Is THAT why?"

What You (Unconsciously) Mean

"The past is great! Don't ever change or update anything!"

Twice a week for the last six years, someone on the Internet has published an article updating everyone on the anticipated (?) Ghostbusters sequel that will probably never happen.

Sequels, remakes and reboots are some of the Internet's favorite things to be mad about. Check out the Talkback section for AintitCoolNews's post on the latest Die Hard trailer or the comment section on the new Evil Dead teaser. I understand that people like to hold certain pop culture artifacts sacred, but the amount of hatred that they have for sequels/reboots just sounds exhausting. I'm not thrilled that another Die Hard is coming out, but it's really easy for me to not watch movies that I don't want to watch. I do it all the time.

Entertainment Weekly

The above image isn't a fake. No 13-year-old's boner Photoshopped it as a prank; it's a real, promotional one-sheet for the fifth installment in the Die Hard franchise. Sure, that poster is dumb as a bucket of butts, but there's no reason to get into some big "WHY DOES HOLLYWOOD KEEP MAKING SEQUELS" argument about it. Hollywood keeps making sequels because sequels keep making money. No one is attacking you personally, or forcing you to watch it, and a fifth Die Hard doesn't hurt the first three. If you're worried that A Good Day to Die Hard is going to be terrible, then just watch the first or third Die Hard instead. If I don't like the idea of my future kids growing up in a world that has five Die Hards, four Indiana Joneses and six Star Wars, then I'll just brainwash the shit out of them. They'll be 21 before they even hear the word "midichlorians" and can decide for themselves if they want to accept it.

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Daniel O'Brien

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