Besides being the summer of flaccid box office results (not to gloat, but we kind of told you so), 2014 has also seen another bizarre trend emerge in the floundering forest of big-budget blockbustery: shitting all over science. Five of the year's biggest films depend entirely on the conceit that scientists are lazy, stupid morons, and that the pursuit of scientific discovery is a ridiculous waste of time that could be spent on punching and explosions.
#5. Everything About Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Happens Because of One Lab Full of Terrible Scientists
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes shows us a world where apes have risen to power after humanity was decimated by a horrific virus, two events that can be directly traced back to a single lab full of terrible scientists in the first film. More specifically, a single terrible scientist: Frownbeard McMustardStain.
20th Century Fox
"That's Dr. Frownbeard McMustardStain."
So you've decided to cancel your cable subscription -- maybe you're tired of all the shady crap these companies have been pulling recently, or maybe you figured out how to use that Netflixster thing your grandkids keep telling you about. In any case, well done! Now you don't have to put up with their ridiculous bullshit anymore!
Unfortunately, here's a taste of the even more ridiculous bullshit you can look forward to after you decide to pull that plug ...
#4. Canceling Your Subscription Is Absurdly Difficult
Say you want to leave Comcast, so you decide to handle this the same way you'd end a relationship: through the Internet, obviously. After all, just a few clicks on Comcast's site can you get you a subscription, so it should be equally easy to opt out, right? Nope, for that you have to call a representative, who, as this recorded call that went viral last week shows, might hassle you for 10 minutes to try to get you to stay. If your monitor doesn't have a fist-shaped hole by the time you reach minute two of that recording, you're a better person than us.
Unless your best friend is your mom and you want to be an apple when you grow up, you probably don't read the comic book adventures of Archie, that immortal everyteen with crosshatching tattooed on the side of his skull. In fact, you might only recognize Archie from The Simpsons.
There's a reason for this. Like early Justin Bieber, Archie presents an idealized version of teenage life that is in no way intended for actual teenagers. Archie is trapped in a G-rated eternal puberty, unencumbered by temptations like Four Loko and dodgy pop-up ads advertising lonely South Ossetian housewives in your oblast. The guy's spent almost 73 years entirely unaware he has a penis. His comics are as inoffensive and uncontroversial as possible -- well, most of the time.
There was that time Archie and the gang got super into Jesus.
Recently, the Internet exploded over a Kickstarter campaign devoted to making potato salad, and when we say "exploded," we mean "contributed over 50,000 godforsaken dollars" to the fundraiser. Apparently there's a decent number of people out there who think burning their parents' money is either a genius form of artistic expression or some kind of amazing joke that only they get.
Those people are wrong, of course. While contributors thought they were participating in a quirky meta joke, they were really fueling their own egos as they clamored to belong to the coolest, newest, most misunderstood club on the block. How do we know? Look at who lined up at the door.
#4. Narcissists Contribute to Dumb Kickstarter Campaigns to Get Attention
Karaoke is both universally hated and universally popular because our egos are greater than our intolerance for watching drunken people throat-wail the Offspring while waiting for the mic. We can't all be rock stars, but we really like pretending we are. Similarly, we can't all come up with some hip new Internet phenomenon, but we can fund one while desperately waving our hands in the air, like this guy, who pledged $10,000 to the potato salad campaign.
"Mom, you can just call me to voice your disappointment with my life choices."