I am glad we live in the age of the internet and mass media! Did you know our ancestors used to learn lessons from life experience, parables, and family members? What suckers! We're lucky that we live in a day and age where we can cherry-pick our own morality based on how we choose to interpret popular culture. Why try to puzzle out the complicated mental exercise you get from an Asope's Fable or navigate the ambiguity of a religious text written thousands of years ago? I'm just going to project my personality on the flawed characters from my favorite TV show/video game/movie/album.
Since we're all adults who like to delude ourselves into believing we learned truisms from popular culture, instead of real life (like normal people), I thought I'd share the lessons I've learned from popular culture!
5 - Manhunt: Unabomber taught me the importance of fine craftsmanship.
This year fandom exploded over the amazing Netflix original series Manhunt: Unabomber. It told the gripping tale of Ted Kaczynski, lifetime genius, a typewriter enthusiast, and a delightful recluse. For those of you unfamiliar, SPOILER ALERT, Ted Kaczynski was not a fan of the modern world and wished that humanity would go back to simpler times when we all wrote on Underwoods writing missives by candlelight and fearing the dreaded scourge of Polio. He even wrote himself a real swinging manifesto that shared his ideas, which you can ironically read on the internet. However, Teddy boy was best known for mailing bombs to people he thought represented everything he hated.
The Unabomber's work has been characterized as shoddy, poorly constructed, and was often too weak to kill his intended targets. The biggest boner Kaczynski ever made was when a faulty timing mechanism prevented a bomb from blowing up a commercial airliner. This is how I learned that taking pride in your work and putting in effort is what you need to create a fine product that works as advertised.
4 - The Beatles White Album taught me that proper spelling matters!
When people think of the Beatles, they think of their influence on the world of rock and roll. That is unless you're Quincy Jones, but I digress. Now while most people learned about music, or peace and love, or the joys of LSD, I learned the importance of proper spelling. Sure, you may think it is ironic considering the fact that the Fab Four couldn't even spell their own names properly, but I insist that they totally helped with my spelling. I mean, how humiliating would it be if you spent your time memorizing your favorite Beatles songs. However, when you sat down to write down a list of your favorite song you suddenly suffer a brain fart and choke under the clutch.
3 - The Jeffrey Dahmer Files taught me the importance of meal preperation for guests.
Say what you will about the horrific things that Jeffrey Dahmer has done. One thing you can learn about the Jeffrey Dahmer Files is that there is nothing more embarrassing than having guests come over and not having anything to offer.
2 - Doom taught me how to keep the red rage back
Like many of you out there reading this, I was one angry teenager with a huge chip on my shoulder. I wasn't a jock, the girl's made fun of me, and I liked to listen to Rammstein cranked up to full blast during homeroom. Even though my days were spent getting books dumped out of my hands and fruit thrown at me, I found an outlet for my hostility. That was the revolutionary video game Doom . We all remember it as the bloody and violent video game. I took the game to the next level by modifying it. Creating my own levels and editing the graphics. I went so far as scanning photos from my yearbook and putting the faces of kids I hated on the monster!
I thought I was edgy and bad ass with a dark and brooding side that nobody knew about. I was satisfied with this as an outlet for my hostility. Because there is nothing less bad ass as people looking back at your edgy doodles and angry rants 20 years later to discover that the things you are now incredibly dated and that you were a total dork. The worst part is you're dead, so this is like, your legacy. Not for me! I'll be more satisfied blasting Cyberdemons edited to look like captain of the football team until the ripe old age so my petty and bitter memories of high school aren't plastered all over the internet for the world to see.
1 - The Delfonics taught me that an inspirational speech NEEDS a solid soundtrack
When you think of an appropriate song to pair with your inspirational speech, what song do you think of? The national anthem? Queen's "We Are the Champions"? "We Will Rock You" by Queen? "Another One Bites the Dust" by Queen? "Bicycle" by Queen? Why are you obsessed with Queen? Stop it! You're wrong. No. The most inspirational song ever written is "I'm Sorry" by the Delfonics. Listen to this song!
I know what you're thinking, how can this be an inspirational song? Well, you tell that to Jim Jones kind sir, madam, and/or non-binary person. The song "I'm Sorry" was featured in his final recording to the Peoples Temple motivated over 900 people in just one performance. You can't buy those sort of metrics.
Well if you made it this far and are thoroughly offended, welcome to the jungle baby, you missed the whole point. I guess what I'm trying to say here is this: People who learn lessons from popular culture are probably maniacs that should never be trusted. Good night kids!