ASARAR 2: Bucket Lists, Culture Shock and Turners

from Nick Suss

June 1, 2015, 11:49 a.m.

Here’s a rant:

So here’s the thing. People need to stop talking about their bucket lists. And not because I don’t think it’s a good idea to carry around a really morbid list of things you want to do before you die with you. Because that sounds like a sound reminder of the inevitable end of life we must all face. No. That’s not my problem. My problem is that every time you refer to your bucket list, you’re referencing a movie that you didn’t see. Not only that, you’re referencing a movie that nobody you know saw. Seriously. Did you see The Bucket List? Do you know anyone who saw it? Seriously. If you did, please comment. Because I don’t know of anyone who saw that movie, aside from probably my grandparents.

And I don’t think it’s right that a movie that not a single person saw has achieved universal acceptance in pop culture. It’s not like people go around constantly making references to Hellboy II: The Golden Army. You didn’t see that movie. But it has an 86 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. That’s right. That was a well-received movie. You know what wasn’t well-received? The Bucket List. That’s got a 41 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. That’s half of what Furious 7 got. Critics didn’t like it. You didn’t see it. It’s almost never on cable. So why do we constantly reference it?

Is it because we need a kitschy term for everything? Did we not have a convenient enough way to say “Things I want to do before I die?” Because Bucket List sounds oh so much more graceful. It’s things you want to do before you KICK THE BUCKET. That’s not better than die. That’s worse. That’s a meaner euphemism. If it were the “Going to a Better Place List” or the “Moved to a Farm Upstate List” things might be different. But it doesn’t sound better. It isn’t nicer. And it doesn’t make sense that we still reference it.

So please. Stop talking about your buckets lists. You’re only supporting a bad Morgan Freeman movie. With Sean Hayes in it. Stop supporting Sean Hayes. That was a rant.

Here’s a story:

So Philadelphia isn’t Athens. I knew that coming in. I knew things were going to be different up north than they are down south. And for the most part, I’m fine with this. Scratch that. I’m completely fine with this. I get it, I’m supposed to self-identify as a southerner because I am one. But I don’t really act like one. This isn’t to say I act like a northerner. I’m not walking down the street and bumping into a bunch of other awkward, neurotic, baseball-loving sitcom fans wearing black polo shirts they’ve owned since eighth grade. I feel out of place here too. But for different reasons. And that’s all culture.

I was driving around Villanova’s campus the other day and two things stuck with me. The first one is how asinine it is to live in a place where it is illegal to turn right on red lights at most intersections. I’m either going to get 487 tickets this summer or be in danger of pissing some people off every day because this takes getting used to. Stupid laws.

The second thing is more important though. I have a tough time telling who is a student here and who is an adult. You want to know why this is? Simple: Everyone here dresses like an adult. In Athens life is simple. If I can see her pants, she’s an adult. If her shirt is obscuring the entire length of her pants, college student. But no. Here everyone dressed like an adult. People wear sensible ensembles and look like fully-formed adults. I didn’t even see one tank top. Or a single Chaco. And I could see that everyone was wearing pants. Which isn’t always a safe assumption in a southern college town. But anyway. That was a story.

Here’s a reference:

So, as you may know, I often talk about how 2008 and 2009 were the years I developed my love of comedy. And by love, I mean weird obsession. This week I came to a realization: Those two years of my life were written by the same two people.

I’ve been rewatching a lot of That 70s Show recently. And in reading the credits, I recognized the names of the creators of the show – Bonnie and Terry Turner. I had always known those names as the people who wrote That 70s Show. Because that used to be my favorite show. But then I had a Jimmy Neutron-style brain blast. I remembered from my recent viewing of Third Rock from the Sun that they also had created that show. And then I remembered due to weird coincidence that I had once put together that Third Rock and Wayne’s World were connected somehow. So I did some digging.

Turns out, the Turners wrote Wayne’s World with Mike Myers. And they also wrote Tommy Boy. And they also wrote on SNL in the late 80s and early 90s, the era that turned me on to the show. And they really haven’t done anything since That 70s Show of any major consequence. But they did kind of mold my sense of humor. So here is my thank you to Bonnie and Terry Turner. You created the TV show that was my favorite program for about three years and that I still very much love to this day. And you also helped write my favorite comedy of all-time. And I’m not sure which SNL sketches you wrote, but thanks for being on the writing staff that is the reason I try to be funny. This is sincere. You pretty much wrote my adolescence. Thanks for that. That was a reference.


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