Last week’s 0ut-of-touch guide touched on heavy internet darkness, so this week we’re keeping it light as a flyweight boxer trying to make his weight class. Nothing more serious than eating pasta, pestering squirrels, zombies taking over Las Vegas, and the oldest “teenager” since Dick Clark went to the bandstand in the sky.
This week in fake holidays: May 24 is Rigatoni Pasta Day
According to my ace youth reporter (my niece Claire) April 24 is Eat Rigatoni Pasta Day, an annual celebration in which everyone is urged to consume rigatoni pasta. The meme-thing came from the TikTok account of @jimmyrules32, who has been posting about the day nonstop since January 2020. His TikTok is pure dedication.
“Who cares?” I hear you asking. Well, kids care. They care enough that #eatabowlofrigatonipastaonmay242021 has over 41 million views on TikTok, so if you want to be a cool uncle/aunt/mum/dad/sensei, serve up a steaming plate of rigatoni on May 24, and if you want to be really cool, top your rigatoni with Marcella Hazan’s Bolognese sauce. Trust me.
This week in old-arse teenagers: Dear Evan Hansen
Have you seen the trailer for upcoming teen movie Dear Evan Hansen? It’s the funniest goddamn thing I’ve seen in years, and not just because I think musicals about teen suicide are hilarious. The flick looks like a feature-length version of the Steve Buscemi “How do you do, fellow kids?” meme: Actor Ben Platt plays a 17-year-old high school student, but dude looks at least 35. And not “young 35,” either. More like “just-divorced-and-starting-a-recovery-program 35.” He’s clearly older than his own mother.
Platt, salty, responded to the internet’s mirth with a (now deleted) tweet reading: “to the randos being jerks about age, read this great article and/or watch grease.”
I’m obviously not going to read that shit, but Platt’s right about Grease. Old people playing high school kids is nothing new, but that doesn’t make it less ridiculous. In honour of Ben Platt, check out my three favourite takes on the joke: Not Another Teen Movie’s casting a woman well into her 70s as a teenager, Mr. Show’s hilarious “No Adults Allowed” sketch, and the entire run of Strangers with Candy.
This week in music: Demi Lovato introduces their new pronouns
In a video posted on twitter, pop star Demi Lovato made cultural waves by coming out as gender non-binary. “I’ve had the revelation that I identify as non-binary,” they said in the video, “I’ll be officially changing my pronouns to ‘they/them.’”
According to Lovato, the new pronouns best represent the fluidity they feel in their gender expression. “I’m doing this for those out there that haven’t been able to share who they truly are with their loved ones. Please keep living in your truths & know I am sending so much love your way,” Lovato tweeted.
If you’re old and out of touch like I am, you’re probably like “Huh? Whazzis now?” about people changing their pronouns, but after thinking about it for 43 seconds, I’ve concluded everyone should just call people what they want to be called and generally mind their own biz.
This week in streaming: Army of the Dead
It’s been too long since a good zombie movie has come out, and too long since a good heist movie has come out. Luckily, the drought ends for both this Friday with the release of Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead.
This mash-up of the zombies-kill-everyone genre and the thieves-steal-everything genre is set in a post-apocalypse Las Vegas and features a zombie tiger, zombie show girls, zombie Elvis impersonators, and a squad of badass mercenaries venturing into the quarantine zone to steal hundreds of millions of dollars. So, it’s pretty much the best summer-is-starting movie ever, and I don’t even need to have seen it to tell you that.
Judging from the trailer, Snyder, whose past credits include Justice League, 300, Man of Steel, and that awesome Dawn of the Dead reboot, is the right person to balances the humour, horror, and action an epic like this demands.
Viral video of the week: Backyard Squirrel Maze 2.0- The Walnut Heist
YouTuber Mark Rober has a squirrel problem. The little rodents won’t stop invading the bird feeder in his backyard to steal the sweet, sweet birdseed within. Instead of poisoning them or moving, Rober built an elaborate obstacle course themed around heist movies, then forced the squirrels to figure it out. I’m talking a full maze of air ducts, randomly moving ledges, a wee helicopter ride, and more. If the little guys can get to the end, the reward is sweet: More walnuts than they could eat in a lifetime!
This video is notable for both the elaborate and careful design of the obstacles and the adorability of the squirrel cast of characters — by the end of it, you’re really invested in them figuring it out.