My Pop Cultural Thanksgiving
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My Pop Cultural Thanksgiving: The Four Ephemera Getting All My Gratitude This Year

By Rob Payne | Seriously Random Lists | November 21, 2012 | Comments ()


It's no secret that we here at Pajiba love Thanksgiving. The food, the friends and family, the movies and the TV shows, the changing of the leaves, all that good stuff. Or, at least, we love using it as an excuse to write some seasonal-themed articles when we otherwise might not have anything else to write about due to a sudden illness sapping our energy and brainpower to pursue more clever or interesting topics. (Ahem.) But in spite of catching a nasty cold and being unable to use any sick time at the day job due to the busy-ness of the season and co-workers already vacation, I realized there are several things that I am absolutely, without question or reservation, grateful for in our pop cultural landscape this autumn.

With that in mind, here are the Four Things that I'm Thankful Exist this Thanksgiving, and I hope you'll share whatever you want to give thanks to in the comments below. Enjoy!

Adele's "Skyfall" is One of the Best Bond Theme Songs Ever

Why I'm Thankful: Just to cover my bases, I went back listened to the previous six James Bond themes - from GoldenEye to Quantum of Solace - and I can say with no hesitation that Skyfall's surpasses every single one. Prior to that, I can't even name any memorable or listenable Bond songs besides Goldfinger and Live and Let Die, and I've seen every single Bond movie at least once. Though the title is nearly as awkwardly placed as all the others, Adele's "Skyfall" is just a damn good tune that can be heard a dozen times before it gets old, if even then, and just so happens to be a James Bond theme. If you haven't heard it, what are you waiting for?

"The Walking Dead" Season 3 (So Far)
Why I'm Thankful: I've been complaining about this show pretty much since the start episode two, season one - though I only really started hating it with episode four, "Vatos." There were glimmers of hope in season two, especially after the non-Darabont run began to air, but the most enjoyable part of the viewing experience was reading TK's reviews in the days following each installment (even when we disagreed). Season three has been such an improvement that I've been telling everyone I can to forget about trying to play catch up with the past and just start in now. There are still loads of problems - T-Dog, Michonne, Andrea - but there is far more to praise than criticize at the moment. Frankly, I'm just thankful I can watch the only zombie apocalypse show in the history of television for any reason other than spite.

In Lieu of "Community," the Harmontown Podcast
Why I'm Thankful: You all know how much I love "Community" and have since the very beginning, so it's been rather painful not to have the Greendale Six to hang out with every Thursday this fall season. And even if NBC wasn't playing musical chairs with it, the show would be back without its creator and raison d'etre, Dan Harmon, so the wait is jam packed with trepidations, anyway. But Harmon hasn't yet disappeared from this Earth and has taken his weekly live show, Harmontown, into the podcast arena. Other than the most delirious and delightful Dungeons & Dragons campaign imaginable, the show is rather indescribable, suffice to say it must be what Dan Harmon's brain feels like. The podcast is awkward, bawdy, and maybe a little crazy. Just like the man himself.

The World's Coolest First Family Just Got Re-Elected (on Fox News)
Why I'm Thankful: It should come as very little surprise that most of us here were quite happy to see Barack Obama re-elected to the office of the President on November 7. This is Pajiba, after all, and while we try not flaunt our biases we don't exactly hide them, either. Besides the politics of it all, we can now look forward to four more years basking in glowing warm, warming glow of the downright hippest (and prettiest) first family in American history. Continuing to have Barack, Michelle, Sasha, and Malia (and their little dog, too) live in the White House will at least make all the other first families in the world totes jell-o by how easy they make it look. The USA is just that much better because of the association. Consider it Cool by Presidential Proxy. Seeing it announced live on Fox News, along with Karl Rove's ensuing meltdown, was just icing on the gluten-free cake for me.

Rob Payne also writes the comic The Unstoppable Force, tweets on the Twitter, tumbls on the Tumblr, and his wares can be purchased here. He would say there is only so many times one can re-watch the first three seasons "Community" on DVD before the fourth season finally premieres, but he has yet to hit that wall.

5 Shows After Dark 11/21/12 | Ron Swanson's Best Quotes from "Parks and Recreation"

Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • ,

    If Obama is so smart, why is he trying to high-five a turkey?

    Everyone knows turkeys are morons, so they fist-bump.*

    *--Wing-bump, whatever.

  • Salieri2

    I watched Predators last night, because I'm not prompt about my junk movie-watching. And so I am, as often happens, thankful for Walton Motherf***ing Goggins.

    The man is an oasis of awesome in a desert of suck (see Cowboys and Aliens, and most likely, a large portion of his resumé, including no doubt Humanoids From The Deep, The Next Karate Kid, and Major League: Back to the Minors.)

  • L.O.V.E.

    This Adele song is trite shiiite. Boring, repetitive drivel. The chorus is generic, like used parts from one of her other songs. And the backup singing is nails-on-a-chalkboard, amateur hour. And I actually like her voice and some of her songs. She just repeats the damn title for 75% of that song.

    As for the most recent batch, I'd go with You Know My Name -- Now that sounds like a Bond song, and can stand on its own. It tells a story. I hear that song and I want to suit up, drink martinis, jump out of airplanes, buy a DB5, bed exotic women in a submarine, and make witty puns. You don't fuck with that Bond.

  • NynjaSquirrel

    I loathe the Skyfall theme - her 'Skyfow, crumbow and stand toh' grate on me every fucking time I hear it. It's the first time I've heard true 'chav' come through in anyone's singing voice. Anyone comparing her to Bassey needs to be taken out and flogged on a cold, windy, wet mountainside in Wales.

  • Mrs. Julien

    Speaking of Pajiba:

    I mentioned my ex-boyfriend Fabio the paramedic in the comment diversion
    last week. Fabio contacted me because his friend [redacted], who I also
    know, sent him the article link. It seems [redacted] is a lurker Pajiban and
    thought there was no way it could be a different Fabio/paramedic and
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    Wave to the nice people, [redacted]!

  • Mrs. Julien


  • Mrs. Julien

    I'm thankful for Daniel Craig in Prada, historical romance novels genre fiction, and that nexus of pop culture ephemera, Pajiba. You have no idea how thankful. You are the shining light in my be-greyed cubicle existence.

  • PDamian

    Love, love, love any Bond theme sung by Shirley Bassey. I like Adele, but she doesn't come close. The theme to Moonraker is a personal favorite, although Goldfinger comes close. And Live and Let Die stands on its own merits.

    Words cannot express how deeply relieved I am that Pres. Obama will be around for another four years. I now have a wisp of a ghost of a sliver of a hope that my vagina will not be some random white Republican male's battleground, at least for a while.

  • Maguita NYC

    Although Thanksgiving Presidential tradition is to pardon a couple of turkeys, isn't it time to add to said tradition and pardon an ass too?

    Looking at you Trump!

  • NynjaSquirrel

    Ahh, but imagine the battle commanders in the field - each holding on to a labium for dear life - the 'wetbacks and coloureds' on the left, the rich white guys on horseback on the right (wishing they had wetbacks and coloureds to do their dirty work as usual).

  • Bob

    I'd be thankful if you learned what actually qualifies as 'ephemera.'

  • You don't think Bond themes, the relative quality of a TV show, podcast novelty, or Presidential elections are temporary or transitory things? I guess you have a much sunnier disposition than I do. Cheers to you, good sir.

  • Lee Kananis

    I'm thankful that apparently an Emma Stone sex tape exists. I will be even more thankful if I ever get to see it.

  • BWeaves

    Skyfall got old really fast. Plus, it just sounds like a generic Bond song.

    I'm more of a Goldfinger girl myself, but Nobody Does It Better comes in a close second.

  • NynjaSquirrel

    I'd agree 100%, it was written to be a cliche from start to finish... and doesn't have the balls to be anything but generic.

  • hasshole

    Duran Duran's A View To A Kill!!!!!!!! Better than Goldfinger!

  • Fredo

    I am partial towards Garbage's The World Is Not Enough (Shirley Manson channeling Shirley Bassey?) and Chris Cornell's You Know My Name (just do) of the more recent ones. Madonna's was garbage, Sheryl Crow's Tomorrow Never Dies was unnecessary (kd lang's song was better) and Jack White's & Alicia Keys' song was so WTF.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    I second your two recent picks, and going back a little older I'm sentimental towards "All Time High" and as a child of the 80s: "For Your Eyes Only" (which my marching band played for every homecoming halftime show.)

  • Bert_McGurt

    I'm reserving my thanks for a little later this week to hopefully celebrate an actual NHL season. I finally get a hometown team back last year and then the bastards get locked out.

    And while I'm aware that this opinion isn't going to be very popular, I've got to say - I am SO over Adele. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad that someone talented and who writes decent music is popular, it's just that I CANNOT escape her. They play her literally 20 times a day on the radio at work (in fact, Skyfall is on RIGHT F*CKING NOW as I write this), CBC Radio 2 plays her at least once on each commute direction, and my better half is a huge fan. I'm just done. I can't listen to ANYONE that much and not get sick of it.

    So that means my favourite remains the only Bond theme done by a goddamned Beatle. And of course Shirley Bassey is nearly unparalleled.

  • celery

    I feel you on the Adele point. I'm not done with Skyfall yet, but my summer job played Rumor Has It pretty much every 20 minutes, and that song does not bear repetition well. Drove me nuts.

  • Guest

    I am no fan of Adele (she got pipes! but her songwriting/styling isn't my thing) and yet even I was blown away by "Skyfall." The tune + titles mesmerized me and I actually clapped when they were done. SO Shirley Bassey, so perfectly Bond. They done good.

    That said, it's been in my head for a week and I want a lobotomy.

  • Go Jets! Can't wait till they're back in action. [I guess we're not thankful for Mr. Bettman.]

    Try Laura Marling, for an extremely talented English singer-songwriter who is not over-exposed, but should be really well known. And, depending on tastes, she's kinda crush-worthy.

  • Guest

    I remember seeing Laura Marling headline a small gig in camden in earliy 2007, with Adele and Florence + machine in support.

  • Bert_McGurt

    Thanks for the tip. I'm always looking to check out new artists.

    And Bettman is definitely the turkey in this (and any) situation.

  • Guest

    I remember seeing Laura Marling headline a small gig in camden in earliy 2007, with Adele and Florence + machine in support.

  • He should be driven into the boards the way Sid the Kid is nearly every shift, so he understands that allowing your stars to get beaten up every day isn't smart - this isn't MMA, UFC or NASCAR.

  • David Sorenson

    Be sure to line up most of the NHL owners as long as we're throwing elbows. I wondered if those 14+ year $100+ million dollar contracts were only being handed out because they expected the lockout to cut the amount paid in half. Turns out I was right.

  • Bert_McGurt

    Agreed, though Thompson and Chipman are getting a pass. They're like goddamn folk heroes now.

  • Bodhi

    Imelda May is great, too

  • Bert_McGurt

    I've liked what I've heard of her, so I'll take a better look!

  • Seriously. If I hear Set Fire To The Rain once more, I'm going to set fire to the building.

    Congrats on getting the Jets back. Shame about that logo, though...

  • Bert_McGurt

    Thanks! I'm not that bummed about the logo, to tell you the truth. It could be much worse, like the Gorton's fisherman or even (ugh!) a maple leaf.

  • InternetMagpie

    Goldeneye will always be my favorite because it was the first Bond theme I was aware. Also Tina is smokin' hot in that video.

  • I always liked the Carly Simon James Bond theme, Nobody Does It Better.

  • Archie Leach

    Nancy Sinatra "You Only Live Twice" is mine.

  • Seriously thankful for the American voters, and I'd never thought I'd feel that way ever again.

    Thankful that Whedon can now do anything he wants, and hoping he follows through again and again.

    Thankful that winter is indeed coming.

  • ShinyHappyPeopleLaughing


  • DeltaJuliet

    Adele's theme is my favorite for sure, and of course Goldfinger and Live and Let Die, but I also need to give some love to View to a Kill and For Your eyes Only........

  • Maguita NYC

    No love for A-Ha's Living Daylights?

  • e jerry powell

    You're a Sheena Easton sap!

  • Clancys_Daddy

    You say that like it's a bad thing.

  • e jerry powell

    Worked for Prince for almost two years.

  • mswas


  • Slash

    LOL. I do love that. Props to Shirley Bassey. I'm not sure very many other people could have sung that song (which is really pretty ridiculous) and made it sound almost cool.

  • I pretty much turn every Bond theme into that after a few drinks, vodka martinis or not.

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