As I lugged the tire toward the electric wires, I thought, this better be a joke. For ten miles, I had handled everything the Tough Mudder had thrown at me, and now, they were asking me to haul a full-size rubber tire through a curtain of live wires. A sign read: Warning, 100,000 volts ahead. I hesitated, hefted the tire over my shoulder and walked through the sheet of electricity.
Nothing happened. My buddy Evan was waiting on the other side. I looked at him. Something was amiss. We both turned to see the next sign: Just kidding. 100,000 volts would kill you. We only make you do 10,000. After another quarter-mile jog, we did those 10,000 volts, and that was no effing joke.
Here are some other things that were No Effing Joke this weekend.
First off: Battle of the DJs. If there was one thing at Northwestern I would consider really underrated, it is this event. For something thrown into the back of Buffalo Wild Wings, it brings some serious talent to the turntables, and the atmosphere is positively killer. Lucas Messore pulled off the repeat victory Thursday night, completing the back-to-back and earning another chance on the Dillo stage. Cross your fingers that we have better weather this year – this guy is talented. In other words, he is No Effing Joke.
Eminem finally released his much-anticipated music video for “Headlights,” directed by Spike Lee, and we ought to break it down right here. First off, the tune is one of my personal favorites from the Marshall Mathers LP2, and it really brings the Debbie Mathers-Marshall Mathers saga full-circle. It reconciles a lot with old tunes such as “Cleaning out my Closet,” and if you ask me, it comes from a really genuine place. Anyway, if we wanted to give the video a gut-reaction score: I would say 7/10. I think the style of the video is unique (thank God we never have any of the obligatory “let me rap at the camera and show off my skill” footage), and it serves well to emphasize the mother as the focal point of the song. Eminem takes a step back and lets the lyrics do the talking – but therein lies the problem. The video is almost too distracting, and it takes away from the lyrics just a little bit. When you have the most inventive writer in rap behind the words, you need the video to highlight that, and this one does not.
Finally, like the 100,000 volts, there was something else this week that I wished was a joke: Puff Daddy (or, the artist formerly known as P. Diddy) received an honorary doctorate from Howard University, and he gave the commencement speech this year. Amazing.
Let me just preface this section by saying that my mother, for Mother’s Day on Sunday, asked for my opinion on which flick she should see. She and my grandmother were going to the movies together, and they were deciding between Neighbors, The Other Woman, and Grand Budapest Hotel. If (admittedly quite funny) frat star movies are not your jam (read: my grandmother), you still might be better off with the Wes Anderson flick than the other stuff that has come out lately. Look forward to the coming weeks though, when we have X-Men on the May 23, Maleficent on May 30, and the No Effing Joke Leader of Them All, Godzilla, on the May 16. Expect kickass monster-fighting explosion-tastic visuals and little else, but kickass monster-fighting explosion-tastic visuals are all I want in my Godzilla movie. So awesome.
Oh, and for everyone who hates the Star Wars prequels and thought that they could all be combined into one movie, you are in luck! Someone spliced all three controversial Episodes 1-3 into a single two-and-a-half-hour movie titled Star Wars: Turn to the Dark Side – Episode 3.1. It was unfortunately taken off of Vimeo (or I would have linked that bad boy up STAT), but if you do some digging you can probably find it, because this is the age we live in now.
Trailer of the Week actually goes to a television show, with Fox’s superhero prequel Gotham releasing a fascinating extended look. It is a superhero show that is not really about the masked crusaders (the main character is Commissioner Gordon), and from my perspective, it forces people to take some stake in the actual world of comic books. No longer can you just see the Dark Knight trilogy and then call yourself a Batman fan. Gotham wants you to notice all the other stuff. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. sucks at this approach, mostly because it exists to tie together the Marvel movies, but also because it still has superhero-esque characters. Gotham is almost an eff-you to stuff like that – let’s take a show, set it in a universe that everyone loves, and then deliberately not focus on the figures that you want us to cover. I love it. The comic book community needs stuff like this. And now time for something that is really not a joke: the annual Decimation of TV Shows. Say goodbye to Community (sad, true, but by no means a surprise), Revolution (thanks TV gods), Believe (J.J. Abrams sure had a bad day) and three other shows on the NBC line-up alone. Here is a full list of cancellations.
Guys, this weekend was No Effing Joke – it had mud runs, a fleet of TV-funerals, a new-ish Star Wars movie and a Spike Lee music video. There is a heck of a lot to be reeling from, so the most I can tell you, as usual, is to hang tough. We are almost there. Go ‘Cats.