Welcome again to We Have Always Live the Kraken, a pop culture blog transmitted directly to you from the belly of the beast. Here in the Notes we’ll show you this week’s posting schedule, but first, a little Seafood for Thought.
Can you hear it? That music that really signals the shift to fall. Dun dun dun dun, it’s football season! The NFL has finally started up again, and the excitement is palpable. After the head shot-palooza that was the Denver-Carolina game, though, I do wonder how many more years we have left of football in its current form. Concerns about concussions and the general terrible effects that playing football has on its players have slowly been building over the years to make people at least aware that we maybe should at least feel bad about watching football. That doesn’t even get into the moral calculus that goes into determining how you separate a player’s performance from their off the field, umm, issues. (Not touching that one.)
Are we nearing the end of football? I don’t mean in the literal sense of the end of people playing period, because people are always going to play. What I mean is, are we nearing the end of Football with a couple F, where it is such an important part of the American cultural conversation? It feels increasingly likely that at some point football will go the way of boxing, which was a vital part of our cultural and sports conversation until it slowly lost its place throughout the 1990s to become what it is now, a shell of its former self. Sure, boxing is still around, and every once in a while a fight comes up that truly piques the interest of a lot of people, but those fights are few and far between. (And because the boxing is governed so poorly, those fights are almost impossible to make happen in any reasonable amount of time–just look at Pacquiao/Mayweather, and increasingly likely, Alvarez/GGG).
Similar cracks are already starting to form in football. The first real step, which we’re seeing now, is parents steering their children toward other sports. Eventually, the top athletes simply won’t play anymore, having shifted to other sports that are considered much safer. Once that happens, will we begin to notice a drop in quality of play, and will this hurt our enjoyment of the game enough to make us slowly start to back away? Possibly. Then again, maybe this is just the sports world course correcting after years of the NFL being the center of the sports universe, with football eventually becoming more of a regional flavor, like today’s baseball. Or maybe no one actually cares. Maybe we just like to pretend that the idea of football being such a dangerous sport offends us (that certainly seems to be the NFL’s strategy). But more and more, I find myself less interested in what’s happening on the field than what’s happening to the players themselves. I have to wonder, how much longer can peak Football really last? And do I want it last, or not?
From the depths of the Kraken, here is what we are bringing you this week.
Monday: Today’s new content has been stolen by ghosts. Fear not; emergency Power Pellets have been deployed for your protection.
Tuesday: The Life in the Kraken podcast returns a day late but a dollar well ahead. This time the gang is talking Suicide Squad–the good, the bad, and the Joker music video that got edited into this movie by mistake. Plus, Kyu brings an unconventional nomination for best show currently on television with HBO’s Last Week Tonight.
Wednesday: Atomika returns with another catalog of sins–this time, it’s the treatment of female characters in DC’s superhero movies, in Atomika vs Warner’s Woman Woes.
Thursday: Nothing new today, the Kraken crew is taking the day off to go to the fair at Circe’s Island. Hopefully, we can avoid what happened last time, where we lost quite a few people walking through the Hall of Metamorphosis.
Friday: There may have once been content, but now it is nothing more than a leaf in the wind.
Catch of the Week:
Each and every week the residents here in the Kraken will offer one recommendation for the week that we think you all would enjoy. It might be a movie. It might be a book. Who knows? This is your… Catch of the Week.
David: I am not going to get cute with this one. Last week, Donald Glover’s new show Atlanta premiered. It was amazing, and a showcase for how truly talented Glover is as a creative voice. This show continued FX’s excellent run of comedies that aren’t really comedies, ala Louie, and looks like it has the potential to be something really special. Watch it now so you can say you were a part of the cultural experience when it happened, as opposed to five years from now when everyone says you should binge watch the whole thing.
Kyu: This week I’m recommending Not Another Teen Movie, a spoof I only recently got around to seeing, although a few of the jokes are just famously classic (the slow clap guy, the reveal of the nerd girl makeover, etc). Not much to say about it, really; there’s some excellent humor and commentary on the genre, and they managed to get some good casting in there. Chris Evans especially is perfect as the jock who realizes the error of his ways, and it was a joy to watch a young Captain America punch out the kid from American Beauty. It’s not a tremendously ambitious movie, but it does have something to say about the way teen films are often problematic about relationships, sex, and race. I also deeply respected their decision to record people shouting extra jokes from offscreen–seriously, I love my comedies dense and there are some great additions here that work perfectly to keep up the rhythm and energy. This isn’t a great movie but it is a good one, and I’m glad I eventually got to it.
Keskel: This week I recommend Kubo and the Two Strings. I’ve been a fan of all of the Laika films, and Kubo is no exception. The film has absolutely stunning animation in terms of the movements, choreography and visual design of the elements, and it also has a truly surprising Eastern set of influences. I think it’s worth experiencing in theaters if you can, for a great number of simply unforgettable moments of visual poetry.
That’s it for this week. Remember to use the new handrails that have been installed near all of our deeper pits. You definitely don’t want to fall and find yourself in the seventh subbasement, or “Zeta Hell Dimension,” because it’s the off-season right now and that level is only checked for accidental visitors every six weeks.