The Shocking Underside of Pickachu and Pokemon Go

Written by Eric Shulman

Yes, I played Pokemon as a kid. Yes, I watched the t.v. show. And yes, I went to see the movie in theaters when it first came out with my “squad,” though back then we simply called our group “friends.” There was definitely some excitement in my household when I first heard about Pokemon Go. I downloaded that sucker and immediately checked it out. Walked around downtown for a bit, catching what I could. Yet something pulled at me. Something made me feel that this game had a dark side to it. As I began to pull at the thread of the super stylish 90s vintage jacket Pokemon Go gave my avatar, I’m sad to say, the whole thing came apart. The game, not just the jacket. 

As by now you’ve heard, Pokemon Go is beginning to get its share of detractors. At first I scoffed. Who cares if people walk into traffic or bank robberies because they’re too focused on the game? That’s merely natural selection. Niantic is helping prove Darwinism. Others point to the terms and conditions of the game as a negative - if you sign in with Google your information can supposedly be sold to advertisers. Guess what? Half of the services we use on the internet already do that. We gave up privacy long ago. So no, that doesn't bother me either. 

“Okay Eric, why are you seemingly negative on Pokemon Go then?” 

Glad you asked Eric. Geez, you always ask such spot on, great questions. 

For starters, one word: exercise. I see you Niantic. Out there, trying to make me walk more. “Oh, with virtual reality we can trick people into walking and getting into better shape!” - someone at that evil empire most likely. Who are you to decide we don't walk enough? I’m average height with average abilities. I gave up on my dreams of being a professional athlete years ago. Not to mention the premise of taking a Pokemon to a gym. How dare you ask me to force another creature to go to the gym? I myself would rather sit and eat donuts. Don’t try to tell me that a few less donuts could make Snorlax a champion. Let’s be realistic; It ain’t happening. I still question the absurd reports that working out make you happier. Candy bars and cake make me happier. Ask my wife, she can substantiate that report with equally as much “evidence” as all you “scientists” out there.

Oh, you don’t think exercising is a bad thing? Fine. I’ve been fighting that perception for years and didn’t expect you to roll over immediately anyways. How about cruelty to animals? Hm? Did you ever think about what’s inside that poke ball that you are holding all these magnificent digital creatures in? Do you think there’s a nice lake inside that tiny poke ball for Magicarp to swim around in? Or perhaps its dark and cramped and miserable. Bet you’ve never let anyone put you in one, have you? I think it’s past time to get PETA involved.

Look, I’m a man who likes things a certain way This game encourages the worst of the worst - ten year olds and people my own age - to invade my delightful, silent, curmudgeon life. Let’s say, since I’m an activist and all, I hide some of the more rare Pokemon in my apartment (Jess has been asking for new pets after all). Now, thanks to Pokemon Go, kids are going to be knocking on my door at all hours of the night trying to get in and “just take a second to catch the Zapdos mister, then we’ll let you get back to streaming MASH”. If I wanted people coming by, I wouldn’t have threatened the ice cream man to stop coming through my neighborhood three weeks ago. Don’t judge me too quickly, he didn’t even have chipwiches in his truck. I mean, come on.

Could you argue I’m being too harsh? Not very fun? Old manish? Sure, I’ve heard it all before. You may be right. I may be wrong. Either way, I’m not the Pokemon you’re looking for, so get off my doorstep.

O.M.G. Becky. Look at her POST!

Written by Eric Shulman

It’s almost like Blake Lively had no idea how insensitive she was being when quoting Sir Mix A Lot’s classic 90s hit “Baby Got Back” on Instagram last week. If you don’t follow pop culture events or live under a rock, you may have missed the news surrounding the post. Lively stated she had “an LA face and an Oakland booty” when posting a picture of herself. This, a direct quote from the aforementioned song, is in reference to her larger than average caboose. (In an effort to avoid offending anyone who may be of mild sensitivity, I will continue to call the female backside a caboose.) The impeding backlash was, obviously, immediate and harsh. Scores of people commented on Lively’s page about how she was appropriating a lyric meant only to describe African American cabooses and about how she was describing her body as a commodity.

The stunning and shocking turn of events? That some, surely in the minority and unaware of how ignorant they truly are, believe there was nothing wrong with Lively’s post. They found it humorous and were supportive of the actress, giving her 692 thousand likes. 692 thousand?!? How can this many people not see the intolerance of her post?  Comments ranged from the idea that “Baby Got Back” is just a song to calling Lively a winner and perfect. JUST a song? For shame. Perfect? Despicable. 

What gets me going the most though? The fact that even Sir Mix A Lot seems to miss the point. He actually supports Lively, stating “It sounds like to me like she was giving the line props. I think we have to be careful what we wish for as African-Americans, because if you say she doesn't have the right to say that, then how do you expect her at the same time to embrace your beauty? I mean, I don't get it. I think it's almost a nod of approval, and that was what I wanted. I wanted our idea of beautiful to be accepted.”(1) 

Can you believe it? The man thinks we should all accept different standards of beauty. He’s fine with Lively using revolutionary lyrics meant only for one type of woman to describe her caboose. Absurd. The moron must not know a thing about the song he came up with. We, the people, are the ones more apt to say how he truly meant the song to be taken after all, not some silly rapper who merely created it.

No way this thought process could lead to a more connected America. In a time of poor communication with differences between races becoming more polarized, how could accepting each other and wanting to share something as small as pop culture references help unite us? Isn’t it clear that we need to make the internet a safer place and crack down on comments like this? We need to take out our pitchforks and storm the castle immediately. Now is the time to act, and if taking down Blake Lively’s post and Instagram profile, followed by tar and feathering her publicly isn't the place to start, I don't know where we should.