Not Great In ‘08: The Year’s Worst In Pop Culture

As 2008 draws to a close, those of us here at College Candy strive to provide you with a recap of the year in pop culture, poring over countless magazines and endless E! programs to get the full scoop of the year’s worst. In no particular order, we present to you our list of Pop Culture shiz that should forever stay in 2008.
The Pregnant Man – Thomas Beattie became the sensation of the world in April when he appeared on Oprah to defend his choice to have a child as a transgendered man. Sticking up for your beliefs? Awesome, and definitely commendable. Eventually turning into a fame slut and marketing out your second pregnancy? Not cool. Now pregnant with his second child, Beattie has already cemented a book deal on his experience and been interviewed a second time as a ‘Barbara Walters Exclusive.’ One child is a miracle. A second one immediately afterwards is a marketing scheme.
Batsh** Insane Celebrities Across The Media – Britney, Lindsey, and others: we’re talking to you. 2008 was the year of the mental millionaire, with the world playing a captive audience to the tragic, bizarre, and sometimes just eerie behavior of celebrities. We watched Britney Spears struggle to put her life back together after divorce, Lindsey Lohan battling various addictions, and Scarlett Johansson crossing the borderline into stalker-ish about Barack Obama. Here’s the real scoop: an estimated 57.7 million adults are suffering from a diagnosable mental illness in the United States alone. What makes these celebrities any different from these people who are suffering in private besides their income and the paparazzi that shadow them? Watching people suffer is definitely a trend that shouldn’t cross over into ’09.
“Reality” Dating Shows – Now that Flavor Flav has finally hung up his clock and gone off the air, there are about thirty shows taking his place, and they’re spreading like cockroaches. Tila Tequila, the ‘Ikki Twins,’ and others are taking over Vh1 and MTV mercilessly, swamping our televisions with drunken fights (actually funny to watch), and pointless drama. Who makes their boyfriends/girlfriends eat nasty pig parts and do bizarre things in the name of love? These loveless actors do. Some dating shows range from the creepy (Date My Mom) to the outright postmortem (The Bachelor), but either way, they all need to go.
Political Ignorance/Apathy – In the year of the historical election, political action was awesome and political apathy was absolutely the anti-cool. The worst of the worse were the nonpartisans who were both apathetic and uneducated about the election. Their “why should I bother to vote” statements were both inhibiting to the democratic tradition and simply irritating. Guaranteed to piss off people who were voting, the ‘Not Voting’ demographic drew on fallacies and the platforms that they didn’t really understand to prove why they weren’t going to vote. The election was basically a two horse race, but there were still other entries available as an alternate, so not voting at all was just not cool.
Guys in Girl Jeans – It’s creepy. It’s weird. It’s a guy shopping in the same section as you in PacSun. As you put down the pair of sunglasses you were looking at and openly stare, you realize he’s not just shopping for a shirt to give to his girlfriend. He’s holding three pairs of jeans in his hand, and there’s no girlfriend in sight. As you watch, he takes the jeans and starts walking to the dressing rooms. You are not witnessing a confused shopper. You’re witnessing the Girl Jean Phenomenon, a plague of 2008 pop culture, and a trend that needs to die on December 31st. Guys wearing our jeans is not cool or edgy. It’s just lame and, now, overplayed.
Saturday Night Live – Is it still going? It’s been in the process of becoming painfully unfunny in the years since Will Ferrell left, and now with the exit of Amy Poehler, we just need to euthanize it. A classic sketch show that began in 1975 with genuinely funny people, SNL has run over six hundred episodes of pure comedic bliss continuously for thirty-three years. As with all great series, though, the time has come to put SNL out of its misery before it becomes the kind of joke it used to make.
Churning Out Tween Pop Stars By The Dozen – If child enslavement was defined as being manufactured on a kids’ show and being shoved on the masses, Disney and Nickelodeon would be doing massive amounts of time in jail. The list of sugary sweet music artists includes, but definitely is not limited to The Jonas Brothers, Hannah Montana, Demi What’s-Her-Name, That Miranda Kid, and a host of others, few if any of whom have actual talent. But you wouldn’t know, because should you approach any method of media that is playing a song by them, you’ll be deafened instantly and hopelessly by the cacophony of shrieking that erupts. The Original Disney Channel Star, Hilary Duff, unfortunately started it all when she split from Disney in 2004 to pursue a solo career (which caused a big fuss, if I remember right). She was an original, at least for the Disney Channel. These cookie cutter kids? About as generic as it gets.
Agree or disagree? Think something else should have made the list? Voice your opinions below, and tell us what you think about the worst pop culture in 2008!

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