Pop Torn: This week in cultural ambivalence

We're on the fence about: Fake teeth tattoos, Paula Abdul's inner warrior, "Friday Night Lights'" secret endgame

Topics: Pop Torn, Celebrity, Coen Brothers, Facebook, Fashion, Friday Night Lights, Twitter, Television,

Pop Torn: This week in cultural ambivalenceYour weekly dose of popsam and jetsam.

Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly, and I have to make sure that I have no idea what is going on with those Republican debates. Is Michele Bachmann winning? Is that why her scary face was on Newsweek? Oh man, what a world, what a world. Oh, and London burned down too! Come on, Earth, get it together!

If you’ve had enough of the depressing news for the week, feast those things in your ocular cavities on these 10 pop culture stories that we’ve culled from the Internet and beyond! (But mostly the Internet.) They aren’t here to make you feel OK again, but maybe they’ll take your mind off the fact that the world is going to hell in a hand basket.

1. Clear eyes, full hearts, secret speech?: Entertainment Weekly has the mother of all Easter Eggs in the form of a special finale pep talk from Coach Taylor on “Friday Night Lights” that was supposed to play over the end sequence. Well, here it is, in all its gruff-but-lovable glory. (Though it is kind of awkward, the way he talks about never forgetting the feeling of “that hot breeze slapping my face.”)

2. All about the Bitcoins: If you haven’t heard about the Internet’s new form of currency that takes hundreds of dollars in computer equipment to “mine” and is vulnerable to hackers stealing all your fortune in fake (but kind of real?) money, count yourself lucky. Or just read this story.

3. Arnold Schwarzenegger is a fashion icon and a really great guy:

I wonder if he had this shirt custom-made, or if he found it in a Salvation Army or something. Maybe Marie is the name of a new ride at Six Flags?

4. Paula Abdul wants to be the new Khaleesi: It’s common knowledge that Paula is a little cuckoo for cocoa puffs, so why anyone would take on a job as her assistant is beyond me. Maybe it’s so they can come back and report how the “X-Factor” judge needs to have her entourage constantly remind her that she’s a “warrior, survivor and gift.” Dragons!

5. Dissecting the Coens: David Haglund over at Slate watched every single Coen brothers movie. (Who hasn’t?) At first he thought they were self-indulgent. Then he thought they didn’t make any sense. Finally he came to the conclusion that we aren’t supposed to like these characters-bordering-on-caricatures, and it was all a broad, meandering metaphor for real life. Kind of like this article is for a Coen brothers film. Wait … brilliant!

6. Fergie, Duchess of York, can’t make it through a whole interview: I guess we’ll have to wait until Australia’s “60 Minutes” on Sunday to find out what made Fergie “go off the rails.” (Though we kind of already know it’s the infamous 2010 tape where she begs for money to see Prince Andrew.)

We can only hope the reporter didn’t try something akin to that Dalai Lama joke. You know how those Australian newscasters are. Where is Barbara Walters when you need her?


7. Mark Zuckerberg dares to call “Chill” Facebook app “lame”: Guys, not to freak you out, but the fallout from this could be devastating. Especially because the Zuck wasn’t talking about FarmVille.

8. Bizarro Twitterverse even scarier than the real thing: Check out “fake Twitter” site Heello. It’s by the same guy who founded Twitpic, but it’s a hell of a lot weirder. Though honestly Twitter is such a mess sometimes that reading a CNN tweet all in caps about Justin Bieber doesn’t seem that out of the ordinary.

9. Temporary teeth tattoos for everyone! (But mostly the Japanese):

At least they are a step up from those real teeth tattoos? Or maybe they are like a gateway drug for permanent images that look like red rot on your chompers. Moms, don’t let your kids start putting decals on their baby teeth, or else they will grow up to be this guy.

10. That “Russian Dolls” show actually happened and you missed it: You probably skipped the premiere to watch “Jersey Shore,” right? Shame on you! There is a whole world out there of trashy cultures you have yet to experience! Well, here’s the first episode in its entirety. Try to keep up, it moves fast. Brighton Beach forever!

Drew Grant is a staff writer for Salon. Follow her on Twitter at @videodrew.

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