THE GANG OMEGA’S PICKS OF 2012: Sneaky Pete – An Idiot Abroad

2012 was an interesting year for me personally. As many of you know, I spent a good portion of the year traveling, not only across the country, but across the world. At times OL was my lone tether to the bindings of our magnificently grotesque, yet powerfully addicting culture. That said, I had a profound experience outside of the bubble, much of which I have not taken the time to share, until now.

Movie: There were a few good movies to come out this year, and I literally mean A FEW. Cabin in the Woods had the most staying power and got watched the most times by me. While I was in Lithuania, I used the shit out of torrents, and was picking up every movie I could get my grubby little pirate hands on. Lawless wasn’t bad, if you can stand Shia Lebarf, which I most certainly cannot. But I recently caught Lincoln, and that shit was great. I am seeing Django later today, and this could very well change, but Cabin was my favorite, followed closely by Lincoln.

TV Show: Now being abroad, you have to understand that television just isn’t the same in the rest of the world. There were maybe 8 English speaking channels, and most were European perversions of their American cousins. For example, they had National Geographic channel, but all it showed was episodes of Dirty Jobs and Bear Grylis eating live frogs.

Now in America, I loathe me some MTV. I haven’t been able to stand MTV since I was in college, and realized it was mostly just a bunch of mind numbing bullshit. But in Europe, MTV has a slightly different hue. Plus I was starved for anything culturally familiar in my life, so I somehow found myself becoming addicted to a terrible terrible show called Plain Jane. This show consists of this toothy british celebutant, faking up the homeliest of girls, in preparation for a blind date with the crush of their dreams. The girls get a fashion makeover, but first have to face their fears in some kind of ridiculous challenge. Throughout the show, we watch as a timid normal girl becomes a fake sassy bitch, who can take on the world. Heart-warmning. This show is like a cut on the tip of your tongue. It hurts so good. When I returned, I looked for it domestically, but was unable to find it anywhere. Apparently this little gem of a show is reserved for European audiences only.

But that was my favorite show while abroad. My ultimate favorite show of the year was Dave’s Old Porn. If you have not caught this amazing gem of a show, you need to check it out. Shit is righteously funny. It’s basically Dave Attell sitting around on a couch watching ridiculous pornos from the 70’s with a special comedic guest, and usually one of the original actors of the movies he is reviewing. I cannot stress how incredibly funny this show is. The porns he finds are hilarious. The comedic banter is hilarious. Watching 70’s porn stars in middle age, reviewing their work from whence they were young is hilarious.

Animated TV Show: Black Dynamite was a pleasant surprise this year. Their take on OJ Simpson, Richard Pryor, Michael Jackson, Mr. T were all incredible. I love this show.

Album: Chip tha Ripper – Tell Ya Friends I wasn’t that into music this year, compared to most. I have been working on my own LP, and checking out some of the popular music of the year. But this little mixtape was my secret favorite of the whole year, which is impressive because it came out last February or some shit. Chip the Ripper is a Cleveland based rapper-producer who is well known in the industry, but not in mainstream culture. I cannot explain EXACTLY why this was my favorite of the year. There was definitely tons and tons of music to choose from. But for some reason, I loved this ghetto mixtape, and it got the most run of any in my library all year. It had staying power. I’m sure it’s not for everyone, but it was just right for me. Rap sucks these days, save maybe Aesop Rock’s album, and El-P’s album, which are more poetic than traditional black culture rap. Chip doesn’t take himself too seriously, or if he does, he is almost cartoonish by default. Also, I would recommend listening while smoking weed, or you might miss half the magic. Just saying.

Book: Amped by Daniel H. Wilson. This futuristic melding of man and machine was a great read, and almost within reach of mankind. Loved it.

Most Disappointing Moment In Pop Culture:  Pro-me-the-us. The reason this movie was such a disappointment, was that it had so much damn potential. If they could have matched the incredible visual experience with a semi-coherent plot structure, this movie would have been the best of the year. But instead, they load it full of lame sequel plot devices, schizophrenic character manipulations, and a bunch of watered-down dumb shit. Ugh. It was a stew of shit, wrapped in the prettiest of wrapping papers.

Comic: PROPHET. This comic got me back into comics for the first time since my youth. When Caff spattered on and on about how awesome it was, I reluctantly decided to take a leap. Almost a year on, I’m now hooked on several titles, including Saga, The Walking Dead, and DMZ. But of all those titles, good as they are, none compare to my now nostalgic love of John Prophet’s exploits. It’s intentionally mysterious, making me crave each issue more and more. Thanks for the recommendation. It did not disappoint.

Out of Right Field Awesomeness:  Mama Luba . When people ask me how my trip was, I generally just use this video to explain. This song/video is the hotness in Eastern Europe, and sums up my adventures abroad quite succinctly. 25 Million other people agree this video is quite delicious. I believe it is in Russian, but who the hell even cares.

Video Game:  Civilization Revolutions. I played a few games this year, but none came in more handy than this incredible game on my ipad. I have always been a Civilization fan, but this paired down version is the perfect way to kill 3-5 hours. It has the same addictive flair of the other Civs, but in a portable package I could use anywhere. So if I was on a plane and needed to kill 4 hours, all I had to do was focus heavy on this game, and be in a coma of concentrated world-domination. It was like time travel. I would get sucked into a game as soon as I got on a plane, and would literally blink, and we were at the destination. I eventually branched this out to any instance where I need to kill 3-5 hours. Buses, car trips, being bored in Europe. In all cases, this game was the perfect antidote. I got so good, that I only play it on Deity mode, and now challenge myself to see how fast I can destroy the feeble computer opponents. My record is around 2.5 hours. This game RULES!!!

Food: Zeppelins. This Lithuanian treat was quite a cultural surprise to me. This turd-looking nuggets of deliciousness are incredible. Ground beef and spices wrapped in a slimey potato concoction. Then topped with some sort of sour creme based gravy with chunks of onion and other stuff in it. Me likey.

Person I’m Surprised Didn’t Die:  All humanity. Would have been interesting to watch it all burn.

Drink: Bulleit. Best drink of the year for me. Great on the rocks. So smooth and delicious. Sometimes you can mix it with cola for the ladies. This burbon is as awesome as it’s old school Kentucky-style packaging. Give it a try if you have not already had it.

Biggest moment of surprise: Landing a Lithuanian GF. Somehow convincing her to come back to the States.

Eagerly Awaiting:  Django. Seeing it today hopefully. Was going to see it a couple days ago, but the stupid snow storm closed the theater.

Desperately hoping for:  To avoid fucking up my life for another year. I’m out.