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Qualler's Blogulator Thanksgiving

I feel about Thanksgiving the way Brigitte feels about Halloween: pure, unrepentant, almost-bordering-on-evil joy. What ISN'T there to love about Thanksgiving?! Let's see -- it's the only holiday that pretty much requires people to stay at home. You get two paid days of work off for it. There are football games on TV. There are road races to be run. And, there is FOOD SO MUCH FOOD AND TURKEY IS DELICIOUS. And the holiday even encourages naps! Amazing. You're the best, Thanksgiving.

And, like Chris & Jerksica did for this week's Blogulator Radio, it's a time to give either sincere (or spitefully sincere) thanks to the people, places and things that make your life so full of thanks. And we here at The Blogulator have had a long and rich tradition of being thankful for things in pop culture. Here are the pop cultural things that I am most thankful for in 2011.

R.E.M. 1982-2011.
Oh, R.E..M. My favorite band of all time, the band that most inspired me and moved me and made me dance. I am grateful and thankful for your long and storied career. You had your ups and your downs, but you fought through all of them to just be who you are. And when you decided it was time to quit, you unrepentantly quit, with no apologies and no winks that, maybe, just maybe, they'd be back for a reunion tour to line their pockets. In recent interviews, Mike Mills commented on the fact that they knew going in that this year's Collapse Into Now would be their last, and recently re-listening to it, it makes all the more sense. Thanks. R.E.M.

Longevity For Old Guy Movie Directors (like Werner Herzog and Woody Allen)
It's not always great when old guys keep directing movies forever. But, we can be grateful for the constant quantity of work that gets produced by some directors. (Hey Paul Thomas Anderson, you could maybe learn a lesson here. Don't give me this "Wah, nobody will finance my movies" BS. You need to produce films. It's okay if they're not totally perfect. Just produce anything at all, ever. You were supposed to be our generation's Scorsese, and instead Scorsese is our generation's Scorsese.) And like clockwork, we can expect an annual film in the local arthouse movie theater by Werner Herzog and by Woody Allen. Herzog's most recent documentary Into the Abyss is a typically hypnotic, thoughtful, beautiful and tragic look at death row inmates. And PBS's recent Woody Allen documentary on American Masters is a fascinating, rare look inside Mr. Allen's personal life and his filmmaking process. Dammit, even Terrance (Terry is what I call him 'cuz we're buds) Malick is churning out work like crazy these days. Quantity over quality! It's the Thanksgiving way!

Teen Dramas
I admit that I'm on a bit of a teen drama kick. Revenge, though it's not technically a teen drama, kind of follows teen drama tropes, is my favorite new drama of the Fall (haven't seen Homeland yet, though! Somebody Showtime me!) Catching up on The Vampire Diaries is pretty amazing, and I admit I am totally finding Elena a very attractive lady. And who knew Ian Somerhalter was such a showstopper? Most importantly, I have finally started to watch Brigitte's Dawson's Creek DVDs from the beginning, and that first season is a solid B/B+, with nary a scent of the intense schmaltz that occurs in later seasons that gave me such a gross feeling about the show. The transition from self-doubting Joey Potter to bland Joey Potter from season one to season two is an extremely disappointing one, but Joey Potter season one might be making my proverbial Top 10 TV Characters list after seeing her entire arc in that first season.

Video Games!
NBA 2K11's MyPlayer Mode
I'm extremely sad about the NBA season being locked out with a possibility that I will have to wait until next Fall to see Ricky Rubio toss alley-oops to Derrick Williams and Rick Adelman grumpily pointing at players while that crazy guy who has courtside tickets at Target Center hits the court with his newspaper. But, it's sorta a'ight since I just finished my rookie season as the eventual starting PG for the New York Knicks. Amar'e Stoudemire is a point guard's dream teammate, what with the sweet inside-outside game the two of us have together. (Dude gets double-teamed, tosses it back out to me on the perimeter, and hits the three pointer like WHOA.) Plus, in real life, Amar'e is a total hipster. And I wear a headband and look like a total hipster on the court, so we're buds. Video game friendship is much stronger than any real life NBA lockout could ever be.

Seriously, guys, my friends are the best. From the IRL friends who have written on The Blogulator with me since 2005(!!!), to the Twitter friends I have made, to all the other cool people who do cool stuff, I am thankful. Here are some of the Blogulator posts of Thanksgivings past.

"Today We Give Thanks to the Biopic In A Way Similar To How The Pilgrims Thanked The Injuns" -Chris, Thanksgiving 2005

"...And Music Is My Mashed Potato" -Chris, Thanksgiving 2006

"Stars: They're Nothing Like Us (Thanksgiving Edition)" -Lady Amy, Thanksgiving 2008

Pop culture is fun, y'all. Sometimes bad stuff happens in pop culture, like the potential cancellation of Comunity and Cougar Town. But sometimes, pop culture can bring us good stuff. Let us all give thanks to the thankful things we have to be thankful for.

Now, eat some turkey and go to see the Muppets movie.

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