Shotguns and Totems: 17 Pop Culture Artifacts We Loved in 2010
By Matthew Shepatin Posted Dec 31st 2010 04:03PM
Before we drop the ball, evacuate the dance floor, restore our sanity and bring our talents to South Beach, we had an item of unfinished business. Seventeen items, actually. That is, the things we'd want Denis Leary to save as the year in art and entertainment goes up in a blaze of glory. Which is to say, if all the artifacts in pop culture were trapped underground in Chile, which would we most want to lift to safety? Well, we present our list of favorites from the past twelve months. Just remember: if you touch our junk, we're gonna have you arrested.
1. The harmonica through which Jimmy Fallon channels Neil Young doing 10-year-old Willow Smith's bubblegum smash 'Whip My Hair' is rendered a piece of oddly touching Americana. My dream for 2011: Neil Young, Jimmy Fallon as Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen collaborate on an acoustic cover of Robyn's dance hit 'You Can Hang With Me.' In the Fallon way, we're joking but not. Watch:
2. Boyd Crowder's Holy Bible. Anybody who has watched 'Justified' knows that silver-tongued lowlife Boyd Crowder is probably not the best example of living a holy existence. Let's see, for starters, he bombed a black church -- but he did start his own backwoods ministry (and even seemed sincere about it), so that's a step in the right direction. If you watch the show, you also know that actor Walton Goggins steals every scene in FX's always-entertaining crime drama.
PopEater editors take a crack at reading some of Roger's truth nuggets >>
4. Princess Beyonce's beat-up car seat in 'Raising Hope.' No show has captured its era's average American family -- the hopeless striving, the day-to-day troubles, the sarcasm-as-survival and the awkwardly expressed love of kin -- this hilariously and smartly since Roseanne.
5. The shotgun that Kentucky police officer Rick Grimes uses to kill off annoying, undead flesh-eaters. And just a word to the wise if you are reading this in the future, when the actual zombie apocalypse has arrived -- don't go to Atlanta.
6. The GPS used by an astute young London detective named Holmes in BBC's nimble reboot of Arthur Conan Doyle's late-19th century novel. Weaving new tech into the classic narrative feels less like a gimmick than a revelation -- Sherlock Holmes was the original data-processor.
7. Natalie Portman's black, feathery Rodarte ballet dress from Darren Aronofsky's Cirque du Insane 'Black Swan.' Does it come in a maternity size?
8. The totem -- is that damn thing still spinning? -- from 'Inception.' Poetic visuals marred, if slightly, by mediocre ideas.
9. The frighteningly intricate, lovingly-rendered mouse dioramas that Steve Carrell's loser Barry creates in 'Dinner With Schmucks.' They are more than just mousterpieces, they are the perfect homemade artifact for our craft-obsessed DIY times. Watch
10. The large axe that John Hawkes' crank-dealing Teardrop uses to calmly smash some hick's windshield in the Ozarks-set 'Winter's Bone.' This movie goes nowhere without Hawkes' anti-social intensity and "smell-the-chewing-tobacco-on-his-breath" authenticity.
11. The ghoulish nun costumes worn by the bank robbers in Ben Affleck's gritty, fast-paced Bahston thriller 'The Town.' While you'll see 'Social Network' once, maybe twice, you'll get sucked into watching 'The Town' on cable a hundred times. Why? Because sometimes it's better to be smaht than clever.
12. The metal spoon that Niels Arestrup -- who out-Jack Nicholson's Jack Nicholson as the deeply malevolent Corsican crime boss who runs a French prison -- jabs into the eye of young Arab protege Malik in Jaques Audiard's audacious 'A Prophet.' Technically, the Gallic gangster epic debuted in Europe in 2009, but it premiered at Sundance in January, 2010, and we're still waiting for someone to deliver a more powerful, nuanced and timely tale.
13. Nicki Minaj's Freddy-Krueger claws in Ludacris' 'My Chick Bad' video. She's more scathingly funny than Eminem, more endearingly aggressive and weird than Lady Gaga and we'd pick her to win a fight against anybody ... even Tiger Woods' wife. Watch
14. The larger-than-life float of Michael Jackson's head in Kayne West's 35-minute epic 'Runaway.' Here's hoping that when our distant descendants uncover our time capsule, they don't mistakenly confuse him as our Jesus. Which would mean that Kanye had a point. Nobody wants that. Watch
15. Antoine Dodson's red bandana in the Gregory Brother's YouTube sensation 'Bed Intruder Song.' Centuries from now, anthropologists will struggle to understand why strange-voiced robots sang bass-heavy music back in the year 2010 -- when they were raping everybody. Yes, even husbands.
16. The Gorillaz' black '69 "Stylo" Camaro that Bruce Willis runs off the road.
17. The red plaid jacket, skinny tie and glasses that Cee-Lo sports in his electric Motown-style video for the most joyous and infectious kiss-off song since 'I Will Survive.' While we're here, F U to a bad economy, deadly earthquakes, looming foreign threats, man-made oil spills and nasty partisanship. We're onto better things in 2011. All of us!
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