7 Indisputable Ways You Know You’re A True John Oliver Fan

24 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Edit John Oliver makes a pretty persuasive case for killing the penny.

“Last Week Tonight” aired its final show of 2015 Sunday – the satirical news series returns to HBO Feb. 14, 2016 – and what has host John Oliver left us to ponder during the cold winter months of December and January? Citing the fact that it costs about 1.7 cents to manufacture a single penny, the comedian implored his audience to do away with the Lincoln-image coin.

If that isn’t enough to convince you the penny is a waste, there were two separate “reports” done by local news outlets that watched what happened when a reporter left a bunch of pennies on the ground. Mint makes about eight billion pennies a year, at a cost of 1.7 cents per penny. “That really makes the phrase ‘You have to spend money to make money’ ring painfully true,” he said.

The only real uses for pennies, he added, are throwing them in a pond to make a (very small, at current value) wish, or to pay a fine with them out of pure spite. The math itself is obvious, but Oliver also argues several other reasons –including the health scares from the coins being swallowed by dogs to many businesses refusing to accept pennies. You may not be surprised to learn that there is a penny lobby, backed by the zinc industry; Lincoln enthusiasts also are loath to part with the (all-but-worthless) coin that bears his visage.

But there are roadblocks preventing the Mint from eliminating the penny, like Abraham Lincoln enthusiasts and lobbyist group Americans for Common Cents. “Lincoln doesn’t need the penny for notoriety – he’s everywhere,” Oliver says. “We’ve put him on novelty bandages, cup and ball games and creepy Chia Pets. Their other insane argument is that millions will be lost to charities every year without the penny. “Wait, so his argument is that no one would give to charity if they couldn’t give something basically worthless?” Oliver asked. “Which is a pretty cynical view of humanity.” Even a penny for your thoughts isn’t possible anymore; most therapists charge more than that these days and won’t accept pennies. “According to the Treasury Department private businesses are free to … prohibit payment … in pennies,” Oliver quotes. You know, the thing that’s worth 500 times more than the penny.” Oliver ends the segment with a rousing call to action. “Come on, let’s dump the penny,” he says. “Not because we need to, not because it will change a great deal.

But at its value, no fountain is granting your wish unless it is incredibly small like: ‘I wish somewhere in the world a mouse has a good day or I wish I knew what a penny looked like under water.’” We can do this!” 2015 may not bring everything that Back to the Future II promised it would: flying cars, self-lacing shoes, we don’t see ’em happening over the next 12 months. (Then again, don’t bet against Nike.) But this year will definitely pack plenty of punch when it comes to cultural happenings. Mad Max will roar back out of the apocalypse while Mad Men rides off into the sunset, rock’s Antichrist Superstar and hip-hop’s Yeezus will rise again. They came via hyperdrive and warp speed, and even by New Jersey Transit, these devotees of Stars both Trek and Wars to mix with the high-rolling, arts-underwriting swells at a benefit performance for the Montclair Film Festival.

But mostly, these disciples of sci-fi’s top-shelf franchises made a pilgrimage to the Garden State to watch Stephen Colbert host a two-hour “celebrity nerd-off” with director J.J. The two-hour chat took place in the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark which, as anyone who took the walk from the nearby train station could tell you, has more than a bit of a Mos Eisely Spaceport.

Colbert queried Abrams about his career in mostly chronological order, starting with the director’s quick transition from undergraduate at Sarah Lawrence College to becoming a working Hollywood screenwriter. Abrams, who got a bug for fiction after he “B.S.-ed his way through a non-fiction writing course, faking everything,” hitched his wagon to another student, Jill (daughter of Paul) Mazursky, who had already set up some scripts.

Colbert was quite familiar with the film; when he was a struggling comedian living in Chicago, he auditioned for a part. “Probably for the best,” Abrams demurred when Colbert recalled that he didn’t receive a callback. The first movie Abrams ever saw was Mary Poppins — but the first adult film (no, not that kind of adult film, though Colbert admitted that could make for good conversation, too) was The Exorcist. But the potentially scarring event merely further instilled a love of filmmaking in the 10-year-old Jeffrey Jacob, who was already tooling around with Super-8 cameras.

The delivery prompted this response from his mother: “Who is this ‘Dick’ sending you a tongue?” Abrams later received an admonishment from Smith by mail after he wrote that he liked Rick Baker’s transformation effects in An American Werewolf in London’s over Rob Bottin’s in The Howling; the makeup artist called to apologize for being so abrupt. (Let’s blame it on latex inhalation.) There was surprisingly little “nerding off” during the event, but at one point a member of the audience (who didn’t seem like a plant) asked Colbert what remaining Tolkien story would he like to see a filmmaker like Abrams adapt into a movie. Without missing a beat, Colbert offered up Akallabêth, a 30-page summary of events from the Island of Númenor found in the posthumously published Silmarillion — which, Colbert brightly and enthusiastically explained, works as a “greatest hits of Middle Earth.” He proceeded to spew a host of ridiculously sounding names without taking a breath, even quoting a passage (“And Sauron came”) which clearly has resonated with him lo these many decades since he first read this weighty tome, most likely alone, in the cafeteria of Middle School. Another audience member asked Abrams who his favorite Star Wars alien was “other than a major character like Chewbacca.” The director’s answer was solid, even if he didn’t know the guy’s name.

His striking look, Abrams said, suggests the life and drama beyond what you saw in the center of the story. (Oh, and so you don’t have to look him up yourself: He’s called Kardue’sai’Malloc, a Devaronian captain notoriously nicknamed “The Butcher of Montellian Serat,” whose post-army career involves working as a tour manager for Figrin D’an and the Model Nodes, the “Jizz” musicians with the large bald heads that play the catchy Cantina tune. Many already knew that you can hit pause on Abrams’ first Star Trek film to find a tiny, floating R2-D2 amid the debris of the destroyed Federation fleet, but he added that the lovable droid is also hidden in Mission: Impossible III and Super 8. There’s a directorial flourish and then there’s self-parody — and Abrams promises he’s easing up on his signature stylistic tic of shining lights directly into anamorphic lenses to create flares.

Very sorry, J.J.) Whether a proposed third Trek film from the Bad Robot crew will serve as a corrective or not remains to be seen, but he acknowledges that the nerds were indeed heard. Abrams was forced to come back to producer Jerry Bruckheimer and let him know “nothing works.” The producer’s response was simple: “Leave it!” Without getting “too metaphysical,” Abrams did he best to express just how much the Force has meant to him over the years. “A religion with no God?

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