Late at night, several years ago, Molly Lambert sent me a Gchat about the Internet of Things. The Internet of Things is a topic best discussed late at night, but at the same time, I found it impossible to wrap my head around a definition that included words like “petabytes” and “RFID” and phrases such as “end-user agreements” and “cyberobjects [...] considered as autonomous actors of the value chains they are involved in.” I stayed up long after she signed off, thinking about the concept of “things."
Welcome back to our series Rembert Explains the ’80s. Every so often, we'll e-mail 25-year-old Rembert Browne a video from the 1980s that he hasn't seen. Rembert will write down his thoughts as he's watching it, then we'll post those thoughts here. This week's installment was selected by Hollywood Prospectus editor Mark Lisanti: the Watch Mr. Wizard compilation that's been tearing the internet a new meme-hole this week. If you have an idea for a future episode of Rembert Explains the '80s, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It's Valenscience Day! "Love, arguably the most positive of all human emotions, also comes with a dark side." Let us journey into the pink darkness together.
1. E.T. Exists: Not only that, but he knows we are out there, and is avoiding us for some infuriating, unknowable reason. Mathematician Thomas Hair says, “We’re either alone, or they’re out there and leave us alone." Which is worse, being completely alone in the universe or knowing that there is a sexy alien love-force who just refuses to reciprocate your flirty advances on Facebook and SETI?
This information comes not from some rival beverage critic, but from PepsiCo itself: In an attempt to get out of a lawsuit, the manufactures of Mountain Dew are suggesting that — if a mouse were somehow trapped inside a bottle of Dew — the rodent would be turned into a gelatinous, unrecognizable blob. If true, such evidence would contradict the accusation of Ronald Ball, a Wisconsin man who claims to have purchased a Mountain Dew at a vending machine and found a dead mouse inside the bottle.
As someone who’s consumed 16 to 32 ounces of Mountain Dew almost every single day for the past 21 years, I found this news unnecessarily salacious. Honestly, I’ve experienced no ill effects from my over-the-top Mountain Dew consumption, except that I’m kind of fat and pretty crazy and I can never sleep (even though I’m always tired). I’m sipping one right now, and it’s making me temporarily invincible. I’m not gonna lie — I feel awesome. I feel more awesome than you, in all probability. Which prompts me to consider a counter-narrative to this atypical Mountain Dew controversy: How do we know it’s not good for us to drink mouse-dissolving acid?
If you’re a serious Mountain Dew drinker, you’re probably also the eater of many processed, non-organic foods. Perhaps you’re also a compulsive worrier and a functioning alcoholic. Maybe you sometimes eat things that aren’t technically food, like napkins (a surprisingly easy mistake to make, particularly when eating a hot dog inside an unusually dark movie theater in suburban Atlanta). There’s just no way the natural gastric acid inside your stomach can compete with today’s ultra-aggressive, hyper-modern “super foods.” Your tummy needs a supplement. And that’s where Mountain Dew thrives. With its advanced mouse-eroding electrolytes, Mountain Dew can destroy what your body cannot. You know what I never get? I never get food poisoning. Ever. I don’t get food poisoning when I eat poison. There’s no way this is a coincidence. There’s something sloshing around inside me that generates a secret kind of power, and that something is green and sweet and designed for extreme skateboard enthusiasts. I will never stop drinking Mountain Dew. I don’t care if it starts dissolving the very aluminum cans that house its existential refreshment. I will live forever, or at least until I’m 45.
Also, semi-related: Fuck you, Ronald Ball. Maybe liquefied mice are delicious?