The Kirkwood Call | Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013 | Volume 96 | Issue 1
Pop Culture: Summer 2013 in review Jake Balmer entertainment editor
1) Noted highwire specialist Nik Wallenda, 34, walked a tightrope across the Little Colorado Gorge without the assistance of a safety net in a Discovery Channel special billed as “Skywire Live.” He became the first person to accomplish this, in addition to becoming the first person to walk a tightrope across Niagara Falls in 2012. 2) Rapper Kanye West, 36, and his girlfriend, TV personality Kim Kardashian, 32, gave birth to their daughter, North West. The pregnancy was highly publicized, largely in part due to frequent Twitter posts by Kardashian and her experiences. 3) Kate Middleton, 31, and Prince William, 31, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, gave birth to royal baby Prince George Alexander Lewis. The baby is now third behind Prince Charles and Prince William to succeed the throne of Queen Elizabeth II. 4) West also released his sixth studio album, Yeezus, to much critical praise but extremely mixed public response. The unconventional “acid house” production and screams that can be heard throughout the album, which is presented simply in an empty CD case with a piece of red tape on it, seemed to split listeners’ opinions. 5) In contrast to the celebrity births of summer, pop culture did lose some significant figures; Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek, Sopranos star James Gandolfini, and Glee star Cory Monteith, among others, all passed. 6) Los Angeles Dodgers’ outfielder and Cuban defector Yasiel Puig, 22, broke into the majors’ elite scene in June by having an electrifying first month
in which he broke many Dodger and MLB rookie records. Puig also ignited some controversy amongst baseball purists by making unadvised baserunning mistakes and sliding into home on a walkoff homerun. 7) James Wan’s supernatural horror film “The Conjuring” pleased both critics, who enjoyed its acting performances and cinematic effects, and audiences, who were thrilled simply by how scared they were. 8) Naughty Dog and Sony Entertainment’s video game “The Last of Us” was released to universal acclaim, gathering perfect scores from 42 gaming publications, a new record, and selling 1.3 million units in its first week. The game features post-apocalypse and zombie elements, and was praised for its gameplay, emotional script, and art direction. 9) Pop singer Justin Bieber, 19, gathered negative attention this summer by standing on the Chicago Blackhawks’ floor logo (against NHL tradition) to photograph their NHL trophy, the Stanley Cup, and by urinating into a bucket in a restaurant and cursing former president Bill Clinton immediately after. Each event occurred during his Believe Tour. 10) Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was released from the team in conjunction with his first-degree murder charge against friend Odin Lloyd. Currently, he is being held without bail in Bristol County (MA) jail, and faces life in prison without parole. Hernandez forfeited $19.3 million in salary as a result of his release, and the Patriots’ official team store gave fans the opportunity to trade in jerseys with his name for other players’.
photos courtesy of MCT Campus