Jordan Peele's 'Us' is a Creepy Tale That Sadly Mirrors Our Reality

On May 25, 1986, approximately 6.5 million Americans stood hand in hand forming a human chain that stretched from New York to California for an event called Hands Across America. It was a fundraiser project from USA for Africa (the same people who produced the “We Are the World” single the year before) in hopes of raising $100 million to fight hunger and homelessness. The hope was that everyone who participated would donate $10 for the cause. Families stood and sang together for 15 minutes. And then it was over.

I had trouble remembering if Hands Across America really happened or if it was a gimmick for the film when the original commercial for the event flashed on the big screen during the opening of Us. I only vaguely remember the event, which might have to do more with the fact that I have lived in Washington State my whole life and we weren’t involved in the project. I doubt that I’m the only one and I suspect that was also some of Jordan Peele’s reasoning as well whe…

This Day in Pop Culture for August 29

(Richard Young/Flickr)
Michael Jackson is Born
It was on this day in 1958 that Michael Joseph, the eighth child in the Jackson family, was born in Gary, Indiana. Michael’s brothers Jackie, Tito and Jermaine had been performing together for some time before Michael and his other brother, Marlon, join them in 1964. They became known as the Jackson 5. A year later, Michael shared lead vocals with Jermaine. The group’s first single, “Big Boy,” was released in 1968. In 1972, Michael began branching out with his own solo albums, Got to be There and Ben. In 1978, Jackson played the Scarecrow in the movie version of The Wiz with Diana Ross. It is said that Jackson’s 1979 album, Off the Wall, helped to propel him from “bubble gum” rock and roll into a more serious singer. In 1982, Jackson released the album Thriller along with 14-minute long music video directed by John Landis. The album is currently the best-selling album of all time. It has been estimated that 65 million copies of the album have been sold worldwide. In 1985, Jackson co-wrote the fundraising song “We are the World” with Lionel Richie. In 1986, Jackson starred in Captain EO, a 3D short movie created for Disneyland theme park. Throughout his lifetime, Jackson won 13 Grammy Awards, 26 American Music Awards and scored 13 #1 singles in the U.S. Despite all of his achievements, Jackson was unable to escape public scrutiny. From his multiple plastic surgeries to child abuse claims to his outlandish spending habits, Jackson was forever being judged for odd behavior. Even so, he has been credited with supporting 39 different charities. On June 25, 2009, Jackson died of acute propofol and benzodiazepine intoxication after suffering a cardiac arrest which was during the time that he was preparing for his comeback concert series, This Is It. His death was ruled a homicide, and his personal physician, Conrad Murray, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter.

First Radio Advertisement Commercial
WNBC signed on for the first time on March 2, 1922, as WEAF and it was the first radio station in New York City. WEAF broadcast what it later claimed to be the first radio advertisement, but that fact appears to be debatable. It was actually a 10-minute long talk, which seems more similar to an infomercial than a regular radio ad. The “talk” in question promoted an apartment development in Jackson Heights near a new elevated train line. WEAF left the air in 1988.


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