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 January 8

(Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia)
Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is Injured in Shooting
One of America’s saddest days happened on this day in 2011 as U.S. congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords, was shot and critically injured during a shooting spree outside of a supermarket in Tucson, Arizona where she had been speaking. Six people died in the attack and another 13, including Giffords, were critically wounded. Jared Lee Loughner, the gunman, shot Giffords at point-blank range with a 9 mm semiautomatic pistol. He was attacked by a bystander and taken into custody. Gifford’s skull was fractured and had a very long road ahead of her at a rehabilitation hospital in Texas. In November of that same year, Giffords and her husband released a memoir, "Gabby: A Story of Hope and Courage." On January 25, 2012, Giffords resigned from Congress. Later that year, Gifford’s recovery was featured in Mandisa’s music video of her song, “Overcomer.” Watch it to see how something tragic can be used for something good.

The Series Debut of 'The Apprentice' Airs
The very first version of The Apprentice aired for the first time on this day in 2004. Hosted by Donald Trump, the business skills reality show pitted a group of career-seeking hopefuls in battling to become Trump’s new apprentice. Show creator Mark Burnett billed the show as “the ultimate job interview.” Each week, two teams worked on select tasks where the losing team would be sent to the boardroom and one player would be told, “You’re Fired.” In 2005 The Apprentice: Martha Stewart aired with Stewart in the Trump role who uttered the catch phrase, “You Just Don’t Fit In.” This version was less successful and only lasted one season. In 2008, NBC aired the first celebrity version of the show and Trump hosted his last show in 2015 just before he announced that he was running for president. In 2017, Arnold Schwarzenegger began hosting the latest version of The Celebrity Apprentice where his tagline was, “You’re Terminated.” With ratings less than impressive, it is unclear if the series will be revived yet again. Maybe when Trump is done serving in the White House.

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