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 9

'Rocky' Begins Filming
Before this day in 1976, Sylvester Stallone’s only leading role was in the movie, The Lords of Flatbush (1974) which was a flop. He turned to writing in an effort to provide better roles for him to play. It is said that he wrote the script for Rocky in only three and a half days. He sold the script to producers Irwin Winkler and Robert Chartoff on the condition that he would be able to play the now-famous boxer. However, the producers wanted someone with a higher profile like James Caan, Burt Reynolds or Ryan O’Neal. Surprisingly, a deal was made and Stallone began training for six hours a day for five months before filming. Rocky was shot just under a month on a $1 million budget and directed by John Avildsen. Movie critics either loved it or hated it but the film ended up making Stallone a rich and valuable star. At the 1977 Academy Awards, Rocky was nominated for 10 awards and won for Best Director, Best Picture and Best Film Editing.

The First iPhone is Unveiled
Steve Jobs revealed the very first iPhone to the public on this day in 2007 at the Macworld convention which was held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. At the time, the first two models, a 4 GB and 8 GB were priced at $499 and $599. The two became available that following June 29 at 6:00 p.m. to the delight of hundreds of fans who stood outside stores across the nation waiting to get their hands on the “Jesus Phone.” In 2016, Apple brought out the iPhone 7 and 7Plus.

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