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The Year of Frying (Butter) Dangerously: Snarky’s Machine Edition!

December 30, 2010

Somebody drank up all the 'Stays fine' juice!

Fry Butt – as the cool cats call it – began on a quiet March evening, sparked by a post I’d written earlier on Snarky’s Machine. After an enthusiastic, albeit shaky, start this little quirky pop culture blog turned into a something special. Tell me where else you’ll find a cohort of smart, irreverent group of talent writers. Oh sure you might find a few places, but my guess is those places are riddled with unexamined -ism fail! At any rate, this place is the home of some fierce ass pop culture analysis, by a bunch of hard working, loyal and dedicated folks who are bringing you the lulz for free, peeps! Recognize!

Snarky’s Machine

“This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: What I Really Want to Do is Sing!” – There’s nothing more terrifying (or lulz inducing) than actors of dubious talents leveraging those charms in another arena.

“The Big Pineapple Cart” – Nabokov, a misheard lyric and the love of a good index card!

“Security the Wilford Brimley Way: It’s the Right Thing to Do” – If you like seeing oatmeal peddlers getting their menace on while providing helpful tips this is the post for you.

Raymond J

“Spending Every Dime to Keep You Shopping in the Line: Grocery Store DJ – I love musical posts. I love the music that’s often heard in grocery stores. Raymond managed to provide both in this hilarious and astute analysis of why we always hear, “I’d Really Love to See You Tonight” while browsing selections in the frozen foods aisle.

“Bread, Eggs, Milk and Herzog: The Movie To-Do List” – A perfect example of what Fry Butt – and Raymond J – do best: providing a unique framework in which to examine a subject. Saying what everyone else is thinking, but hasn’t managed to say out loud.

NYC Pen Pusher

“Lost and the Rules of Television” – Dean hit the ground running with his first guest post for Fry Butt. A fascinating analysis of television! It’s hard to pick just one of Dean’s comprehensive television posts so hopefully I didn’t pick the wrong one.

“Movies Made So the Stars Could Do It! Happy Birthday Brad Pitt!” – Hilarious, astute and careful analysis of the phenomena of stars hooking up on the set! Bonus, it’s about Brad Pitt.


“Your Friday Five: Netflix Instant View you should, uh… view” – Despite being better known as our resident music critic, Poplife boasts a dazzling array of cinema knowledge that she doesn’t often showcase here (sad trombones). Also she has real good taste in cinema!

“Your Friday Five #13: Lucky you.” – Every entry in Poplife’s, “Your Friday Five” series is on point. This one’s a fave because I love its interconnectedness. That was some new ass hotness!


“Hoaxsters, fakesters, and the lure of . . . TLC?” – As the resident pop culture sociologist, Everett’s talent for sharp analysis shines in this post about the infamous “Balloon Boy” hoax. Beyond a rehash of the events, his piece critiques the fascination with spectacle and the public’s enduring love/hate relationship with hoaxes.

“How to Get Hooked on NCIS” – Television writing on Fry Butt is never cookie cutter, even when discussing the incredibly popular. We always manage to find a unique entry point and Everett eschewed the normal, “Here are my favorite ___” when presenting a compelling argument as to why we should all be watching NCIS. I’m hooked on the LA version. Does that count?

Tasha Fierce

“Be Prepared: Disaster Movie 101” – While the incomparable Miss Fierce is off revitalizing the often stale genre of beauty and fashion blogging, Fry Butt is forever grateful to her for breaking down the Disaster Movie tropes! Don’t worry, she’s still with us and pops in from time to time!

“Weird Science Wednesdays: Pseudoscience Edition” – In addition to disaster movies, fashion and Theirry Mulger, Tasha curates a weekly science series with often freaky and always hilarious (sometimes disturbing) results.


“This is why we can’t have nice things, breaking news edition: Liz Phair’s new song ‘Bollywood'” – Chriso transformed the ongoing snarky TiWWCHNT series. His blistering and brilliant take down of Phair’s song even got mentioned in the LA Times music blog Pop Hiss!

“Emma Watson’s Smart Haircut” – A fan and google search term favorite. A stylist by trade, Chriso presents the most compelling argument for going short and sassy at least once in one’s life!

S.E. Smith

“In Space, No One Can Hear You Scream: How Hard Do You Like Your Sci-Fi?” – Raymond already touched on s.e.’s brilliant posts on the funeral industry so I thought I’d hit up another fave: ou’s sci-fi analysis. Again, another example of a writer posing a sharp, obvious question nobody’s thought to ask before!

“There’s ‘Spoiler Averse,’ and Then There’s Whatever the Hell This Is” – One of the most cogent arguments regarding common sense as it relates to the polarizing topic of spoilers.

Pop Scribblings

“TV Flashback Tuesdays: WB’s “Oh What a Night” – Pop Scribblings has been a rare find! Her posts are frequently filled with treasure hunting goodness and we are kindred in that regard. Oh how I adore this post! The bad dancing, the awkward pairings…so delicious.

“What Are Your Pop Culture Quirks?” – I know it’s already been mentioned, but damn it, it’s just that good!

Our part-time and contained series contributors are like visiting relatives you actually like! They show up bearing glorious pop culture goodies. “Happy Birthday, Roald Dahl” by the wonderful Eieioj transported us back to childhood memories of Dahl’s quirky books and a few delicious bits of trivia! “Music Movie Monday: The “punk rock prom queens” of Josie and the Pussycats” by Alyx was a sweet, smart, sharply written unpacking of the 27th birthday curse (as it relates to rock stars) and celebrating her own birthday. Heather Eff’s fascinating glimpse into early days of animation, “Digging for Square Roots” was a breathtaking piece of pop culture writing and one of my favorite pieces of pop culture analysis of the year.

And last but certainly not least – to me anyway – there is Fry Butt’s technical support stalwart Redlami! His post, “Everything Old Is New Again: Toy Story 3 Recycles Pop Culture” serves a fitting ending point for this post. It’s one of our most frequently viewed posts and as much as it pains me to say this – I am not a Pixar fan – Toy Story 3 absolutely gets my vote for the best film of 2010.

Did I miss anything (anyone)?

8 Comments leave one →
  1. evmaroon permalink
    December 30, 2010 3:25 pm

    APPLAUSE, APPLAUSE! Each one of those posts was an amusement unto themselves. I’m also incredibly grateful for the writers who have made such a commitment to this site since last spring. I think we all need to meet up in Vegas at some point and do a little live blogging…from the Paris hotel!

  2. hsofia permalink
    December 30, 2010 3:38 pm

    Fry Butt is awesome. Something for everyone!

  3. December 30, 2010 3:42 pm

    Our part-time and contained series contributors are like visiting relatives you actually like!

    so true! thank you for highlighting them too.

    oh man, the actors who sing post! that is one of my favorites too. and my grocery store post was basically me transcribing an imaginary conversation with you.

  4. December 30, 2010 3:53 pm

    I am loving these retrospective posts! One of the problems with a constant flow of fresh butter is that I tend to forget older stuff, even though it’s still awesome, so I am really enjoying this walk down memory lane.

  5. December 30, 2010 4:02 pm

    and oh yes, the thoroughness of Everett’s NCIS analysis! i’m still impressed, months later.

  6. December 30, 2010 4:12 pm

    everyone should be “liking” these posts. There’s so much to like.

  7. eieioj permalink
    December 30, 2010 5:22 pm

    Oh man, fabulous stuff! I love that actors who sing post so much (and rereading it made me giggle even more as I’m watching VH1s 80s 1 Hit Wonders, and have seen Eddie Murphy and Don Johnson and a few soap stars singing their hearts out).

  8. January 1, 2011 10:04 am

    Here are some of the posts that made the biggest impression on me.

    Everett: “Macho Sport Meets Female Body” — a complex, politically charged mess of gender and culture, Ev got to the heart of it and smoothly untangled all its aspects.

    pOplife: “Ann Magnuson in Facebook Shocker!” — more deft exploration of sexual/gender politics and double standards, this time in the social media world. (Plus, just knowing other people here were into Ann Magnuson made me sit up and smile.)

    NYCPenpusher: “Farewell to the Mini-Series Master” — paying respect to the influential yet unknown, while showing his encyclopedic knowledge.

    Tasha Fierce: “Play With Your Quiet Toys” — I thought about choosing her writings on science or movies or fashion, all of which are brilliant… but then I came back to this lovely piece on childhood experiences and what they can mean to us.

    redlami: “The Brave Little Toast” — here we have the history of toast, a range of different ways it’s made and eaten, even a recipe. Anyone who thinks toast is boring hasn’t read this awesome article yet.

    Alyx Vesey: “Music Movie Mondays: The Phantom of the Paradise” — she does the one thing director DePalma most doesn’t want his audience to do: she painstakingly identifies all the different influences in the movie and sees what they mean in this context. Marvelously done.

    popscribblings: “Criminal Minds Needs a Thesaurus” — one of the plagues upon the television world is lazy writers. This post is a badly needed antidote that calls them on their mind-numbing repetition.

    eieioj: “Oh noes! The Apocalypse and junk!” — this look at the supernatural end-of-the-world adventure film “Legion” had me rolling in the aisles.

    raymond: “Pop Culture Nuclei #1: The 90s are Coming” — a glimpse into the subtle interconnections that hold the pop culture universe together. When Raymond publishes his Grand Unified Pop Culture Theory, I’ll be in line to buy a copy.

    chriso: “This is why we can’t have nice things: Casting for Runaways comic book film” — in the studio feeding frenzy to translate superhero comics into tentpole movies, important elements often get thrown overboard. Chriso confronts the “de-ethnicizing” of what was one of the most diverse comics on the stands, with this timely and maddening piece.

    s.e. smith: “The Girl Who Starred in a Troika of Exploitative Bestsellers” — this was among the most important reviews I’ve read all year. Everybody, and I mean everybody, seemed to be gushing about how wonderful and daring these stories were, until ou came in and punctured the bubble of hype. The article was powerfully, incisively written, and many people need to read it. (I’ll also mention, not that it’s relevant to the post, that I like s.e.’s name because it reminds me of S.E. Hinton, author of “Rumble Fish”, and S.E. Mills, creator of the satirical teenage furry comic “Yendie Wildcritter”.)

    snarky’s machine: Oh, come on now. Choose one favorite post by her? How, exactly, would I even attempt to do such a thing? Well, I guess if I had to, I might as well go with “Bernie Kopell in A Man for All Seasions: Best of the Burt Reynolds Dinner Theatre!” –because it’s really intelligent, and it’s funny, and it’s clever, and it’s innovative, and it shows a ton of pop culture knowledge, and on top of that, it encourages everyone else to contribute. I think that’s a decent reflection of her whole approach here.

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