Pop culture in brief: Lost, Obama, and the Steelers

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If the new year’s events thus far are any indication, 2009 is going to be a great year — or, if not a great year, at least an eventful one. The start of a new semester obviously begets new courses, new schedules, new syllabi, and new sources of stress eating away at free time. With this in mind, I have taken the liberty to sum up recent and future events with absolutely no personal bias or subjective interpretations. You’re welcome.

Obviously, everybody had a busy Tuesday and Wednesday last week. In a fittingly Lost-esque fashion, time stopped on Tuesday at noon for the inauguration of President Barack Obama. Has time ever stopped like this before? Have the masses of people ever simultaneously halted their mundane tasks on a regular Tuesday mid-January to stare in awe at moving images spawned by cathode ray tubes? Certainly not four years ago, for the last inauguration.

If President Obama could stop time, then Lost could manipulate time; it was indeed the long-awaited season premiere the very day after the inauguration. The episode really made fans wonder how they had survived all last semester on the mediocrity that abounded on television. The mind-bending, time-twisting plotlines reminded me, if not other fans, of a promise made by a member of the Obama administration: Hillary Clinton promised voters on David Letterman in the fall of 2007 that she was going to find out “what the heck is happening on Lost.” Mrs. Clinton, please get right on that.

In sports, my roommate explained to me that Super Bowl XLIII was “going to be big.” I checked out the official website just to be sure. And there it was: a video showing clips of Super Bowl history in all its black-and-white splendor surrounded by pictures of heroic-looking black-and-yellow clad figures with their primitive expressions of ferociousness and little red birds in all their cute chirpiness. There was even a countdown, complete with a decreasing column for seconds, just like the countdown timers people had for the Olympics or Bush’s last day in office.

In the spirit of the declining economy, I shelled out a grand total of $3.75 to catch an early-bird matinee showing of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which has already captured a few Oscar nods. I figured that if the majority of us aged backward, we would end our lives in the luxurious masquerade of the roaring ’20s, indulging in liquor and feathers and frills, and maybe a 70-something Brad Pitt.

But then again, we wouldn’t have been old enough to appreciate a historic presidency, the (presumed) beating the Cardinals will receive from our Steelers, and, of utmost importance, what happens after they get off that island. Yes, 2009 is the year to be in.