Each week our culture scientists rank their 10 favorite things in the universe. The resulting list is infallible. The list is perfect. If you don't agree with the list, you are wrong. Some items may stay atop the list for weeks, others may only make a brief appearance. Some items are Portland-centric, but only because Portland is at the center of the universe. Please do not write to us, asking for the metrics behind the list. We will not provide source material. We will not be swayed. Bow down to the list. Love the list, as the list loves all things. Let the list move through you. (And, you know, if you have suggestions for the list, stick them in the comments section below.)
1. Thor Aackerlund
The exquisitely named 1990 Nintendo World Champion is the Bobby Fischer of The Ecstasy of Order, a locally produced, surprisingly engrossing documentary about one Portland man's quest to crown the world's greatest Tetris player. When Aackerlund finally appears, he's actually more of a shy, lumbering Brad Garrett type, but he turns out to be a tortured soul among affable nerds. His childhood home burned down in a fire, destroying all his possessions save a metal box full of Micro Machines, and at one point in his life, he was supporting his entire family on his winnings from video game competitions. He gives a film about an undeniably frivolous topic an unexpected dollop of pathos. And, yes, he's damn good at Tetris. (The movie, by the way, screens at the Hollywood Theatre on Friday, July 20.)
2. Vinnie Dewayne's "Where Island" Video
The kid is for real. See him with Dam-Funk at Mississippi Studios on Saturday, July 21.
The king of fibers.
4. The cover of Menomena's Moms.
A picture is worth 1,000 crazy words.
5. Breaking Bad season premiere
It finally arrived this past Sunday, and all we have to say is, "Yeah, bitch! Magnets!"
6. Romney Rides, Ann Drives
It takes a very secure man to sit on the back of a Jetski while your wife ferries you around. Mitt Romney is that man. Combined with Mitt's love of a special little pony that wears fancy clothes, Romney is emerging as a true alternative to the last two Republican presidential candidates, one a war hero the other a pretend cowboy.
7. Monarques finally releases its full-length
And we've been listening all week.
Yeah, it's International Beer Fest and PDX Pop Now! and probably a zillion other festivals this weekend, but we'll be honest: this is the one we're most looking forward to.
9. Casey Jarman's "It's Not a Portland Summer Until You've..."
Making the list for a fourth week (down 5 places from #9) because it's still summer!
10. Experiencing Comic-Con vicariously through the Internet.
It's almost the same as being there! Sob. Things we're excited about: Ant-Man; the Winter Soldier; Joss Whedon on Husbands (has Husbands ever made the list before? It should have. It's great.); Ben Kingsley as the Mandarin; Punisher: War Zone; aaaand a bunch other stuff we can't remember.