“But, New York, you say?” asks my fictional version of comedian Conan O’Brien. “Why isn’t everyone taking their private jets to Cuba instead?” That question was actually asked and answered last night in a one hour special episode, Conan From Cuba, where O’Brien showed us the wonders to behold on the island known as the “Pearl of the Antilles“: cigar rolling, rumba dancing, learning useful Spanish phrases, tastings at the Havana Club Rum museum, and more. Thank you, Conan, for being a travel visionary. And for those of you who can’t see O’Brien’s soft shades of genius, you might not be among the lucky 25% who have a fourth cone (tip off: you have an aversion to yellow and thus likely hate Kim K’s new hair).
While only having two cones will surely disqualify you from being a photo image retoucher, you luckily still qualify for a free online course that will explore the role of superheroes in our society, temptingly titled: “The Rise of Superheroes and Their Impact On Pop Culture” and taught by comic book legend Stan Lee.
Free knowledge? I’m into that. But bands playing for free for mega corporations during SXSW? For the exposure? No, even the bands are not into that. Mickey D’s asked punky pop duo Ex Cops (Amalie Bruun and Brian Harding) to jam at their McDonald’s Showcase, but wrote in the proposal that “there isn’t a budget for an artist fee (unfortunately).” Ex Cops responded with an open letter on their Facebook page, politely declining the free (Happy) meals that would have come with the gig.
And lastly, speaking of freedom, there’s nothing more heroic today than Ink the Octopus trying to break free at the Seattle Aquarium. Spoiler alert: he flees across the Narrow Sea to an unknown destination chosen by Varys. No, wait. That’s Tyrion Lannister. Ink is back in his tank, the last time we checked, but Taylor Swift (or her song, at least) has, strangely, made a journey to Westeros in this “Blank Space”/Game of Thrones parody, which focuses on the many character deaths in GOT, and the show’s tumultuously Swift-ish emotionality.