Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

A knockoff Samoa, a doom-metal act, and the quotable Rob Lowe

Cardinal Wyrm
Cardinal Wyrm

Keebler® Coconut Dreams™ cookies

I recently got into Pinterest, and although I can’t tell which came first, the pins or the pangs—for things that are unaffordable, impossible to make, etc.—I’ve still found it to be helpful. For example, when I came across a recipe for homemade Samoas Girl Scout cookies, I instantly remembered two things. One, nothing will ever taste as good as the crack that are Girl Scout cookies and two, I can put those cookies back, a whole cookie in a bite—no shame—until an entire box has vanished. So, in what world would I waste more than two hours to make a mere four dozen subpar cookies that I’ll inhale in half that time? But I’m still faced with the challenge of finding a Samoas substitute in the off-season. Behold, Keebler® Coconut Dreams™ cookies.


They are a blatant ripoff, but a good one. For under $5 you get 18 cookies, and it takes all of five minutes to find them in a grocery store and make them yours. They are almost as delicious as the real thing. [Becca James]

Cardinal Wyrm, Black Hole Gods
Doom—both the subgenre of heavy metal and the existential malaise—are so widespread right now, it’s hard to see the charred forest for the decimated trees. But one example, of the music at least, just jumped out and grabbed me by the throat: Black Hole Gods, the new, sophomore album by Cardinal Wyrm. The Bay Area trio consists of bassist Rachel Roomian, guitarist Nathan Verill, and singer-drummer Pranjal Tiwari. From The Hard-Ons to Ruins, I’ve always been loved bands whose drummers who are also their lead singers, and while Cardinal Wyrm sounds nothing like those two bands, Tiwari is a master at pounding the skins while rocking the mic. Musically, Black Hole Gods is downright magisterial; Tiwari’s vocals sound like medieval hymns, and the imminent onset of Armageddon is slowed down in order to savor every excruciating stage of collapse. But, you know, more fun than that probably sounds. [Jason Heller]

A specific quote from Rob Lowe’s Stories I Only Tell My Friends
A few weeks back, I finished reading Rob Lowe’s autobiography, Stories I Only Tell My Friends. And while I liked it, I really loved the part of the book that found a young Lowe talking to Francis Ford Coppola about The Godfather during the shooting of The Outsiders. Lowe expressed his admiration for the movie, leading to the following exchange and Lowe’s analysis:

“You know, Rob, to me The Godfather is like that lamp,” he says, pointing. “It exists. It’s right there. People have opinions about it,” he continues mildly. “The real Godfather, for me, is the experience I had making it.” It would be many years and many projects before I fully understood what he meant. If you are fortunate enough to be part of a hit, particularly a transcendent one, all emotional ownership is transferred from you to the audience. They judge it and embrace it; project their own hopes, dreams, and fears onto it; take their personal meaning from its themes, and with these investments it becomes theirs. The significance of your participation pales in comparison to the significance the project has on their imaginations. And so, you are left outside of the phenomenon. Just as Paul McCartney can never experience the Beatles, Francis Ford Coppola can never experience The Godfather. It becomes a lamp.

I didn’t expect to come away from Rob Lowe’s autobiography with an “oh shit” moment, but there it is. Creators—writers, filmmakers, actors, whoever—put their hearts into something, but lose all control over it once it goes out into the world, and should that thing become a phenomenon, it becomes overwhelming. I saw Paul McCartney play earlier this summer, and while I’ve seen him before and seen him tell this story before, there’s a bit he does about hanging out with Hendrix and Clapton and Plant and Page and Lennon, and you’re struck with the “oh shit” feeling that not only was this guy in the fucking Beatles, but that that he actually lived all those Beatle-y moments that we’ve seen on TV and in movies. For him, The Beatles are like a lamp. They simply are, just like The Godfather is for Coppola. It’s kind of a big concept, but it’s been blowing my mind pretty much since I flipped to that page in Lowe’s book. [Marah Eakin]