Rock of Ages is so stacked with clichés and tropes that it feels like a comprehensive overview of American mythology, as dictated by pop culture. Set in a backdrop of L.A. that looks very much like a backdrop, the film tells a story about an aging rock star attempting to resurrect his career. By the end of the film, he's done so, courtesy of American pop culture's most relevant song of the past decade — Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'." As sung by Tom Cruise.
Roundtrip tickets to Larnaca, Cyprus: $1,300. Lodging at your pal's dad's pad on the Mediterranean: Free. Getting your goofy video turned into a symbol of generational excess: Priceless. I'm starting to feel some sympathy for the Camp Cyprus 20, the crazy Internet kids who filmed themselves cavorting poolside at Wall Street big Bob Lessin's gleamingly white vacation home, to the tune of Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'." The charge: That they lacked self-awareness. Hence, for example, this remix of the video set to "Highway to Hell."Are you kidding? These guys had two hours a day of poststructuralist textually-agnostic confabulism theory before lunch in college. On the surface, "Don't Stop Believin'" sounds like an anthem of cluelessness, a party song to get your frat-rock dance on. Listen closely, though, and you'll see that it's actually a nihilistic, no-future tale sung by a senselessly addicted gambler. The schadenfreude crowd is bent on telling these happy-go-lucky Facebookers and Googlers and Blip.tvers and Drop.ioers how they're gonna sing the blues. Guess what, guys? These Cyprussians have figured out that some will win and some will lose. Here are the lyrics to the song, annotated to further your understanding of the video's wit; deconstructionist comments welcome, but only if you're showing your wasted liberal-arts education to best effect.
"A federal jury on Wednesday ruled against a New Jersey man who says his services helped 'Sopranos' creator David Chase develop ideas for the hit HBO mob drama." The losing plaintiff, Robert Baer, promptly boarded a midnight train leaving from Newark Penn Station. When the conductor asked where he was headed, he simply sighed and replied, "Oh, anywhere!" Roll credits. [WNBC]