The Week’s Winners And Losers: sex ‘n’ sandals, hip-hop cheese, A Tribe Called Quest and Cardi B

Also: the lesser-explored link between Buddha and Dicknose

This is our fourth visit to The Week’s Winner And Losers, a shaded corner of the internet where we extend congratulations and – yes – commiserations to great, the good and the frankly inept of pop culture. I should emphasise that this is safe space, a place in which there’s no shame in failure. For instance: the actor Kit Harington has announced he “isn’t a fan” of 70 percent of his scenes in sex’n’sandals epic Game of Thrones, which makes you think: “I’m not a fan of 100% of your scenes in sex’n’sandals epic Game of Thrones, Kit, so that’s not bad going.”

Buddhism teaches us there’s no such thing as a past mistake, only the current moment, only the now, which is presumably what was going through Olly Murs’ mind when he fell down a flight of stairs while honking through Stevie Wonder’s ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours’ in 2012, a moment I still think about at least once a month. We all fail, and sometimes failure can be as instructive as success. So the next time you slide arse-first into the abyss, remember it’s a gift to your future self. “Signed, sealed, delivered,” you’ll whisper sagely. “I’m yours.”            

Well, without further ado, it’s time again for me to lift the heaving sack of pop culture to sort the winners from the losers. Whose future self has a big fat package in the post this week?

The Winners

In the kind of news that makes you wonder if scientists have their priorities completely straight, they’ve now played different types of music to blocks of cheese, curious as to how it affects their flavour. It’s like, yeah, I showed Evil Dead 3 to an iceberg lettuce, but I don’t expect a Government grant for it, do I? Anyway, it turned out hip-hop produces the “funkiest” flavour, with A Tribe Called Quest’s ‘Jazz (We’ve Got)’ piped into a lump of the yellow stuff that became “remarkably fruity, both in smell and taste, and significantly different from the other samples.” I thought that last Eminem album absolutely stank, so imagine what it’d do to a block of Stilton.

Cardi B: always a winner. Always

Cardi B did well this week, too, given that she was cast in her first film role, the upcoming Hustlers, a tale of wily strippers who con Wall Street wankers out of their hard-earned cash. Given Cardi’s former career, it’s not a great stretch, but everything she touches turns to gold – she even manages to make Bruno Mars sound like something other than the dread churn of a revolving dancefloor in a provincial Reflex – so I’ll be throwing my money at this one.

The losers

He seems a bit suspect, Pikachu, chanting his own name over and over, more egoecentric than an Instagram influencer, but the upcoming Detective Pikachu movie – which presumably casts the little fluff ball as a hardboiled private dick navigating a cruel and evil film noir universe – is already gathering a cult following. Sadly, a campaign to have Danny DeVito voice the character came to nothing, leaving us with Ryan bloody Reynolds, a walking Reddit thread, in the role. But apparently there does exist a version of the movie with DeVito’s voice – it’s just that we’ll never see it in cinemas. “The spirit of Danny DeVito, I promise you,” producer Cale Boyter has said, chillingly, “is still inside of Pikachu.” Sounds uncomfortable.

And, alas, Dicknose has left Slipknot due to a boring legal dispute between him and the rest of the band. I’ve already waxed lyrical about Dicknose’s genius this week, but it would be remiss not to mark his departure here, especially since it transforms him from a winner to a loser. What’s more anarchic than being able to choose literally any mask and opting for one with a dick for a nose? Than being the nu-metal Bez? Than making a living from masturbating a facial aperture? Nothing. And yet quibbling over a paycheck is both necessary and mundane, dragging Dicknose from the heavens and down to our earthly squalor.

RIP, Dicknose, I hope they bury you facing up, your facecock poking from the dirt as an eternal reminder of your bright brilliance, a flagpole salute to fantastically ill-advised life choices.

The inbetweeners

K-pop heartthrobs BTS have received a distinctly ‘90s seal of approval, having been referenced by a episode of The Simpsons, as a new episode set in South Korea features a sign that advertises a recruitment centre for the BTS Army, the band’s notoriously militant fanbase.

A coup for the band, no doubt, but then The Simpsons’ quality has stooped lower than a Kit Harington scene in sex’n’sandals epic Game of Thrones, so perhaps Jungkook and the gang will feel the bittersweet sense of having missed the show’s glory days. Still, like followers of Buddhism and Dicknose, they must remember that there’s only the here and now, that we must celebrate the moment, that one minute you’re wanking off your dicknose for glory, and the next you’re cut loose faster than Olly Murs juddering down a flight of stairs.