The year of 2012 was one of many fierce battles for the lot of us adhered unremittingly to the pop culture mindset. We couldn’t look at an election without engaging in bizarre competitions between donkeys and elephants or pizza and burritos. We couldn’t watch the World Series without wondering which species has fared better onscreen: tigers or giants? And both The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey were met with their own face-offs: the age-old Edwards Vs. Jacobs and the inescapable Trolls Vs. Dwarves. But now, the year has finally come to a close. We’re done with all this hullabaloo, these obligatory blitzkriegs of film and television references. As we say goodbye to 2012, we say goodbye to this stale habit once and for all.
Okay, maybe one more.
See, the very turn of the year inspires us to entertain a new, special pop culture battle. As 2013’s Baby New Year is beckoned in and the Old Man that has become of 2012 is ushered out, we ask ourselves the ultimate question: infants or geriatrics? Newborns or senior citizens? With angelic youths historically used to represent the coming of a new year and aged folk symbolizing the end of an old one, it is only natural for us to visit the literal incarnations of these figures throughout our beloved media. And so, we present the first of Hollywood.com’s pop culture battles of 2013: Babies Vs. Old Men. We’re sorry… some habits die hard.
The Prehistoric Year: Baby Dinosaur Vs. John Hammond
Kicking off January: The youngest member of the titular family on Dinosaurs
He’s the baby; it is obligatory that you love him.
Rounding out December: Richard Attenborough, portrayer of Jurassic Park’s lovable old hubris-stricken fool John Hammond
His brother is also an awesome old dude. Way to be, Attenboroughs.
Winner: John Hammond — that wily kook sure has some spunk (0/1)
The Springfieldian Year: Maggie Simpson Vs. Jasper Beardly
Kicking off January: The young lady who took down C. Montgomery Burns, Russ Cargill, and all of Fat Tony’s men: Margaret “Maggie” Simpson
Rounding out December: World War II veteran and Be Sharps reject Jasper Beardly
If it’s a paddlin’ you’re after, you’ve come to the right place.
Winner: It feels almost like sacrilege to vote against Maggie, and we’re not here to uphold any heresy (1/1)
The Best Picture Year: Million Dollar Baby Vs. No Country for Old Men
Kicking off January: Million Dollar Baby, Best Picture at the 77th Annual Academy Awards
She’s a girl, but she’s good at boxing! My, what progressive ideals to which we might be introduced by the bounties of cinema!
Rounding out December: No Country for Old Men, Best Picture at the 80th Annual Academy Awards
Moral of the story: um, watch out for people with wacky hairdos? Talk about your dreams more? Don’t live in Cormac McCarthy’s brain?
Winner: Million Dollar Baby. Hey, at least it had an ending! (2/1)
The Bimillennial Year: The 2001: A Space Odyssey Space Baby Vs. The 2000-Year-Old Man
Kicking off January: That creepy product of advanced evolution that graced the final shot of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey
We don’t know what it is, exactly, but it’s pretty reminiscent of “baby” (damn monoliths).
Rounding out December: Mel Brooks’ hip and snappily dressed 2000-Year-Old Man character
And this was back in the 60s, so he’s rounding 2050 by now.
Winner: Mel Brooks, just because the Kubrick baby makes us feel kind of uncomfortable (2/2)
The Comedic Duos Year: Baby Mama Vs. Grumpy Old Men
Kicking off January: The Tina Fey/Amy Poehler merger of Baby Mama
It’s no Mean Girls, but it’ll do until Mean Girls 2… what, there was as Mean Girls 2? Was it good? … Oh. Damn it.
Rounding out December: That Jack Lemmon/Walter Matthau union Grumpy Old Men
Okay, but don’t tell me there was a sequel to this movie … Dear God. How long have I been asleep?
Winner: Lemmon and Matthau are a classic team, but this is Liz and Leslie we’re talking about here (3/2)
The Aquatic Year: The “Baby with the Bathwater” Idiom Vs. The Old Man and the Sea
Kicking off January: That moronic “don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater” saying that has become a literal anachronism
What does it even mean, anyway? Something about environmental conservationism? Or is it a pro-life thing?
Rounding out December: Ernest Hemingway’s classic novel The Old Man and the Sea
It’s kind of like Life of Pi, but with fewer tigers (too few tigers, if you ask me).
Winner: Hemingway, for sure (3/3)
The Scary Year: Rosemary’s Baby Vs. Gary Oldman
Kicking off January: Classic horror film Rosemary’s Baby
Kind of like a more terrifying Knocked Up.
Rounding out December: Acclaimed thespian Gary Oldman
We love you, Mr. Oldman, but you can give us the heebie-jeebies from time to time.
Winner: Gary Oldman… we’re kind of afraid to vote against him (3/4)
The Roger Rabbit Year: Baby Herman Vs. Baby Herman
Kicking off January: Baby Herman, the innocent imp from Who Framed Roger Rabbit
Rounding out December: … uh, Baby Herman. That same baby. Who is also a raspy-voiced, cigar-smoking, lady-loving old crackpot.
It can get a little unnerving. Just skip to the end of the above clip and see for yourself.
Winner: The actual baby version of Baby Herman… the other one gets a smidgen too creepy (4/4)
The Musical Year: Justin Bieber Vs. Neil Young
Kicking off January: “Baby” by Justin Bieber
The hair alone is some odd combination of baby and old man.
Rounding out December: “Old Man” by Neil Young
Not to be confused with “Southern Man,” which we’ll actually feature in our Lincoln-inspired Unions Vs. Confederacies piece.
Winner: As if there was any doubt, Neil Young (4/5)
And in a striking turn of events, the old men take it! Does this mean the gossip pages will turn their sights from pregnancies and births to retirement parties and jazzercise classes? No, probably not. But let’s at least start paying a little more awards attention to Matlock.
[Photo Credit: THE SIMPSONS ™ and © 2012 TCFFC ALL RIGHTS RESERVED (2)]