When Linda Holmes announced that she'd miss this week's Pop Culture Happy Hour for a much-needed vacation, we all knew the real reason: She was holing up to read Arnold Schwarzenegger's new memoir, Total Recall, without the petty distractions of day-to-day life. So the rest of us gathered up our pal Chris Klimek — whom you may remember from our discussion of robot boxing almost exactly one year ago — to talk about Schwarzenegger, action heroes, action movies, Christ metaphors, the many iterations of James Bond, and other similarly sinewy side topics.
Then, it's on to a lively discussion of drinking in popular culture — drinking songs, drunkenness on TV and in movies, and alcohol as a sturdy metaphor for despair, celebration and everything in between. We talk polkas (because of course we do), writers' workshops, martinis, Garth Brooks' "Friends in Low Places" and sundry other sodden topics, before serving up a round of our own favorite drinking songs.
Finally, we close — as always — with What's Making Us Happy. Glen Weldon blows our minds and recommends a comedy podcast; Chris hails the 25th anniversary of a favorite album, as well as an even-older book he's just read; Trey Graham is on about a Broadway revival and its marvelous mastermind; and I prattle about taking my kids to a charming new movie.