Wandering Eye: The cult of "Too Many Cooks," a plastic-bag ban, and jury selection begins for the BGF, with some truly crazy juror responses

Over the weekend, Adult Swim premiered the short "Too Many Cooks," and the internet promptly freaked out over what it called "an instant cult classic." The 11-minute-long video, which starts as a fake title sequence to an '80s sitcom and then devolves into something kooky and twisted and weird, has garnered more than 1.6 million views on YouTube since it went up on Friday—which seems like a lot, until you compare it to "One Direction: FOUR HANGOUT," a 40-minute-long live stream recording on YouTube that went online Sunday and already has more than 1.7 million hits, or to the band's video for "Steal My Girl," which went up two weeks ago and has more than 27 million views. (Although it's worth noting that, as Caitlin Dewey recently explained in the Washington Post, teenage girls are incredibly adept at making the things they like go viral.) And keep in mind that, while the outpouring of thinkpieces may suggest that "everyone" is watching "Too Many Cooks," 1.6 million hits means that, assuming that everyone only watched it once, only half a percentage point of the United States' population actually watched it. Sometimes it's good for media types to remind ourselves that our internet circles can turn our content into an echo chamber. (Anna Walsh)


The Baltimore City Council voted to ban most plastic shopping bags last night, converting a controversial five-cents-a-bag tax to an outright ban after councilmembers and the mayor couldn't come to an agreement on the nickel bag tax. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake promptly said she'd veto the ban as well, saying that measure had not gone through sufficient public hearings. Noting their propensity to end up in trees and the Chesapeake Bay, First District City Councilman James Kraft has been on an anti-bag crusade for most of the decade. Previous measures (you're supposed to not get one at stores unless you ask) have not cut bag litter. The council could override a veto with 12 votes. The bag ban received 11 votes at last night's meeting. Only Fifth District Councilwoman Rochelle "Rikki" Spector voted no. One member, Second District Councilman Brandon Scott, abstained and two members, Edward Reisinger (10th District) and William "Pete" Welch (9th District), were absent. The Mayor has also pledged to veto the council's bill requiring police to wear "body cameras." That measure advanced last night as well. (Edward Ericson Jr.)


The federal racketeering case against the alleged Black Guerrilla Family prison-gang conspiracy led by Tavon White is headed for trial in Baltimore, with eight defendants scheduled to go before a jury starting on Nov. 17. The jury-selection process has included potential jurors filling out questionnaires, some of which have produced candid commentary quoted in court documents. "I tend to view blacks as more prone to committing crimes then [sic] whites or Asians," writes one, while another claims to not "like black people," and another admits to being "racist based on past experiences." On the other hand, one contends that "justice handed out to African Americans can be bias [sic] getting unfair punishment for same crimes committed by whites or Jews," a sentiment echoed by another, who wrote that "lately many African Americans have been put in positions where they appear to be 'set-up'" and "knowing this I may believe the evidence is not accurate." One claims that law enforcers "go after the wrong shit" and should "focus on the real bad stuff for a change," and another simply states, "Don't trust the Government." Given the serious penalties defendants face if convicted, this one is particularly brazen: "If I was part of the jury and the case was running long, I would probably make my decision based on getting home quickly." (Van Smith)

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