Let me first say that there are no words to describe the feelings that your release has triggered. A weird mixture of relief, happiness, and hope swept over me when I first heard that the Israeli Government had successfully negotiated for your release. Over the past five years there have been countless concerts, marathons, phone-a-thons, and other events all put on with the single purpose of trying to get you back home. I will admit that I honestly thought we would not be able to see you alive in person ever again. Thank G-d, I was wrong.

What you are going through right now must be somewhat confusing. For the last five years you have lived in a jail cell, cut off from the outside world. The phrase “just a man and his thoughts” comes to mind when I think of what you have suffered through. I could tell you that the world hasn’t changed much over the past five years, but I would be lying. The world has evolved; technology has advanced, civilization has prospered. You might find it a bit overwhelming to grasp all these changes but don’t worry, I am here for you.

I have decided to help you out by give you a crash course on everything important that has happened in the past five years. This list should work as a guide to help you navigate through modern day society. Think of me as your tour guide into the current state of the world. That said, you will still probably need to do some research on your own. I can’t cover everything in this letter, so you might want to Wikipedia any other questions you might have. Oh, that’s right! You probably don’t know what Wikipedia is. is a website that people use to research subjects such as History, Science and Jeff Goldblum trivia. Did you know that Jeff Goldblum was married to Gena Davis for three years? Now you know.

So sit back, grab a cup of coffee and let me educate you on all that you missed:

Let me start this list with some unfortunate news. Billy Mays died. That’s right, the Oxy-Clean guy died. I know this probably comes as a shock, but don’t worry, he lived a great life and he promoted some damn fine detergent. Michael Jackson also died, but no one really noticed; we were all still kind of stuck up on Billy Mays. Also, former Tennessee Titan’s Quarterback, Steve McNair, and Mr. Miyagi died. Aside from those four people no one else important has died since 2005.

Now that you’re back, you must be kind of tired. I bet you would like nothing more then to find a big comfy couch, pop some buttery popcorn, and watch a movie. The problem with that is that there have been very few good movies in the past five years. For every decent movie that Hollywood produces, there are also 10 movies that are glorified buckets of camel poopy. To save you some time, I have compiled a small list of terrible movies that have come out since 2005:

Elektra, The Wedding Date, Constatine, The Pacifier, Sin City, Unleashed, Fever Pitch, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Kingdom of Heaven, Kicking and Screaming, Starwars Episode 3, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Bewitched, The Dukes of Hazard, War of the Worlds, The Island, Stealth, The Green Hornet, Must Love Dogs, Bandidos, Serenity, The Brothers Grimm, King Kong, Rumor Has It, The Fountain, The Da Vinci Code, Superman Returns, Casino Royale, Over the Hedge, The Break-Up, Scary Movie 4, Failure to Launch, The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause, Open Season, The Pink Panther, Eight Below, You Me and Dupree, Eragon, Monster House, RV, Barnyard, Big Momma’s House 2, Flushed Away, Deja Vu, Miami Vice, The Holiday, The Shaggy Dog, Poseidon, Little Man, Hoodwinked, Rush Hour 3, Daddy Day Camp, Spiderman 3, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, Alvin and the Chipmunks, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, Ghost Rider, Meet the Robinsons, The Bucket List, The Game Plan, Beowulf, Disturbia, Fred Claus, The Golden Compass, Charlie Wilson’s War, Surf’s Up, Stomp the Yard, TMNT, P.S. I Love You, Atonement, Are We Done Yet?, Music and Lyrics, No Reservations, Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who!, Sex and the City, Marley and Me, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Incredible Hulk, Wanted, Get Smart, Four Christmases, Bolt, Bedtime Stories, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Eagle Eye, Yes Man, 10,000 BC, Beverley Hills Chihuahua, What Happens in Vegas, Cloverfield, 27 Dresses, Vantage Point, Fool’s Gold, The Happening, and finally, Mama Mia.

That list only spans up until 2008, I would have gone further with the list but I was afraid that my computer would start getting depressed. Oh! By the way! All computers have emotions now. Welcome to the future.

Don’t worry, Hollywood has also made some good movies over the past several years. Here is the complete list of movies since 2005 that haven’t sucked:

xXx: State of the Union, Batman Begins, Norbit, The Departed, Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Family Reunion, The Fast and The Furious 3: Tokyo Drift, and Soul Plane Snoop Dog was robbed of an Oscar for his portrayal as the hip hop pilot in the movie Soul Plane.

Now onto everything you missed in TV. I know that before you got captured you were probably super excited for two things: the series premiere of “Heroes” and to find out what the smoke monster was on “Lost.” Well Gilad, be prepared for some disappointment.

Let’s start with “Lost. “Lost” was a great show for people that hated great shows. To put it bluntly, “Lost” was 6 seasons of my life I will never get back. I know what you’re thinking “But Eitan, I’m sure they explain everything perfectly clear in the last season and I’m sure they tied everything up by the last episode!” Well Gilad, you are correct! Everything was crystal clear by the finale! I left the end of that show saying “wow, I understand completely what just happened and I am super pumped that Ross and Rachel are finally getting back together” Oh wait, I’m sorry, I was thinking of the finale to “Friends.” The Finale to “Lost” was a lot different then that. The Finale to “Lost” was a great finale if you wanted to end the show not knowing at all what just happened. The finale to “Lost” made me audibly yell, “WAIT! I’M NOT DONE WATCHING YOU! EXPLAIN TO ME WHAT YOU JUST DID!” The only real question that the show solved was where the polar bear came from, which was not a question anybody really cared about. It is like if your parents came home and were like “We are having pizza for dinner. Also, your father and I are getting a divorce” and then I say “WHAT!” and then my mom says “Yes, pizza, we got it from Sammy’s Pizza store.” No one cares about the pizza.

In conclusion, don’t watch “Lost.”

Now I know you were excited to watch “Heroes” but don’t. Watching “Heroes” was like dating a girl that you hated but after every date you were like “OK, that was a terrible date, there is no way that the next date can be any worse then this past date.” At some point in the third season watching “Heroes” became less like “Hooray! Heroes is on!” and more like “Crap, I need to watch Heroes AGAIN?!” The big question that you are probably wondering is why I kept watching. That is a very valid question. I don’t really have a great answer for you aside from the fact that I was too far into “Heroes” to quit. I had gone too far and couldn’t turn back. “Heroes” was my Vietnam. “Heroes” was eventually put out of its misery in 2010. We all rejoiced.

Not all is bleak though, TV does have a lot to offer and there is some great stuff out there. Watch “Dr. Who” if you want to date a nerdy girl and watch “Terra Nova” if you always were like, “Boy, I wish they made a crappy TV version of Jurassic Park”. Don’t watch “Whitney,” we all thought “Whitney” would be bad, we didn’t think “Whitney” would be terrible.

I don’t know much about music so I can’t really help you there. I know three things about modern day music. 1) Lady Gaga is nuts 2) Adele has a voice I can only describe as “Buttery” and 3) The Maccabeats are to Jewish girls what Justin Bieber is to every girl.

Nothing has really happened in the past five years in global news, politics and the economy. Oh! Wait! America got a black president, which was pretty cool.

So there you have it. Everything important that has happened in the past five years. I hope you enjoyed and welcome back to society!

Eitan Levine

Eitan is a New York based stand-up, improv and sketch comic. He can be reached at [email protected].
Follow him on Twitter! @Eitanthegoalie

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