Culture

Streaming music failures, real life cults, Tumblr art, and systems that need smashing

Featuring the GOP, cassette tapes, ‘The Thing,’ and Alex Jones.

Culture

The catch up

Culture

Streaming music failures, real life cults, Tumblr art, and systems that need smashing

Featuring the GOP, cassette tapes, ‘The Thing,’ and Alex Jones.

Before darkness, let’s have a little light. If you haven’t watched this video or read the story about a small town in Wisconsin where trivia takes over for 54 hours straight… well, you need to watch it. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Okay back to darkness. The GOP doesn’t want you to have healthcare. The GOP would rather you get sick and die, quickly. Or stay healthy at a great expense. The GOP is filled with old, white, male, bitter assholes who want to hold onto the little wedge of power with which they’ve ruled this country for several hundred years. They’re so callous that they don’t even read the laws they make. Their stranglehold on our progressive democracy (which by the way is actually the foundational position of the United States) must be broken. By any means necessary.

Macallan Rare Cask

Get involved in politics, but keep your eyes wide open. Know that your vote actually matters. Stop fucking around and realize that there are meaningful differences between how the right and the left govern this country (I hate to be agreeing with Bill Maher but there it is). Let’s be real: if you think president Hillary Clinton would have made the mess that Donald Trump has, you’re lying to yourself.

Speaking of Trump’s America, I highly recommend Charlie Warzel’s long, deep, weird profile of Alex Jones and the people who know him. Read this and consider that Trump is happy to look to Jones for political guidance. Then realize that the president of the United States is probably even dumber than you think he is.

Elsewhere

You may be watching The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu — which is brilliant and disturbing. You should also be listening to our podcastThe Red Center — which dissects the show and the book it’s based on. But imagine for a moment that what you were watching (or hearing about) wasn’t just a work of dystopic fiction. Imagine, for a moment, that it was your life. Your real life. Now imagine no longer.

And you should subscribe to the podcast here: Apple Podcasts / Google Play / Pocket Casts / Overcast / TuneIn / RSS

Perhaps you're hearing hearing cheers about how streaming apps like Spotify and Apple Music have returned the music industry to its former glory, but don’t believe the hype. As this thoughtful and insightful piece in The Quietus shows, the metrics by which the music industry judges success have changed sharply, and those changes have real impact. Breaking down the numbers shows that it’s hardly a champagne moment in music, especially for artists who aren’t part of a big, entrenched system (just like the bad old days). As Eamonn Forde writes:

In this new digital reality, the big will get bigger and the small will be left hoping for a lucky break, the chances of which get slimmer as each day passes. For them, this is not the salvation being trumpeted by some; this is a three-card Monte.

On the music front… I am extremely, extremely into the idea of this cassette tape player concept called the Elbow. Right now this is just a dream in the minds of a team of designers called BrainMonk, but they should make it into a reality as soon as humanly possible. My old trance tapes are waiting for a home. Please let it happen.

Someone has made a Thing board game, and I need to play it. The folks at Mondo are releasing a limited edition physical game called Infection at Outpost 31 based on the classic John Carpenter film, and I will be first in line when this is available.

Finally

Here are two of my favorite random Tumblr images I've seen recently:

“Let The Sun Protest”

“Let The Sun Protest”

Go Nagai’s Mao Dante (Demon Lord Dante)

Go Nagai’s Mao Dante (Demon Lord Dante)

And in closing: A young boy named George R. Martin wrote a fan letter to his comic heroes at Marvel in 1963, concerning issue #17 of Fantastic Four. A few issues later, that letter was printed with a response from legends Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Later in life, that young man goes on to create Hodor. Yes, it’s that George Martin. And yes, we’re all traveling on a strange continuum together, cast to and fro against the shores of time, discovering who and what we are, every step of the way.