…and by life, we mean various social media feeds, but if you’re like us, you aren’t kidding yourself they’re any different nowadays! If you’re the type of person who lends any credence to said feeds, you’ve likely more than merely stumbled across #normcore, the latest #hashtrend sweeping the nation, no doubt in an ironic thrifted janitor’s uniform and crocs. Likewise, if you didn’t stumble blindly out of the womb sometime in 2013, you’ve also long since beeeeen familiar with the concept that “Dis Magazine” and “The Jogging” exist, precisely what makes normcore so annoying in context of its current presentation– considerably moreso, I’d imagine, if you’re K-Hole trends, who assembled a #depthy analysis of its proliferation back in not-so-distant October. It’s safe to say that with Sarah Palin drawing parallels between Obama’s mom jeans and international foreign policy, this ish has long since hit its saturation point.
Enter “No More #NORMCORE“, a Chrome extension from @Dan2600 that invites the downloader to “say no to forced memes” by removing any verbal instance of this irksome, late oversimplification from your precious line of sight. The aesthetic will, of course, continue to flourish for a myriad of reasons, but at least you’ll still be able to wear a Nike hat and elastic-ankle sweatpants without being reminded that your sad lack of effort and possibly sadder bank account now additionally qualify you as a dickrider.
Create your own embeddable, stream-of-consciousness multimedia collages via to.be
There was a time when the origins of “normcore” meant freedom from the requirement that reactionary shapeshifting be intrinsic to holding an individualist world outlook, voluntary Stockholm Syndrome meant to level the playing field and place “normal” and “different” squarely mouth-to-tail. K-Hole said it best: “It’s the potluck where the guests have so many dietary restrictions, that everyone can only eat what they brought. It’s the party that’s so exclusive that no one even shows up. This is some Tower of Babel shit.” Except the guests are now so hungry they’ve resorted to scarfing 7Eleven Corn Dog Rollers™, and the party is crowded with strange faces who only wore this Sag Harbor flannel because it’s laundry day. Assimilation has occurred; now what do we have to show for it?
This is the third installment of our new series, MyTube, which asks some of our favorite web dwellers to escort us through their own personal YouTube hall of fame.
Mark Slutsky is a Montreal-based writer, filmmaker, and bon vivant. His short film, The Decelerators, which you can watch in full on Vimeo (watch it noooow), is one of the most poignant media on the experience of time I’ve ever experienced. His project Sad YouTube is what made me think Mark would make an excellent MyTube subject. On his blog Sad YouTube, Mark collects those rare affecting reflections from the “semi-literate cesspool” that is the YouTube comment thread. Mark explains:
Dig deep into comments — particularly on pop songs — and you’ll see that buried beneath the hate speech, the poorly formulated insults, and the Obama conspiracy theories are countless amazing nuggets of humanity. You’ll find stories of love and loss, perfectly crystallized moments of nostalgia and saudade (a Portuguese word meaning an ineffable longing for something lost in time). It’s a repository of memories, stories, and dreams, an accidental oral history of American life over the last 50 years written by the site’s millions of visitors every day. (Buzzfeed)
Here, Mark shares five videos which express his taste for the saudade.
1. Exile, “I Wanna Kiss You All Over” (1978)
“when my Daughter bought this album I told her it was a dirty song as I listen to it now I like it, time seems to change things, It come out not too long before she married, she was Killed in an Auto wreck when she was 19 along with my Nephew who was driving that was May of 1983 I will miss them the rest of my life, i’m not sure I will ever be over it, Laura and Gary 1983 love you forever, sweet child of mine”
Some of the YouTube comments I find and post on Sad YouTube are as complex and multi-layered as any literary text. I love this one because of the strange and almost mystical way it interacts with this creepy sexy minor ’70s hit, and how it exists in three moments in time simultaneously–the moment when the mother chastised her daughter for listening to the “dirty” song, the moment of the auto wreck that took her young life, and now, the moment of remembering, the moment where mother’s regret, loss and startled recognition of the song’s pleasures all intermingle. “Time seems to change things.”
2. Roy Andersson Commercials
In 1970, Swedish director Roy Andersson made the gorgeous adolescent romance A Swedish Love Story. Thirty years later, in 2000, he released the brilliantly, apocalyptically slapstick Songs From the Second Floor (and a few years later its follow-up, You, the Living). What was this singular genius of cinema doing in between? Directing commercials for Swedish TV, where he created and honed his signature one-shot style to perfection. Thanks to YouTube you can finally watch them; each one is a miniaturist masterpiece of visual storytelling. (And funny, really funny.)
3. Mariano Llinàs, Historias Extraordinarias
“OK, it’s like this. A man (we can call him X), arrives in the middle of the night…”
My favourite movie in the last decade or so is an unfairly-little-known, four-and-a-half-hour Argentine semi-experimental narrative with little to no discernible dialogue called Historias Extraordinarias by the director Mariano Llinàs. And despite those qualifiers, it’s one of the most entertaining and engrossing movies I’ve ever seen, interweaving three stories and as many narrators, who tell the story as we watch it take place, the images sometimes aligning with their voices, sometimes not. It really inspired me when I was developing the idea for my movie The Decelerators. This is labelled as a trailer, but it’s actually just the first scene of the movie, which totally hooked me when I first saw it. Pretty sure you can seek it out the entire thing on YouTube.
4. On Battleship Hill, PJ Harvey and Seamus Murphy
To create a visual accompaniment to her (heartbreaking, mindblowing) album Let England Shake, PJ Harvey recruited conflict photographer Seamus Murphy, known for his photography in Afghanistan, Palestine and around the world. Together they created a series of short films that feel like a perfect fusion of performance, documentary, and photography. Like the album, they’re about war, England, the past, the present (and how the last two aren’t really distinguishable). They feel like no music videos I’ve ever seen–if they remind me of anything in particular, it’s the writing of W.G. Sebald. I love them; you should watch them all.
5. Carl Sagan, Cosmos
Is there anything more beautiful than this? More comforting? More stoned? More sad? Watching it, listening to Sagan’s voice, I feel like I’m being carried through the universe on waves of infinite kindness and understanding. When I cut The Decelerators, I asked CFCF for music with some of the same Vangelis-ian mixture of endless beauty and endless heartbreak.
Maya Fuhr and Nicole Dagenais, two creative women from Toronto, embarked on a project that would involve peeking inside the imaginations of some kindred spirits, which included artists and photographers like Agathe Snow, Jeanette Hayes, and Sara Cwynar. What they got were school notes, teen diaries, sketchbooks, doodles, and some pretty sweet pics, all showcasing each artist’s unique personality and art aesthetic. We dare you to look. (Click the circle cross thingy to enlarge.)
We don’t tend to cover sports news here at BULLETT, unless it’s something monumental like New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady taking out the garbage. But last night in Los Angeles, something momentous happened that we felt you, our mostly non-sports following audience (we assume) should see. Jason Collins, a basketball player who last year came out of the closet but had yet to play an NBA game since, finally made his way onto the floor as a member of the Brooklyn Nets, thus confirming his place in history as the first openly gay athlete to play in a major American sport. The L.A. crowd acknowledges the moment with a respectful and slightly subdued round of applause, but watching it, you can’t help but get the sense that what we’re witnessing is a paradigm-shifting event.
MyTube is a regular series which asks some of our favorite web dwellers to escort us through their own personal YouTube hall of fame.
Canadian actor Deragh Campbell is not what I’d call “an Internet person.” For her, the web is a tool, not an environment, and she uses it to focus on her interests and her craft; these days, that’s independent filmmaking and female personas.
Campbell is currently living between Toronto and Niagra on the Lake, where she’s working on her own feature script and editing a short she directed, while developing a character for an upcoming Nathan Silver film and acting in projects she believes in as they pop up. You can catch her on screen right now in the ballad-to-Baltimore film, I Used to be Darker (dir. Matt Porterfield), which was just released on DVD by Strand Releasing (it’s also available on Amazon and iTunes), and in Person to Person (dir. Dustin Guy Defa), a short that debuted at Sundance, won the DAAD Short Film Prize at the Berlinale, and will be screening as part of the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s 2014 New Directors New Films lineup in a month’s time.
Here, Deragh shares five videos that have been inspiring her lately…
Deragh: I haven’t been as big a fan as I am of these women since I simultaneously wanted to be and be with Nick Carter. At least I can express my fandom now in a healthier way, by responding to their work, instead of parting my ear length hair in the middle and wearing tracksuits. Actually, that sounds kind of cool. I think it is these women’s irreverence for any grossly sentimentalized representation of a feeling (that is more an imitation of other video than any actual feeling). They cut right through the bounty of video content that is precious and nostalgic. Either through comedy or by being less demure and more aggressive, they create new relationship between females and the camera.
Bridget Moser, Asking for a Friend:
Hannah Gross in That’s Fine, Tom Cat (via morningtomorning.org):
Adele Exarchopoulos’ general attitude in this interview:
Eleanore Pienta in “CLEAN LAUNDRY/SHE SPEAKS/TRY AGAIN,” a clip from one of my top three favourite movies last year, See You Next Tuesday:
And, finally, Gena Rowlands (not the content of this scene, that is actually pretty annoying, but her gestures, body language):
Remember the whole Lena Dunham/Jezebel/Vogue airbrush controversy? No? That’s too bad, because you know who does remember? Lena fucking Dunham. The Girls creator visited Bill Simmons’ podcast (he’s a sports guy, everyone who doesn’t care about sports) to talk about everything from her boyfriend’s former relationship to Scarlett Johansson to the very fresh, very current topic of the backlash to her show. But most reblog-worthy was Dunham commenting on the time Jezebel put a $10,000 bounty on the un-retouched photos from her recent Vogue cover shoot. “It’s hard to enjoy, once you feel like they’ve made such a monumental error in their approach to feminism,” she said of the site, which she admitted to liking in the past. “I felt completely respected by Vogue. Instead of going, Hey, we kind of fucked up — these pictures are not that retouched, [Jezebel was] like she’s not retouched, but she could have been … It was this weird political maneuvering that I couldn’t respect.”
As Uproxx astutely points out, (and congrats to Uproxx for astutely pointing this out), Christian Bale still carries the burden of his universe-destroying rant against the poor cinematographer on Terminator: Salvation. My roommate, who’s a huge fan of Christian Bale the actor, thinks Christian Bale the man is a big meanie. I consistently assure him that isn’t the case. Nevermind his lengthy, sincere apology in the days following his rant leaking online. Nevermind him visiting victims of the Aurora movie theater shooting. Nevermind him confronting Chinese guards over jailed dissident Chen Guangcheng. Or him taking the time to speak to a cancer-stricken child about Batman. (These are all things, again, that Uproxx has already pointed out.)
Now, Christian Bale is burnishing his decent-human cred when he took photo with the words “Dan’s Our Man” written across his face, part of Facebook campaign for 21-year old Danny Hammond, who’s been living with a tumor on his spinal chord since he was nine. ”To a real superhero!”Bale’s message reads. Bale got involved through Hammond’s cousin, who worked production on Knight of Cups, the movie the actor recently filmed with Terrence Malick. It’s unfortunate that a story like this only gets attention when a famous person gets involved, but it’s a shallow world we live in, and we drowning in it.
If you’ve ever run an image search on a stock photo service, you’ll surely have noticed that the options for women in positions of power and leadership are sorely lacking. If you’re looking for “What is even an office, I’m just laughing at my circa 1998 desktop computer” or “This salad is funny and also I am alone” on the other hand, you’re in luck. Remember the cliche stock photo of the heel-wearing giant Time used on their Hillary Clinton cover a couple weeks ago? Women = scary high heels.
It’s not enough that most of the images we see in the media seem to be conceived of by men for the use men, it’s as if most of them were taken by someone who has never met a woman before in their lives and has no idea how to capture this mysterious alien species.
The Lean In Collection, a collaboration between Getty Images, and LeanIn.Org, hopes to change that, with, as they describe it, “a library of images devoted to the powerful depiction of women, girls and the people who support them.”
See the library here.
My Tinder is filled with swamp donkeys and war pigs, so I cannot imagine what the hook-up app must look like in the heart of Sochi’s Olympic village, where flexible, free-spirited athletes from all over the world are desperate to cut the tension. According to Jamie Anderson, a 23-year-old American snowboarder, “Tinder in the Olympic Village is next level.” That’s what she tells Us Weekly, who’ve done their first great piece of reporting since inception. “It’s all athletes! In the mountain village it’s all athletes. It’s hilarious. There are some cuties on there,” she went on to say.
As those who’ve used Tinder can imagine, the app started to grab hold of Anderson, and she was forced to let go. “There was a point where I had to be like OK, this is way too distracting. I deleted my account to focus on the Olympics.”
She went on to win the gold medal in Slopestyle, and I went on to being alone for the rest of my life
Her name is Tina Maze, and she is better at life than you and I. The 30-year-old Slovenian was already one of the best alpine skiers in the world when she released the single “My Way Is My Decision” last year. The power ballad’s video broke all kinds of Slovenian YouTube records, and features a glammed-up Maze dancing while belting out the chorus, “Take a look at me now/’Cause I’m living my dream.” Little did Maze know that she wasn’t actually living her dream at that point. It was all a run up to her actual dream, which she got to live today when she tied with Switzerland’s Dominique Gisin for the gold medal in women’s downhill, the first time it’s ever happened in the sport.