I was having an online conversation with friends in the game about our favourite advertising, and this one came up. I hadn’t seen it before. It’s a public service announcement from New Zealand: Blazed – Drug Driving in Aotearoa.
I also managed to find all the Rutger Hauer ‘Pure Genius’ ads done for Guinness. A lot of it looks like fresh thinking but mainstream production now due to CGI and After Effects, but at the time it was like nothing else that you would have seen
I have been listening to this mix by Nazira. Nazira is from Almaty, Kazakhstan and plays at Berlin’s Room 4 Resistance parties. There’s also a great interview with her on the Discwoman site
I grew up with British dystopian science fiction with a fascistic bent. From the numerous franchises within 2000AD magazine to Alan Moore’s V for Vendetta.
The tone of these stories was set by a UK dealing with:
Decolonisation and trying to work out its place in the world
Economic chaos due to inflation, a shrinking manufacturing base and globalisation
A battle of elites against working people
The rise of right wing populism
The rise of racism
It sounds rather similar doesn’t it?
The Sedgwick brothers Dark Satanic Mills fits right into this very British genre of graphic novels. The illustration style is similar to the stark black and white kinetic styles of 2000AD or Moore’s From Hell. It should be of now surprise that the jacket copy was written by Pat Mills of 2000AD. It almost felt like the baton was being passed on to the next generation.
The book has a premise that is similar to the body of work in 2000AD. It taps into Moore, channeling not only V for Vendetta, but also his love of mysticism. William Blake’s Jerusalem and The Bible fit into a post-apocalyptic backdrop. Blake fits the bill perfectly: his association with the English identity often misused by ‘patriots’, his innate distrust in systems and of organised religion make his words the ideal foil.
The heroine Charlie is a dispatch rider who ends up in possession of a manuscript that will expose the populist government and the religious zealots it uses as a paramilitary force.
Charley ricochets around an England where rational thought, tolerance, logical analysis and experts are enemies of the state. It echoes Michael Gove‘s
“I think people in this country, have had enough of experts.”
Without giving too much more away, the story finishes in an ambigious way leaving Charley and the authorities open to a future largely unwritten. Again the ambiguity of a post-Brexit future is an obvious analogy. The fact that Dark Satanic Mills was published in 2013 makes it feel curiously prescient: a parable for our times.
China has developed a deep and constantly evolving language online. It is fascinating to study how Chinese netizens use emoticons in a distinctly different way to westerners and the language constantly morphs in a way that leaves Chinese expatriates baffled even after a short time outside the country. zhuāng bì (pronounce the zh as a short j) is a case in point. It means poser.
Christine Xu gives an in-depth explanation of how 装B came about, given that western characters aren’t generally used by Chinese.
Interesting lens on history, predictions and futurology by science fiction writer Charlie Stross. Culture has a role (and attendant responsibility) in shaping the direction of technology. Stross’ talk is an essay on unintended consequences, design, regulation and economics.