Tag Archives | Pop Culture

The Benign Weirdness of Seattle’s Mystery Machine

No, this isn’t some peculiar homage to Scooby Doo. This is something much weirder than some deranged fanboy or candy wielding creepazoid in a cartoon themed van.

Weirder, certainly, but in a curiously benign way. An Operation Mindfuck kind of way.

This tale is all about a slightly sinister soda machine on the streets of Seattle with a ‘Mystery’ button that dispenses random cans of soda pop.

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Who is behind it and why remain a mystery, but I’d like to think that some acid addled benevolent prankster or hilariously warped social scientist is behind the conspiracy.

Atlas Obscura has the details:

On the corner of John Street and 10th Avenue East, in the heart of Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood lies the world’s most mysterious soda vending machine. Nobody knows the true history of the rusting machine, which looks like it was spat straight out of the Seventies, but locals continue to plunk down their change and the machine never seems to run out of stock.

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Because there’s a convention for everything: Ouijacon 2015

You’ve been to the Renaissance Fair(e), Comic Con, assorted and sundry Fandom Conventions, the Psychic Festival (hey, nice Aura!), Bill Goodman’s Gun n’ Knife/Huntin’ n’ Killin’ Show, seen Hot Rods and Lowriders… even Bronies vs. Furries.

There’s nothing new under the sun, you say. You’ve seen it all. Been there, done that.

Not so fast, Smuggy Buggy!

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Yes Yes Yo and You Don’t Stop.

Welcome to the first spiritualist convention based around that Mysterious Occult Device which has a unique place in modern culture…and the games aisle at Toys R Us: The Ouija Board.

Fundamentalist Christians hate and fear it, skeptics sneer at it, horror movie producers have done it to death and Occultists, well, depends on who you talk to.

Love it or hate it, it’s here to stay it would seem and the much maligned Talking Board is about to celebrate a major milestone: the 125th anniversary of its creation, in the city where it all started, Baltimore, Maryland.… Read the rest

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Hal Hefner’s “They Live” Inspired “Consume” Series

Artist and storyteller Hal Hefner has created a gorgeous series of poster style art pieces called “Consume” inspired by the 1988 John Carpenter film “They Live,” which, as each commercial break passes, seems to be more of a prescient (and depressingly accurate) warning of the totalitarian conformist consumer dystopia to come, much in the vein of “Network” or “1984,” than some mere sci-fi, space, alien slugfest starring wrestling legend Rowdy Roddy Piper and a host of everyman character actors.

Channeling pop culture icons, ad campaigns that have been scratched into the surface of all of our brains by endless repetition, the aforementioned alien overlords and graffiti artist gone good Shepard Fairey’s iconic Obama poster, Hefner has given us each a pair of those special sunglasses that we can’t just take off and ignore anymore.

Static Hopelessness or Hope and Change we can actually Believe in?

BUY MORE STUFF. BE HAPPY. YOU KNOW YOU WANT IT.… Read the rest

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Luis Quiles’ Bleak Pop Culture Visions

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Spanish artist Luis Quiles has a dark, disturbing vision of modern life, consumerism, social media and sexuality…but what’s easily the most shocking aspect of his bleak, erotically charged portrayal of our apathetic, narcissistic social decay is that it really isn’t that shocking at all to a culture numbed down by constant, instant corporate gratification. Swipe to the left:

From CSGlobe.com:

There are many ways to take a stand when it comes to various social issues.

Luis Quiles, a Spanish artist… [who] does this by drawing pretty controversial cartoons, has spent the last few years creating hundreds of powerful drawings, showing a disturbingly accurate vision of our world.

And while most of his work can be rather disturbing, it’s also very eye-opening.

 Slaving to social media, child trafficking, dirty politics.

The following…images might make you feel kind of dirty, but they will also definitely make you think.

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Lori Nelson: Are You There, God? It’s Me, Monster.

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Are You There, God? It’s Me, Monster, 2015 Oil on wood with resin finish 20 x 20 in.

Credere Volo (I Want to Believe)

In my current series, Credere Volo (I Want to Believe), the imagery recalls the almost fetishistic religious works from the past of beautiful young children with rapturous gazes in the throes of fervent supplication.

This is the sort art that fascinated me as a Mormon child growing up in a religious -and somewhat artless- household. I would find the reproductions of devotional art and photography in the family Bible and other religious texts, and gaze into them, falling into them hard. Such beauties! These wonderful children were appealing to me for their purity while all the time also being shame-inducing because I knew I would never believe so fully and gorgeously.

Searching, I could not leave them alone. I would return to them over and over, pleasing my parents with an apparent interest in the Word.… Read the rest

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Chilean artist Cecilia Avendaño’s strange and evocative portraits

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Cecilia Avendaño Bobillier. Santiago, Chile 1980.

Cecilia Avendaño Bobillier graduated from University of Chile where she studied visual arts and photography. Cecilia began exhibiting her work in 2002, participating in numerous group exhibitions in Chile and abroad. She’s participated in outstanding one person shows including Sala Cero at Animal Gallery, National Museum of Fine Arts, as well as BAC! Festival in Barcelona’s MACBA, Museum of Contemporary Art at the University of Chile, Centro Cultural Borges in Buenos Aires Argentina. Her most recent work includes digital post production operations on photography where she composes images that become portraits, but operates with different concepts related to identity construction. She has been selected twice for the National Fund FONDART, plus obtaining the second place in the art contest “Artists of the XXI Century” organized by the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile and Banco Santander. She currently lives and works in Santiago, Chile.

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Portrait by Tomas Eyzaguirre

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EMERGE / CECILIA AVENDAÑO.Read the rest

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Undiscovered Outsider Artist Marian Spore Bush Goes To Auction

The works of Marian Spore Bush (1878-1946) will head to auction at Slotin Folk Art April 25 2015

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Marian was the first female dentist in Bay City, MI. She left her practice and became a self-taught painter in NY in 1920 after the death of her mother. Marian became well-known using a special technique in which she used paint so thick that it seemed as much sculpture as painting. She claimed her large surrealistic works were inspired by long-dead artists who were communicating with her from “beyond the veil.” Her paintings seemed to forecast world events and conditions. In the early 1930s, she began to paint huge stark canvases in black and white, often depicting images of war. Edward Alden Jewell, art critic for the New York Times, said of her 1943 New York exhibition, “All the war paintings are symbolic in nature, if accepted as manifestations of psychic phenomena.” Bush even created an eerie example of this psychic phenomena with a painting entitled “New York City,” which depicts two airplanes and burning buildings amidst the skyscrapers of New York.Read the rest

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The Definitive Oral History of Max Headroom

Max Headroom broadcast signal intrusionIf you’re not old enough to remember Max Headroom, perhaps the name rings a bell from reading Ernest Cline’s superb novel Ready Player One (soon-ish to be Steven Spielberg motion picture). If the answer is still no, you need to bone up on your pop culture history. Handily, The Verge‘s Bryan Bishop has written up the definitive oral history of Max Headroom:

On Thursday, April 4th, 1985, a blast of dystopian satire hit the UK airwaves. Max Headroom: 20 Minutes into the Future was a snarky take on media and corporate greed, told through the eyes of investigative journalist Edison Carter (Matt Frewer) and his computer-generated alter-ego: an artificial intelligence named Max Headroom.

Set in a near-future where global corporations control all media and citizens are hopelessly addicted to dozens of TV channels, the movie follows Carter — working for the mysterious Network 23 — as he discovers that network executives have created a form of subliminal advertising known as “blipverts” that can actually kill.

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Ring her bell – you’ll unleash hell!

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Via KC Star:

Missouri woman pleads guilty to assaulting doorbell pranksters.

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A Springfield woman could get a 10-year prison sentencing for threatening boys who rang her doorbell and ran away.

Prosecutors say 32-year-old Ashley Crossland pleaded guilty on Feb. 17 to burglary, assault and unlawful use of a weapon after becoming angry because of a January 2014 prank.

A probable cause statement says Crossland tried to run one boy down with her van and punched another three times while holding a knife to his chest.

The Springfield News-Leader reports she was also charged with going to the home where the boys were having a sleepover and illegally entering the home.

One of the boys reportedly told police that Crossland came out of her home and began yelling at them as they ran away after they rang her doorbell. The boy said that after he turned a corner, he saw a van “driving crazy.”

Probable cause documents said the van tried to run the boy over, and backed him up against a fence.

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Astrology could help take pressure off NHS doctors, claims Conservative MP

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Hartwig HKD (CC BY-ND 2.0)

 

Via The Guardian:

A Conservative MP has claimed that astrology could have “a role to play in healthcare”.

David Tredinnick said astrology, along with complementary medicine, could take pressure off NHS doctors, but acknowledged that any attempt to spend taxpayers’ money on consulting the stars would cause “a huge row”.

He criticised the BBC and TV scientist Professor Brian Cox for taking a “dismissive” approach to astrology, and accused opponents of being “racially prejudiced”.

The MP for Bosworth, in Leicestershire, who is a Capricorn and in 2010 paid back £755 he had claimed in expenses for software that used astrology to diagnose medical conditions, told Astrological Journal: “I do believe that astrology and complementary medicine would help take the huge pressure off doctors.

“Ninety per cent of pregnant French women use homeopathy. Astrology is a useful diagnostic tool enabling us to see strengths and weaknesses via the birth chart.

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