Tag Archives | Pop Culture

Terence McKenna Featured On Gucci Mane’s New Single

Terence McKenna may be due for a posthumous appearance on the hip-hop charts, as a sample of the philosopher leads off one of the songs on the new Trap God 2 mixtape from Atlanta rapper Gucci Mane. Gucci is one of the leading proponents of the so-called "trap" style that has been the dominant sound in rap for the past year or so, and the McKenna quote serves as a manifesto of sorts. The track in question is the work of star producer Lex Luger:
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Boston Police Pose As Indie Rockers Online In Hilarious Fashion

“Whats the 411 on the local music show tonight?” …Life imitates art as authorities attempt, very poorly, to infiltrate and break up youth subculture by creating imaginary electronic personas, Slate reveals:

Boston police are finding out as their bungling efforts to infiltrate the underground rock scene online are being exposed. A recently passed nuisance control ordinance has spurred a citywide crackdown on house shows—concerts played in private homes, rather than in clubs. The police, it appears, are posing as music fans online to ferret out intel on where these DIY shows are going to take place.

This week the St. Louis band Spelling Bee posted a screencap of emails from an account that they believe was used by the police in a sting before their recent Boston show. It reads like an amazing parody of what you might imagine a cop trying to pose as a young punk would look like:

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Virginia Rapper To Be Charged With Attempting To Sacrifice Friend To The Illuminati

Do anything for fame? The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports:

A Henrico County judge Thursday scheduled a two-day trial in June for an aspiring rap star who, according to a prosecutor, apparently believed that he had to sacrifice his friend to reach stardom.

“You are my sacrifice,” El-Amin [was] quoted as saying before he allegedly fired a shot toward his friend’s head inside a Henrico home that was to become a music studio. The trial will delve into the hip-hop music culture and the notion that a secret society called the Illuminati has control over the success of some performers.

It was the belief that a sacrifice had to occur in order to join the Illuminati that allegedly incited El-Amin. Investigators recovered more than a pound of marijuana from the Athens Avenue home, according to the search warrant, as well as literature dealing with the Illuminati and its alleged connection to the music industry.

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David Byrne’s Multiple-Personality Interview Of Himself

In this media moment lost in the archives of history, Talking Heads front man and weirdo David Byrne organized an interview regarding his band, creative ambitions, and innermost desires. The idea was to adhere to a format "like 60 Minutes on acid", with the questions being asked by female David Byrne, elderly David Byrne, lounge lizard David Byrne, and other disturbing characters:
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The Beatles Imagined As Mayan Gods

Can the divide between pop culture and ancient wisdom be crossed? A particularly strange episode of the late-sixties Beatles cartoon series features the Fab Four journeying "to the inner world" and becoming extraterrestrial gods of a civilization resembling the Mayans:
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Headliner Lupe Fiasco Kicked Off Stage At Pre-Inauguration Concert After Making Antiwar Statements

Watch as security guards swarm the stage, cutting short Lupe Fiasco's set at Washington D.C.'s Hamilton Live Theater Sunday night. The rapper had been invited to headline the concert celebrating Obama's second inauguration. The offending lyrics likely were: "Gaza Strip was getting bombed / Obama didn't say shit / That's why I ain't vote for him / I'm part of the problem / My problem is I'm peaceful"
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Illuminati Symbolism In A Disney Cartoon Series

The new-ish Disney Channel animated children's vehicle Gravity Falls appears to have been greatly influenced by a conspiracy buff, with Freemasonry and occult references hidden throughout, and even cyphered messages hidden in the theme song. Some see it as more sinister than fun. Via Vigilant Citizen:
The same set of symbols – those of the ruling elite – are being permeated across popular culture. A blatant example is Disney’s new show Gravity Falls, a “quirky and endearing” cartoon about 12-year old twins spending summer with their Great Uncle Stan in Gravity Falls, Oregon.
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Hollywood Now Needs Censorship Consultants In China

Two of the booming occupations of the future: government mole who weeds out and reports dangerous movies and cultural works, and consultant who helps creators navigate censorship standards. The Atlantic Wire writes:

China’s censorship has become a huge headache for Hollywood lately, as movie studios struggle to break in to the world’s second largest film market. Every single film bound for Chinese theaters has to make it past China’s all-powerful State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) whose guidelines for what is and isn’t acceptable is more or less subjective and entirely unpredictable. All the studios can do is hire consultants who are familiar with the ins and outs of censorship in China and hope for the best.

Bringing in consultants does help movie studios frame projects in a censor-friendly manner, but after filming begins the filmmakers have to be very careful not to deviate from the plan. SARFT sends spies to the set to make sure everything is going as planned.

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Connecticut Town To Hold Mass Burning Of Violent Video Games, Films, And Music

Connecticut makes progress in the war on fictional violence. The Guardian reports:

A Connecticut community is to hold an amnesty of violent video games in the wake of last month’s mass shooting in Newtown. Organizers Southington SOS plan to offer gift certificates in exchange for donated games, which will be burned. The group, a coalition of local organisations, argues that violent games and films desensitize children to “acts of violence”.

The video game amnesty will take place on 12 January in Southington, a 30-minute drive east from Newtown. The town of Southington has provided a dumpster, organisers said, where violent video games, CDs or DVDs will be collected.

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The Internet and Counterculture (A Retrospective)

As all the chatter about the “2012 end of the world” dissolves back into the white noise from whence it came, we are still presented a unique vantage point. We can look at once backward and forward on cultural trends, cresting and falling so quickly that in mere decades we can see patterns emerging that may have taken hundreds of years to arise before the advent of digital communication.

Of course, there’s no way a thorough investigation of any trend is going to happen here in the length of an introduction, within the time it takes me to sip my way through a mocha. But that is telling of these times as well. As Palahniuk observed through the mouthpiece of Tyler Durden in his seminal book Fight Club, we are all “single serving size friends, here.” (And is it also a sign of counter cultural mentality that a reference to a book and movie just a decade out of the gates might be considered hackneyed or out of date?) Our observations must also be single serving size, crammed into a 140 character tweet, or a 350 word blog post.… Read the rest

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