Tag Archives | Subculture

New York Entangled In Yarn Graffiti

5058097151_67d198ca0eThe New York Times reports on “yarn bombing”, the softest, coziest form of urban vandalism. Leave your bike parked for too long and it could end up like the one at right, which has been chained for months in front of my friend’s store:

“Street art and graffiti are usually so male dominated,” Ms. Hemmons said. “Yarn bombing is more feminine. It’s like graffiti with grandma sweaters.”

Yarn bombing takes that most matronly craft (knitting) and that most maternal of gestures (wrapping something cold in a warm blanket) and transfers it to the concrete and steel wilds of the urban streetscape. Hydrants, lampposts, mailboxes, bicycles, cars — even objects as big as buses and bridges — have all been bombed in recent years, ever so softly and usually at night.

It is a global phenomenon, with yarn bombers taking their brightly colored fuzzy work to Europe, Asia and beyond. In Paris, a yarn culprit has filled sidewalk cracks with colorful knots of yarn.

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The Creepy World Of Adult Babies

National Geographic's Taboo looks at phenomenon of people who choose to live their lives as "adult babies". Is it a metaphor for the "nanny state" we live in? A retreat from the pressures of modern life? Or just the most disturbing subculture to ever emerge in history? (Scandinavian black metal can't compete with adult infantilism.) Warning: this cannot be unseen.
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The Grisly (And Gristly) Online World Of Cannibals

cannibalismIf you wanted to eat someone (either alive or slaughtered) where would you find them? The Awl delves into the dark and disturbing cannibalism internet subculture, including the now-defunct Cannibalism Cafe Forum, which became notorious following the murder trial of Armin Meiwes, a German who in 2001 killed, cooked, and ate a man whom he met online. (The victim wished to be cannibalized.) In addition to cannibals-looking-for-victims personals, typical content includes:
• Cooking temperatures: “I like a low heat around 250 degree for a long slow cook. I start the out with the meat being tied to the grill alive and kicking. After the meat pass I remover her from the heat and gut her, and then back to the grill for several more hours after about a 10 to 12 hour cook the meat just fall off the bone. I shred the meat and mix it with BBQ and red pepper flakes very tasty.” • Celebrities: “[Miley Cyrus] needs to be hung upside down from a meathook, have her throat slit, and be sliced into chunks of meat. It's not like she has a remarkable music career or anything."...
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‘A Klingon Christmas Carol’ Attacks A Holiday Classic (Video)

Klingon Christmas CarolFirst a Klingon opera, now this. Klingon (the language) sure has a lot of traction for one invented for a Star Trek movie in the '80s. And this is also a non-Christianized version of the Dickens classic, because as I learned from the story, the Klingons killed their gods. Douglas Belkin reports in the Wall Street Journal:
The arc of "A Klingon Christmas Carol" follows the familiar Dickens script: An old miser is visited on a hallowed night by three ghosts who shepherd him through a voyage of self-discovery. The narrative has been rejiggered to match the Klingon world view. For starters, since there is neither a messiah nor a celebration of his birth on the Klingon planet of Kronos, the action is pegged to the Klingon Feast of the Long Night. Carols and trees are replaced with drinking, fighting and mating rituals. And because Klingons are more concerned with bravery than kindness, the main character's quest is for courage.
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‘Janeites’ Create Jane Austen 2.0

Arden Dale and Mary Pilon unveil an unlikely subculture for the Wall Street Journal:
Ben Kemper, 19, plans to wear a frock coat with cuffs to the annual Jane Austen birthday tea in Boise, Idaho, on Saturday. The outfit will be "the whole shebang," says Mr. Kemper, who hopes to scare up some yard work so he can pay for the new threads. He says his costume may include riding boots, a cane, gloves and a buttoned vest. Mr. Kemper is among an unlikely set of fans of the long-dead Ms. Austen—young people...
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I’m Homeless and This Is Why I Have an iPad

Image: Sam Spratt / Gizmodo

Image: Sam Spratt / Gizmodo

This is really interesting, it’s not what you’d expect. Homeless in Paris writes on Gizmodo:

I’m homeless, very homeless, dirt broke and all, but I still own an iPad and a MSI Wind u130 netbook. These, I feel, are essential tools … Being without a home is not that big a deal in today’s world, but having connections to the rest of the world is pretty important.

Choice: I am homeless by choice, I gave away and sold all my belongings in Los Angeles and moved to Paris. My tourist visa is expired. I’m definitely not allowed to be here, but I still work when I want, and tend to pretty much live the life of Riley. But when I need to get in contact with someone, from a friend to the Paris transportation authority to complain about a misfared ticket, it’s hard to work without McDonald’s Wi-Fi.

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Mexican Island Inhabited by Creepy Dolls

Delana at Web Urbanist reports on Mexico’s Island of Misfit Toys:

island-of-the-dolls-10

On a dark and creepy island in the canals of Xochimico near Mexico City sits what might be the world’s strangest and scariest tourist attraction ever. However, this sad island was never meant to be a stop on tourists’ holiday itineraries. The Island of the Dolls was dedicated to the lost soul of a poor little girl who met her fate too soon.

The Island of the Dolls (Isla de las Munecas) sits in the canals south of Mexico City and is the current home of hundreds of terrifying, mutilated dolls. Their severed limbs, decapitated heads, and blank eyes adorn trees, fences and nearly every available surface. The dolls appear menacing even in the bright light of midday, but in the dark they are particularly haunting.

Not surprisingly, the island’s origins lie in tragedy. The story goes that the island’s only inhabitant, Don Julian Santana, found the body of a drowned child in the canal some 50 years ago.

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The Library After Dark: The Seedy World of Document Fetishism

Shhh!Cathy Alter writes in McSweeney’s:

Psychoanalysts sometimes speak of the epistemophilic instinct, an unbridled love of learning that grips scholars like fingernails in their backs. But when a reader at London’s Public Record Office literally ingested The Abortive Treaty of 1604 (after first ordering the Treaty of Union with Scotland as an appetizer), that was taking the passion for primary sources a little too far. And, according to Helen Wood, who recently received her Masters of Archive Administration and Records Management from the University of Liverpool, this sort of conduct takes place in archives all the time. Forget the tales of sexual politics in the faculty lounge — the kinkiest stuff occurs between the sheaves at your local library.

Wood’s dissertation, “The Fetish of the Document: An Exploration of Attitudes Towards Archives,” gives new meaning to Special Collections. Her essay centers around the participatory role the archivist has in creating and influencing fetishistic behavior — in themselves and in those who use, and sometimes abuse, archives.

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Why is This Republican Candidate for Congress Dressed as a Nazi?

Rich Lott, second from right, in a Nazi SS Waffen uniform.

Rich Iott, second from right, in a Nazi SS Waffen uniform.

First saw this on Bill Maher’s show over the weekend, he was discussing this story from Joshua Green on the Atlantic:

An election year already notable for its menagerie of extreme and unusual candidates can add another one: Rich Iott, the Republican nominee for Congress from Ohio’s 9th District, and a Tea Party favorite, who for years donned a German Waffen SS uniform and participated in Nazi re-enactments.

Iott, whose district lies in Northwest Ohio, was involved with a group that calls itself Wiking, whose members are devoted to re-enacting the exploits of an actual Nazi division, the 5th SS Panzer Division Wiking, which fought mainly on the Eastern Front during World War II. Iott’s participation in the Wiking group is not mentioned on his campaign’s website, and his name and photographs were removed from the Wiking website.

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A Punk Manifesto by Dr Greg Graffin

I have never owned a record label, nor directed a successful merchandise company, so I don’t pretend to be an expert on marketing. I have evolved through my craft as a songwriter, but others have labeled it and marketed it and made it neat for consumption.

Although I have made money from Punk, it is a modest amount when one considers the bounty that has been bestowed on the companies that promote Punk as some sort of a product to be ingested. It has always been my way to de-value the fashionable, light-hearted, impulsive traits that people associate with Punk, because Punk is more than that, so much more that those elements become trivial in the light of human experience that all punkers share.

Since it has been a part of me for over half of my life, I think the time has come to attempt a definition, and in the process defend, this persistent social phenomenon known as Punk.Read the rest

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