Issue No. 018
Dope: The #getTWISTEDsundays videos started with a simple premise. Tobe's then fiancé would twist his hair and he'd freestyle rap over a beat and upload it to YouTube. His excellent flow and verses caught enough attention and over time have evolved into mesmerizing choreographed videos with himself, Fat (his wife) and Nell (his producer) rocking coordinated outfits, synchronized dance moves and unique sets. The videos are simple and complex at the same time and have another worldly quality while feeling grounded at the same time. I dare you to try and watch just one.
Dope / Not Dope: A cigar-shaped object went causing through our solar system last year and scientists have no clue what it was (cue goose bumps). They're calling it an "interstellar object" which I assume translates to "we don't know what the hell this is." Part of me so badly wants to believe that it's aliens or a probe from a far off mothership, and another part of me hopes its just an oddly shaped asteroid. Instances like this make me marvel at the vastness of space and in a world where most things are known, can be Googled and explained, it’s fun to freak out about something that can't yet be explained away.
Dope: Neill Blomkamp's Oat Studios is a production company that creates experimental short films that are meant to gauge interest in certain themes or concepts that will possibility be expanded into full length features. The videos range from dark humored shorts like "God" and "Cooking With Bill" to the high production and amazingly acted "Rakka." All of the shorts give you a peek into a world that feels much deeper and fuller than the short video can expand upon and all of them have Blomkamp's signature gritty, scifi dystopian vibe. The films feel like a bad dream you can't shake and want to go back to, to see how it finishes.
Not Dope: "For men who dream big and live bold." I love how this video feels exactly like a Tim & Eric skit, but it is a legitimate company that sells hideous shirts. Wyatt, a son of one of the Koch Brothers, lives that quintessential palm Beach playboy lifestyle but dialed up to such an extreme that it seems like a parody of itself. His shirts hurt my eyes but I can't look away. #bebold
Dope: "A numbers station is a shortwave radio station characterized by broadcasts of formatted numbers, which are believed to be addressed to intelligence officers operating in foreign countries." Loved by conspiracy theorists and those distrustful of governments, numbers stations are clouded in conjecture and urban legend and remain mysterious to this day. The audio quality is eerie and crackly and the voices have accents from around the world. Blips and beeps occur at set intervals and each sound seems to be steeped in meaning. The Conet Project has archived a massive amount of numbers station recordings and put them all in one place for our listening pleasure. Every time I listen, the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end and I can't help but imagine what these messages might mean and who were the people who lent their voices to record them.
Dope: James Acaster masterfully put together a four part Netflix special which seamlessly blends together physical comedy, props and cerebral wordplay to tick all the right boxes. It's fun to watch a longer comedy special because it makes the call-backs that much more enjoyable. "No more jobs!" and "Do the tooth's teeth have teeth too?" are some of the stand out moments.
Dope: He is. End of story.