Posts tagged “outsider”

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • [from steve_portigal] Wake Up, Geek Culture. Time to Die [Wired] – [Provocative musing on what the Internet has wrought to outsider enthusiasts, but the piece falls off a cliff after this. I yearned for Chuck Klosterman to make this funnier/insightful] With everyone more or less otaku and everything immediately awesome (or, if not, just as immediately rebooted or recut as a hilarious YouTube spoof), the old inner longing for more or better that made our present pop culture so amazing is dwindling. The Onion’s AV Club—essential and transcendent in so many ways—has a weekly feature called Gateways to Geekery, in which an entire artistic subculture—say, anime, or the Marx Brothers—is mapped out so you can become otaku on it but avoid its more tedious aspects. Here’s the danger: That creates weak otakus. Everything That Ever Was – Available Forever doesn’t produce a new generation of artists—just an army of sated consumers. Why create anything new when there’s a mountain of freshly excavated pop culture to recut, repurpose, and manipulate on your iMovie?

Challenge: Keep our minds open

Johnny Holland has published my latest article, Let’s Embrace Open-Mindedness.

A few months earlier, however, I gazed at the edge of my comfort zone and decided not to cross: walking through Santa Monica we came upon the Independent Spirit Awards ceremony. Crowds of people were gathered, waiting for a glimpse of the stars. We found the serious autograph hounds who were there with portable plastic bins stuffed with headshots for signing (and reselling on eBay). It was a definite subculture: people filled each other in about the unspoken rules: what happens when a celeb approaches, when to use your Sharpie, how to hand it to them, and so on. I was fascinated but my obvious outsider/passerby status felt like a barrier. And then I saw a woman covered in tattoos, where each tattoo was a signature. I realized her particular shtick was to get autographs and then go directly to the tattoo parlor to have that autograph made permanent (the ultimate version of “I’ll never wash this hand again!”). I watched her and the group for a while, and thought about whether or not I would ask her for a picture. There was something slightly wild about her and I couldn’t figure out how to make the request. Sure, in the cold light of these pixels, it’s easy to think “What’s the worst that could happen?” but in the moment itself we may deal with it less rationally. I was actively taking pictures during my trip and I really wanted a picture of this woman but I was never able to do it. As with the cheese, I did step outside the experience for a moment, look at where I wanted to go, and decide whether I was able to cross that gulf. Here, I couldn’t.

BRAINSUSHI – The Mutant Media Agency

BRAINSUSHI – The Mutant Media Agency

Avant-garde technologies, social mutations and cultural turmoil… New York vampyres, Mexican freaks, Silicon Valley nerds, Guatemalan gangsters, London fetishists or Japanese otakus, the Brainsushi agency is specialized in documenting contemporary phenomena that foresee the world of tomorrow.

Interesting idea for an agency. Looking at the team, they are a bunch of cutting-edge/outsider/freaks themselves. It’s not clear what use their clients make of this information, and I see that if you must sign a non-disclosure before you can receive any of their insider cultural information (which makes sense business-wise but does seem at odds with the whole notion of cultural info.

[via Pasta and Vinegar]


About Steve