Month: July 2015

FOLLOW THIS ONE SIMPLE TRICK TO DIE

snakebite

If I waste any more of my life scrolling through click-bait it will diminish my faith in humanity. I have no idea what part of my caveman brain finds it so tempting to click on what is so obviously bullshit. I have always admired how The New York Times manages to summarize the most complex of ideas into one headline, for example: The Campaign of Deception Against Planned Parenthood. Compare that to Follow This One Simple Trick To Burn Fat:

This Will Kill You

The Trick Is You Die

Click-bait articles are masters of time suckage. Like a bad Tinder date they leave you feeling more empty and alone than before. You could’ve watched Orange is the New Black and followed the adventures of Tasty Girl, but instead you wasted an hour of your life with a total creep.

tastry giphy friends

In saying that, there’s an art to good click-bait. It’s not easy to present the flimsiest of illusions as analysis, while offering half-assed assertions as ‘facts’. The criticisms in 14 Movies You Thought Were Good But Were Actually Quite Bad are so vague and malnourished, they feel like parodies of terrible criticism. And yet, it was published.

Critical success, or boring?

Avatar: critical success, or ‘bad’?

Click-bait appeals to our most base insecurities. 60 Year Old Granny Looks 30 By Following This One Rule reads like it was composed by a crude algorithm designed to emulate human thoughts. But I’m so insecure I need to believe something, anything, will reverse the ravaging affects of aging. Besides, who doesn’t wish they could pull a bit of plastic off their face and look freakishly younger?

Exhibit A

Exhibit A

Last year I had a fun conversation with my friend Ben Dreyfuss, who works at Mother Jones Magazine, about the distinction between ‘click-bait’ and entertainment, and the phenomenon of Click Bait Cops.

 

I hate to think how many hours I’ve wasted on click-bait. So to enact revenge I have taken a selection of classic click-bait articles, and offered you the spoiler. Enjoy!

Clickbait: The three deadliest drugs in America are all totally legal

Spoiler:Tobacco, alcohol, and prescription painkillers. (Each kills more people than marijuana.)

Clickbait: This Is The Personality Trait That Most Often Predicts Success

Spoiler: Conscientiousness.

Clickbait: What Happens When A Horse Discovers A Kiddie Pool? You Won’t Believe It!

Spoiler: It kicks with its front legs to splash water onto its body.

AUDIO FICTION GETS ITS OWN RED CARPET

Co-founder Martin Johnson

Sarah Awards co-founder Martin Johnson

I am so excited to announce that The Sarah Awards are here!

The Sarahs will transform radio drama worldwide for the 21st Century. For all you radio nerds this is an opportunity to break the rules and create your finest, most innovative audio works. But the awards are also a spark that will get people listening to innovative audio fiction works, and create ground-breaking audio works of their own.

Here’s how you can join the Revolution!

Very, Very, Short, Short Stories Contest: A bi-monthly contest to get making audio fiction of their own. Submissions can be in any language, they just need an English transcript. Winners will receive a personalized art print of their story by Cal Tabuena-Frolli and, for this first contest, a 2-year subscription to Hindenburg Journalist Pro. All you have to do is choose a word from the list and off you go.

Serendipity podcast: A podcast featuring radio drama for the 21st century. It is presented by Ann and Martin who have their own story to tell.

The Sarahs Award: The Sarahs will celebrate and reward the best audio fiction works from around the world with $3,500 worth of prize money and an awards ceremony in New York in Spring 2016. Learn how you can enter (and tell others to enter) this fall. It’s time audio fiction had its own red carpet.

Get Inspired: Listen to Featured Fiction by Andrea Silenzi, Rick Moody, The Truth and others.

OFFLINE DATING: LIFE ISN’T A ROMANTIC COMEDY

Awkward

Awkward

Online dating is hard, offline dating is harder. Film-maker Samuel Abrahams went about proving this with his newly-single buddy, Tom Greaves. The mission? To throw himself into the deep, dark, dating world, IRL.

In the now viral video Tom attempts to woo women, sometime with charm, sometimes quite awkwardly, in a sort of Prince William kind of way. Responses ranged from the classic “I have a boyfriend”, or the more innovative “What kind of date?” And finally an abrupt “No”.

Despite the films obvious attempt at nostalgia, I have long been advocating my single friends get online, mainly because life isn’t like a romantic comedy, when you drop your keys, Channing Tatum doesn’t pick them up (Awwwwww).

Channing Tatum Snow

 

The film is ostensibly about the difference between the ‘us’ we present online, and the ‘us’ that exists in real life. There’s just one problem. Are we really supposed to believe that before the internet people would simply intercept random strangers in the street and ask them on a date? Time Out’s Kate Lloyd made this blistering attack on the film, and her reasons stand-up.

Still, the film makes a good point, once upon a time if you saw someone you liked, you would actually go up to them and ask them out. But that time is gone. Dead. Murdered, by Match and Tinder and a million other soul-destroying dating sites and apps. Dating in 2015 consists of right-swiping, poking and instant messages. If you hoped it’d be easy to revert to the more traditional method of embarrassingly asking someone out in a coffee shop, Offline Dating might prove otherwise.

DANCING WITH THE STARS

Super-Mario-Bros.

Dancing with the Stars saw Duck Dynasty star Sadie Robertson and her partner, Mark Ballas, do a choreographed dance to the classic gaming music from Super Mario Bros. But this wasn’t just a rip from the game, Nintendo confirmed on Twitter that its long-time in-house composer Koji Kondo arranged an original score just for the show. 

Super Mario Brotehrs 3

I totally love the originality of this piece, especially on a show like Stars where there is very little that hasn’t been done before. This dance off gets especially awesome at 58 seconds when Mario and Princess Peach are joined by Luigi and Toad for a full Copacabana style dance out. The only thing that could have made this better is if Bowser came along and started breakdancing to the Castle theme.

If you like this version of the Super Mario Bros. Music, which is slightly different than the original, for a limited time Nintendo is hosting the song on its website. Kondo is best know for the music he composed for Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda, but he is still working at Nintendo and is responsible for some of the music in today’s Wii U and 3DS games.

Super Mario Gif

GET ME A RUM AND A LIGHTER LOVE

Territory Day 1

In case you missed it in the star spangled haze of July 4 celebrations, last Wednesday was Territory Day. Ostensibly an event to mark self-governance, this unofficial public holiday is better known as Fireworks Day, or Day-of-Carnage, or Your-Baby-Is-Never-Going-To-Sleep-Day. The logo proudly shows children playing with fireworks, because that’s what the day is all about. Unsupervised fun! And Territorians sure love unsupervised fun, (see Why I Stuck a Cracker up my Clacker).

Why I Stuck a Cracker Up My Clacker

Unsupervised Fun

The day usually starts early. Firework stands pop-up in neglected shopfronts throughout the suburbs lining the Stuart Highway. It’s definitely a sellers market and the manufacturers get pretty creative with their names, like Anger Management, Hot Cougar, Bad Bitch and my personal favorite, Osama Boom-Laden.

fireworks for all

Family Fun

Technically fireworks can only be detonated between 6pm and 11pm on July 1st, but it’s more Territorian to let your fireworks off as soon as you get them, so any time is fine. All unused fireworks must be handed in, it’s the law. But it always blows out into weeks, even months after July 1st, with folks regularly getting woken up by a whistling cracker in the middle of January.

Territory Day

Fireworks Day is so popular it’s the first hit on Google

Unfortunately every year some badass teenager blows their fingers off, so in an effort to tackle the obvious dangers of letting drunk angry bogans arm themselves, the Northern Territory Government website has this cautionary advice: Fireworks can be fun but they are dangerous. Take care when using them. 

fireworks in the street giphy

Safety First

As fun as it is to stick a cracker up your clacker, pets and babies don’t like them. Darwin Mum, Tamie of Rosebery, says she changed after giving birth to baby Lexi, “we used to buy shitloads of crackers, drink loads of beer, even set the neighbors fence on fire accidentally… generally run amok (sic)”. But having a baby changed all that. Now the new mum sits inside with all the windows shut, nursing a Chardonnay for her nerves, hoping Lexi will get some sleep.

Tamie Bartlett

But this hiatus is only temporary, as soon as Lexi is old enough to get her mummy a rum and a lighter the madness of Territory Day will continue for the next generation. Because that’s what it means to be a Territorian!! Now, I’m off to stick a cracker up my clacker.

The Darwin Mum

Darwin Mum Says She’s Changed

BODEGA CATS IN THEIR OWN WORDS

Bodega Cats

One of the best things about New York is Bodega Cats! The unofficial guardians of Bodega’s all over the city, they are celebrities in their own right and the subject of numerous blogs. And now, Amy Pearl has made this awesome video for WNYC, which lifts the lid on the secret world of Bodega Cats, in their own words.

Bodega Cat No Refunds

Thanks to Amy, we get to meet Victoria and Sheeba, who not only talk but have their own unique personalities. Sheeba is the Queen of Parkslope, admired by all (naturally) while Victoria guards the store against robbers and naps pretty much all day. Set to the cool sounds of Reggae, these felines live a super chilled existence. For anyone who ever wondered if cats can talk, here is the proof.