Oh Crap

4 08 2010

A Brick

Yo, check out this awesome variant that was on BoingBoing today. Animator Landstrider took that washing machine people keep sending you and “[g]ave it eyes and a soul” (his words). Now the washing machine looks less like a washing machine and more like a Pre-Columbian vessel. Or Thomas the Tank Engine.

L: washing machine; R: washing machine with eyes.

L: The eyes of a washing machine, after eating the flesh of a hallucinogenic cactus; R: the eyes of Lowly Worm, after eating an apple.

I’m posting the original too, because of the prolonged convulsion that racks the cabinet even after it’s shed most of its components.

Above: the death throes of an appliance (washing machine), as portrayed in Washing Machine Self Destructs (2010). Below: the death throes of a replicant (Pris), as portrayed by Daryl Hannah in Blade Runner (1982).


DispleasedEskimo Is the New Something-Something

13 02 2010

Evolution and Revolution, Flip-Book Style

This is over a month old, but it went viral this week—I came across it on Viral Video Chart, which is compiled by Unruly Media. A 17 year-old kid made an animated short in fulfillment of some sort of school assignment for which, according to the YouTube liner notes, he received “full marks” (I assume that translates as “an A”).

Evolution is kinda my thing, so I was on board from the beginning; I really liked the morphs he freaked to depict advances in warfare and transportation, too. But where he loops the last few bars of the song while the POV does a sustained pull-out into deep space? Cool as hell. It gave me the chills the first time I watched it. Yeah, a flip-book animation gave me the chills. And what?

Plague of Bears To Be Unleashed on Select Theater Audiences as Punishment for Arriving Early

25 11 2009

Conservatives with Weakened Immune Systems Already Experiencing Allergic Reaction to Rare 11th Plague; Vaccine-Resistant Viral Clip May Also Convince Stubborn Eskimo to Rethink Unnecessary Air Travel, Free Israelites

You guys know I find politics gross, but I really wanna talk about this clip, and there’s no way to do it without trudging through hot-button sludge. So here goes. A nickel-bag environmentalist group in England somehow rustled up the funds to produce the following clip, which is blue-filtered and moody and Bolero-like and melodramatic and artsy and all of the things that a good theater commercial should be. That’s right, I like commercials—that doesn’t make me a capitalist any more than a conscious effort to reduce my carbon footprint makes me a communist.

Fueled by blind, impotent rage, scores of resentful, self-imagined guardians of truth instantly responded to this new threat with a barrage of climate statistics and strange references to Al Gore.  This counteroffensive, however, will probably prove ineffective against the bears, which are computer-generated and not really falling from the sky. YouTube is not the front, and the comments sections are not the trenches. Get over yourselves. You’re taking all of the good out of it, and ruining it for the rest of us.

There will be blood.

The channel that I embedded from is called “adsoftheworldcom“, and the theme of the channel is not global warming or climate change or making fun of birthers, but rather—you guessed it—ads of the world. It’s seemingly a repository for cool ads. That’s why I thought the comments for this clip might break YouTube precedent and actually be about style and technique and approach. It was naive of me, I now realize, to expect that the invisible chains of relevance would hold. Again, I thought we could all just enjoy the fact that it really looks like there are polar bears falling out of the sky. Yeah, the factoid is specious and the mammal use is over-the-top sentimental. Yeah, the cause is too niche. But the jet engine SFX are synchronized well, and incongruous imagery is always a treat. Usually the comments are an amusing supplement to any popular YouTube video, but today they just made me feel like I was living in a social Dark Age.

This is something that happens.

This is not something that happens. It looks really crazy, though, right?

Follow-Up Friday

23 10 2009

23 October 09: Carlos Freire’s Head, 2012, “ATTN #9”

At the risk of acting like the aggregate blogger that I pretend not to be, here are a few updates:


1. Made in Brazil added an assertive wrinkle to the ongoing unofficial A|X-Freire ornamental culture study.

Ima trade four houses in for a hotel.

2. Sony Pictures’ blandly-titled promotional YouTube channel “2012theMovie” has been in upload overdrive. There’re a couple of cool CGI featurettes which I really dug and which seem to indicate that the unprecedented CGI work will outshine the inevitably piss-poor plot. Tell that to The Onion.

we had some good times

3.  And finally, there was a slight Auto-Tune the News installment, which I’m not even going to dignify with a screencap. Worst. Episode. Ever.

As always, the suggestive natures of this post’s title, subtitle and internal structure do not in any way represent a commitment on my part to a regular feature.

YouTube Compilation on YouTube

1 10 2009

3 Minutes, 24 Seconds of Footage Which You Will Thoroughly Enjoy and Which Represent the 1642 Hours, 54 Minutes, 18 Seconds Your Employer Will Never Get Back

I almost didn’t post on this, but then yesterday the band Hadouken, who recently uploaded a video of 100 viral clip excerpts meticulously arranged to their single “M.A.D”, added a source list to the YouTube page and suddenly I kinda wanted to again.

I wasn’t being a smart-ass when I described the arrangement of these clips as “meticulous”. The groupings are thoughtful but unpredictable, the editing is unsloppy and the synchronization is disciplined without being regimented or robotic. I liked how sometimes the juxtapositions were about escalation, while other times they were about contrast. And the whole thing’s executed without any of the pretense of Weezer’s “Pork and Beans” video (or Weezer’s subsequent let’s-milk-this remix video). So no, it hasn’t been done.


L: direct reference (Jack cues “Sneezing Panda” for Liz). R: indirect reference (George-Michael’s purloined video parallels “star wars kid” clip).

Any time you see the word “greatest” next to the word “hits”, the words “not an exact science” are understood; still, because people are idiots, the comments section for this video is chock-full of complaints about clip originals with unacceptably low view counts, supposed glaring omissions, and similar criticisms. So, in the prevailing spirit of reader-response, here are my uninvited opinions:

  1. I would have left out “leave britney spears alone”, but if you were one of the zero people thinking about Chris Crocker then perhaps you appreciated its inclusion.
  2. I’m not sure I would have included the Ok Go treadmill thing—should official music videos “count”?
  3. If you posted a video like “charlie bit my finger” or “Bizkit the Sleepwalking Running Dog” on somebody’s wall more recently than your mom did, it means she’s cooler than you.

In case you care, or are bored and crave links, I should add that this montage did include a few of my personal favorites. And just enough time had passed for me not to be enraged by the inclusion of Kelly footage (I still can’t watch the “Shoes” video one more time, lest I be reminded of those unfortunate 18 months during which every other word out of the mouth of every fag hag on the planet was “betch”, but I am always up for watching the cameo-laden “Let Me Borrow That Top”).

a case of beer


a quesadilla


[audible laughter] Yeah, this is real life.


Don’t front: for the last four years, your IRL memories—like mine—have had to share brain space with the very real, very memorable, and very documented stuff of strangers. This is the mystery of profitable (if inappropriately-applied) technology. We wear our cell phones on our ears, not our wrists, and we don’t have affordable Moon vacations or a cure for cancer. Instead we have a taggable, flaggable benevolent clip monarchy, which is something no one could have predicted. Brilliant. I’ll take YouTube over a hoverboard any goddamned day of the week.

ATTN8 Endorsed by the Federal Commission of Assigned Meaning (FCAM)

2 09 2009

Back-to-School Sale on Editing Software Yields Bionic Zoom, Transitioning FX for ATTN Franchise

There’s so much to rave about that I don’t know where to start. The return of Andrew. The Maggie Rodriguez variable. The use of the phrase “losing men out there”. Not to mention the eerie M83-inspired base track. This is the Auto-Tune the News of my dreams!

ATTN8 reducto ad absurdum

I'm not one to declare any particular Auto-Tune the News installment to be "the best Auto-Tune the News ever", but this is the best Auto-Tune the News ever. The surprise substitution in the Katie Couric Notebook segment was a great touch for the first Andrew-shorty volley in a long time (I like to imagine that Andrew has been on an Alaskan fishing boat for the summer). My favorite part of Andrew’s duet with Rodriguez---aside from the hilarious F-bomb, of course---was “those geese are cooked\ those geese are cooked, cooked, cooked.\ Wildlife experts and the FAA concur\ those geese are cooked\”. The celebration of the bad-pun minefield that is the web-based content of CBS continues, then. Even the Auto-Tune the News title bars are getting funnier. And Michael Gregory cut his hair. Crazy.  Without further ado, here for your reference (since you can't possibly be seeing this for the first time) is Auto-Tune the News #8:

Tracy Baby You Crazy I Don’t Know Whut the Hell’s Goin’ On Or Where the Camera Belongs Let’s Go to Nicole

20 06 2009

Auto-Tune the News #5 Rocks False-Start Blog Out of Torpor

Michael Gregory really took it to the next level yesterday with his fifth edition of Auto-Tune the News. Chances are you first caught wind of the phenomenon back when Auto-Tune the News #2 blew up. In case you’re not on board, the installments are funny without being too clever or too silly. And the music is catchy as hell. After I saw #2, I subscribed to the YouTube channel. Now when a new one drops I watch it about thirty times and then I’m invariably in a good mood for the rest of the day. I don’t think I’ve been able to say that about any other content in my entire life ever. Anyway, here’s #5:

One thing that I especially appreciate about these Auto-Tune the News videos is the fact that a transcript of the “lyrics” is always included in the YouTube file information for each clip–in much the same way that a transcript always accompanies the vlog posts of the Couric and Company Notebook, which is the fluff-piece receptacle from which all of the shorty’s footage is lifted. Of course, the segment featuring Katie Couric (who’s looking more like Carrie Fisher every day) was one of #5’s best bits. She has to have seen these by now!

Katie Koo and Evan (sitting in for Andrew, who is on assignment)

But what really blew me away and made me revisit my own blog fail for a new post was how Gregory let #5 disintegrate upon re-entry with the help of some footage from a minor and fleeting Fox Business News transition fiasco that someone had the presence of mind to rip from their TiVo last week. For making the Fox News franchise look silly, a 29. For appearance, a 29. And for brilliant use (five times) of the “Countdown to the Closing Bell” transition graphic and SFX, a perfect score of 30.  The effect is frenetic and chaotic and I totally ate it up with a spoon. I even made a little bit of fan-art:

I’ll try to resurrect this blog (I enjoyed putting this post together), but I’m not making any promises.