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Welcome to PREGNANT #4

 

Hope you guys are doing well, I've been without freelance work for almost a month now and I'm legit kind of losing my mind.

Since I'm on unemployment, I've just decided I'm going to use this time to go balls to the wall on PREGNANT as real-ass magazine project and I'm working with my dear friend Danny G on realizing that vision. 

Keep reading and I will update everyone once there is something tangible to share in the coming weeks/months.

DAVID BLOCKED ME

After following intently for quite a while now, I was finally blocked by the Wisconsin-based enjoyer of processed foods and lover of yummy lesbians David (FKA Princeangelstar) for saying that I too enjoyed listening to Three 6 Mafia. This is an injustice.

WHAT COULD BE WORSE THAN A GEORGE FLOYD FUNKO POP?

I posted a screenshot from the Funkopop Reddit community maybe a week ago where a Funko Pop fan was calling for the creation of a collectable George Floyd figure as a means to combat racism through some sort of twisted and braindead market logic. Due to the reaction to the post, it seemed like everyone thought this was as ridiculous as I did and not terribly surprising as Funko Pop collectors seem to be the most depraved and pure, unfiltered neoliberal subjects. 

The products hocked on the “georgefloydtoys_official” instagram, however seem potentially even worse than the idea of a Funko Pop George Floyd. Poorly made “anti-stress” toys, priced at $50, stylized "in the cartoon style" and photographed in ways that evoke a truly strange and dark energy. The description on the website is also equally as fucked as the product, saying that these toys are meant to memorialize George Floyd, and through his death he “became a hero who gave his life so that people would stop suffering bullying and rise up against it.” Referring to police brutality as “bullying” is so totally bizarre it makes me wonder if this isn’t a troll but a person outside of the US with just zero understanding of the current social conditions. Either way, everything is a gruesome self-parody careening at a speed that far exceeds anyone’s ability to envision an even worse future. 

EVERYTHING IS NEOLIBERALISM

This article by Benjamin Studebaker is a great + quick read that lays out the attributes of the 4 different strains of thought that make up the “left” and “right” and in modern politics but actually just end up defending the neoliberal project.

Something that I've thought for a long time but haven't been able to articulate as clearly as Studebaker does in this this essay is the idea that each one of these four groups (left populist + technocratic and right populist + technocratic) have the same 4 essential traits of neoliberalism: 1. Marketization, 2. Globalization, 3. Responsibilization, and 4. Culture War, and these traits are presented differently in a “function stack” depending on the strain of thought. The last of the 4 functions for the populist strains is the function which is “performatively rejected but quietly embraced,” such as the rejection of globalization in right wing populism, or marketization in left wing populism. Super precise and clear.

MISHIMA: A LIFE IN 4 CHAPTERS ART DIRECTION

I watched Mishima: a Life in 4 Chapters for the first time this week and enjoyed it a lot - a gorgeous film and probably my favorite entry in Paul Schrader’s work focusing on “God’s Lonely Men.” 

The film oscillates between black and white depictions of Mishima’s life, and lush, visually arresting color depictions of his written work. These scenes were art directed by Eiko Ishioka who was at that point an accomplished graphic designer with beautiful work, but went on to become an accomplished costume designer for a number of films. Unlike any biopic I’ve ever seen, the scenes created by Ishioka are super stylized, fanciful and have a graphic sensibility - they aren’t deeply rooted in history and reality like biopics typically are. 

 

I'd suggest checking this film out if you haven’t seen it, there’s a free rip up on YouTube but it’s pretty poor quality. I paid $4 to rent a version where I could actually take in the visuals.

Graphic design and art direction by Eiko Ishioka.

JENNY HOLZER POSTING CRINGE 

Very subversive and cool Jenny Holzer “Impeach” marble skateboard selling for $10,000 with “up to 30% of every sale to an NGO dedicated to moving humanity forward” whatever the fuck that means.

DIGITAL ART IN EXTREME METAL

I collected an are.na board of visual reference a while back from death metal, black metal, grind core, etc. that highlights this weird transitional point in the evolution of the visual art of metal where computer graphics began to be incorporated. 

There’s a lot of this stuff - some of it rules, some of it sucks, and a lot of it is in this middle area of being simultaneously bad and good. My favorite stuff is primarily from the goregrind genre which lends itself pretty well to Web 1.0 photoshop look: beveling and embossing text, going ham on blending modes, glowing outlines and drop shadows, etc. pairs really well with repulsive gore images - the Rotten.com aesthetic. 

What surprised me a bit and I’ve come to like more and more is the intersection of black metal and digital graphics. Black metal is sonically and visually raw as an aesthetic choice, so this stuff is kind of surprising but cool because it doesn’t make a ton of sense.

Ildjarn is known for being one of the most primitive and caveman-ish black metal projects, and the album “Folkloric Necro Metal” from the Ildjarn side project Sort Vokter, (which many people refer to as “Ildjarn with keyboards”) has a really strange and unique look for the genre - almost feels like a melancholic world music album. 

I WANT THIS LAND TUG THING


 

I would love to cruise through the Oregon wilderness being dragged behind this all-terrain electronic land tug thing.

RAW EGG NATIONALISM

Here's a clickbait-y article summarizing the "Raw Egg Nationalism" meme from white supremacist bodybuilding circles, and here's another one I guess from the perspective of an egg slonker.
Consuming raw eggs in bodybuilding circles is definitely not new, but the concept of Raw Egg Nationalism seems to be basically tying "slonking" raw eggs and a more general practice of clean and conscious consumption of animal products with eco-fascist sentiments more or less. 
I imagine this shit is probably like 60% real and 40% a joke but who knows.

MISC. LINKS + VIDEOS


 

This week's TrueAnon episode about the Veiled Prophet in St. Louis is fascinating.

To End Police Violence Fund Public Goods and Raise Wages By Dustin Guastella

Enjoying the homie Reuben's project WINDOW a lot.

Grape made out of meat.

Philipp Mainländer: The Life-Rejecting Socialist

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