The Totally Unnecessary DJs of E3
I understand and appreciate the rise of EDM and DJ culture. I see how it brings people together, allows for personal expression, and gives you a great excuse to do tons of molly and “accidentally” rub up against women in a club. I get it. And yet, I do not accept that DJs belong everywhere. DJs should not be at mundane events like baby showers, Christmas-tree lightings, sentencing hearings, art-gallery openings, dog shows, rollerblading competitons, political rallies, traffic accidents, Chinese New Year, or the Super Bowl. Not everything needs to have dancing. Actually, most public gatherings are awkward, especially when the event is one in which the host is trying to sell you something.
I went to the E3 video-game trade show this past week, and like every other convention or industry gathering in our modern era, DJs were shoehorned into the proceedings. I don’t need the “bass to drop” while I’m waiting in line to see the new XBox or to use the bathroom, thank you very much.
I decided to take a stroll around and see if anyone was actually getting down to the music the many, many E3 DJs were playing.
The Silverball Pinball Museum in New Jersey Is My Everything
Pinball is pretty much all I care about. I make art and I write and I have friends and blah blah blah, but it’s all just a means to get quarters and play pinball.
The best place to play pinball on the East Coast is the Silverball Museum in Asbury, New Jersey. The entrance fees vary, but for $20 you can stay all day and play every machine they have, all of which are free once you’re inside. The photos sprinkled throughout this blog post are pictures of some of my favorite games at the museum.
Pinball is a beautiful game that was originally like pachinko, in that it was used for gambling as well as recreational purposes. Much like today, pinball players of yore would pull back a spring-loaded plunger and shoot a metal ball through a playfield covered in pins and hope that the ball hit some targets. Eventually someone made a machine with six flippers, adding a stronger element of skill to the game. Not long after that, someone else decided to keep the flippers but simplify the operation by controlling all of them with just two buttons, and that’s how modern pinball was born.
Pinball machines are sort of like video arcade games but much more unique. The production run of an average machine usually ranges between 500 and 10,000. They also contain miles and miles of wire, which is neither here nor there, but pretty neat nonetheless. They are hand-constructed and almost all of them are collectors’ items.
It seems like sports networks have ploughed a shit ton of money into darts recently. When you’re watching it on TV, and the camera pans across the room, it’s easy to survey the scene and arrive at the conclusion that these new shows are clowning the dart game. Who are these fancy dressed morons? Who gave them those signs? Who are the fat men? Why does throwing darts at a wall make them sweat? Why do they all look like they spend their Sundays drinking alone in dive bars? Oh, they’re the future of sport. Oh, I see. Are you sure, though?
Luke Overin, one of VICE’s favorite photographers, thinks darts is fucking great:
"This photo-essay is a celebration of British darts fans. Ever since I was a kid watching the darts with my dad on the TV, I’ve seen it as something dramatic and theatrical—the grand entrances of the players, the reactions of the fans, the huge guitar tunes blaring over the top, and the general chaos and party atmosphere.
"Gradually my interest has turned to the fan, especially the diehards. It’s the same with soccer, really, and like many of my recent projects, these photos are a bi-product of having a really great time, making new friends, and getting wasted.
"I think it’s important to explore notions of time and change in photography, but also to celebrate the constant and the permanent. Darts represents the latter for me, because it seems suspended in a constant state, unaffected by big money and anything but itself, really."
To be honest, it’s hard not to see the charm in darts. Even when you realize that the idea of it existing in some timeless bubble for all eternity would mean that someone, somewhere would always be dressed as The Mask singing the riff to “Chelsea Dagger.”
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Things I Learned from Butt Chugging Wine
The insertion of foreign objects into the rectum intestinum of Homo sapiens is nothing new. As you’ll remember from history class, the Maya administered tobacco and hallucinogenic enemas for religious purposes, and also probably because they were bored. They were kind enough to leave behind stone reliefs and figurines documenting the deed—now we use web videos and blogs for similar purposes. And we got rid of the cumbersome spiritual aspects of inserting tubes into our butts as well. This is called progress.
The latest round of anal-centric tittering occurred in late September when University of Tennessee Pi Kappa Alpha member Alexander “Xander” Broughton (yes, presumably pronounced “bro-ton”) was treated for severe alcohol poisoning after “allegedly” butt chugging boxed wine (the proper bro-menclature, I believe, is “Tour de Franzia”). Butt chugging—in case you were blissfully unaware—allows the alcohol to bypass the liver’s filtering and metabolic processes so that the ethanol drains straight into the bloodstream via veins to the vena cava. You’re basically short-circuiting the body’s poison defenses by putting liquor in your ass. It’s supposed to be an intense and near-instant buzz.
The university subsequently suspended the frat’s chapter, and that would have been the end of it. Except Xander then held an unintentionally(?) hilarious press conference. Surrounded by his lawyer and the entire UT chapter of Pi Kaps, Xander denied previously knowing anything about butt chugging, castigated the institutions accusing him of the act, promised retribution against the media outlets so fascinated with his story, and, through his lawyer, made it very clear that “he is a straight man and he thinks the idea… of butt chugging is absolutely repulsive.”
I’m a straight man, too, and one who knows, unlike Xander, that it’s totally not gay to put things up your butt. How could I not be intrigued by butt chugging? It seems like a terrible idea, sure, but young people have done many silly things that have brought joy to millions, like Facebook—could drinking through your ass be like Facebook? Turns out, no. It is terrible, as I found out when I experimented with it the other evening. Still, it does allow one to see the world from a different point of view. And not simply because I spent much of said evening flat on my back, glutes floating in midair, angling a booze-loaded enema bottle. No, it’s deeper than that. Deeper, too, than the enema’s one-and-a-half inch, pre-lubricated nozzle that penetrated my interior sphincter. The point is, fresh perspectives blossom after butt chugging a glass of Franzia and a half a pint of vodka.
Perspective 1: Doggie Style
I insist on “Sunset Blush” for the wine. The name suggests a kind of tenderness one’s bum might find acceptable, even inviting. I also purchase vodka and whiskey, for comparison as well as a quicker fix. Across the street from the liquor store, the pharmacy sells two-for-one enemas. “They should advertise it as ‘twin-emas,’” the Significant Other (SO) announces cheerily (for fairly obvious reasons, she’s remaining anonymous).
Back at the house, I carefully pour two shots of Sunset Blush into the enema bottle. The classic elbows-and-knees doggie-style with a drip towel underneath seems like the most respectable option.
Behind the closed bathroom door, my rear shimmies skyward as I try to steady my weight with the left forearm while the right contorts uncomfortably behind, poking clumsily for the entry point. A few deep breaths help ease the pigeon baster inward and a cool blast of Sunset Blush hits my innards. Not too bad. No stinging. Maybe a little more drippage than I’d like. But my sphincter revolts. While trying to coax my anus both physically and verbally (“Shhhh, it’s OK. It’s OK”), I take stock of my own compromising position. I feel, well, there’s no other way to put it… it feels so damndegrading. For fear of sounding flippant, I won’t say that I finally connected emotionally with my feminist sisters who deride doggie-style sex as a form of demeaning subjugation. But yeah, there’s pretty much no way to feel empowered when you’re on your hands and knees and something is going up your ass. After that epiphany, I wipe off the excess Franzia, pull up my pants and go to the kitchen where the SO and I make pizza.
Perspective 2: Stirrup style
There’s no doubt Daniel Lopatin, the quiet powerhouse behind the psychedelic cosmic synth project Oneohtrix Point Never, has a strong connection with his keyboards. Like his Roland Juno-60, nicknamed “Judy.” She may not be the best in the world, but he talks about her like an old friend, and fortunately for all of us, treats her that way too.
In this episode of Electric Independence, Motherboard heads over to his home studio in Bushwick to talk with one of the leaders of the pack in the next generation of synthesizer masters, along with bands like Emeralds, Stella Om Source and Fever Ray. We also do a little pop music deconstruction – and get a peek at his awesome, charming gear.
Check out OPN at his Myspace and tumblr, and cop the just-released Everything is Working by Games, a collaboration between Daniel and his childhood friend Joel Ford.
See more episodes of Electric Independence
See the rest at VBS.TV: Electric Independence: Oneohtrix Point Never - Motherboard | VBS.TV