Shane Smith Stripped Down for VICE’s 2 Million YouTube Subscribers
A lot of times when you end up on the naked end of a wager, it means you lost more than your clothes in the challenge. However, in this case, our founder Shane Smith had promised he’d give a video tour of the VICE offices in his birthday suit if you helped us reach our goal of 2 million subscribers on the VICE YouTube channel. Settling a bet never felt so good.
Thank you, champions of fine journalism, for having the impeccable taste and towering intellect of Mensa members who can smell the difference between a Pinot Noir and some fancy sparkling grape juice. Thank you for subscribing to VICE.
If you have yet to jump on the VICE train to Best Shit Ever Town, subscribe right now. When we hit 3 million subscribers, Shane will get naked again—on a mountain top. Who doesn’t want to see that?
The Flaming Lips have been a lot of different things over the years. Their newest album, The Terror, shows the band moving even further from their Willy Wonka-on-mescaline incarnation. The Terror is dark, drone-y, and bleak. “You Lust,” the album’s 13-minute centerpiece, probably won’t get chosen as the state rock song of Oklahoma, but it perfectly soundtracks the music video’s sci-fi nudity.
We spoke with the Flaming Lips’ Steven Drozd about the video, which, it turns out, he had nothing to do with.
VICE: What was your role in putting the video together? Steven Drozd: I had nothing to do with it. Not one thing. Wayne sent me an early edit and asked my thoughts. That was about it. If Wayne has something he wants to try with the rest of the band members, then we’ll be thrown in. But if we’re not needed, then he doesn’t involve us. That’s fine with me.
Hm. Why do you think Wayne edited the original version of “You Lust” down for the video? I thought it was going to be a sprawling, epic short film. But the video clocks in at just over four minutes. I think it was time constraints. That is a lame excuse. They’re talking about doing a full-length version. It’s an opportunity to do that early MTV thing where there’s a whole story and setup before the song starts. Maybe Wayne could make a minimovie like David Bowie did with “Blue Jean.” The shortened version was sort of weird, because I’ve listened to the song so many times, and I have gotten used to the version with the long, creepy choir solo.
Oh well. What do you think of the nudity? The nudity in the video isn’t glamorous or sexy. It’s very stark and disturbing. I think that’s a bold move. There are some shots when you go, “That’s an interesting angle to shoot a flaccid penis from…” But Wayne isn’t shy about being naked.
Are all the dicks and tits and vaginas straight out of his brain? Or are you on the same nudity trip? That’s all him. Something must have happened to him when he was eight or nine that completely zapped his brain. Wayne goes through phases of working with different types of imagery. In 1989, it was Jesus Christ and God. But the vaginas never really go away [laughs].
Deep in the forests of Ukraine live two spritely photographers named Tania and Roman who work together in perfect harmony under the name Synchrodogs to create some of the most surreal, confounding, intriguing, and beautiful photographs of naked people we have ever seen. We’ve featured them in the magazine before, but we’re showcasing their work again because: 1) They’re great, and 2) They just released a new monograph on Editions Du LIC entitled Byzantine. Above are some choice cuts from the book, but you should definitely pick up a copy, too, because they are gorgeous, and you can show them to your future children and explain how interesting Mommy and Daddy were when they were younger.
Odessa is a Ukrainian city that used to be the Soviet Union’s most important trade port and naval base. I actually learned that in school. Sadly, I’ve only recently been exposed to photographer Tchane Okuyan’s intepretation of the city:
“Odessa resembles a huge beach party, or a big orgy,” he says. “The nightclubs are near the sea, the alcohol is very cheap, the girls are beautiful, and they’ll fuck you for a few glasses of champagne. Fashion is non-existent in Odessa, as it’s mostly run by naked people. Everybody says it’s a dangerous city—and it is, especially because the cops are assholes—but we love it anyway.”
Back in the good old days—I mean the days when humans were basically just upright-standing apes roaming over the savannah eating root vegetables and dying very easily—everyone had sex outdoors. Having sex indoors was not an option, because there was no “indoors.” Also, you spent your entire life with the same small nomadic band and probably didn’t wear clothes, so it wasn’t a big deal to see a couple people fucking whenever the mood struck. But then came shame and religion and clothes and buildings and privacy and whatnot, and now everyone gets in a tizzy whenever you and a friend(s) want to feel the sun and wind on your genitals.
The latest crackdown on people’s perfectly natural desire to bang one another as our noble upright-standing ape ancestors did comes from Mazomanie, Wisconsin, where there’s been something of an epidemic of peoplebasically having a nonstop weed-fueled Midwestern-style fuckfest on the bucolic banks of a river. See, the state bought some land back in 1949, and it’s become a vacation destination for nudists thanks to its isolation and liberal prosecutors who don’t care if you want to dangle your sausage or parade your boobies on a private beach. The problem is, the nudists started going to the woods to fuck and smoke pot, and, amusingly, despite all kinds of efforts over the last 20 years—a Christian protest at the beach, a lawsuit, a proposed anti-nudity law, a ban on camping on the sandbar, a gate blocking cars from driving into the sexy, sexy woods—people still be gettin’ it on. In 2007, authorities closed off sections of the woods near the road and cut down brush to “eliminate cover,” and officers have started hiding themselves and using telescopes to look for “lewd behavior” like a bunch of perverts. Last year, in one nine-day period, cops made 42 arrests—26 for sex and 16 for drugs, apparently mostly pot.
The really funny thing about Wisconsin’s efforts to reduce the amount of semen coating its woodlands is it makes you wonder what is wrong with public nudity and fucking in forests in the first place. Standing outside someone’s window and jerking it, or flashing your junk to strange girls on the subway is a form of sexual assault, but two dudes standing quietly in the woods stroking each other? Who’s getting hurt by them, and what’s the public good of forcing them to get a room? Ruth Bender (who says of public sex, “I don’t know what fun they get out of that”) sued the state Department of Natural Resources to force people to put their darn clothes on because the al fresco fornication and nudity near her canoe-rental place was scaring away her customers, but it sounds like the problem was with her customers. What’re they saying, “Oh no, let’s not rent canoes there, we might see some titties”? Fucking pussies. If Ruth Bender was a real American entrepreneur she’d be selling tickets to a canoe tour of Wisconsin’s largest orgy.