'Thug Kitchen' Is the Latest Iteration of Digital Blackface
Earlier this week, a hard-hitting investigation by Epicurious revealed that the food blog (and upcoming cookbook) Thug Kitchen—a brand that got popular by writing recipes in a tone reminiscent of African American Vernacular English—is run by two WASPy white people from California, Michelle Davis and Matt Holloway, whom Epicurious refers to as “masterminds.”
For the uninitiated, Thug Kitchen’s recipes are sold with phrases like “Don’t fuck around with some sorry-ass ten-dollar takeout,” and “This holiday season bake a batch of these spiced sons of bitches.” The tone has led many people to deride the “Thugs,” as Davis and Holloway wish to be called, as “deceptive” and “a lot like the latest iteration of nouveau blackface.” Others criticized the title of Thug Kitchen for its use of the word thug, something that has been deemed a code word—that is, a “polite way to say ‘nigger’ in mixed company.”
The backlash to the revelation that Thug Kitchen is written by white people has inspired a backlash of its own. Detractors of Davis and Holloway’s critics point out that automatically associating the word thug with black men is itself racist. But there’s no denying that the word has historically been used as a weapon to condemn people of color.
The Top Ten Softest Net Artists in the Game
Everybody knows and loves the fake Ghostface Killah
blog where the author annually lists the “Top Ten Softest Rappers in the Game.” While the rap game is certainly tough, it pales in comparison to the dark underbelly of the internet art community. When net artists leave the safety of the web, they get drunk, take copious amounts of drugs, get into fights, and fuck each others’ girlfriends and boyfriends like it’s a Bret Easton Ellis novel. So, to pay tribute to whoever writes that brilliant Ghostface blog, and to illuminate some of the politics of the net art world to the general public (who likes paintings and/or ceramics), I present to you:
Top Ten Softest Net Artists in the Game
The Jogging’s Tumblr is like some indoor kid’s delusional projection fantasy about what sports probably feel like. Besides that, it’s filled with images of zebras wearing pizzas, Crocs, houseplants, and mirrors. Even its name is like the softest exercise that somebody can do besides a 3K Fun Run/Walk. The people who run it have names that look like the guest list for a screening of The Graduate on Tommy Fucking Hilfiger’s yacht: Artie and Brad and Haley and Jesse and Joshua and Lauren and Norm and Rachel and Spencer.
Murphy’s also in this batshit crazy noise project called MSHR
with Birch Cooper
, and that shit isn’t soft at all, which is why she’s only at #9. Her weird three-dimensional digital collages and shit are totally psychedelic, but they still feel like a book of my aunt’s wallpaper samples fed through a seapunk filter that I’m checking out while trying to get laid in Second Life. I do like to look at her work because it makes me feel like I’m on drugs, but it’s like I’m on drugs that make me soft (weed, psychedelics) not drugs that make me hard (coke, Beezin’
Image via Andrew Birk’s Facebook account
I don’t even think these two motherfuckers count as net artists because Birk paints and Delmar is a corporation, but it’s like I look at Facebook for about two seconds and suddenly I’m the third in their relationship. Do they live in Mexico City? Paris? Brussels? Nobody fucking knows because it’s just an unending slideshow of travel pics which are 100% the softest kind of pics that exist. The hardest pics are obviously selfies, doge, and that stoner alpaca
If there’s anything softer than Anime, it’s art history. In Hayes’ work, these two ostensibly disparate worlds collide and it’s even less brutal than that Powerman 5000 song (I’m saying that they’re not a very tough heavy metal band). Don’t get me wrong, I like Jeanette Hayes personally. But if I were in a burning building on the tenth floor and had to leap out of the window, I’d pray to the heavens that there was a pile of her paintings to land on in the street below (I’m saying that her paintings are soft and I’d be safer if I landed on them).
Heil Hipster: German Nipsters (Neo-Nazi Hipsters) Are Trying to Put a Stylish Face on Hate
This winter, the German media came up with a new term, “nipster,” to describe the trend of people dressing like Brooklyn hipsters at Nazi events. Experts have noted that the German neo-Nazi presence on Tumblr and other social networking sites has become sleeker and more sophisticated. Neo-Nazi clothing has become more stylish and difficult to recognize. There’s even a vegan Nazi cooking show. “If the definition of the nipster is someone who can live in the mainstream, then I see it as the future of the movement.”
Mishka’s 2014 Summer Lookbook
It’s been one long-ass winter—filled with crusty lips, chapped butt cheeks, and snotty noses. But it finally looks like the cold is coming to an end, which means it’s time to switch up the gear and put away the dark puffy clothes for more colorful, Miami-coke-kingpin-type shit. Luckily, Mishka has you covered with their summer 2014 collection. The vibe of their latest pieces harkens back to that classic quirky shit that is Mishka’s bread and butter. The patterns are eccentric and subversive and have a chaotic vibe that captures the excitement of a sweltering summer in New York City.
The homies behind the ever-evolving streetwear brand have given VICE the pleasure of exclusively premiering the lookbook for their 2014 collection, which you can scroll through below. With glitchy GIFs and backgrounds that remind us of old-school pen-and-pixel art, the photos evoke the cut-and-paste pastiche that is defining cool shit right now.
The VICE Guide to Pizza
After originating in the Mediterranean in the 1800s, the round pie we call pizza became a global sensation post-World War II. Just about every nation in the world has their version of this versatile dish. The genius of pizza is that it’s infinitely adaptable. Everyone has their preferences and unique predilections. Cultures put their own spin on pizza, but it’s all equal… or is it?
A restaurant in Canada created the world’s most expensive pizza just this month. For $450, you can get a white truffle pie with lobster thermidor, black Alaskan cod, smoked salmon, tiger prawns, and Russian Osetra caviar. It probably tastes like licking the crotch of a track suit after a marathon, but the Dr. Frankensteins who invented this monstrosity are able to call their dish “pizza” because their stupid ingredients are on a round disc made of dough. I refuse to stand for that.
It’s time that we as a society put our foot down and set some guidelines for what is and isn’t pizza. We’ve assembled an A-Z list of the most important aspects of pizza culture and SPOILER ALERT: none of them include fucking caviar.
This is the witching hour when it comes to pizza. While pizza definitely has its moments at dinner and during the wee hours of the morning when you’re plastered, it really shines due to its ubiquitous presence at after-school extracurricular activities. Whether it’s post-soccer game or during a study session for final exams, pizza absolutely dominates this time slot. We haven’t seen numbers like this since Cheers in its heyday. In fact, if it weren’t for pizza at practice, math-letes all across the nation would starve to death.
Honorable Mentions: Anchovies, all-you-can-eat lunch buffet, artichokes, anal leakage
Whoever says Bigfoot isn’t real doesn’t remember Pizza Hut’s contribution to the world of cryptozoology. In the 90s, Pizza Hut introduced “The Bigfoot.” This gargantuan pizza was one foot wide and two feet long. Initially popular, it was quickly discontinued. Although there are some who say the beast is still out there…
The giant, square pizza was something of a mini-trend in the 90s. Domino’s had the Dominator, which didn’t last long. Even Little Caesar’s had one called “Big! Big!" This was also discontinued, and not just because of the stunning lack of creativity in the pizza’s name.
Honorable Mentions: BBQ chicken, Book-It, breadsticks
Photo via Flickr User Peter
Like revenge, pizza is a dish best served cold. Eating your pizza cold not only tastes great, but is fast and easy. Sure the crust isn’t as snappy and the pepperoni now has the consistancy of an unused condom, but the congealed cheese is the secret weapon of the leftover slice. The magic of cold pizza cheese is not something I even want to understand. Telling me why it’s good is like telling me how babies are made. WHO CARES, DUDE? I just wish there was a stork that delivered cold pizza to my house.
Honorable Mentions: CiCi’s Pizza, crust-first, coupons, CPK
Your parents sit you down and tell you that they still love each other. It isn’t your fault, but they’re going to start spending time apart. You know what that means? Twice a month you’re going to get to order whatever toppings you want! Thank God your dad can’t cook for shit. True love is a lie, and you’re reaping all the benefits. Hey, maybe if your family spent more time eating a nice home-cooked meal around the table instead of inhaling pizza in front of the TV you wouldn’t be in this position in the first place. Ah, it’s a vicious cycle. A delicious, vicious cycle.
Honorable Mentions: Deep dish, dessert pizza, delivery, DiGiorno
Hey, look, we made it into Tumblr’s Year in Review roundup of the top tumblr posts of 2013! We’re not entirely sure of how the top posts were chosen (we’re guessing that this list excludes all the artsy porno that makes checking the dashboard such an exciting gamble), but we couldn’t be happier to be on the list.
Click here and here to see the VICE posts featured in the Year in Review.
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