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.
And if for some reason you’re not following already VICE on tumblr, click here to do so!
North Korean Motorcycle Diaries
For the past decade, New Zealanders Joanne and Gareth Morgan have been living the semiretired lifestyle of their dreams, traveling around the world on motorcycles alongside a few of their closest friends. They’ve traversed all seven continents on their bikes, with routes as varied as Venice to Beijing, Florida to northern Alaska, and South Africa to London, just to name a few. Gareth funds his own trips, many of which he uses to pursue philanthropic endeavors, particularly in the social-investment space. He is able to do so with money he’s made as an economist and investment manager—one who has earned the reputation for criticizing unethical practices in New Zealand’s financial-services industry.
In late August, the Morgans embarked on their most ambitious journey yet, at least physically. The real journey began years ago, when they decided they wanted to ride the Baekdudaegan, a mountain range that stretches the length of North and South Korea’s shared peninsula. After countless hours of negotiation and coordination with both governments, they were granted permission. It was, the Morgans believe, the first time anyone’s ever traveled through both countries like that since the partitioning of Korea in 1945. By making the trip they hoped to demonstrate how Koreans can come together over what they have in common. To symbolize this, the Morgans took some stones from Paektu, a holy mountain in the North, and brought them to Hallasan, a similarly sacred peak in the South.
Joanne and Gareth shot the entirety of their trip, the footage from which they have graciously allowed us to cut into a short film, which will air Tuesday, December 3 on VICE.com.
Watch the trailer
Introducing the What Da Fug You Lookin’ At Issue
November brings with it a tide of Autumnal warmth: mulled ciders, cozy sweaters, and the savory aroma of sage and tryptophan rising from a nicely stuffed turkey roasting in the oven. November’s the best.
We figured we’d honor the spirit of fall conviviality by sticking our thumb in its eye. Welcome to the What Da Fug You Lookin’ At Issue. If you can find a copy of this month’s edition of VICE at these fine establishments, you’ll be greeted by our cover: one of Magnum photographer Bruce Gilden’s hyper-detailed photos of mean-ass looking people from his series, “Deep Fried America, The Terror and the Delight of the Wisconsin Fair in Portraits.” Pick it up, sit yourself down, and flip through the issue’s wondrous, glossy pages.
Here’s what you’ll find inside:
Soul on Fire. Journalist James Pogue reports from California’s brush fires where the state has sent a motley crew of prisoners to help put out the blazing infernos.
Andres Serrano’s Cuban Odyssey. The notorious Piss-Christ photographer takes us on a quest to photograph Fidel Castro.
Sketches from the International Vomiting Conference. VICE senior editor Ben Shapiro sent us this dispatch from the yearly gathering of the most preeminent puking scholars in the world. Things got messy.
In the midst of the Syria’s civil war, jihadists are turning northern Syria’s abandoned oil wells into makeshift refineries staffed by children.
Speaking of kids, VICE editor Wes Enzinna goes inside Bolivia’s silver, tin, and zinc mines where teenagers toil away below ground in 500-year-old mines that are about to collapse.
“Thank You,” a new short story by Chilean author Alejandro Zambra.
All that and our signature smattering of phenomenal fashion. DOs and DON’Ts, and much, much more. And if you’re of a tableting sort, you can also subscribe to our iPad app and get bonus features. Go on and get it.
VICE News Exclusive: We talked to British nationals fighting with al Qaeda in northern Syria
Yesterday, Andrew Parker, the Director-General of the UK’s intelligence service MI5, announcedthat hundreds of British Muslims have traveled to Syria to take part in “terrorist tourism.” Today, we present exclusive video footage and interviews with British nationals fighting with al Qaeda in Syria. In the film, two young men with British accents echo the sentiments expressed by Lee Rigby’s killer Michael Adebolajo and declare jihad against the UK and United States.
“I say to the United States that your time will come,” says one of the men, who gives his age as 26, “and we will bleed you to death and, inshallah [God willing], shall raise a flag in the White House.”
The second jihadist calls on the British public to rise up against the government: “Like the guy in Woolwich, he explained that David Cameron would never walk on the street, and he’ll never get shot in the face, whereas you guys who are soldiers, or just normal folk, will take the blame for the crimes that are committed worldwide, by Britain itself, so we have to fight.”
The film also shines a light on the communication difficulties that arise when radicalized extremists from Britain, France, Chechnya, Bosnia, Kosovo, and Turkey, among other countries, get together to fight on the front line.
watch the video
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Introducing the Holding Court Issue, October 2013
Get a subscription already!
Sometimes our friends will ask us why they should subscribe to the magazine—pretty much everything that appears in print also appears online, they say, and print is a dying medium anyway. Then they ask to borrow our car, because our friends are fucking assholes.
If you want to know why the physical copy of the magazine is worth it, locate a copy of this month’s Holding Court issue (a map of selected distribution points can be found here) and take a look at the cover by Marcel Dzama, which you can check out above in its ones-and-zeros version. Online it looks pretty good, but in real life the halo around the dude-with-a-baby-for-a-head’s head/baby shimmers in the light and you can make out the subtle muddy bloodstains on the arrow-filled body hanging from the ceiling. It’s the kind of strange painting you’d want to cut out and put on your wall, only you can’t if you’re just looking at it on your computer like a putz.
Other stuff that’s worth seeing in print:
The pictures of Irving Zisman, a.k.a. Johnny Knoxville, as the horny septuagenarian parties with some young lasses 50 years his junior.
War correspondent Robert King’s photo essay on Jordan’s Za’atari refugee camp, which is home to 120,000 displaced Syrians.
Kevin Site’s travelogue of Afghanistan as the US military finally prepares to leave for good (spoiler: the country ain’t doing so well).
These never-before-seen photos from Nirvana’s 1989 European tour.
VICE editor Wilbert L. Cooper’s examination of the thriving culture of scrap metal thieves in Cleveland.
If all that stuff doesn’t convince you that a paper version of the magazine is worth getting, look out for our iPad edition which is chock full of amazing extras including exclusive videos and pictures…
VICE Podcast: The Time Philadelphia Bombed Itself
The VICE Podcast is a weekly discussion which delves inside the minds of some of the most interesting, creative, and bizarre people within the VICE universe. This week, Reihan Salam speaks with Jason Osder, the director and producer of Let the Fire Burn, a documentary that takes aim at the 1985 standoff between the Philadelphia Police and MOVE, a black radical anarcho-primitivist organization. The confrontation precipitated the firing of more than 10,000 rounds of ammunition and the unprecedented decision by the police to drop a bomb onto an American city, which resulted in the deaths of 11 MOVE members and the destruction of more than 60 homes.
Watch/Listen to the podcast
Introducing the Guccione Archives Issue – Now Available in Newsstand for iPad or on VICE.com
The super special September issue of VICE was exclusively culled from the archives of Bob Guccione Sr.—the legendary magazine publisher, provocateur, and entrepreneur who built a media empire that started with Penthouse. At its inception in 1965, Penthouse was a magazine like none other that championed the First Amendment to the extreme with dreamy, tastefully shot spreads of nude women and investigative journalism that aimed its sights squarely on the hypocrisy of big government, religion, and all other means of authority. Guccione’s empire soon grew to include dozens of magazines, most notably the now-defunct but soon-to-return science and science-fiction magazine OMNI, and later came to encompass such exotic ventures as investments in an Atlantic City casino and a nuclear-fusion power plant. Unfortunately, these last two projects failed spectacularly—as if Guccione would fail any other way—and he went bankrupt in the early 2000s before dying of cancer in 2010 with hardly a penny to his name.
Recently his legacy was resurrected thanks to entrepreneur Jeremy Frommer, who randomly discovered a portion of Guccione’s archives last year within a lot of storage units he purchased in Arizona. From there, he teamed up with childhood friend and film producer Rick Schwartz to buy the entirety of Guccione’s life-spanning archives from the former mogul’s bankruptcy liquidators. It was a treasure trove that included thousands of unpublished photos, art, illustrations, and articles in various stages of completion, as well as dozens of Guccione’s paintings. (Before starting Penthouse at age 35, he worked as a struggling oil painter in Europe.)
The Guccione Archives Issue—”guest edited” by Bob Guccione himself—barely scratches the surface of a collection that took VICE’s editors months to go through, carefully whittling down a selection that best represented the legacy of a man who was misunderstood by the public at large during his lifetime. The issue harkens back to an era when magazines were published using an entirely analog process, presenting what a mock-up might’ve looked like halfway through completion.
Want more specifics on how VICE gained access to the archives? Read Claire Evans’s piece here.
No idea who Bob Guccione even was? Read the summary of his unpublishedautobiography here for a good overview of what made the man tick.
Want to see some gorgeous illustrations from some of the best sci-fi artists of all time? Yes, you do.
Wondering what a disgruntled employee thought of the Playboy Mansion in the 1980s?Here’s a transcript of an unpublished interview that a scorn butler gave to a Penthouse reporter in the 70s.
Or maybe you’re more into the skin?
Unpublished Penthouse Pets
The Gucci Girls, Then and Now
Rejected Penthouse Pets
For even more unpublished archival material, please visit The Guccione Collection website, which is devoted to illuminating all the varied corners of Bob’s legacy and creating new content in the spirit of the Guccione empire.
Less Coca in Colombia Means Nothing for Your Supply
According to a UN report released earlier this month, coca growing in Colombia is down by 25 percent. At first glance, the news appears to be either welcome—if you’re of the Michele Leonhart, war-on-drugs school of thought—or panic inducing, if you’re a cokehead. But then a lot of things are panic inducing if you’re a cokehead.
The specifics: between 2011 and the end of 2012, the area of land coca was being grown on was reduced by about a quarter, from 64,000 hectares to 48,000 hectares. The farm-gate value—literally the value of the product at the farm’s gate—of the coca leaf and its derivatives in Colombia also decreased, dropping from $422 million to $370 million.