Rave and Hardcore YouTube Comments Will Restore Your Faith in Humanity
It’s commonly held knowledge that most YouTube comments rank up there with Houellebecq novels and Somme fatality statistics as some of the most depressing things you can read. Even if it’s a video of an elephant cuddling a pug or a Philip Glass recital, you’ll usually find yourself greeted with the same shitstorm of racism, homophobia, misogyny, accusations of n00bery, and somebody who says they’ll put a curse on you if you don’t repost a story about a girl who died in a car crash to at least ten of your friends.
Thankfully, there are a few diamonds of decency in this online hate-pit, and they usually arrive beneath music videos. Sometimes you read stories about aging couples who had their first kiss in a Wisconsin diner as “Tiny Dancer” played on the jukebox. Sometimes you see really enthusiastic Europeans thanking the uploader of a death metal track with a smiley face. And sometimes, just sometimes, YouTube commenters prove they’re capable of being funny.
However, if you want to find the most inspiring and poignant posts on YouTube, you could do far worse than loading up a rave/hardcore playlist comprised of tracks from the late 80s and early 90s.
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?
Earlier this week, a video called “Dirty Girls” went viral on YouTube—and not for the reasons you’d expect, given the title. The documentary video, originally shot in 1996 by filmmaker (and then high school senior) Michael Lucid, was released in 2000 and chronicles a group of outcasts, refered to by their tormentors as the “Dirty Girls,” who pride themselves on riot grrrl ethos, being different, and just not giving a fuck. The video focuses on the two leaders of the Dirty Girls, sisters Amber and Harper, who speak clearly and eloquently (as eloquently as an eighth grader can be expected to) about their convictions, while girls in sunglasses and jean jackets talk smack about them behind their backs. Not only is the documentary a perfect time capsule for people who went to high school in the 90s, it also perfectly captures two strong, independent young people speaking their minds and doing their own thing.
When I first watched “Dirty Girls,” I loved it. I sent it around to everyone in the VICE offices, and they loved it, too. We all decided that we really needed to track down the original Dirty Girls and see what they were up to today. It turned to be not that difficult a task. Harper lives in New York City and was gracious enough to visit our offices, where I chatted with her and her sister, Amber, who joined us via Skype.
VICE: When is the first time that you guys saw the video? Harper: Pretty much right after it was made when we were still in high school. Around 2000, he did a screening of it at a gay and lesbian film festival in LA. He had taken it down from an hour to 20 minutes, so that was the first time we saw this short, really well-put-together documentary. We haven’t seen it since then… so 12,13 years or so.
How did you find out that it was taking off online like it has? Harper: A close friend of mine had it forwarded from somebody from high school. Someone forwarded it me and said, “I’m blown away. Oh my god, I love you girls. You’re such strong little ones. So confident. I’m so impressed.” And at that point, there were 2000 views. That was the first day. And then it just went from there, and more and more people contacted us.
Amber: I only really just watched it again fully yesterday. I felt like I remembered it really well 13 years ago. I had a certain amount of emotions about it at that time and was sure that I would feel the same now. But when I watched it yesterday, it was totally different. It’s amazing to me, because I think it’s a reflection on us and where we’re from. I’m the same person who watched it 12 years ago, and I’m also so different in how I’ve developed and what I think now. It was a completely different perspective. It was the miracle of life. I love it. It’s fascinating.
How do you feel when you watch the video now? Are you proud? Embarrassed? Harper: I’m excited about it. I think it’s great. I remember in the moment feeling like we were given a voice that we didn’t have without that video being shown to the rest of the school. So I felt proud of the commentary then, and I do now too. I’m also just so blown away by the positive reactions from everybody. Just looking at the YouTube comments where everyone is so inspired, impressed by us. That just makes me feel so happy. I think back then we were dedicated to giving people voices that maybe didn’t have them. And I think both of us would agree that neither of us have any hard feelings toward any of those people, the older students making comments about it.
As a big thank you for helping VICE’s YouTube channel reach one million subscribers, VICE founder Shane Smith offers you an insider’s tour of our headquarters in Brooklyn, New York, giving you a sneak peek of what exciting new VICE documentaries are on the horizon.
By now, you’ve probably seen the YouTube videos of the first horseman of the apocalypsespectacular meteor passing through Earth’s atmosphere above the Ural Mountains, lighting up the sky, injuring hundreds of people, and making Russian people shout a lot. You’re probably asking yourself a number of questions at this point: What the hell is going on? Is one of these things gonna land anywhere near me? Is it going to kill the people I care about? Is this the end of the world? Are we all fucked? And wait, why do all these Russians have cameras in their cars?
In Russia, the highways are icy, the drivers are drunk, the police like to extort motorists at random, insurance companies will cheat you whenever possible (sound familiar?), and road rage is, well, all the rage. As a result, drivers buy dashboard cameras—or dash cams—to record their traffic accidents and altercations, providing undeniable proof for the courts or their insurance company. At the very least, having a dash cam lowers your insurance rates. At the very most, it can save you a lot of money in an accident or a lawsuit.
Either way, the prevalence of dash cams has resulted in a wealth of bizarre Russian driving videos for you to waste your life away watching. Rather than leave you to wander blindly through YouTube, we’ve compiled seven of the most entertaining, bizarre, and terrifying Russian dash-cam videos. Oh, and if you’re looking to meet hot, single Russian women, your targeted YouTube ads will have you covered.
If there were a question on a driving test that asked, “If you are driving on the highway, and a 23,000-pound truck is skidding towards you, what is the appropriate course of action?” I would probably cry and assume the fetal position just reading it. The fact that the two guys don’t say anything, let alone don’t scream like little girls, until after the out of control 18-wheeler has safely skidded past them, gives you a sense of how completely ridiculous it is to drive in Russia.
As has been proven in recent months, Death Grips are some renegade fuckers (and we love them for it), so their new video for “Come Up And Get Me” was already self-posted on their Youtube. Here’s as official as a premiere as you’re gonna get. It’s got over nine minutes of silence and will really make you feel weird in your brain. Enjoy!
Maybe this could be your life. Dressed in something nice. Dancing in a line. As you wait in the line, to dance, you think of what manner of dance you’re going to do. When it gets to be your turn, you clap your hands, spring into motion, and do the dance. Then you get back into the line and think about how your dance was, or was not, the best dance of the afternoon/evening.
Maybe this could be your life. Practicing for your school’s Christmas pageant. You are filled with confidence because you’ve always had a knack for the arts, and for dancing. Your hair looks great. You farted at one point, but no one noticed. Or if they did, they didn’t say anything. You’re wearing the sweatpants your Mom bought for you at the dollar store. You washed them in the sink the night before and laid them out to dry on your dresser.
Maybe this could be your life. Maybe this could be your culturally diverse gay family.
Maybe this could be your life. Maybe you own hair clippers to keep yourself tight and nice. Maybe your girlfriend buys you a new bottle of cologne every time she goes to the gas station. Maybe you collect hats. Hats from all over the world.
Maybe this could be your life. Maybe you like to enjoy a nice cigar on Christmas morning. Maybe that cigar came from someone’s butt. Maybe it just came from the store. Maybe it’s all you got for Christmas. Maybe it’s all you wanted.
Who Is Alan Roberts, the Director of ‘Innocence of Muslims’? We Think His Real Name Is Robert Brownell
Early yesterday morning VICE was anonymously furnished with documents that link a California resident man named Robert Brownell (aka Robert Brown)— to the pre-production of Innocence of Muslims, the F-grade anti-Islamic film that has resulted in the killing of US ambassador Christian J. Stevens in Benghazi, Libya, and widespread protests in the region, as well as violent protest at and around the US embassies in Sanna, Yemen and Cairo, Egypt. He is a man who has, as of yet, not been named in association with the film.
The documents clearly state that in 2009 and 2011 Robert Brownell purchased pre-production services related to Desert Warrior, which has been widely reported as the working title of the film that the world now tragically knows as The Innocence of Muslims. A second card issued to Robert Brown was used to purchase additional services from the same company.
The documents also include Robert Brownell’s address in Tarzana, California, (or at least his address when the purchases were made in 2009; it’s now up for sale), phone number, and “contact information,” which lists yet a different name—Alan Roberts.
If you’ve been following this story closely, you know that Alan Roberts was listed as the film’s original director alongside a man who produced—and some reports suggest ended up directing—the film: Sam Bacile, aka Sam Basselley, aka Nakoula Bassely Nakoula.
Peoplefinders.com lists a 65-year-old man named Robert Alan Brown in North Hollywood, California, as having the aliases Roboert [sic] Brownell and Alan B. Roberts. His “business associations” include Alan Roberts Entertainment (which I believe is or was located at this building here and which as far as I can tell has never handled the production of a single movie, at least not one that made the IMDB). A cross-search on Nexis’s public records database seems to corroborate that Robert Brownell, Robert Brown, and Alan Roberts are all the same person.
So for now, exactly who directed this scourge of humanity—and whether or not it had multiple directors and producers—is still unclear, but I have a feeling it won’t be that way for long.
As I see it (and to make things streak-free clear, this is only my personal theory), there are two ways this can go: 1) Robert Brownell/Robert A. Brown is an unlucky guy who had his identity stolen by the person who paid for aspects of pre-production concerning the film (which isn’t out of the question considering that Nakoula Bassely Nakoula has gone to prison for identity theft, among other things), or 2) Robert Brownell/Brown and Alan Roberts are the same person. Multiple calls to and voicemails left on the number listed for Alan Roberts in the documents were not returned. And to my ears, the voicemail greeting states, “Hi, thanks for calling. I’m sorry I’m not in to take your call but if at the sound of the tone you leave me your name and telephone number, I’ll be happy to get back to you as soon as possible. Thanks for calling and have a great day,” spoken in the even-cadenced voice of a middle-age man. Is this Alan Roberts? Robert Brownell? Robert Brown? Will we ever know?
The documents also list a purchase made by a second (or possibly third) party:Jimmy Israel, who says he had minimal involvement in the film, the script of which he says was drastically different from the YouTube clips that have been denounced by members of the cast and crew and sparked widespread outrage in the Middle East. The accounts through which this information was obtained are registered to two users: Jimmy Israeal—and wouldn’t you know it—Adenob Basseley (whose address is listed as being in Hawaiian Gardens, CA, which would match up with the AP story that listed Nakoula Bassely Nakoula’s approximate location).
After innumerable dead-end calls and emails to Steve Klein, various cast and crew members, and completely unrelated people who happened to have the same names as people associated with the film, I attempted to contact Terry Jones (whom Motherboard interviewed yesterday) whose associate told me he was too busy to answer one follow-up question. When asked to relay the question she said, “No, nu-uh, we have never heard of a Robert Brownell or Robert Brown.” I pressed her: “Are you sure Terry has never heard of this name?” She said no. It seemed to me that if Robert Brownell played more than a cursory and unmemorable role in the film’s production, no one was going to own up to it.
The only other people to speak to me on the record were model and Desert Warrior/Innocence of Muslimscast member Tim Dax (who respectfully declined an interview with a “:)” and “Way too much!”) and, completely unexpectedly, Jimmy Israel—the only name without “Brown” in it that appeared in the leaked documents mentioned above.
Judging from our conversation, Jimmy seems like a very nice man. But if he does know Alan Roberts, or is friendly with someone named Robert Brownell, he did not spill the beans. (But if you have any information about this person or persons and are willing to share it with us, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.)
VICE: I was sent information that suggests you purchased pre-production services for Desert Warrior/Innocence of Muslims. Jimmy Israel: I don’t deny that, but I will only speak for myself. No one else.
Yeah. Then the original person came back. I worked two days on this job and that was it.
What was your official position on the production? Do you know if you’re credited in the film? No. When Sam Bacile came to me he wanted me to produce the film, and I said OK. I am not a director; I am a producer. But I was going to—I wanted to direct the film. The original person who introduced me to Sam came back and said he would do it, so Sam went with him. So I worked two days and that was it.