Teenage Bullfighters – Profiles by VICE
Michelito Lagravere is 16. The day he was born, his bullfighter father was battling a bull. At four years old, Lagravere would run around his house with a towel and “fight” his pet dog. He killed his first calf at six. At 11, he killed six bulls in a single day. By age 14, Lagravere officially turned into the youngest bullfighter ever.
For this episode of Profiles by VICE, we went to Merida, on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, to meet this young bullfighter, his parents, and his younger brother André “El Galo,” who is poised to follow in his brother’s footsteps. The Lagravere brothers are destined for greatness in an old (and questionable) Mexican tradition.
My Homie Sells Homies
In 1996 Bradley Ellison, a.k.a. Sugarman, started Sugar Daddies vending company in Staten Island. He placed thousands of machines throughout New York City in pizza parlors, supermarkets, and corner shops.
Due largely in part to a cash economy, his business flourished, shaking down every neighborhood kid for their milk money in exchange for a sticky hand, bouncy ball, or a handful of candies.
In 2004, he finally made it big with the “Homies” series (arguably the most popular vending toy of all time), grossing over $1 million in sales.
We traveled to New York City’s forgotten borough, Staten Island, to find out how Sugarman created a small vending empire—and how he subsequently lost it—one quarter at a time.
Behind the Scenes of Palo Alto
Jacqui Getty’s behind-the-scenes look at Gia Coppola’s directorial debut, Palo Alto, starring Emma Roberts, James Franco, Jack Kilmer, Nat Wolff, and Val Kilmer. The film is based on James Franco’s short-story collection, Palo Alto, and is now playing in select cities nationwide.
Meet the Anonymous Instagram User Dedicated to Calling Out Rappers with Fake Watches
FakeWatchBusta calls himself “The Horological Batman,” a vigilante out there policing these internet streets keeping everyone safe from the scourge that is fake high-end timepieces (“Horology” = the study of watches and keeping time; it comes from the same Greek word from which we get “hour.”) Armed with only an eye for detail and a smartphone, FWB puts anyone flossing a replica watch on blast. He’s had his accounts canceled, legal threats, and a lot of pissed off ballers, but he will not be stopped!
Although his identity is a mystery, his email address is not. We caught up over the weekend.
We’re on the ground in Kiev live streaming the Ukrainian revolt. Watch
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.
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Season 2 of Fresh Off the Boat – Trailer
In Fresh Off the Boat season two, Eddie takes you on a global excursion examining cities in transition. From the abandoned Packard Plant in Detroit to migrant Kyrgyz workers in Moscow to the yurts of the Gobi Desert, we see the wreckage that global capitalism has left behind and get a glimpse of what could be its next meal in the Mongolian steppes. From high-powered meetings with the pandas of Chengdu and pasta with self-proclaimed celebrity gangster Dave Courtney, we ask the people on the ground whether the changes we’re seeing and the progress we’ve been promised are actually helping the every day man in his pursuit of happiness. Of course, this all happens through the lens of food, across a table, on a plate. Fuck with the kid.
The premiere episode of Fresh Off the Boat season two will air September 30 on VICE.com.
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VICE Podcast Show – Reggie Watts
The VICE Podcast Show 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 gets comedian Reggie Watts to reveal his agenda of world domination.
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Watch James Franco’s New Film & Read About His Time in New Orleans with Nic Cage
In Euripides’s The Bacchae, Dionysus comes to the city and enchants all the women. They follow him out to the woods where wild dances take place under the trance of the god. This is Dionysus before he becomes the chubby guy depicted in all the paintings. This is Dionysus when he is at his most beautiful, almost like a woman. The women who follow him are the Bacchae, and their dances of revelry are called Bacchanalias. In these trances they are not in their usual minds, they have transcended normal consciousness and entered a hyperactive realm where they are capable of anything, both mentally and physically: orgies are implied, great orgies with the young male god at the center. They also tear wild animals limb from limb with their bare hands.
I read The Bacchae in high school, during my Jim Morrison obsession. Morrison identified with Dionysus. He got into Dionysus through Nietzsche, whose ethos balanced the Dionysian artistic drive with the Apollonian drive for order. You can see all of Morrison’s person bound up in this Nietzchean idea of Dionysus: the music as ritual, the lyrics (always calling for people to follow him, to let him fuck them, and for them to kill the father figure), and a stage persona that basically revolved around trying to seduce and screw the audience.
In the play, King Pentheus goes out to the woods to confront Bacchus (the Roman name for Dionysus) because Pentheus doesn’t believe the young stranger is a god. When he meets the women in their wild trance, his mother among them, the women tear Pentheus apart with their bare hands. His mother decapitates him because she knows not what she does.
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