• The Contextual Issue
    The Contextual Issue

    Bad News

    3D-printed Grills, ISIS babies, and the GOP's Fake Homophobia

    Well, I'm back. Had to take the bench while the internet made pumpkin spice jokes about basic bitches for two months. But actually, what I was doing is building a column system for this Magazine, so check out how we've listed all the previous episodes or whatever. They're over there (points right) if your on a laptop, and down there (points down) if you're on a phone or a tablet. Or a phablet. My aunt used to think it was hilarious to say "Tar-jay" instead of Target. Please don't say "Fab-lay". Here is the soundtrack:

    What's been up lately? Let's dive right in, it's already afternoon:

    I'm not super opposed to the idea of proper grammar. Go ahead and correct my grammar when I'm wrong, but only when I'm actually wrong.

    Anita Sarkeesian cancelled a speaking event after an anonymous threat to shoot up a school. People think she's a 'feminist extremist' for being 'unreasonable' about the portrayal of women in video games and among 'gamer culture', which is ridiculous because I know feminist extremists and they are actually pretty chill.

    I'd like to think we can meet somewhere in the middle. Maybe don't threaten to rape and kill women just for criticizing some video games, and maybe we could all just appreciate this kid who just beat Mario 64, Goldeneye, and Zelda: Ocarina of Time simultaneously on three N64s in under an hour.

    13 years ago, I was a 14-year-old loser in a basement downloading music off KaZaA, which means (ergo?) my mp3 library was graced by Afroman's "Because I got High". So it's kind of perfect that his anthem about being too high to live up to his simple, achievable responsibilities has been made into a midlife crisis remix the rest of society can finally appreciate vicariously.

    The State made revenue, because I got high ...
    They built a school or two, because I got high ...

    And speaking of the unstoppable advance of biopower, legions of unemployed twentysomethings let out a collective ‘ugh, really?’ recently, when Apple and Facebook both announced they would include 'egg-freezing' in their employee's benefits packages. What's so offensive about it? Probably the suggestion that people should wait to get pregnant until they retire early and work harder longer in the meantime. Eh, you know I'm a little surprised so many people find this upsetting – complaining about the coverage of reproductive health care is something conservatives do – but who cares what I think.

    Chances are good that you've seen at least one of the Jonathan Mann's "song-a-day" videos. He's made more than two thousand of them. Well a few days ago he recorded the "iOS Autocomplete Song" written completely by iOS 8's autocomplete feature.


    Two teenage girls who left Austria six months ago to join ISIS have reportedly become pregnant and would now like to return to Europe. It's not clear if this is even real life, or just another ingenious ISIS PR campaign, either way I'm probably going to watch the rest of this show. *sets the remote down*.

    Mask Magazine, and all our strange bedfellows, have been kicking around the term 'anthropocene' a bit lately, and lo, it is in the news.

    Let's all pretend Google Glass 'holes' have some sort of special internet addiction that's different from our normal internet addictions. I just use the internet socially. I'll have one or two at a party, you know, to get into the vibe. And then 8 more if I want to ever fall asleep. It's not like the only thing I think about.

    Thinking about writing as a job? Need advice? Want some from an accomplished editor? Here is Sarah Nicole Prickett on making writing into a day job:

    A life sustained by only the kind of writing you actually, really want to do is a life within reach of >one per cent of all good writers in America. Don’t make a living your dream. Don’t be too precious; be stubborn and sensitive, but also, have a few skins. At first, say yes to everything. Say yes before you start saying no. Take risks, try it all on—voices, styles, structures—before ruling it out.

    When President Nixon's position on 'homosexuality' was made public this summer, it signaled the already inevitable rapid concession on the Republican party's 'moral' stance against gay marriage. Namely, that the party has been using division on LGBTQ rights for almost half a century to draw votes without really caring one way or the other. However, numbers now indicate that the strategy is no longer capable of providing a useful advantage. I find this sort of thing very interesting, especially as various Republican moderates attempt to apologize for their behavior to save face, rationalizing the rhetorical move as 'necessary to hold the empire together'. At times, quite literally the empire. Here's Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson on the problem of 'Political Correctness' in Bloomberg:

    "The reason that is very troubling to me is that it's the very same thing that happened to the Roman Empire,” he says, growing serious. “They were extremely powerful. There was no way anybody could overcome them. But these philosophers, with the long flowing white robes and the long white beards, they could wax eloquently on every subject, but nothing was right and nothing was wrong. They soon completely lost sight of who they were."

    I'd put on a long flowing white robe and sprout a long flowing white beard for halloween – you know a ‘philosopher’ – but I'm already going as my avatar.

    I really liked this short documentary on a squat in Bed-Stuy for some reason. People like to glorify squatting, but being homeless sucks. That's why I find it so moving that a kind of family being sweet to each other in such adverse conditions happens so consistently ... I don't know maybe I'm getting soft. Oh, and would you just can it with the oogle jokes for two seconds and let me have a moment?

    Did you watch Friends? Well, I don't want to hear about it. But you'll be able to watch the full series on Netflix as of New Years Day, 2015. So try to contain your hairflips.

    Take a picture of a shape with your phone and convert it into a vector file. Aka the first thing I'll show myself when I travel back in time to prove I'm a sorcerer. Norway's redesigned money goes the other direction, putting a pixel glitch art motif directly on their crowns.

    I'm not going to link to the story I read about the 19-year-old who was arrested in Florida for having sex with stuffed animals in a Walmart because you have to draw the line. A blogger's gotta have a code.

    I WILL link to this fucking 3D-printed gold grill art project though. In a gold-related tangent, my friend Max tweeted this music video at me while I was writing this part so that's kinda creepy and similar.

    *Throws arms out and around like a rainbow* The sun rises on a picaresque Scottsdale, AZ. Birds chirp. Lawn sprinkler's oscillate. Palm fronds rattle. Someone spraypaints "Ebola Quarantine Zone" on the walls of a high-net-worth gated community:

    “It wasn’t nice, it’s not fun,” resident Lisa Gorgone told KPNX. “Kids don’t have anything better to do now that we’re on fall break and they’re going to go and destroy. People pay a lot of money to live in an area like this and they’re destroying it.”

    And with that, I'm out. I'll just leave these right here:

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