Join Hands, Let Go

When browsing Facebook or other places you may have come across this GIF of a guy having a ketchup bottle go all Old Faithful on him and wondered just what’s going on here.

via GIPHY

Sorry (not sorry), but you’re about to take a trip down the rabbit hole here. Bear with me, this is a strange tale.

A few of you may also seen the most perplexing piece of film that this came from, most likely by way of RiffTrax. But what actually is this? Why was it made?

Amazingly, RiffTrax seems to be the only place I’ve found the video online. It’s worth paying them a dollar for what they do to gaze upon this… weirdness… and ponder along with all of us.

The reactions to most people after having seen it are similar to mine – see this Facebook thread for lots of mass confusion.

After being suitably confused by this and the fact that it was apparently produced and distributed (where?) by Encyclopedia Britannica, I reached out to them for the mysterious background behind this film.

Much to my surprise… I got an answer from them. Here’s the story:

Hi Tom,

 

Thanks for asking about the Britannica film “Join Hands, Let’s Go” (1969). This film was part of a series called Magic Moments, which was produced for elementary-school classrooms through the Encyclopaedia Britannica Educational Corporation.

 

More information about the concept behind the series can be found in this blog post, about a different film in the series: http://blogs.britannica.com/2013/09/britannica-classic-videos-magic-sneakers-1969. Essentially, Magic Moments films were “designed to be ambiguous in order to promote thinking and provoke discussion among elementary students.”

 

The following text, from a 1970s print ad, may give you an additional idea of what the series was aiming for:

 

“Today, we helped teachers hear from the silent minority. You’ll be delighted with the way even the ordinarily withdrawn child will respond to our imaginative Magic Moments film series. And your entire language arts class will react to these full-color 16 mm sound films with enthusiasm you never believed possible! Minds become unlocked. Verbal skills are encouraged that help develop reading and writing skills.  And children are eager to accept assignments. An ideal supplement to our Language Experiences in Reading program. Magic Moments should be seen to be fully appreciated. Twenty unique films in all—send for one film to examine at your leisure. You’ll see why Magic Moments makes the silent minority want to be heard.”

 

No doubt, these films are rather…odd. But hopefully, this context makes them a bit less baffling.

 

Best,

 

John M. Cunningham

Manager, Audience Engagement

Encyclopaedia Britannica

Well, if the goal was to be ambiguous and stimulate discussion, this worked— perhaps a little too well, along with a colossal air of mystery. I have to wonder how many language arts classes were filled with confusion and laughter by these film reels…

sharecropping in cyberspace

Too cheap to pay a graphic designer for what their talent’s actually worth to come up with your company’s branding? Two for one special on Fiverr!

…..fuck this noise, angry reacts only

Transmit THAT from your Cybiko

That moment you finish racking in a brand new Nautel VS2.5 and look in the back panel hexagon grill to see what looks like a hell of a happening Y2K futurism looking night club interior

After color filtering:

Before:

Oh and I was not kidding about the hexagons, this would work in a couple different eras of retrofuturism.

Department of Asshole Blockades (DAB) – the random border patrol check!

I’ve never really entirely been sure what dabbing is but here’s a rendition of it in front of a transmitter under repair. You’ll need that image to help convey just how surreal this tale is.

This morning I received a new Ikegami camera and lens, well, new to me– it’s fully digital, recording standard definition to a DV tape! I have one already but the tape transport started giving out, so I decided that one will continue on being used with 1394 capture.

Unfortunately the new one had an Anton Bauer battery plate on the back, and all my power stuff is the Sony style V mount, so I couldn’t power it up in the field just yet. I did test it using the power supply for the Tieline Via at work and it all worked fine. Coming soon: the rant on the bad cult of Anton Bauer power. It’ll likely be of reasonable levels of shitposting…

So I’m leaving the office and stopped for gas. Prices are almost $3.60 due to the holiday— eww.

Then as I’m getting back in the car after pumping gas, a border patrol vehicle comes screaming in and switches on its takedown lights and the officer jumps out and dashes to me. Double eww.

The camera is sitting on the passenger seat. As he was pulling in, I’d propped it up so the lens was aimed at the window. Of course it wasn’t running or even powered, but you wouldn’t just know this. The officer comes to the window and starts to ask to see my ID, then…..

* DAB OF CONCEALMENT *

Guess he noticed the camera. He now had his face in his elbow and hand over his badges. Before he’d quickly covered them I saw an ICE badge (without a number or name) and a G4S identification card. I guess that answers my question as to whether contractors are being used for this garbage.

“Is that camera on satellite?”, he asked…. His elbow. I could barely understand him. I replied “yes” and he suddenly lost all interest in my identification and turned his back to me.

Now, to the pillar holding up the gas station canopy, he said “you can go, good night!”. This revealed a case of male pattern baldness and a badly drawn cluster of stars tattooed on his scalp peeking through the greasy weeds.

I started to leave and noticed my phone was showing no service. It had been working fine while I was pumping gas. I looked back at the car and sure enough, there was one of those dodgy shitbox cellular jammers with like six antennas haphazardly growing out of it sitting on the dash. My phone came back on about a block from the station.

A similar looking device. I couldn’t just save that image due to clever stylesheet abuse.

I kept half expecting to be followed into an ambush, like a particularly awful one I experienced in the Shitty of Miami, but nothing ever happened. It was just a stupid spot check and I apparently inadvertently washed out the spot. Out, damn spot, out!

So I may have mentioned before that I’ve started to have issues over the last year or so really processing bullshit like this as reality, because well, what in the actual fuck?

This was like, if my grasp on reality is a slice of a pizza that someone’s trying to pick up and remove but it’s got a few strings of hot cheese connecting it to the pie… this just came along and sliced them right off. Oops.

So here I am driving home feeling like I’m actually in some kind of dystopian projection and not even questioning it anymore…. I was going down highway 99 west and seeing where normally empty little side roads now had police lights flashing in the distance and thinking of how Salvador Dali revisited his famous “The Persistence of Memory” in The Disintegrating of the Persistence of Memory, breaking up the landscape into atoms as understanding of particle physics advanced, but with a kind of unnerving feel to it as if this was bringing on complete destruction. Is this just “normal” or is this a slow disintegration? What the heck is this?

Pardon the mess, this is the camera I was talking about, it’s huge. It’s one of these things that sits on your shoulder and then you have to try not to walk into walls any more than usual.

Also it doesn’t have this extra connector on the right that my other one does, and weighs noticeably less. I wonder what the difference is. I found the test pattern generator set to “IDPTV CAM2”, Idaho Public Television? … and the VTR hour counter at an amazing… old… EIGHT. Yeah, this was a studio camera most likely before the studio upgraded to HD. The Canon lens has a slightly whiny zoom motor that appears not to be serviceable as it’s in a cemented plastic cylinder,, but it’s getting quieter as I work it.

Maybe now I’ll get some nice dabbing videos.

Categories: art

Pop Team Epic is amazing.

I’ve never seen anything so wonderfully deconstruct every possible trope in the world of anime, the very medium of anime itself, and even the nature of humor itself as what I’ve seen out of Pop Team Epic, but then this gem appeared in episode #8—

This is actually still animation, technically. In fact, they’ve also used puppetry which can be classified as animation. I’ve just never seen a performance anything like this before and it totally blew me away. I watched it twice and the second time I was looking for anywhere they could have cut it between takes— I only noticed one cut in the last few seconds when they cut to zoom in.

Some years ago I had a dream where I had found an episode of “Dave Barry TV” on the tube late at night. The sort of situations and pacing in Pop Team Epic reminds me of what I saw in that dream— except, in that dream, the episode of Dave Barry TV lasted about four minutes after which Dave didn’t know what to do past that point so he spent the rest of the episode massacring low-flow toilets.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLabhPVVG2I

Kinetic and Interactive Sculpture

This is one of the fields I’d really love to someday apply my skills with electronics and mechanical technology towards.

From the “excessively pleasing” department….

Flip dot love?

Flip dot love.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xEEKBbKvuMQ

Categories: art