Monster metal props to Ben Gabriel for the link. For my money, this sort of video is where the mash-up culture of the internet most closely approaches art. You’ve got your juxtaposition of disparate elements—Slayer’s “Angel of Death” and footage from a bunch of Pentecostal churches where, presumably, they would not like Slayer—that evokes how sparate those elements really are. This sudden recognition of congruence is called beauty, or maybe just humor. I think this video is funny. The kid who goes hopping across the shot at :48—maybe not with total sincerity—is funny. The open headbanging at 2:25 is funny. The inadvertent lip synch at 2:53 is funny. And as skeptical and probably anti-religious as the tone is, it’s also a celebration of raw human energy, which is funny. My praise of this video would be unqualified, were I not so relieved every time a white person appeared onscreen.
Oh, to be young in Warra Wanna
It’s Friday, and that means it’s time to fit the irregular detritus of the week into a taught chain of causal, um, links. The problem with contemporary life—if I can just jump right into it here—is that it’s increasingly non-narrative. Ever since the basic unit of work went from stalking a mastodon over the frozen plains for two weeks to franking insurance forms in a cubicle for eight hours, human life has become more and more episodic. That’s great for creating a mood but bad for developing character, to put it in workshop terms. Maybe that’s why the character of our nation has been so moody lately, with alternating factions declaring crisis amid recovery, victory in stalemate, strategem in disaster and vice versa, pretty much anew every morning. There must be a narrative in there somewhere, since yesterday will definitely not be happening again today, but sometimes the story seems hard to follow. Maybe we’re just looking at another week’s episode in the long-running melodrama of stupidity versus sense. Maybe stupidity has won, and the rest of the performance will be a puppet show, with shrieking socks debating each other in the same idiot’s voice. The fact of the matter is that not everything happens according to some plan, and our best evidence for destiny is still assembled in retrospect. This week, retrospect reveals only a startling refusal to cohere. As you move from the structure of your workweek to the short-form improvisations of the weekend, consider Camus’s assertion that meaning is only something we make for ourselves, and therefore so is meaninglessness. It is the edge between our desperate understandings and an indifferent universe where stories are made, and it’s the friction in the joint that gives them heat. It’s a cold morning in the Combat! blog offices, so let’s get a little fire going, huh?