Friday links! This modern world edition

Minds more astute than mine have pointed out that the time machine must be impossible, because if it will have beeninvented, we surely would have had visitors from the future by now. Maybe, though, they just don’t want us to bore them with arguments about how especially crazy everything is now. Surely our present moment constitutes an ordinary broomstroke in the sweep of history, but it seems crazy and futuristic. Ours is an age shocked by its own novelty. Whether we’re lauding the world-changing potential of Twitter or decrying the precipitous fall of old-fashioned morality, we seem to be a nation out of time, blithely declaring each day the turning point we’ve all been waiting for or the final goodbye of the world we once knew. As Bob Dylan once said, the times, this is going to be a really short concert because I am super old. In preparation for the last weekend of the beginning of our lives, Combat! blog presents links to stories that indicate the onset of a new age, if only by our panicked resentment of the change. Won’t you turn a little of the future into the past with us?

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Now we feel bad

Violent J, who only wants you to feel dead on the outside

A couple of weeks ago, Combat! blog may have kind of made fun of the heartfelt artistic expression of Insane Clown Posse, the earnestness of whose “Miracles” suggested, among other things, that while they may be an evil-clown-themed rap act, they are not an evil clown-themed rap act.  Since then—and, if we’re going to be completely honest, before then—”Miracles” has become something of a popular culture punchline, culminating in a parody on last week’s Saturday Night Live. The song expresses a certain, um, childlike innocence, both in its awe for the sublime in everyday experience and in its ignorance of basic science. The problem with “Miracles” is that when you listen to it, you are torn between your somewhat surprised approval of Shaggy 2 Dope and Violent J’s essential message—that we should preserve our appreciation for wonder in an increasingly callous world—and your desire to mock their demand to know how “fuckin’ magnets” work. Yes, these men are idiots. Yes, the premise of the video appears to be that two Pep Boys employees died on Halloween and are now passing through the screen savers that defined their lives. And yes, we are all dicks for making fun of them. If you don’t think so, read this editorial from Violent J in The Hatchet Herald, in which he points out just how happy we all were to satirize the hard target that is two dudes in clown makeup rapping about miracles. Props to Marryin’ Megan Mahan for the link.

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