TunesWeek: our favorite videos of the 1990s, pt. 1 (NSFW)

Part 1 in a series.

In the 1980s, video killed the radio star. In the 2000s, MTV, Millennials and a whole new wave of mobile technology killed video. In between, though, we had the ’90s, the golden age of the form. While the ’80s were about pioneering a new genre of short film built around pop and rock songs, the ’90s were about exploring the deeper creative possibilities of an established genre. When we think about the greatest videos of all time, most of what comes to mind happened in the 1990s.

This week, S&R is going to feature some of our favorites of the decade. We’re not going to go all self-righteous and rank the 100 greatest of all time or anything – other sites have done that and we don’t want you laughing at us as hard as we’re laughing at them. But we are going to present some great moments, some artists, directors and vids that moved the needle. In no particular order. So enjoy yourself.

Let’s start with an ass-kicking or two, shall we? Up first, one of the most shocking and thought-provoking videos of all time, Prodigy’s “Smack My Bitch Up.” (Directed by Jonas Åkerlund.)

Nine Inch Nails went on to release videos that were arguably more accomplished artistically, but for me “Wish” was the wake-up call. (Directed by Peter Christopherson.)

Saturday Video Roundup: Who ya gonna call?

Happy Saturday, kiddies, and welcome back to another exciting episode of SVR! Today, let’s see if you can guess the theme.

Up first – I’ve heard of “gangbusters,” but “Gangnambusters” is a new one.

Next: In retrospect, it’s hard to understand why they didn’t do it this way in the first place.

Finally, the only thing wrong here is that they didn’t do a video.

That’s a wrap. Everybody have a nice weekend, and hey – be careful out there.

Kara is self-aware: technology is climbing out of the uncanny valley, but toward what?

The uncanny valley is a hypothesis in the field of robotic and 3D computer animation, which holds that when human replicas look and act almost, but not perfectly, like actual human beings, it causes a response of revulsion among human observers. The “valley” in question is a dip in a proposed graph of the positivity of human reaction as a function of a robot’s human likeness.

This, from the folks at game developer Quantic Dream, is simply remarkable.

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Nota Bene #122: OWStanding

“When I lie on the beach there naked, which I do sometimes, and I feel the wind coming over me and I see the stars up above and I am looking into this very deep, indescribable night, it is something that escapes my vocabulary to describe. Then I think: ‘God, I have no importance. Whatever I do or don’t do, or what anybody does, is not more important than the grains of sand that I am lying on, or the coconut that I am using for my pillow.'” Who said it? Continue reading

Van Jones vs. the cult of personality (plus a little Saturday Video Roundup)

This morning I got an e-mail from a colleague who’s working with the American Dream Movement. Said friend is all-in with the goals and values of the project, but is stepping cautiously where Van Jones, the movement’s leader, is concerned. It’s nothing against Jones personally, I don’t think – my friend seems to admire him a great deal and thinks he’s exceptionally bright and committed. Instead, it’s more a case of the current boyfriend paying for the sins of the last boyfriend. We all know how that goes. Your last boyfriend – let’s call him “Barry” – promised you the sun, the moon and the stars and then he hopped in bed with all the mean girls in the school. How can you ever trust a boy again? Continue reading