Friday, April 6, 2018

Awww Yeah vol. 80

Allison Mack now leading NXIVM branded sex slaves; slaves still on 24 hour ‘readiness’ under former Smallville actress

Ever since alleged cult leader Keith Raniere was arrested in Mexico last week, speculation has circulated about if or when Smallville actress Allison Mack will also be arrested for her role in allegedly recruiting women who were branded, blackmailed, near-starved, and treated as personal slaves.....Despite her wholesome TV image, Allison Mack is believed to have helped establish the so-called criminal organization that branded dozens of members’ skin with a cryptic-looking symbol that appears to be a combination of Mack and Raniere’s initials. So far, much of the media spotlight has focused on this surprising “Hollywood connection” to Raniere, but few have considered many associated actresses’ deep Vancouver roots.....According to Parlato and an interview Mack did with Fine magazine, Raniere advised Mack to leave television and try stage acting soon after. She and Raniere went on to develop a $10,000 [$7,813 USD] Nxivm course on acting called The Source. Though unpopular and prohibitively expensive for most struggling actors, Parlato says young women who tended to fit Raniere’s ideal body type would sometimes get a free pass....Though her acting career has since fizzled, Mack has remained loyal to Raniere and was with him in Mexico when he was arrested last Monday on sex trafficking charges, according to a short video taken by Nicki Clyne. Voicemail messages left with Mack and Clyne were not returned by press time.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Negation Aspiration vol. 101

An intimidating story emerging on Reddit plays on the horror of the unknown lurking in plain sight among the tools we use for everyday dialogue

Wednesday, March 28, 2018


Ready Player One (the book) came out in 2011, at the high-water mark of the “nerd as cultural force” phenomenon. At the time, G4 was still going strong and Chris Hardwick had released a self-help book with a cover featuring Hardwick brandishing the word “nerd” written on his knuckles, promising to teach you “how to reach the next level (in real life).” Gamergate hadn’t happened yet, and there was still a widespread assumption that to be a “nerd” was to be sensitive and thoughtful, if obsessive and socially awkward. There were signs that this assumption was wildly misguided even then, especially if you’d spent any time actually hanging out with the obsessive and awkward. Discussing the culture’s failings at the time, a game developer friend of mine said the trouble with these consumer-as-identity folks was that they can “categorize but not synthesize.”
This describes Ready Player One to a T. Its story celebrates the ability to retain pieces of pop culture ephemera, but even in lionizing characters who devote their entire lives to it can’t come up with any plausible explanation of why this might be good. Even when depicting ways that it might be bad it seems blind to its own implications. It’s a movie where the main character delivers a stirring speech about all the friends he’s found in the virtual reality video game world — It’s even helped him find love! — at which his audience stands rapt in the streets, Spielberg-faced in agreement — Yeah! We have lots of virtual friends now too! — seemingly unconscious of the fact that they already had 20 potential real-world friends standing two feet away from them, if they’d only taken off the VR headsets and said hello. The film makes a half-hearted attempt to address the analog world (“The best thing about reality is… it’s real” is an actual line), but it’s so transparently tacked on that it only serves to further expose the creators’ disinterest in the world outside games.
The most damning critique I can give Spielberg is that even while he’s enough of a virtuoso to get me invested in someone else’s video game, he can’t identify the crushing void at the center of this narrative. He comes off a brilliant craftsman and a mediocre thinker.

‘Ready Player One’ Is Both Visually Dazzling And An Unintentional Satire Of Consumer Culture

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Negation Aspiration vol. 100

previously on Negation Aspiration 

Children's YouTube is still churning out blood, suicide and cannibalism

Children's search terms on YouTube are still awash with bizarre and sometimes disturbing bootleg content. Can anything be done to stem the tide?

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Negation Aspiration vol. 99

Satanism Drama Is Tearing Apart the Murderous Neo-Nazi Group Atomwaffen

‘How do you allow [in] people who explicitly say they are satanic doomsday cultists who infiltrate right-wing groups in order to press their agenda?’ one frustrated neo-Nazi asked.