Eyes on drugs
11.25.2014
09:17 am

Topics:
Drugs

Tags:
pupils


 
VICE visited a nightclub in Berlin and photographed close-up images of people’s eyeballs while they were under certain er, illegal (and some legal) substances to see it you can tell what drug they’re on by the size of their pupils.

Opiates tend to constrict your pupils while the likes of cocaine, ecstasy and amphetamines—“speedier” drugs—will dilate your pupils.

Apparently German police use a device that’s called a “pupillograph” (kinda like a pair of glasses) that can determine if someone’s on a drug by the size of their pupils before the blood test results even come back. From what I’ve read online about the “pupillograph,” the device doesn’t actually work too well with determining drug use. It works great for determining glaucoma, though!

I don’t know. These all seem kinda bogus if you ask me. It really depends on what lights are on around them and the flash on the camera. I’m not saying they aren’t on drugs, but I take this with a grain of salt.

Anyway, I guess it’s sorta interesting to look at.


 

 

 
More after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Bugs Bunny’s racist adventure
11.25.2014
08:48 am

Topics:
Animation
Race

Tags:
World War II
Bugs Bunny


 
So many friends of mine are Disney fanatics, but I’ve always been partial to Warner Brothers cartoons. Most of the classic Bugs Bunny, Sylvester, Wile E. Coyote and Daffy Duck cartoons still make me bust a gut. When I watch the 70-year-old “Bugs Bunny Nips the Nips,” however, it just makes my face burn and sweat pool in my shoes. It’s a long, uncomfortable, ugly eight minutes. Caveat spectator.

For reasons that will be immediately apparent, you probably did not see this extravagantly racist WWII-era propaganda cartoon during the Saturday mornings of your childhood. Wikipedia says it was released on home video collections in the early ‘90s, but these were quickly withdrawn after the studio received complaints. In any event, it was conspicuously absent from Bugs & Daffy: The Wartime Cartoons and the Looney Tunes DVD set that covers this period.

I first saw it on a millionth-generation VHS I rented from a video store in Berkeley, the same place I first found a copy of Robert Frank’s famously unreleasable Rolling Stones documentary, Cocksucker Blues. That bootleg of “Bugs Bunny Nips the Nips” looked and sounded about as bad as the “restored” version Spike TV posted several years ago, only the color was even more washed-out.

Recently, a much higher quality copy has surfaced online. While it’s not crystal clear, and the top of the frame is still cut off, at least the headache you get watching it will be attributable to racism alone. The wretched quality of the bootleg wouldn’t let you forget the cartoon’s contraband status, which—for me, at least—made the short slightly less disturbing: it was marked as a banned film, never to be screened again. Here, it just looks like another Saturday morning with Bugs. 
 

Definitely NSFW.
 

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
Turn on Negativland’s ‘No Other Possibility’ and fry your brain
11.25.2014
08:40 am

Topics:
Idiocracy
Music
Television

Tags:
Negativland


 
No Other Possibility was Negativland’s first video, released in 1989, the same year as “Helter Stupid,” pitched right between their “Christianity Is Stupid” hoax of a couple years earlier and “U2” a couple years later.

I hadn’t seen this in quite a while—I had honestly forgotten how tremendously enjoyable Negativland is. Their stuff is way more entertaining than any anti-establishment culture-jammin’ nutcases have any right to be. (I guess if you invent the term “culture jamming,” you have a license to transcend the genre.) This video is very good, and I had also not realized the high level of musicianship on display here—certainly “Nesbitt’s Lime Soda” and “Fire Song” and “Very Stupid” (I’m not sure that last one has an official title, the Internet seems to call it “Theme From ‘a Big 10-8 Place,’” which is dumb) are all top-notch.

Negativland are pitched almost exactly between DEVO and Tim & Eric—with less instinct for schtick than either (this is a brave and good thing). And yet there is a kind of schtick to it, too. In the opening crawl, supposedly penned by “Crosley Bendix, Director, Stylistic Premonitions” (later played by Don Joyce), you can hear that excessively modest and self-annihilating tone, familiar from David Letterman in his NBC days and also certain misanthropic comix guys like Chris Ware and Daniel Clowes. I think the idea is that you have to be as hard on yourself as you are on your target; you have to torch the self because you can begin to reconstruct (and also criticize/satirize others).
 

 
The video is purest 1980s slacker fodder in that the biggest sin is to be unaware, to be incapable of irony. If only the suburbans/corporates/normals could be more ironic! You see much the same idea in, say, Reality Bites, but it’s not really a good tack—the slackers (hey, I’m one too) couldn’t figure out any other point of attack. Negativland’s methods haven’t dated much at all IMO, but that part, the pro-irony ethos, does feel a bit dated here.

In addition to being an essay about the vapidity of American culture, No Other Possibility also serves as a kind of diary for the Negativland guys themselves. About halfway through we get a video report about a fire that destroyed their apartment/studio in El Cerrito, California on Friday, February 13, 1987. The very end of the video is taken up with a terribly earnest report about Negativland’s involvement in the David Brom murders of 1988, based on connections that were entirely made up by Negativland.

At some point “Crosley Bendix” (Don Joyce) has a little speech about numerology, at the end of which he cries, “Thanks a million! You’ve been a wonderful audience. Bye, Cleveland!” Which is only noteworthy because I was in fact watching it in Cleveland.
 

 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
1948 NYC pot bust caught on film. Arrestee has a mean case of the giggles
11.25.2014
07:39 am

Topics:
Drugs
History

Tags:
marijuana
New York City
pot


 
As public support for the decriminalization of marijuana grows, states are loosening restrictions left and right and the US is making its slooooooow crawl towards sane drug policies. Yes, we still have a long way to go before we’re able to proudly and patriotically blow bong rips in a cop’s face, but I believe it’s healthy to acknowledge our progress and reflect on the enormous precedent of drug panics we’re gradually counteracting—so let’s check out some vintage newsreel from a drug bust in 1948!

In this dramatic Telenews short, five men and one woman are arrested for their stash of 60 “reefers” (joints) and $2,000 worth of bulk weed! That’s $2,000 in 1948, and the weed was probably terrible back then! This was before mandatory sentencing guidelines for pot, meaning these folks had no idea what kind of jail time or fines they might receive, and yet, they don’t seem particularly worried! One dude in particular can’t stop laughing; what a curiously inexhaustible humor he has!

Despite what was then the prevailing public perception of pot as a volatile gateway to psychosis and/or heroin addiction, our jovial drug dealers’ neighbors appear unruffled by the bust, and like true New Yorkers, they immediately start discussing the newly vacant apartment.
 

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment