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The kids are not alright: Nasty notes, death threats & other troubling pieces of ‘art’ done by kids
08.23.2017
12:18 pm
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Kids these days.
 
So first things first—I’m a parent myself (terrifying, I know), and have seen my fair share of questionable illustrations done by my own kid. Everything he drew from a very young age was full of blood and guts, and as a bonafide ghoul myself it didn’t worry me one bit. We illustrated gory stuff together and loved every minute of it. At one point during his young life, he told his grandmother to leave the “ants” alone in the giant anthill in her driveway, and this was probably the first of many times I noticed he possessed a strong empathy for all living things, great and small. So listen—just because a child expresses themselves in a way that might seem sinister, it should in no way equate them to perhaps being the next Jeffrey Dahmer. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule including that one, and this post is full of possible warning signs that might support that notion. Though in general, I believe these kids are just behaving like kids—albeit with some serious, badass attitude. And I applaud them.

I know some of the images in this post have made the rounds on other sites. However, I think I’ve managed to pull together an impressively twisted collection you will enjoy full of nasty notes and lots of strange illustrations done by kids who don’t like leprechauns and send letters to relatives in Hell asking how they are doing. Ah, the brutal, unfiltered honesty of youth gone wild—you gotta love it. Some of the images that follow are slightly NSFW.
 

Tough break, Valerie.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Cherrybomb
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08.23.2017
12:18 pm
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Two kids in 1993 remade ‘Jurassic Park’ with toys and a VHS video camera—and it rules
06.24.2015
08:27 am
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Michael Raisch and David Chakrin, Summer 1993. Photo by Raisch Studios.
 
Jurassic World recently broke the record for biggest opening weekend in North America, and the highest-grossing opening worldwide, surpassing The Avengers and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2,  becoming the first film to gross $500 million worldwide in its opening weekend. Despite its enormous success, many people agree, it totally sucks.

Slightly more interesting, is a recently released video short—a “remake” of Jurassic Park done by two kids (David Chakris and Michael Raisch ) with a video camera back in 1993, using toy dinosaurs, cars, and Kenner action figures.

Their website explains:

In the summer of 1993 inspired by the release of Jurassic Park, Michael and David set out to recreate the excitement and visuals of the hit film. Over a period 6 months in New Jersey they filmed multiple versions of the film until they were pleased with their final version. Equipped with the best VHS era technology, [Michael and David] re-created the movie magic of Jurassic Park with hand drawn sets, action figures and fishing line.

 

Production sketch from “1990s Kid Version of Jurassic Park,” courtesy Raisch Studios.
 
The perhaps not a masterpiece, but nonetheless adorable 2008 Michel Gondry film, Be Kind Rewind, introduced the concept of “sweded” films. In Be Kind Rewind, a struggling VHS rental store loses its entire video collection after being inadvertently magnetized. The protagonists, played by Mos Def and Jack Black, attempt to replace the store’s video collection by recreating films using a camcorder, claiming they are “special editions from Sweden.” These “sweded” films are the centerpiece of Be Kind Rewind, and a (now defunct) tie-in website, SwededFilms.com, was created—serving as a database for sweded movies, both from the film and fan-made. That website contained the rules for creating sweded videos:

1. Must be based on an already produced film
2. Range 2-8 minutes in length
3. Must not contain computer generated graphics
4. Based on films less than 35 years old
5. Special effects must be limited to camera tricks and arts ’n crafts
6. Sound effects created by human means
7. Hilarious.

The 1990s Kid Remake of Jurassic Park was produced before Be Kind Rewind and the concept of sweded movies, but it certainly fits the criteria of and ranks among the best sweded films.  The dinosaur attack scenes, in particular, had us cackling.

Check out the “edited” version here and be sure to hit up the website for lots of behind-the-scenes photos and info.
 
“I think this park has to do with dinosaurs.”

 
H/T It’s Nice That

Posted by Christopher Bickel
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06.24.2015
08:27 am
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Neil Young & family discuss model trains & his son’s cerebral palsy on Nickelodeon, 1994
02.05.2015
12:12 pm
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Dangerous Minds has written before about Neil Young’s enthusiasm for model trains, his investment in the Lionel model train company and his development of (and design and engineering for) the Liontech corporation, who really changed the game for model train hobbyists (don’t laugh! It’s true!). Despite Young’s relative openness on the subject (and his full candor in the fantastic memoir, Waging Heavy Peace: A Hippie Dream), many of his fans aren’t aware that he has two sons with cerebral palsy, a permanent physical disorder, often with an intellectual component. His techy train obsession actually evolved from a series of hacks he designed to make the set-up usable for his son Ben Young, whose limited mobility was aided by large buttons and controls he could operate by pivoting his head.

While all this information is out there, Young still hasn’t really advertised his innovations’ home-grown roots, which is why I was so pleased to find this 1994 interview with him and his family from Nick News W/5. Now known as Nick News, the Nickelodeon news show is actually a pretty fantastic program (or at least it was, when I remember watching it). Covering controversial subjects like presidential elections, same-sex couples and their families and gun control, host Linda Ellerbee never condescended to her young audience.

You’ll notice Neil does not dominate the piece, with daughter Amber and wife Pegi given a voice as well. It’s actually an incredibly sweet and intimate look at their family life, and the Youngs are clearly supportive and conscientious advocates for Ben. The fact that Neil and Pegi chose a children’s show (and not some earnest display of daytime TV pathos) to open up to really underscores their commitment to their kids.
 

Posted by Amber Frost
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02.05.2015
12:12 pm
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‘The Satanic Children’s Big Book of Activities’ is actually pretty cute
01.17.2015
11:29 am
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The Satanists of Orange County, Florida (the most hellish state, obviously) had a very active 2014, and these plucky goat-worshipers show no signs of showing down. Since November they’ve been attempting to distribute “The Satanic Children’s Big Book of Activities” outside of schools, their argument being that if Bible distribution is allowed, so should Satanist materials. Curious as to what a Satanic kids’ book would look like, I checked out the book, and frankly, it’s really cute! Lots of talk about acceptance and dealing with ignorance and fear, plus coloring and word-jumbles—who could object?

The organization responsible for such wholesome edutainment is The Satanic Temple, who as a “dot-org” appear to be a legitimate non-profit, and list their missions statement as:

to encourage benevolence and empathy among all people. In addition, we embrace practical common sense and justice.

As an organized religion, we feel it is our function to actively provide outreach, to lead by example, and to participate in public affairs wheresoever the issues might benefit from rational, Satanic insights. As Satanists, we all should be guided by our consciences to undertake noble pursuits guided by our individual wills. We believe that this is the hope of all mankind and the highest aspiration of humanity.

They also include “Satanists, secularists, and advocates for individual liberty” among their flock, which leads me to believe a fair amount of their participants are actually just activists for separation of church and state—good on ‘em, I say. If you want larger PDFs of the activity book, you can find them here.
 

 

 

 

 
More after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Amber Frost
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01.17.2015
11:29 am
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‘It’s a vaNgina’: Watch these children’s reactions when they learn about sex for the first time
01.07.2015
03:12 pm
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Here’s a pretty amusing video of befuddled kids learning about sex for the very first time on camera. One kid was already hipped to the birds and the bees to his father’s shock (his older brother told him), but others were convinced babies came from the butt or from “some kind of hole here like an igloo.”

Another kid shouts at his parents, “Don’t say THAT AGAIN!” 

I remember learning about sex for the first time when I was around six years old. My mother told me on Christmas Eve night. She also told me there was no Santa Claus. Thanks, Mom! I recall feeling a bit skeeved-out and immediately ran upstairs to ask my father if any of this was true. Of course when I asked him he said “No! No! Where did you hear this?” I replied “Mom told me.” He then said, “Well it’s true.”
 

 
Via Jezebel

Posted by Tara McGinley
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01.07.2015
03:12 pm
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Psychedelic sex education video for kids
12.23.2014
10:06 am
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I’m staunchly supportive of early sex education, I’m certainly all for childhood body positivity—especially in these days of surgical and Photoshop fantasy—and I also don’t think the efficacy or value of children’s programming should me measured by its appeal to adults—sometimes kids shows are visually and aurally lurid to compete with a clamorous world (also, a lot of kids just have bad taste at that age). However, the body positive kids’ sex education web show “Baby! Love Your Body!really challenges my allegiance to a carefree and liberated vision of childhood. It’s intended for children as young as three, but maybe it shouldn’t be?

Borne of energetic French feminists “Fannie Sosa” and “Poussy Draama” (who—shocker—both belong to an art collective called School of No Big Deal), “Baby! Love Your Body!” is what happens when the impetus for cultural liberalism—apparently at all costs—supersedes all instinct for appealing to a popular audience. It starts with a value-neutral tour of vaginal slang, with all your favorites included. Then it makes a quick left turn with two people dressed up as raver vaginas. From there we see some confusingly metaphorical portrayals of sex and masturbation interpreted with erratic dancing, and then it just completely abandons narrative with a “Through the Looking Glass” love canal adventure. Yes… someone enters a vagina and a psychedelic journey ensures.

There is only one episode so far, but it’s been done in English and in French—I’ve blessed you all with the disorientingly English-dubbed version below. The tone is manic with the sort of exhausting, heavy-handed enthusiasm and good cheer that afflicts so much children’s programming these days, but I could see kids responding well to it even if I didn’t. I give Fannie and Poussy a hard time, but in spite of some some absurdly prudish backlash, I think the show could actually be useful—if parents can handle the acid-trip presentation. For those of you who might prefer a more sedate teaching tool—may I suggest a nice, sterile anatomy textbook, preferably in Danish.
 

Posted by Amber Frost
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12.23.2014
10:06 am
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Pimpin’ ain’t easy: Five-year-old kid in shitty life predicament
05.23.2014
02:45 pm
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I know, I know, “cute” kid post. But not merely cute, he’s actually quite dangerous, contemplating the hardships of love and life with brutal honesty. Just look at those soulful, sad eyes! His struggle is real.

 
Via reddit

Posted by Tara McGinley
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05.23.2014
02:45 pm
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Adorable photos of kids at a camp for gender nonconformity
05.13.2014
03:43 pm
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We here at Dangerous Minds generally steer clear of the “cute.” It’s not that we’re actively anti-cute or anything, it’s just that “cute” rarely intersects with our curation filter of “dangerous.” The kids in Lindsay Morris’ photography however, manage to be both dangerous and adorable. Morris documented children aged 5-12 attending a camp where children are free to express their gender. They call it Camp “You Are You” but that’s actually a pseudonym to protect the campers’ privacy and all children were photographed with parental permission.

From Morris:

For many of these children, their perceptions of their gender are misaligned with their bodies. They may later identify as gay, transgender, or somewhere in between. This is just one way of being that has always existed, but only now are we developing the ability to say it’s OK not to put everyone in a neat little box. It will require all of us to break the habit of assigning individuals a gender label and to start thinking of gender on a broader spectrum. I know how lonely, and at times traumatic, life for an LGBT child can be. Looking over your shoulder and navigating your way through curious classmates and the occasional bully can be exhausting. That need to explain one’s self does not exist at camp. Pure freedom of expression is a compelling and emotional thing to witness.

Lindsay Morris is publishing a book in October, a resource for adults working with queer youth and she’d like to eventually travel with a multimedia show of the project. Her biggest goal is to start a fund for the kids who can’t afford the camp so that every child can have access to a safe space of their peers.

Related: 12 Things Every Gender Nonconforming Child Wants You To Know
 

 

 

 

 
More of Lindsay Morris’ photo series after the jump…
 

READ ON
Posted by Amber Frost
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05.13.2014
03:43 pm
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(Real) Terrorism trading cards (for kids)

trading card
Is he smiling? Did they depict him smiling? Are they trying to teach children or haunt their dreams?
 
Millions of children all over the world are forced to learn about terrorism through first-hand experience, often before they’re old enough to grasp the geopolitical context of the violence. But what about those poor kids who grow up without that kind of hands-on education? What’s the best way to fill young minds with the horrors of war, colonialism, and oppression? Why, trading cards, of course! And that’s exactly what the Piedmont Candy Company did in 1987, with… somewhat problematic results.
 
trading card
 
Mussolini was a fascist dictator, and while he used terror tactics during his reign, “fascist dictator” is a higher, more historically relevant ranking. Plus, by 1987, he had been dead for over 40 years. He looks good on a card, but this is clearly phoned it. Try harder, Piedmont Candy Company.
 
trading card
 
“The Irish have been waging war against England for hundreds of years.” Really, Piedmont Candy Company? Really?!? That’s your read on anti-English sentiment among the Irish?
 
trading card
 
I feel like the fact that they mention the “safety” of bombs twice before telling kids how dangerous they are is a bit counterintuitive. (Really kids! Don’t make bombs yourself, but they’re super-safe, so if you happen to come across one, go to town!)
 
trading card
 
To answer your speculative question, no. No, they were not going to bomb the Statue of Liberty. You’re welcome.
 
trading card
 
Call me a snob, but I find it difficult to take your assessment of Iranian politics seriously when you can’t spell “Shiite” correctly.
 
trading cards
 
Jesus fucking Christ!
Lacing children’s candy with ahistoric, fear-mongering propaganda isn’t enough? You have to make them bloodthirsty, too? If you’re trying to turn them into little killing machines, why not just put angel dust, steroids, and bath salts in the chewing gum?
 
trading card
 
Wait, weren’t you just advocating for the liberal use of nuclear weapons?!? “No one is overly anxious to use them!” First of all, I’m quite sure you mean “overly eager,” not “overly anxious.” Second of all, you are overly eager to use them, Piedmont Candy Company! You are the terrifying example of nuke-happy psychos!

The insidious nature of sneaking ignorant, paranoid, violent nationalism into trading cards is baffling, and yet somehow simultaneously totally unsurprising. I wonder if the economic realities of 1987 Detroit didn’t add fuel to the panicked, reactionary fire—international politics have always been a convenient distraction from extreme poverty and wealth inequality. Regardless, I’m somewhat comforted that we’re not seeing anything quite this indoctrinating being lobbed at kids nowadays.

And if there is, please don’t tell me! Let me live in a world where candy is still sweet! 

Via Organic Mechanic

Posted by Amber Frost
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08.28.2013
01:52 pm
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The exact moment he became gay
03.16.2012
10:12 am
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image
 
Reddit user Tommy Voter uploaded this pic to Imgur with the caption:

“I found photographic evidence of the exact moment I became gay.”

Fabulous!

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile
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03.16.2012
10:12 am
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The voice of the unheard:  Manchester rioter interviewed (and now transcribed)
08.10.2011
11:27 am
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Manchester’s Market Street branch of American Apparel, yesterday.
 
The wave of rioting has spread further across the UK, and last night it arrived here in Manchester. This is footage from Sky News of an interview with one of the rioters/looters.
 

 
I have been asked to transcribe this as the interviewee’s accent is thick. Here it is. I have transcribed the interviewee verbatim, but have sumarised the interviewer’s questions (I am sure we can all understand him):

Why are you masked?

Because the police will get me on camera, and then they’ll nick [arrest] me 3 months down the line.

If you were law abiding -

I’m not law abiding, nah.

So why are you doing this?

To piss the police off, do you get me?

Why do you want to piss off the police?

You don’t know what the police are like bro… no, I can’t explain in words.

Please try to explain - are you doing this out of anger?

I’m out for money [not for anger] because the police nick you for stupid things mate, and now this is our payback because they can’t do nothing to us today. So it’s like freedom, like do whatever you want today.

What have you been doing?

I’ve been doing what I want. Getting pissed [drunk].

After the jump, footage of Miss Selfridge on Manchester’s main thoroughfare, Market Street, being set alight.

READ ON
Posted by Niall O'Conghaile
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08.10.2011
11:27 am
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Are the Smurfs Communist Nazis?


Image by Bit Weird.

I’d heard the theory that the Smurfs were a ploy to get us used to the imminent arrival of little blue aliens, but this is news to me. A French academic has published a book claiming that the Smurfs were both Communist and anti-Semitic, claims that have met with a backlash from fans of the little blue guys. From The Guardian:

Antoine Buéno, a lecturer at Sciences Po university in Paris, makes the claims in his new book Le Petit Livre Bleu: Analyse critique et politique de la société des Schtroumpfs, in which he points out that the Smurfs live in a world where private initiative is rarely rewarded, where meals are all taken together in a communal room, where there is one leader and where the Smurfs rarely leave their small country.

“Does that not remind you of anything? A political dictatorship, for example?” asks Buéno, going on to compare the Smurfs’ world to a totalitarian utopia reminiscent of Stalinist communism (Papa wears a red outfit and resembles Stalin, while Brainy is similar to Trotsky) and nazism (the character of the Smurfs’ enemy Gargamel is an antisemitic caricature of a Jew, he proposes). A story about the Black Smurfs, meanwhile, in which the Smurfs are bitten by a fly which turns their skin black and renders them unable to speak, has colonial overtones.

Reactions to the book were immediate and hostile, with commenters on Smurf fansites calling Buéno a “dream breaker”, an imbecile and a crook with “paranoid delusions”, who is ruining childhood memories.

 
Is this strange video perhaps more proof of a connection?
 

 
Thanks to Nicola Blackmore.

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile
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06.09.2011
09:02 pm
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Odd vintage French ad
05.27.2011
02:48 pm
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With my rudimentary high school French, I’m not entirely sure what this is all about, but I think it’s something about your kid being too stupid, so turn them into a broom? 

(via Das Kraftfuttermischwerk)

Posted by Tara McGinley
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05.27.2011
02:48 pm
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‘Streetwise’ - excellent 1984 documentary about homeless kids
05.15.2011
10:01 am
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Last week I posted about a new series of videos by the band In Flagranti, one of which (”On The Fringe”) features some great footage of street kids from the 1980s. Well, thanks to commenters Mister D and Steve Lafreniere I now know what that film is - not only that but I know it’s on YouTube and I have seen it. And so should you. It’s brilliant.

It’s called Streetwise. Directed by Martin Bell and shot by his wife Mary Ellen Mark, it was inspired by an article on homeless youth from Life magazine written by Cheryl McCall. At times it’s harrowing, but it’s really very good, and was even nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary in 1984.

It follows the exploits of a few different children living on the streets of Seattle, at that point apparently the States’ “most livable city”. There’s the tough, smart Rat and his older mentor Jack, who live in an abandoned hotel, sell drugs, scam pizzas and raid dumpsters. There’s teenage prostitutes Kim and Erin, waiting to get picked up off the kerb by older johns and discussing which local pimp is better to work for. Erin is also known as “Tiny” and has a troubled relationship with her alcoholic mother, who knows she is a prostitute but describes it as a “phase”. She thinks she may be pregnant after having unprotected sex with a john - that’s her in the picture above. Like Paris Is Burning this film deals with people society regards as the lowest of the low - and what on paper looks like being a major celluloid bummer is actually funny, insightful, tender and at times uplifting. Surprisingly a lot of these kids are still alive, though not kids anymore.

Mary Ellen Mark was also the photographer for the original Life magazine article, and has built up a large portfolio of stunning photographs of these kids, like the one above. She and her husband still see them occasionally too. From Steve Lafreniere’s excellent interview with Mark for Viceland (well worth reading as she’s a brilliant photographer who’s had an extraordinary career):

I’m still in contact with Tiny. A few years ago, Martin and I went back to Seattle and we updated her life. And I’ve been photographing her—I haven’t been back there in three years—but I have been photographing her. I photographed her after she had her ninth baby but we couldn’t make it out there for her tenth.

Here is part one of Streetwise:
 

 
Streetwise parts 2-11 after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Niall O'Conghaile
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05.15.2011
10:01 am
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I-Dosing Exposed! Suburban High School Kids Plagued by That Hi-Tech Sound Drug Thingy!

image
 
Thanks to XLR8R staff writer Cameron Macdonald for the heads-up. No, that’s not Cameron above.
 
In a heartland drenched in booze, Oxy, Xanax, sugar, and TV, it only makes sense for parents to take action on the hugely important issue of their kids listening to mind-altering sounds, right?

We’re back here again, are we, Mr. and Mrs. America?

The whole thing seems to have started this spring when KFOR NewsChannel 4 reported on a letter that Mustang, Oklahoma school administrators sent to parents about the “new and dangerous fad…called I-Dosing, or digital drugs.”
 

More after the jump…
 

READ ON
Posted by Ron Nachmann
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07.14.2010
06:44 pm
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