“Why I hate mimes” on YouTube
If you’ve never watched 1980s Soviet-era animation, then this 10min Uzbek production from 1984, inspired by Bradbury’s “There Will Fall Soft Rains,” is a great place to start. Yes, it’s all like this, in my experience.
(Incidentally, I’ve always loved the poetry of Bradbury’s prose in general, and the opening line of this story in particular: “In the living room the voice-clock sang, Tick-tock, seven o’clock, time to get up, time to get up, seven o ‘clock! as if it were afraid that nobody would.” It’s like a super-sinister Goodnight Moon, a story that is itself already super sinister.)
Anyway, in case you’re wondering what New Year’s Eve 2026 will be like in America, here you go. Perfect for fans of Threads (1984), When the Wind Blows (1986), or whatever atomic holocaust shitstorm Putin kicks off next week.
This doesn’t work just because of the topic—which is extremely modern and terrifying, but has nonetheless been done better elsewhere—but because the way it’s shooting implicates the viewer. Horror is an excellent vehicle for exploring how our own passivity can be a kind of active participation in injustice.
Combines the hypnotic analgesia of an “oddly satisfying”-style process video with a weird hallucinogenic tribal jaunt through the semiotic-drift of memory and Europe’s long palimpsestic history of animism and Patriarchal monothiem.
Also, the pleasure of an Irishman doing his best loving tribute to MJ and sort of almost a brief folk-horror film crammed in the middle.
★★★★★ Recommended; would watch again.
First things first, this is a fun little synth and I love the voice. But I’m mostly sharing this video because I really like how the creator guides us through their discovery process, and how the concrete realities of these materials and methods guided their design process. Well worth ten minutes of your time.
Hear the groundbreaking “Computer Speech” record from Bell Telephone Laboratories, which features synthesized speech created by one of the earliest computer speech synthesis systems. Directed by D.H. VanLenten, this record represents a significant milestone in the development of speech synthesis technology. … You’ll also discover how punched cards were used to provide the computer with detailed instructions on how to manipulate the various formants to produce different sounds [and] explore the fascinating technique called formant synthesis, which involves simulating the resonances of the human vocal tract, and the IBM 704 computer used to generate the speech sounds.
Incidentally, this record predates Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey by four years, and came out at least a year before he began considering the project in earnest. We know that his work in 2001 was influenced by educational materials from the time; hard to believe this wasn’t one of them.
Anyway, just for the record: this “talking computer” was exactly as intelligent as ChatGPT or any current AI, and considerably less so than a parrot—and inspired the same blue-sky certainty in the media. Hell, here’s an article about computers talking and reliably taking natural-language instruction within the next decade!!! (It was written in 1959.):
“Has my radical hysterectomy made me less radical?”
I generically hate TED Talks (because they are, on average, garbage), but I’m sharing this because:
- It is hilariously NSFW
- There’s something about Mary Roach’s delivery that gives the distinct vibe that she maybe lost a bet and was thus obliged to give this talk
- I have a middle-schooler’s mentality, at best
- The excerpt of the instructional DVD from the Danish National Committee for Pig Production is truly superb