Friday, 25 September 2015

25/09/15 - Homerpalooza



It was always bound to come to this. In the eight years that I’ve been writing JuicyPips, every edition has been leading up to the point where I tackle this vital and thorny issue. The topic of this week’s ’Pips is ‘cultural references in The Simpsons’ ‘Homerpalooza’ episode’.

But of course.
The scriptwriting in The Simpsons has come under fire in recent years for having jumped the shark (if that’s not a phrase you’re familiar with, Google it, it’s very useful) round about the time Homer was raped by a panda in season 12’s ‘Homer vs. Dignity’. Some argue that it’s since rallied and the HD era has ushered in a more thorough approach to storycraft. (The show’s about to start its 27th season.) This is the cause of much debate, but you can’t really argue that the care with which the narratives were crafted was evident from the off – check the early first-season episodes ‘The Telltale Head’ or ‘The Crepes of Wrath’, for example.
The basic style of animation of the early episodes can be jarring for people who were raised on later episodes – that and the fact that the voices are all wrong; Ralph Wiggum has Nelson Muntz’s voice, Homer sounds demented. So to ease you into the highest-quality era of Simpsons scriptwriting along with relatively modern animation, you need to watch season 6. Probably the best two episodes ever are ‘Bart of Darkness’ and ‘Lemon of Troy’ – exquisitely crafted tales, both. (Incidentally, you can watch all of these episodes online here - http://www.kisspanda.net/the-simpsons/)
But the episode under scrutiny today comes from late in season 7, first airing in May 1996. ‘Homerpalooza’ is a tale of aspiration, downfall, redemption, meeting your heroes and living life on the hedonistic edge.

The basic plot is this: Otto accidentally drives the school bus into a crusher, so the kids have to car-pool to get to school. Homer drives Bart, Lisa, Milhouse and Nelson, listening to rock ‘n’ roll on the radio. They tell him he’s uncool. He has a bit of a crisis. He goes to a record store and realises that what he likes isn’t cool any more. (I can relate to that.) In an effort to become cool, he pulls Bart and Lisa out of school to go to Hullabalooza, a huge music festival. A convoluted series of events leads to a large inflatable pig being fired into his stomach from a cannon. (This makes sense when you watch it, trust me.) His ability to take a shot to the stomach earns him a place in Hullabalooza’s freak show, to have cannonballs fired at him on stage. He goes on tour. He becomes cool. He nearly dies. He publically chickens out, and goes back to his normal life of not being respected by his kids.
If you’ve seen it, you’ll know all this. If not, well, I’ve sort of ruined it for you – but watch it anyway, it’ll be a useful and entertaining twenty minutes of your life. Look: http://www.kisspanda.net/the-simpsons-season-7-episode-24-homerpalooza/
So anyway, those cultural references...

‘What Computers...?’

It’s possibly one of the greatest ever Simpsons moments, gloriously piquant in its prescience (or rather, abject lack of it). Homer’s in the record shop – brilliantly named ‘Suicide Notes [formerly Good Vibrations]’ – talking to the indifferent, dispassionate teen behind the counter. There’s a poster on the wall for Hullabalooza, which is the first time Homer’s made aware of it, and when it’s explained to him he says that the only festival worth knowing about is the US Festival (an event held twice in the early eighties, sponsored by Steve Wozniak and featuring the likes of Talking Heads, The Ramones, Fleetwood Mac and The Kinks). The kid behind the counter has never heard of it.
‘You know,’ says Homer, ‘it was sponsored by that guy from Apple Computers.’
The teen’s befuddlement and indifference grows. ‘What Computers...?’ he asks.
This was pre-iPod, of course – the episode aired way before Apple found its way into the world’s pocket. And the line’s made all the more poignant in that the kid’s holding a CD up in the air whilst proclaiming that he’s never heard of Apple.

Hullabalooza
The festival itself is based on the real-life Lollapalooza. This is an annual festival that started in 1991, the brainchild of Jane’s Addiction’s Perry Farrell. A number of the bands at Hullabalooza – Smashing Pumpkins, Cypress Hill, Sonic Youth – had actually previously played at Lollapalooza.

Peter Frampton
Frampton’s 1976 album ‘Frampton Comes Alive’ is one of the best-selling live albums of all time. A lot of people of a certain age know it inside-out. The final track is a 14-minute odyssey entitled ‘Do You Feel Like We Do’, which features Frampton’s legendary talkbox: an effects pedal that redirects the guitar sound through a tube and into his mouth, allowing the guitar to mimic human speech. This natty trick features in ‘Homerpalooza’, introducing a whole new generation of fans to one of the best-known live tracks ever – even the crowd’s cheers are borrowed directly from ‘Frampton Comes Alive’. As has become commonplace in kids’ movies and TV shows these days, this is a little reference thrown in for the parents. Not that The Simpsons is a kids’ show, it never has been, but you know what I mean.

Cypress Hill’s orchestra
There’s a lovely moment when one of the bands has summoned the London Symphony Orchestra, and nobody can remember who. Cypress Hill suspect it may have been them, while high, and run through a rendition of ‘Insane in the Brain’ with the orchestra. It actually sounds really good.
This would have been a ridiculous and outlandish collaboration in 1996. Nobody would bat an eyelid if that happened today.

KFSL
When the kids are car-pooling, Homer’s listening to his favourite radio station; ‘KFSL Fossil 103 – classic hits from Abba to Zeppelin, comma, Led’. They’re visibly squirming as he bops to Grand Funk Railroad. ‘Dad, you’re embarrassing us!’ they wail. ‘No I’m not,’ he says, ‘I’m teaching you about rock music.’
This strikes a chord with every parent in the world, ever. No matter how old you are, or where or when you grew up, your children will always say they hate your music, even if they secretly quite like it. The whole point of being a parent is to embarrass your kids. I intend to embrace this heartily in the future, turning up at the school gates with a bit of Offspring or Rancid blasting out of the car stereo. ‘God, dad, you’re so embarrassing.’

The hipsters
Hullabalooza is full of hipsters, and they’re virtually indistinguishable from the kind of twats you see wandering around Shoreditch in red trousers and spectacles without lenses today. (OK, they’re archetypal nineties slackers, but one evolved from the other.) They’re quick to judge, they attack in packs - despite that aching desire to be oh-so individual - and they’re so wound up in their cynicism, they’ve forgotten what’s real.
‘Here comes that cannonball guy,’ says Hipster A. ‘He’s cool.’
‘Are you being sarcastic, dude?’ asks Hipster B.
‘I don’t even know any more,’ he replies.
Top-notch social commentary, there.

Mr Burns & Ticketmaster
Buying gig tickets these days is a pain in the arse – it’s bloody difficult, and bloody expensive. So we can all relate to the brief interchange between Mr Burns and Smithers at the festival.
Why would Mr Burns be at Hullabalooza? Because he’d recently bought Ticketmaster. ‘And to think, you laughed when I bought Ticketmaster,’ he says to Smithers. ‘“Nobody’s going to pay a 100% service charge”, you said.’ Ouch.
Equally apposite is Smithers’ response. ‘It’s a policy that ensures a healthy mix of the rich and the ignorant, sir.’

There are a number of other cultural snapshots in the episode too. The scenes where Homer’s being hit by the cannonball ape the famous footage of Frank ‘Cannonball’ Richards. The flashback where Homer tries to talk to the cool guys with the strobe light-equipped custom van echoes a similar scene from Dazed & Confused. Homer’s strut into the crowd references that in Robert Crumb’s ‘Keep On Truckin’’ comic. Otto’s talking shoes borrow from the opening of Prince’s ‘1999’. And there are loads more gems to dig out too. Who’d have thought you could squeeze so much pop culture into a twenty-minute cartoon?

My favourite quote of the episode comes from Abe Simpson, in a flashback to Homer’s youth. He’s lambasting Homer and Barney for singing in front of a mirror, and they tell him he doesn’t understand because he’s not with it.
‘I used to be with it,’ he says, ‘but then they changed what it was. Now what I’m with isn’t it, and what’s it seems weird and scary to me.’
Frighteningly true, that. ‘It’ll happen to you...’





Hell's Club

This is just superb. So brilliantly done, very clever.

Honda - 'Paper'

Yet another astonishing Honda ad.

Zach Anner's Workout Wednesday

Zach is a comedian with cerebral palsy. He does workout videos on YouTube. They are ace.

A confusing bicycle

One woman’s protracted struggle to operate a bicycle correctly.

Friday, 18 September 2015

18/09/15 - Friends, etc

On August 24th, Twitter user @strnks posted a proposal for how he would have ended the final episode of Friends. It went unexpectedly viral, appearing in news outlets across the globe, and it messed with a few people’s perceptions of the show… here’s the concept as tweeted:

‘I’d have ended Friends by revealing that it was all the meth-addled fantasy of a homeless Phoebe as she stared through the window of Central Perk.
Each kooky aside, each time she made everything about her, each example of how she’s an outsider… it all makes sense. All 10 seasons were merely her fevered imagination, projecting herself into the lives of the others. All she ever wanted was… Friends.
The final scene would be Phoebe walking away from Central Perk, with the Ross, Rachel, Joey, Chandler and Monica characters making a reference to ‘the crazy lady who always stares at us’. They all have different names and personalities.
Phoebe walks past a furniture store and catches her reflection in a mirror. The name of the store? ‘Ursula’.
Finally she returns to the park where she sleeps in front of the fountain. A broken lamp stands next to her bench. It starts to rain. From behind, we see her put up six dirty but brightly coloured umbrellas.
Fade to black.’

Woah.
Now, this came as a rather timely post for me, as I’d just finished watching every single episode of Friends in chronological order. Not back-to-back, obviously, I started in about February or March and steadily worked through the boxsets. Why? Because I felt that enough time had passed for the show to stop being a ubiquitous cliché and to pass into the annals of all-time great comedies. However cheesy or throwaway you may think Friends was, it’s inarguable that it was brilliantly written and superbly cast. It threw a lot of phrases and behaviours into everyday use, and it proved that ‘filmed before a studio audience’ didn’t have to mean ‘unnecessary laughter after every line’. If you haven’t watched it for a while, it’s probably time to revisit.

But you probably can’t be arsed to watch all ten seasons. That’s 236 episodes. Thankfully for you, my extensive research (yes, I have spent about 79 hours this year watching Friends) has led me to cherrypick the very best episodes so you can enjoy the cream on the top of a very delicious, er telly-cake. Or something. So here we are, in no particular order, the best of Friends…

The One With The Rumor
Ross’s schoolfriend Will comes to Thanksgiving dinner. Will is played by Brad Pitt – Friends loved a cameo actor, he was one of many – and he demonstrates a hilariously vicious hatred for Rachel, who teased him at school, but now doesn’t remember him (because he, like Monica, used to be fat but is now fit). We learn that Will and Ross used to have an ‘I Hate Rachel Green’ club, who had spread a schoolyard rumour that she was a hermaphrodite. Hilarity ensues.

The One Where Ross Got High
Ross and Monica’s parents have never liked Chandler. This causes issues, as Chandler is dating Monica. We learn that the reason for them not liking him is that the Gellers had come to visit Ross at college when he’d just been smoking pot; they smelled it, and he blamed it on Chandler. This is an entertaining storyline. But the real beauty of this episode is Rachel’s attempt to make a traditional English trifle from a recipe book which, unbeknownst to her, has its pages stuck together. The trifle has roast beef and peas in it.
 
The One With Chandler In A Box
Chandler kissed Joey’s girlfriend. As punishment, he agrees to spend Thanksgiving inside a sealed wooden crate. It’s a surprisingly sweet episode.

The One Where No-one’s Ready
They’re all getting ready to go to a function, and Ross is frustrated that everyone’s taking ages to get dressed. This is a brilliantly written bottle episode, the whole narrative taking place in one room in real time. Chandler, for convoluted reasons, steals all of Joey’s underwear, so Joey puts on every item of clothing that Chandler owns. And then does some lunges. A classic Friends moment.

The One Where Joey Speaks French
Joey lied on his CV and said he could speak French. Phoebe offers to teach him. Joey is hilariously bad at it, and just makes up random noises that sound French.

The One With The Football
Yet another Thanksgiving episode, this one sees them all going out to play American football while they wait for dinner to be ready. It features some excellent arguing, and someone doing a really poor Dutch accent.

The One Where Heckles Dies
Monica and Rachel’s downstairs neighbour, who they’d always assumed hated them, dies and leaves them all of his possessions. The process of working through the stuff in his empty apartment is a voyage of discovery for all of the Friends. (…is how a shit bargain-basement biography would put it, sorry.)

The One With The Jellyfish
They go to the beach. Monica gets stung by a jellyfish. Joey wees on her. There is much awkwardness.

The One With Ross’s Sandwich
Ross’s character occasionally slips into caricaturistic pastiche, but this isn’t always a bad thing. His descent into madness when a colleague eats his sandwich is a masterpiece.
This episode also features the sequence in which Joey is helping to hide Monica and Chandler’s secret relationship by pretending he’s been leaving his underwear everywhere. “I’m Joey. I’m disgusting.” Great stuff.
 
The One With The Holiday Armadillo
Ross wants to get his son Ben excited about Hanukkah. To achieve this, he borrows an armadillo costume and pretends to be the Holiday Armadillo. It is exactly as strange as it sounds.

The One With Joey’s Fridge
Joey’s fridge breaks, and he can’t afford to buy a new one. One of the greatest ever moments of Friends slapstick comes when he shoves Ross into the fridge, then immediately claims he’s broken it and has to replace it. It’s magnificent.

The One Where Eddie Moves In / The One Where Eddie Won’t Go
Joey moves out, and Chandler gets a new roommate, Eddie. Eddie is a psycho. In the second of these episodes, Chandler asks him to move out, but he refuses. Because he is a psycho. They eventually get Eddie to leave by convincing him that he never lived there in the first place. A positively Wodehousian tactic.

The One With The Bullies
Some bullies in Central Perk steal Chandler’s hat. After a bit of back-and-forth, they go outside to have a fight. But then they end up having a fight with someone else. They become friends. The bullies still refuse to give back the hat. Funnier than it sounds.

The One With The Baby On The Bus
Joey and Chandler are babysitting Ben. They think he’ll be a good hook to pick up girls… but then they leave Ben on the bus. Which is pretty much frowned upon in parenting circles.

The One With The Mugging
A brilliant series of revelations here. Ross and Phoebe get mugged, and it turns out that Phoebe knows the mugger. We then learn that Phoebe used to be a mugger. And then, that Phoebe mugged Ross when they were younger. A spiralling web of deceit that brings us nicely back to the meth fantasy we were talking about earlier.

OK, good – so if you haven’t seen those episodes before, that’ll make no sense and sound sort of crap. Sorry. But if you have, you’ve got some 1990s nostalgia to indulge in this weekend. You’re welcome.





LOTR's sentient horse

Figure-of-eight lunacy

This is an INSANE sport.

8-bit Bueller

Where the Tube lines actually go

TfL's eyes-only geographic Tube map, now in the public domain thanks to an FOI request - click here.


Mildly interesting Back to the Future facts

Friday, 4 September 2015

04/09/15 - Micronations

Fans of being aghast at how much time has passed since a particular cultural reference point may be interested to note that Family Guy has been on the air for sixteen years.
Finished gasping? Alright, control yourselves, you’ve been doing other things in the meantime.
Anyway, the reason I bring this up is that fifteen years ago, back in 2000 when we were still reeling from our own idiocy at believing that the Millennium Bug might be a thing, the episode E. Peterbus Unum aired – in a nutshell, this saw Peter Griffin effectively seceding from the Union and declaring his house a micronation, Petoria, independent from the United States of America and subject to its own laws and regulation.
This isn’t as bonkers a notion as you might think – there are actually quite a few micronations across the globe, each one popping into being via a bizarre set of circumstances, but perpetuated with commitment by people who refuse to acknowledge that perhaps it’s got somewhat beyond a joke. Hey, it’d be a dull world if we all agreed on the same things.
The principle features of a micronation are that each entity claims to be an independent nation or state, but none is officially recognised by world governments or major international organisations. This makes their existence a little tricky, and instils a certain pluck and fortitude in their residents. These are serious places too (well, kinda), distinct from the world’s myriad eco-camps, hippie communities, tribes, sects, clans and campuses, by expressing persistent (if ignored) claims of sovereignty over whatever land they may inhabit. They create their own currencies, flags, passports, postage stamps, you name it. Some, it has to be said, are more tongue-in-cheek than others. Let’s take a look at some of the more interesting ones, shall we?

Sealand
Founded in 1967, Sealand has an official population of four. It’s basically just a decommissioned military platform – Roughs Tower – out in the North Sea, which was claimed by Major Paddy Roy Bates, a former army captain and pirate radio DJ. It sits seven miles off the coast of Suffolk, and the original intention to use it as a radio base blossomed into setting it up as a sovereign state with its own constitution. Bates died in 2012, but his son Michael continues as regent. The Principality of Sealand has its own passport stamps, acts as an offshore internet hosting facility, publishes an online newspaper, and will sell you a Sealand knighthood for £99.99.
In 1978, Alexander Achenbach, (describing himself as ‘Prime Minister of Sealand’), hired German and Dutch mercenaries to attack Sealand while Bates and his wife were in England; they stormed the platform with speedboats, jet skis and helicopters, and took Michael hostage. Brilliantly, in a Hollywood manoeuvre, Michael was able to retake Sealand and capture the attackers using weapons stashed on the platform. Achenbach was charged with treason against Sealand, and his imprisonment caused some difficulty among the governments of the Netherlands, Austria, Germany and the UK, none of whom recognised Sealand as a real place. This is the sort of fun you can have with a micronation. No-one can really agree on what you’re allowed to do.

Austenasia
This is pretty micro, as micronations go – Austenasia is basically just a house in Carshalton, with eighteen other houses under the sovereignty of the state that was established by a student named Jonathan Austen in 2008. Its turbulent internal politics have already seen a civil war ousting Emperor Terry (Jonathan’s dad), as well as a number of spurious territorial claims including a farm in Brazil and a university campus in Australia. Bloody students.

The Republic of Saugeais
This is one of the more significant micronations, comprising eleven villages on the Franco-Swiss border. It was originally started as a joke in 1947 when the owner of the Hôtel de l'Abbaye in Montbenoît, Georges Pourchet, asked the prefect of the département of Doubs whether he had a permit to enter the Republic of Saugeais while attending a function at the hotel – a name he’d made up on the spot. The prefect played along and appointed Pourchet president of the fictional Republic, who then called his bluff and established it as a sovereignty.
It’s now been established for almost seventy years, and has its own national anthem, football team, a thriving tourist industry, twelve ambassadors, and over 300 honorary citizens.

The Kingdom of Elleore
One of the world’s oldest micronations was established by a group of Danish schoolteachers in 1944. It began as a children’s summer camp on the Roskilde Fjord – a place where building is forbidden as it’s a sanctuary for rare birds, and the Danish government only allow it to be occupied by people for one week every summer. It’s during this week that the entire population of Elleore arrive to live in their ‘home’ for the one time that they’re actually allowed to.
The whole thing’s a bit Pythonesque: clocks run on Elleore Standard Time (twelve minutes behind Danish time), and sardines and the novel Robinson Crusoe are banned, with anyone found bringing either into the Kingdom being forced to serve an eleven-minute sentence on Elleore’s prison island.

The Principality of Seborga
Around twenty miles from the swank of Monaco lies Seborga, a hamlet on the Franco-Italian border, perched perilously at the top of a very steep hill. It was originally a protectorate of the Catholic Church, which ultimately led to it being omitted from the list of territories included in Italy’s unification of 1861.
In 1963, local florist Giorgio Carbone posited that the town should logically be able to claim independence, since the government had forgotten about it; he led a referendum and soon found himself elected president of his own principality.
Seborga enjoyed a moment in the national spotlight in 2006 when a woman calling herself Princess Yasmine von Hohenstaufen Anjou Plantagenet claimed to be the rightful heir to the throne of Seborga, and wrote to the president of Italy with an offer to return the principality to the state. Carbone’s official response was priceless: “Pah! No-one’s ever even seen her…”

The Gay Kingdom of the Coral Sea
This micronation was set up as a sort of ostentatious political protest by Australian gay rights activists. When the government refused to recognise same-sex marriages in 2004, The Gay Kingdom was established on a group of uninhabited islands near the Great Barrier Reef.
While it initially existed merely to make a point, some of its ‘citizens’ started to get really into the idea, and the Kingdom now enjoys a national anthem (Gloria Gaynor’s ‘I Am What I Am’), a rainbow flag, a pink triangle coat of arms, its own postage stamps, and a burgeoning fishing industry.

The Aerican Empire
Aerica is an interesting one, as it doesn’t actually have any physical sovereign territory of its own. Instead, it has claims on a house in Canada, a square-kilometre in Australia, a colony on Mars, the entire northern hemisphere of Pluto, parts of the sun yet to be established (‘It’s pretty hot on the sun,’ their website states, ‘but that may not stop us from claiming bits of it in the future’), and the entirety of the planet Verden. Which, er, doesn’t exist.
Their official flag is a rip-off of the Canadian flag, but with a great big smiley face instead of a maple leaf, and the Empire mints its own coins and issues ID cards.
The advent of the internet changed Aerica enormously; founded in 1987, it was originally a wholly fictional entity supposedly engaging in wars with other micronations, but with the spread of worldwide information-sharing and the newfound ease of finding out about other micronations across the globe, the Aerican Empire refocused, abandoning many of the fictional elements in favour of working towards becoming a genuine political entity. They’ve still got a keen sense of fun though. The official religion is Sinilism – ‘worship of the Great Penguin’ – and their national holidays are superb: January 2nd is Procrastinators’ Day, February 27th is *Oops* Day, and March 19th is What The Heck Is That Day.

The Copeman Empire
The Copeman Empire is a caravan in Norfolk. Founder Nick Copeman changed his name by deed poll in 2003 to HM King Nicholas I, initially as a dare, but the Copeman Empire quickly gained momentum and he found himself selling spurious peerages online and even pursuing a relationship (somewhat unsuccessfully, poor chap) with fellow questionable royal Zara Phillips.
It’s now one of the most important caravans in the UK. Well, maybe the only important caravan.

The Principality of Marlborough
In 1993, a Queensland farmer, George Muirhead, was facing repossession due to non-payment of bills. After losing his case at the Supreme Court, he declared his farm to be The Principality of Marlborough, an independent state where the Queensland Government – and, more importantly, the bank – had no legal authority.
A week later, 120 policemen arrived and kicked the Muirheads out. See, you have to think these things through.

The Kingdom of North Sudan
Jeremiah Heaton, a former Democratic Party Congressional from Abingdon, Virginia, has a daughter named Emily. Emily told her daddy one day that she wanted to be a princess when she grew up. So he made an epic trek via desert caravan to the remote Bir Tawil in a disputed area of territory between Sudan and Egypt, stuck a flag in the ground, and declared himself king. As such, Emily became a princess. Awww.

Other World Kingdom
This is a matriarchy in the Czech Republic, with overarching themes of female dominance and BDSM (bondage, dominance and submission, masochism). Queen Patricia I decreed that citizens must fulfil certain criteria: they must be over the age of sexual consent, own at least one male slave, and agree to unconditionally abide by the laws of the OWK. It claims to be a micronation but is really more of a business, operating from a three-hectare site in which a lot of shagging goes on and the men forfeit all rights.

Frestonia
Another London-based micronation, this one can be found on Freston Road in Notting Hill. Its origins lie in the 1970s, when squatters inhabited a number of empty houses on the street. When the Greater London Council announced plans to redevelop the area, 120 of the squatters changed their names so that they all shared a surname – Bramley – in order to be rehoused collectively.
Threatened with formal eviction, they held a meeting and decided to declare the street independent from the UK; 94% of residents were in favour (and 73% voted for Frestonia to join the EEC), and independence was declared in October 1977.
The micronation had its own newspaper, National Film Institute and arts industry, postage stamps, and contained the studio where The Clash recorded Combat Rock. It all started to fall apart when the Bramleys Housing Co-operative, formed by the residents, began to negotiate with the Notting Hill Housing Trust, a move which led to many residents moving away, feeling that the spirit of the enterprise had been diluted. The co-operative still manages the houses today, but Freston Road is more close-knit community than micronation. The Frestonia name lives on, however, in the Frestonia office development, as well as being the name of an Aztec Camera album.

One of the more celebrated micronations is one that didn’t actually exist at all – San Serriffe. On April Fools Day 1977, the Guardian printed a seven-page supplement to mark the tenth anniversary of independence of the fictional island, complete with themed ads from major advertisers (including Kodak: ‘If you've got a photograph of San Serriffe, Kodak would like to see it’) to lend the hoax credibility. The idea came from Special Reports Manager Philip Davies, who explained in a 2007 interview that “the Financial Times was always doing special reports on little countries I'd never heard of; I was thinking about April Fool's Day 1977 and I thought, why don't we just make a country up?” It worked brilliantly – the Guardian received scores of letters from readers describing holidays they’d enjoyed on San Serriffe, and the editor was bombarded with complaints from airlines and travel agents who were getting grief from customers who refused to believe the island didn’t exist. And this episode, in a nutshell, neatly sums up the ethos of the micronation overall – it doesn’t really matter if any perceived sovereignty exists or not. If it’s real enough, then that’s real enough. 






Chatroulette first-person shooter

This is a superb use of Chatroulette.

’90s website reunion

Cockphrase

It's Catchphrase, with knob gags. Look!


Daniel from The Karate Kid is a violent sociopath

How to be a model

Some valuable insight here.

Uptown Funk, sung by the movies