The Red Pill: Industrial Dance and Putin’s Pants

Ernst Stavro Blofeld had a cat; Vladimir Putin has a Bulgarian sheepdog puppy gifted to him by Bulgarian PM Boiko Borisov in 2010. Image: Oleg Popov, Reuters

Welcome… to the real world. You’ve chosen The Red Pill, and now it’s time for us to show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.

In other words, this is the first in our new end-of-week compendium of fun and intriguing links from around the internet, as well as pop-cultural gold we’re digging right now, and some of our favourite stories from our archive.

Just like in The Matrix, you can read it at home in your favourite weird homespun T-shirt (or ugg boots; whatever), or at work in your favourite sunglasses and pleather overcoat.

Have a great weekend!

MUSIC: How to dance to industrial goth music
Our favourite part of this illuminating video is the way the dancers just don’t bat an eyelid when passers-by stop to watch.

TV: The best ever exit from a reality TV show
This guy had us thinking, “This is actually quite inspirational,” before the… well, we won’t spoil it for you.

FILM: The Dark Side of Oz now online
Remember that old stoner mashup of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon and The Wizard of Oz? Well, it’s now on Vimeo, freeing up your limited attention to spark a doobie.

BOOKS: The vocab we’ve lost
National Post writer Robert Fulford fulminates over the demise of the English language’s more recherché words.

ADVERTISING: See the world through BierKam
To promote Sydney’s Oktoberfest, ad agency US Sydney created this beer’s eye view of the event. Basically, beer sees busty Fräuleins.

THE STAGE: Berlin’s anti-tourist arts festival
Held in a former East Berlin theme park, Lunapark Berlin allows locals to vent their rage at the idiotic things tourists do in their city.

THE MEDIA: The Bleeoo Project
Infants these days don’t even know what a 56K dial-up modem sounds like! Luckily, this oral history project is preserving it for posterity. Record your modem impression here… we did!

EPHEMERA: Soft drinks, reviewed
As a purveyor of very specific product reviews, we strongly endorse this blog that reviews soft drinks available in Melbourne.

The Doctor (Matt Smith) and his companions Rory (Arthur Darvill) and Amy (Karen Gillan).

Fancied by the editors this week

The Hour: It was hailed as the UK’s answer to Mad Men, but this period drama set at the BBC in 1956 is much more of a Cold War conspiracy thriller. People are also whingeing that its scripts and production design aren’t nearly as subtle and period-accurate as Mad Men‘s, but I’m still loving Romola Garai and Oona Chaplin’s hair and costumes… plus sparky performances from Ben Whishaw and Anna ‘Duckface’ Chancellor. – Mel Campbell

Pearl Jam’s Twenty book: Cracking open this tombstone of a book is imposing but super-fans of our generation’s ‘Great American Rock Band’ (only because no one of any significance has died yet) will be more than happy with the comprehensiveness. It’s an obsessively detailed, almost day-by-day account of two decades of hunger-dunger-dang. Ironically, the most interesting parts deal with the supposed feud between PJ and Kurt Cobain. – Andrew Tijs

‘The World In Union’ (Rugby World Cup Theme Song): Turns out I can’t kick my pathetic addiction to rousing, anthemic sporting themes. And I don’t even particularly follow rugby. This year’s version by New Zealand soprano Hayley Westenra is a tad synthesised for my liking, but the tune (adapted from a movement in Holst’s The Planets) still evokes images of the kind of manufactured unity only a major international sporting event can provide. – Daniel Zugna

Doctor Who‘s return to ABC’s Saturday nights: My upset and confusion about this season being split in two has now dissipated. While last week’s episode (the one with the kid who was actually an alien and had monsters in his closet) was a bit too ‘standalone’ for my liking, the current story arc is a gem. Matt Smith’s Doctor is becoming more nuanced and layered, with hints now toward a darker turn this season. – Daniel Zugna

Vladimir Putin, action man: You’ll have seen some of these pics before – the tiger shooting; the topless horseback riding; the Bond villain yacht – but have you seen the ex-model hired as the Russian PM’s personal photographer, or his attempt to bend a frying pan across his chest? This comprehensive archive of Putin’s antics is media mastery in action. – Mel Campbell

The Footy Show: Mel’s going to hate me writing about this stalwart of lowbrow entertainment but it’s finals time so I tuned in. And what did I see? A bunch of creaky old men gossiping like a bunch of creaky old women, while plugging competing codes like cricket (guest Shane Warne) and soccer (guest Harry Kewell). There are only two games this week, so I suppose that means more time has to be dedicated to discussing Warney’s plastic surgery rumours and Kewell’s Politix endorsement. – Andrew Tijs

Shane Skillz in his natural environment

Dip into our archives

Interview: Shane Skillz
GLOBAL EXCLUSIVE: Australia’s hottest new rapper speaks to The Enthusiast about women, Westside life, and snapkicking every other cunt in Australian hip-hop.

The Travails of Rappin’ Joaquin Phoenix
We wrote this feature on Joaquin Phoenix’s shambolic rapping odyssey in that uncertain time when nobody was sure if it was a legitimate career change, an elaborate piss-take of Hollywood hobby bands, or a sign that heroin is a helluva drug.

My Chimerical Romanticism: Part One
The world has told emos to cheer up since the 19th century. We talked to Craig Schuftan about his book Hey! Nietzsche! Leave Them Kids Alone! and why teens are ripe for Romanticism.

Could You Spot An ATM Skimmer?
An ATM card skimming device was found attached to a Bendigo Bank ATM in Sandringham, Melbourne – could you have spotted it? We asked the banks for some tips.

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