In a world where protestors arm themselves with automatic weapons and march inside government buildings to protest against “their right to work” during a pandemic that has killed hundreds of thousands, the surreal is tangible. In a world where a week can hold a failed coup, an unexplained disappearance of a nuclear-powered dictator and the migration of a so-called “murder hornet“, all under the menacing presence of a pandemic (I did mention that earlier, didn’t I? It is, after all, admittedly difficult to keep pace with ongoing catastrophes at the moment), absurdity is so ubiquitous, it has ever presently evolved – into something akin to an invisible virus.
The abnormal has been normalized. It has been so normalized that the frequency and volume of absurdity feels like it has rendered many of us speechless and without vocabulary. How many times have you heard the word “unprecedented”, today?
As we continue plodding through this great big pause, one might wonder, when not chipping away at the careers so many of us have used as sleeves for ourselves, who we really are? Why are we here? What is it all, really about?
When there isn’t that next meeting to get to, the next restaurant to book, the email to send, the report to file, that person to see, what are we all left with?
The answer is obvious, of course.
For those of us not into reality competitions where attractive models are forced not to sleep with each other(the horror!), or baking shows where people try their very best to bake the best cakes, or masked singers that sing show tunes, if any of that doesn’t tickle your fancy, then maybe The Midnight Gospel is for you.
With heart-stopping, vomit inducing, psychedelic animation that might seem to reference Monty Python or sixties drug-addled Fritz the Cat, it might be easy to pass this new Netflix series off as simple stoner fodder, but there is great substance in this new effort. The brain child of Adventure Time creator Pendleton Ward, the show follows a young video podcaster that interviews people living in simulated worlds. While the whole multi-verse/ hyper-violent/science fiction for adults thing might be tempting for comparisons to Rick and Morty (another excellent show, by the way), this series is vastly different.
What really stands out here is the dialogue. Based on actual conversations recorded from the Duncan Trussell Family Hour podcast, episodes cover topics including magic, the after life, drugs, philosophy, meditation, pain – basically anything not found in any contemporary reality show. It’s all in there.
Speaking of podcasts, have you heard the Levar Burton Reads series yet? It’s an excellent time to hear his short stories. I highly recommend checking him out as well.
Finally, I would be remiss not to mention, today is my 10 year anniversary for Digitized Graffiti. I started this puppy in my old bedroom at my Mom’s house after having completed my first film. I was broke, I was lost and I was depressed. What started out as a way of cataloguing the art, movies and music that inspired me to create and to share ideas, turned into something so much bigger than I expected. Thank you for subscribing, thank you for all of your wonderful comments, thanks for sharing stuff that I’ve written. Thanks so much for reading over the years.
The world needs more weirdness.
And so I’ll keep going.