There’s a growing grumbling in the world of Marvel comics fandom related to the portrayal of women as unrealistic, contorted on comic book covers into impossible body shapes. There’s a movement out there, called the Hawkeye Initiative, that’s all about drawing Hawkeye, a male hero, into the cartoonish poses Marvel artists seem to think are natural for female bodies.
This gif shares DNA with that movement, and that’s part of the joy. But most of the joy is from the sheer idiocy of the smashing-together cultural sources: a Beyonce video, a Saturday Night Live sketch, Marvel films, the outside-of-the-film Loki fandom… the tumultuous interaction of cultural bits is enough to make one giddy.
(Source: yobabesblog, via the-absolute-best-gifs)
Gifs already reduce high-definition video to something just marginally more low-res or abstract. But the gif still basically resembles the thing it represents. That’s why this pairing is so enlightening: it’s what happens when the slightly-lower-resolution gif is reduced in resolution even further. The vista and cloudscape becomes a smear of color, a collection of squares. Natural images retain some of their beauty even when abstracted to the point of just being a collection of pixels. GRADE: B+
Another thing that makes the gif medium so interesting is that it involves an almost imposed nostalgia. Gifs are of a previous internet era, a time when their small size was required because of limited bandwidth.
The nostalgia for prior mediums has resurged recently (though it’s possible it has always been this prevalent, just easier to see now). This gif draws on that nostalgia, though it also draws on the personal nostalgia of the mixtape; some of the tapes captured here exhibit handwriting and personal touches. I recall a tape of Beck songs a friend made for me that was covered in stickers and taped-on cutouts from magazines.
The flood of nostalgic images feels both universal and personal, though the personality isn’t highlighted as obviously as the flood of mass-produced similarities present in these old tapes, regardless of use or manufacturer.
(Source: dirtyaudience, via mikerugnetta)
This phenomenon “twerking” has experienced a meteoric rise within the last month or so. This is arguably primarily due to Miley Cyrus. Cyrus engaged in this provocative / slightly funny-looking dance in a few different forums, most prominantly at the MTV Video Music Awards. There’s an argument to be made that we find Miley Cyrus’s twerking to be funny only because it seems so wrong, like a mismatch between the Miley Cyrus we know and the action in which she is engaging.
That’s related to the fact that we see Cyrus’s twerking as a signifier of her seeming break from reality. We equate her twerking with a loss of control, with bad decisions, generally with a fall from purity and into insanity and trashiness. This says more about how we as a society percieve this dance (and the culture that created it), and less about Miley Cyrus.
All that aside, this sense of trashiness and out-of-control-ness comes part and parcel with twerking. Obviously, seeing such a buttoned-up, proper character as Hank Hill, a man actually scared of unpredictability and sexuality, engaging in this practice is an utter joy. I especially like the deeply troubled look on his face. That’s why the gif works. It’s just unfortunate that it relies on somewhat troubling cultural assumptions without challenging them.
Icosa / zolloc.tk
The technical prowess on display here is astounding. This gif uses 3d modeling technologies to present a very-real-seeming rotating icosahedron (the shape that lends the piece its name), something as tranquil as it is impossible. And the loop is seamless, a technical detail that’s easy to get wrong and hard to get right. The angular shape with the angular light, the muted tones and minimal variation from white to light-gray, the emptiness of the space (save the impossible object)… it all conveys something otherworldly, maybe holy. It doesn’t have the unexpected narrative flourish I’ve come to love in a great gif, but I’ll be damned if it isn’t beautiful.
there’s a new Sherrif in town
At its base, this gif is about traditional notions of heroism.
Woody from Toy Story is a shining example of goodness, simple and pure, the champion of both the toys and the good little children.
In Grand Theft Auto, the “hero” of the game is whatever you make him out to be; in the game, the new sheriff is you. And that usually means car-stealing and person-killing and woman-disrespecting. In essence, the game repaints a rather unseemly role into a heroic one, making leading men out of villains, for better or worse.
So here we have the pure hero turned into a villain in the role of hero. The acrobatics required to make this structure work are almost too much for the simple gif to bear. But, of course, the gif’s pretty goddamn funny anyway, so it ultimately works.
(Source: rokkstar, via zolloc)