Visions of Michael Jackson, the holy clothespeg and more from The Church of Surrealism
Give anyone who wants it access to unlimited bandwidth, and people are bound to come up with some weird shit. Consider: Though there is no real available count, the number of videos currently posted to YouTube by some estimates is in the multiple billions. Some of these videos go viral, of course -- latest trends include planking, airbag pranks and the continuing popularity of failing -- but the vast majority of hilarious, bizarre and kind of disturbing videos produced by random weirdos simply languish in obscurity, which is bullshit. And it's a problem we're trying to rectify by spotlighting one weird-ass YouTube Channel each week. This week, we take a look at the Church of Surrealism and its bizarre experiments with Go!Animate.
First of all, Go!Animate is pretty weird on its own -- basically, it's a site that allows you to create your own cartoons using a template of legless stock characters whose expressions never vary, no matter what they are saying. Which can be pretty unsettling in its own right, depending on what they're being made to say, but is extra disturbing when even their vocal intonation seems to completely deviate from the content of what's being spoken, as it does above. "It's the ultimate suffering," the pirate casually intones. "It gives me a feeling of eternity. My mother heard voices."
Whoever put this together is either a genius or completely insane.
There's actually a whole ten-episode series of the Gospel of the Holy Clothespin (the one above is Number 6), each one featuring the same two pirate-looking characters in pirate-ish settings more or less uttering nonsense to each other in clear, airy, strangely disjointed vocal patterns.
More recently, though, the Church of Surrealism has turned its attention to Michael Jackson, making the case for how MJ must be in heaven, because its vision is more valid than other, blasphemous visions. What really makes it unsettling, though, is the robotic monotone "Fitter/Happier" voice its read in.
Which is not to ignore, of course, the ominous note it ends on: "If you condemn Michael Jackson to hell, you have impersonated God and put yourself on his throne." (at which point the robot voice sounds somehow... impassioned.) "You are playing with fire, and you are on thin ice."
No, no, not at all. Michael Jackson is rocking the planets. Totally.
Get the Arts and Theater Newsletter
Weekly information keeping you in the know when it comes to the art and theater scene. Find out about upcoming performances, exhibitions, openings and special events.