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comment by kleinbl00
kleinbl00  ·  1570 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Vice: We've Been Had, and We Let It Happen

Somebody explain the appeal of Vice to me. 'cuz I saw my first copy in 2005 and pegged it pretty much immediately as tragedy tourism for douchebags. And that's what they've been doing ever since.

b_b  ·  1569 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Here's what I think, and this is nearly 100% conjecture, because I refuse to read Vice, and have for a long time. I think the mystique is something like this: "The world is a joke. Only we get the punchline, but we're going to let you in on it one article at a time."

After reading Vice, people come away with a sense that they understand why the world is as dysfunctional as it is. People like simple answers, and people like knowing things that other people don't know. Vice wraps both of those in a tiny little package with a ironic bow on top, all couched in a language that is meant to offend the easily offenable. My guess is that Vice's readership is mainly formerly sheltered college freshmen whose eyes are just being opened to the world, and who don't really like what they see.

flagamuffin  ·  1569 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Everything you said could apply to Jon Stewart, Steven Colbert and John Oliver, which is why I don't watch them. They essentially create a class of liberals whose only source of knowledge is from semi-satirical, purposefully-inflammatory TV shows. Just an aside.

humanodon  ·  1569 days ago  ·  link  ·  

When I first read Vice more than 10 years ago, that was pretty much the vibe. It is crazy to me how much it has grown and frankly, pretty terrifying.

b_b  ·  1569 days ago  ·  link  ·  

It's hard to blame kids for being cynical these days. Vice preys on that. The future must look bleak to today's college freshmen, as the economic downturn happened when they were in 6th grade, and 9/11 happened when they were in kindergarten. That is, before most of them could ever have paid attention to the world. Shitty news is all they know. I'd have a negative worldview, too, I think. In this light, Vice's ascent makes perfect sense as a reaction to the world and all its ills.

humanodon  ·  1569 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Well, I wouldn't say that Vice's ascent is based solely on its "news". It's a "cultural" magazine, of sorts and is plugged into all kinds of stuff and they were early promoters of brands like American Apparel and are involved with shit like The Creator's Project.

What I'm talking about is that the snarky rag it used to be has become something that people look to while forming their early worldview.

ArtemusBlank  ·  1569 days ago  ·  link  ·  

People look to VICE because they see it as better than a FOX News or a CNN. When the mainstream news channels look really unreliable, it is easy to sneak under the radar with a news outlet that is "not as bad." You can be snarky when something like FOX News is running about.

b_b  ·  1569 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I don't mean that bad news has appeal. I mean that the wold has had a very dark hue for more than a decade, which has created a condition in which publications like Vice have become attractive. The culture itself is darker. You see it in other aspects of pop culture. Nihilist comedy seems to be popular right now. I think that's another expression of this trend. Nothing matters. Nothing's sacred. Skin deep is as far as it goes.

kleinbl00  ·  1569 days ago  ·  link  ·  


ghostoffuffle  ·  1569 days ago  ·  link  ·  

But it's so raw, man. And they cover the stuff that the mainstream media is too afraid to touch.

Honestly, I think it's news for people without imagination or attention span. Current events not HD enough for you? Here's the most caricaturish aspect of each event with tits and bone fragments thrown in for good measure.

It drives me crazy that Vice is being hailed as the news paradigm for the next generation. As if that's something to be proud of.

flagamuffin  ·  1570 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I think part of the appeal is way pre-2005. And the whole counterculture all grown up thing.

I don't really care about Vice and they often seem to oversimplify subjects that I am familiar with (which probably means they're oversimplifying all of them). It's possible that they put more emphasis on being "on the ground" than being "correct."

Also seem to remember the creator of Vice doing a pretty controversial AMA, but I don't know why redditors attacked him.

kleinbl00  ·  1570 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Maybe. I dunno. Maybe it's the hippy in me but to me, "counterculture" means celebrating things outside of the mainstream. Vice, on the other hand, is unerringly, relentlessly negative about everything. I have yet to see something they don't piss on. The further away it is and the harder it is to piss on it, the prouder they are to piss. Like that whole North Korea thing - "we went as journalists to North Korea so we could highlight what a douchebag Kim Jong Il is." Uh, yeah. It's the whole "rat-eating deathcamps" angle that most people are going on, not what a fashion victim its dictator happens to be.

Dunno. I distinctly remember a film review about a snuff film in which they mentioned watching it in Moscow because Russians are bored with death, therefore snuff films are lame. OF COURSE SNUFF FILMS ARE LAME! You don't need "framing" to make this point! Vice: "We've been bored by more exotic locales than you'll ever visit." Seriously? fuck off.

CrazyEyeJoe  ·  1569 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I think the reason you never understood Vice is that you were too mature for it, and just not the target demographic at all.

Being young, pissing on everything is a way to make yourself feel above it all. At that stage, one might not realize that boundless negativity is not only something something that doesn't help the world, but also something that makes you feel bad about yourself. Cynicism is a shortcut to feeling like an intellectual. At least it was for me.

kleinbl00  ·  1569 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The problem with this is that Vice cost very little on the newsstand but could be had for exorbitant amounts of money several weeks in advance to large corporations that wished to market to youth.

I worked at the company that did the music programming for Urban Outfitters and Abercrombie and Fitch. Our subscription was thousands a month, but we got the next issue back when the kidz were looking at the last issue.

I've always known Vice as a marketing organization, because it was full of trend articles and projections that - I'm now realizing - probably weren't in the newsstand version.

lil  ·  1569 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Being young, pissing on everything is a way to make yourself feel above it all. At that stage, one might not realize that boundless negativity is not only something something that doesn't help the world, but also something that makes you feel bad about yourself. Cynicism is a shortcut to feeling like an intellectual.
This explanation of cynical negativity is bang-on! How did you get past it into another sensibility?

Edit: And I'm so bored with cynical negativity. It's a snake eating its own tail.

b_b  ·  1569 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Boring is exactly right. I think that cynical negativity is just about the textbook definition of banality.

CrazyEyeJoe  ·  1569 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Mainly, I just grew older, I think. I realized that it's very easy to be dismissive, and not actually clever. Also, thinking positively makes me feel better, and it's a more useful mode of thinking.

I remember vividly the first time I did mushrooms, I felt like I was way too much of a negative person, and I strongly felt that it was wrong. I don't know how much of an effect that ended up having on my personality, but I think it did make me more aware of it.

lil  ·  1569 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Altered states of consciousness can lead to new ways of thinking. I was on some mushroom extract -- who knows what we were taking back then -- on Salt Spring Island (B.C), on the beach looking at intertidal lifeforms, seeing into the life of things. I decided then and there to take a biology course. Brings to mind Wordsworth's line from Tintern Abbey

  While with an eye made quiet by the power	
  Of harmony, and the deep power of joy,	
  We see into the life of things.
ArtemusBlank  ·  1570 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Perhaps one day we could get the creator of Vice to host an AMA on here. Do big AMAs ever go here?

thenewgreen  ·  1569 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Way back in the old days I used to ask authors to come discuss their work on Hubski. Or I'd PM them and suggest they come visit the site etc. That's how theadvancedapes found us, among others.

I've not done that in a long time though. Perhaps I ought to start again. But really, any of you could invite an author etc to the site. It's pretty easy to do and most authors are glad to know their work is being discussed. I'm not sure the creator of Vice would be terribly thrilled with this thread though :)

ArtemusBlank  ·  1569 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Maybe the creator would welcome the criticism? I mean when you are presenting current events, it would be crazy think that no one is going to throw some criticism your way. In some way, you have to be prepared for it. So I wonder how the creator would handle all that has been thrown in this topic.