The Underground — Issue #36
Everything you need to know about in this weekly series: A companion piece to a powerful documentary, a drastic measure to save water in California, an ambitious fundraiser to build one of fiction’s greatest monuments, misconceptions about sharks, and what President Obama listens to on Spotify.
At Social Underground we go beyond the mainstream stuff and see what’s underneath the surface. What should we get into, listen to, read, eat or watch? If there is something in our culture that needs attention that’s our job: Show you the underground things that you need to know about: Books, music, television, movies, comedians, art, and whatever else we can find to get you into something you never knew about. That’s The Underground.
1. The Look of Silence is a worthy follow-up to Act of Killing. In 2012, The Act of Killing came out and blew everyone’s minds. It was a documentary about the killings that went on in Indonesia in 1965 which purged alleged communists and amassed a body count of about a million people. In the film, Joshua Oppenheimer interviewed people who were directly responsible for the killings, and even had them recreate how they killed so many people. They often bragged about how they did it, until they pretended to be the people they killed when they reenacted the killings. When they started to feel frightened in portraying the people they murdered, it was then they realized their actions were evil.
Joshua Oppenheimer is back with a companion piece which focuses more on the victims rather than the perpetrators. You can check out the trailer for The Look of Silence below.
2. The drought is getting so bad in California that drastic measures to prevent evaporation is being taken. In an upcoming feature on SU, we will explain just how bad the drought is hitting California. Just recently, the state has had to take extreme measures to preserve the water in the Los Angeles reservoir. California has been covering its reservoirs with shade balls to protect the water.
The shade balls are plastic balls that are colored with pure black carbon. They prevent sunlight from penetrating through to the water and causing chemical reactions with the chlorine and bromide. They also prevent evaporation for the precious water below. An astounding 96-million shade balls have been put in the reservoir and is expected to save the city a quarter of a billion dollars, and save 300-million gallons of water that that state desperately needs.
3. Some ambitious Lord of the Rings fans want to build Minas Tirith. If you’ve watched or read the Lord of the Rings, you’ll know the big white city of Minas Tirith quite well, but there is no way that it could be built in real life, right? Well, an Indiegogo page has been put up and is looking for nearly 2 billion dollars to build it.
Let’s take a look at what they need from you and what they will do with the money:
- We are a team of Tolkien fans who are passionate about creating a beautiful, inspirational and fully-functioning replica of Peter Jackson’s depiction of Minas Tirith, as seen in his Lord of the Rings films.
- We all share a love of Tolkien’s work, and a desire to challenge the common perception of community and architecture. We believe that, in realising Minas Tirith, we could create not only the most remarkable tourist attraction on the planet, but also a wonderfully unique place to live and work.
- We’d love to create both residential and commercial properties, allowing for sustainable growth and a high quality of life.
- Residential properties would be categorised by tier, quality and size. Tiers vary from 1-5, quality varies from 2-5 stars, with the higher star denoting higher quality, and size varies from 1-4 bedrooms. A “3.4.2 property”, for instance, would be located in the 3rd tier of the city, be of a 4 star quality and have 2 bedrooms – perfect for a young family.
- Our goal is to raise £1.85bn within 60 days. We’re fully aware of the scale of our ambition, but we hope you realise just how special this project could be.
Let us break it down for you:
- Please only donate within your means, and in the knowledge that this project is a light-hearted venture with virtually no chance of succeeding.
- In order to realise this amazing dream, we have estimated our required budget to be in the region of £1.85bn. The vast majority of this expense would cover building costs – £15m for land, £188m for labour and £1.4bn for material. The remainder of the money will be invested in maintenance and public services until the year 2053.
- We would commence work on Minas Tirith by the end of 2016, and complete the project by the end of 2023.
- We are currently considering two locations for Minas Tirith, both in southern England.
- We make no claim on the image or name of Minas Tirith, and will happily cancel this project should any dispute arise over such.
- If we don’t reach our goal of £1.85bn, all pledges will be cancelled and you will not be charged a penny.
Now, it seems quite unlikely that they will raise the money, but maybe a filthy rich nerd with throw in a few billion to make this happen. I’m looking at you, Bill Gates.
They raised around £64,559 so far, so they still have a bit more to raise. Go support them with your money on their Indiegogo page so we can all plan our vacation in 2023.
4. This video will blow up your misconceptions of sharks. Most of what we know about sharks is what we’ve seen in terrible movies on the Syfy channel or what we are told on during Shark Week, but sharks usually get a bad wrap. Sharks aren’t really fans of eating humans like most people think. Sharks are the misunderstood species in the ocean, but that doesn’t mean they still aren’t terrifying.
Check out the Mental Floss video that explains what you might not know about sharks.
5. President Obama just released his Spotify playlist. Being the President has to be the worst job ever. Constantly having to entertain people, making difficult decisions, and being criticized by the media everyday doesn’t seem like much fun. The President has to kick back and listen to some tunes during the day and night. The White House just released what the President has been listening to lately.
Check out the playlist below and adjust your musical taste accordingly:
- “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” by The Temptations
- “Live It Up” by Isley Brothers
- “Memories Live” by Talib Kweli and Hi Tek
- “Tombstone Blues” by Bob Dylan
- “So Much Trouble in the World” by Bob Marley
- “Paradise” by Coldplay
- “Tengo Un Trato (Remix)” by Mala Rodriguez
- “Wang Dang Doodle” by Howlin Wolf
- “Another Star” by Stevie Wonder
- “Hot Fun in the Summertime” by Sly & the Family Stone
- “Boozophilia” by Low Cut Connie
- “Wherever Is Your Heart” by Brandi Carlile
- “Good Day” by Nappy Roots
- “Green Light” by John Legend
- “Gimme Shelter” by Rolling Stones
- “Rock Steady” by Aretha Franklin
- “Down Down the Deep River” by Okkervil River
- “Pusher Love Girl” by Justin Timberlake
- “Shake It Out” by Florence + The Machine
- “La Salsa La Traigo Yo” by Sonora Carruseles
- “My favorite things” by John Coltrane
- “Superpower” by Beyonce and Frank Ocean
- “Moondance” by Van Morrison
- “Is Your Love Big Enough?” by Lianne La Havas
- “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart” by Al Green
- “Red &White & Blue & Gold” by Aoife O’Donovan
- “Nothing Even Matters” by Lauryn Hill and D’Angelo
- “The Best Is Yet To Come” by Frank Sinatra
- “You Don’t Know Me” by Ray Charles
- “I Found My Everything” by Mary J. Blige
- “Help Me” by Joni Mitchell
- “I’ve Got Dreams To Remember” by Otis Redding
- “Suzanne” by Leonard Cohen
- “Feeling Good” by Nina Simone
- “Stubborn Love” by The Lumineers
- “Until” by Cassandra Wilson
- “UMI” Says by Mos Def
- “The Very Thought Of You” by Billie Holiday
- “Flamenco Sketches” by Miles Davis
- “Woo” By Erykah Badu
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Jeff Sorensen is an author, writer and occasional comedian living in Detroit, Michigan. You can look for more of his work on The Huffington Post,UPROXX,BGR and by just looking up his name.