The Underground — Issue #71
Everything you need to know about in this weekly series: The psychological effects of the water crisis in Flint, an awesome Japanese anime on Netflix, a look back into the history of Times Square, Why the movie Dredd needs a sequel TV series, and how to be more creative.
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. A psychological look at a everything the water of Flint, Michigan touches. Unless you’ve been living on the planet “I Don’t Give A F” lately, you may have noticed that the city of Flint, Michigan has been having to deal with the substance that gives life being as toxic as Bud Light to a douche bag college friend you don’t talk to anymore. Not only that, but they are being charged money for having to drink, cook, and bath in for over a year. What kind of psychological toll could that take on a city of people dealing with such a hellish thing?
This video takes a look at the psychological effects that having polluted water has had on the city of Flint, Michigan, It’s even more depressing that this is still an issue, the Governor of Michigan is a buffoon, and the fallout from this will be seen for decades to come.
2. The anime Ajin on Netflix is straight-up metal. I’m always on the look out for new Japanese anime’s to watch. I usually prefer to watch with subtitles rather than with the English dubbing because it’s almost always butchered, but that’s another story. I decided over the weekend to watch Ajin on Netflix, and I’m glad I did. But be warned… this show is very violent. How violent? Here’s the premise:
Premise: The story is about a student named Kei Nagai, who discovers he is an immortal “Ajin” when he is hit by a truck. He becomes a wanted person because the Ajin are considered “criminals” and the only person who is there to support him is his best friend, Kaito. In reality, the Ajin are branded criminals so they can be easily hunted down and captured for research and cruel experimentation in order to unlock, control, and eventually reproduce the strange powers that all Ajin have, even though many of the Ajin themselves don’t understand or even know why they have their abilities. As a result, many of the Ajin encountered in the series are cold and unfeeling; some even look down on humans with contempt and wish death upon them.
There are scenes where the Ajin are experimented on like lab rats, murdered continuously since they revive, and pretty much get killed in a bunch of different ways. What makes it quite questionable is looking back at the Japanese experimentation on people during WW2 where they cut people apart while they were awake and could feel everything. So. watching scenes in this show felt a little too real… especially since the animation is so incredible how they capture realistic movements of people.
I’ll shut up, but watch this trailer.
3. This look back at Times Square is pretty incredible. Okay, I’ve never been to New York City, but old timey pictures of places that are widely recognizable have a special place in my heart. A grocery store near where I grew up had pictures from 100 years ago from the city, and it was awesome seeing horses riding on the street where there are now modern places and roads.
This photo album explores Times Square from 1878 up to now. I had no idea the reason behind the name, but that was all but obvious after the album explains it as you go through it. I knew that Time Square had a period where it was a dumpster full of crime, but how it has become the biggest tourist spots in NYC. It’s the go to shot of every New Year’s celebration! Flip though this album and watch how one of America’s greatest landmarks was born.
4. Dredd is a movie that you need to watch because Karl Urban is urging it to become a TV show.
If you’ve looked over to your trending thingy on Facebook, you might read something about how actor Karl Urban wants either Netflix or Amazon to create a Dredd sequel TV show. Sadly, when you think of Judge Dredd, you think of that piece of sh*t film made in 1995 with Sylvester Stallone and ROB SCHNEIDER. That movie was bad for some many reasons, but one reason that completely took me out of it was that Dredd took his helmet off. Dredd never takes his helmet off. Seriously, HE NEVER TAKES IT OFF for the reader to see except for a moment or two… which explains the reason.
Anyway, Dredd came out in 2012 and was largely unseen because of bad marketing, the bad taste the 1995 movie imprinted on everyone, and because people are babies. Dredd is the new Die Hard. Shut up, I know, but it’s true. This is 90 minutes of straight-up badass action, great writing, beautiful directing, and Karl Urban is the perfect Judge Dredd. When he finally says his catchphrase, “I’m the law.” It doesn’t sound stupid as hell like in the 1995 movie, no, it sounds terrifying. If you’re a criminal, you better hope you didn’t eat White Castle that day.
Premise: In a dystopian future Earth, the area between New York and Boston has become a crime-ridden urban mass of 800 million people known as Mega City. Keeping the peace is the combination of policemen-judges who make the arrests, determine guilt and then execute the sentence. Judge Dredd is among the best at what he does and he is assigned a rookie, Cassandra Anderson, who did not meet the minimum requirements for the job, but who has one talent most do not: she is a mutant with psychic abilities. They soon find themselves inside Peach Trees, a 200 story building that houses among many others Ma-Ma a gangster who produces the drug of choice in Mega City, slo-mo. Ma-Ma shuts the building down determined that Dredd and Anderson will never again see the light of day.
If you love amazing action films, dystopian futures, great writing, and a tight script… Dredd is for you.
5. The secret to unlocking your creativity. Have you ever sat and looked at a Microsoft Word cursor blinking at you like it was giving you the finger? Have you ever wanted to paint something and completely drawn a blank? Sometimes you have to think outside of the box? Look at things differently. Look at a Lego block and think of different uses for it!
Creativity solves problems. If you keep looking at things the same way, you limit your creativity. Check out this video below to help you open up your mind to new things.
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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.