The Underground — Issue #133
Everything you need to know about in this weekly series: Blue Planet II is coming to learn you something about our planet, how humans used to walk a lot different back in medieval times, how the Port Arthur massacre in Australia forced gun control, and John Oliver going off on the NRA.
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.
Warning: This post gets a bit political after the massacre in Las Vegas. I attempt to be civil when the conversation is already separating people.
1. Blue Planet II is here with help from Radiohead and Hans Zimmer. Blue Planet was a documentary series that showed off the beauty of the waters of our planet, and Sir David Attenborough voiceovered the sh*t out of it. Now, after 16 years, we get a sequel series that will once again show off the best of our little blue dot with all the life to behold in our waters.
What’s better is we get some music from legendary band Radiohead and walking music icon Hans Zimmer. There’s nothing better than watching a informative documentary while listening to epic and surreal music by the best in the industry.
2. Humans didn’t walk the way we do now back in medieval days. If you watch just about any film or TV series that shows humans living hundreds of years ago, you’ll notice that everyone is walking by placing the heel to the toe. I mean, how else could you imagine someone else walking, huh? Well, you may have walked differently in your history as well: Imagine you walking barefoot in the grass. Do you seem to put the toes first before the heel? It’s the same thing with walking on any surface while barefoot or in thin slippers.
What this video explains to you is that back in the day, we didn’t have the footwear we have now. We didn’t have these thick boots you could weather through construction sites with no worry about stepping on a nail. This explanation on how we used to walk will be an interesting talking point with friends if you need to bring something fun to a conversation. I know I have a few times already.
3. How a mass shooting in Australia led to its government getting rid of guns. One of the most tragic mass shootings to happen in Australia was the Port Arthur Massacre. The Port Arthur massacre between April 28–29, 1996 was a massacre in which 35 people were killed and 23 wounded. A man named Martin Bryant came to Port Arthur, sat down and had lunch at a cafe, then indiscriminately started gunning people down no matter who they were.
The result of this massacre was many politicians sacrificing their careers by enacting the National Firearms Programme Implementation Act of 1996. This act restricted the private ownership of high capacity semi-automatic rifles, semi-automatic shotguns and pump-action shotguns as well as introducing uniform firearms licensing.
The result of this act has led to no mass shootings in the country since. Below is a documentary that details the massacre and the aftermath. I implore you to watch how something awful can turn into something that one major superpower may need to contemplate doing to prevent more acts like this.
4. After the Las Vegas mass shooting, John Oliver goes off on the NRA. I’m pretty sure the NRA is a terrorist organization that gets away with everything because they play to their base so well that people overlook it. They buy off politicians, encourage lapsed licensing and regulation on guns (it’s harder to buy Sudafed than a gun in some states), and generally want everyone to have a gun to fight off a potential hostile government. Sorry, guys, but one modern American tank could roll through 10 civilian militias with no problem.
Oliver goes on to really dig into why the NRA should feel responsible for many of the mass shootings that happen in America. We keep pivoting from the ease of getting guns to mental health, but then the NRA lobbies to overlook mental health checks when someone wants to buy a gun. Not only that, when the NRA and their bought politicians talk about mental health, they never actually make progress on helping people with mental health issues. It’s like a circular lack of accountability that is only cured for them when the news cycle passes.
Watch John Oliver takes on the NRA below.
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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.