The History of Japan By Bill Wurtz

If you’re gonna showcase your unique delivery, why not do it with a video about the history of Japan? Content creator and musician Bill Wurtz achieved “Internet notoriety”, according to Wikipedia, with his “history of japan” video back in 2016. It featured his quirky style, non-sequitur imagery, and shot his subscriber count out of the stratosphere.

It went viral and currently has over 45 million views. It helped to spawn a wider “sequel” entitled “history of the entire world, i guess” which garnered even larger popularity.

Internet Archaeology: a gallery of early internet images

The World Wide Web is relatively young.

But the concept of the internet – the “global system of interconnected computer networks” – dates back to the 1960s. The US government aimed to build better communication via computer networks but due to size and cost, computing was restricted to academia, the government and private corporations. When the World Wide Web was introduced in 1989, consumer-level computing exploded and technological advancement flourished.

Interest in pop culture from the 1990s is as strong as ever. Preserving digital artefacts is important in learning how we arrived here and Internet Archaeology plan to do that. The site’s creators say their main goal is to acknowledge the importance of these aforementioned artefacts and understand “the beginnings and birth of an Internet Culture”. Their focus lies solely on graphics – both JPEG and GIF – with the belief they are “most culturally revealing and immediate”.

The site hasn’t been updated for a while; collecting dust on already dated content. But it’s remarkable how far web culture has come since those halcyon days of dial-up and online pizza deliveries. Geocities is no longer with us but opened up a new world to children and adults alike to express themselves and their interests. Most of the images on the site are gawky now but serve a clear purpose. You’ll no doubt relive some memories with what’s on offer and maybe gain some inspiration.

You can find further reading on the subject in the list below the video. And visit Internet Archaeology here.

The Stupidest Rap - Don't Copy That Floppy

Further reading

Observe The Rugged Side Of The Internet With "Brutalist Websites"

The idea of brutalism is normally reserved for architecture as Wikipedia defines:

Brutalist architecture is a movement in architecture that flourished from the 1950s to the mid-1970s, descending from the modernist architectural movement of the early 20th century. The term originates from the French word for “raw” in the term used by Le Corbusier to describe his choice of material béton brut (raw concrete). British architectural critic Reyner Banham adapted the term into “brutalism” (originally “New Brutalism”) to identify the emerging style.

But the ethos has transferred to web design lately, creating a “ruggedness and lack of concern to look comfortable or easy”. This is according to Brutalist Websites, a compendium of sites with nothing but the basics at hand. You won’t see any fancy fonts or CSS3 on these web pages. Some look archaic but on the whole, they bring web design and the internet back to the bare bones and it’s quite refreshing.

Brutalist Websites before it died

UPDATE: *sigh* once again, another site has been taken down or otherwise defunct. Not sure why but the site is covered with a Brutalist Websites Are Dead logo. If you’re good with Dev Tools, you can get rid of it and still navigate the site but it’s a shame. Then again, a lot of the websites on there were questionable from a brutalist design perspective.

UPDATE 2: The watermark is gone but the webmaster told me the site isn’t active and remains as an archive.

PokéDad: A Webcomic About A Dad's Journey Through The Pokémon World

With over 200 million copies of their merchandise sold and over $35bn earned, the Pokémon franchise is only behind the Mario as the highest-grossing video game-based franchise.

But one of the best aspects of the series is the market of fan-made projects. One such project comes from LA-based illustrator Liz Rodriguez, entitled “PokéDad”. The webcomic tells the story of a dad in search of his son who has already completed his journey.

Players of Pokémon Red/Blue for the Gameboy will recognise the characters and tropes but the titular dad knows nothing of the Pokémon world and his logical viewpoint leaves him confused and frustrated throughout, much to the reader’s enjoyment. It’s a fantastic take on a well-known storyline and one you should check out. The comic updates every Friday.

Read PokéDad on Tumblr

Update: You can now follow PokéDad’s story on Instagram.

Mangle - The Random LiveJournal Image Generator

But why does LJ have such a strong Russian following? Well, the company was sold to Russian media group SUP Media in 2007 and around half of LiveJournal’s audience are from or around Russia. In fact, Game of Thrones writer George R.R. Martin had a blog there until recently. It seemed the potential for the platform was squandered as Steven T. Wright surmised for Ars Technica:

But, as many of its former employees attest, LJ ultimately had the opportunity to become one of these “second-generation” social behemoths. Instead, a stubborn userbase and questionable business decisions harried those ambitions.

Mangle’s random image generation captures the essence of Russian life. From memes to old Soviet architecture to NSFW photos, it offers a look into a private country with a rich history. And like we said, there may be some NSFW images so discretion is advised.

Try it for yourself.

A Thesis Discussing Hip Hop, Skate Culture & Web Culture In Tyler The Creator's Music

Thesis Discussing Hip Hop, Skate Culture & Web Culture In Tyler, The Creator's Music

This one piqued my interest. It relates to the multicultural facets of controversial rapper Tyler, The Creator. The thesis, written by Brazilian producer and musicologist Gustavo Souza Marques, discusses the ways Tyler, the Creator “shifts, but also maintains, some frames of gangsta rap discourse in his use of ‘hip hop mentality, skate culture, nihilism and Web 2.0 platforms to promote his art has made him one of the most prominent hip-hop artists from 21st century'”. That’s a lot. But also very insightful.

Check out the abstract below.

This article came from the homonymous PhD proposal submitted and accepted by Music School of University College Cork (UCC, Ireland) to be started in September 2015 under the guidance of Dr. J.Griffith Rollefson. It aims to point out and discuss the articulations made by rapper, producer, actor and video director Tyler Okonma, known by the stage name Tyler, the Creator, to shift, but also maintain, some frames of gangsta rap discourse. Noticed by his rape fantasies lyrics and ultraviolent shouts, most present in his two first albums, Tyler has been acclaimed for his notable musical talent but criticized for its misogynist themes. Despite this outrageous aspect of its music, his confessional and often self-deprecating lyrics have been a novelty for constant self-pride and powerful hip-hop lyrics. Moreover, it works as a compensation for his aggressiveness since it could be seen as a demonstration of fragility rather than sexual domination. The way he uses hip-hop mentality, skate culture nihilism and Web 2.0 platforms to promote his art has made him one of the most prominent hip-hop artists from the 21st century. Based on related authors on hip-hop topics like gangsta, misogyny, media and racial stereotypes this article discusses the ways in which Tyler, the creator reflects but also denies the most known and commented frames of rap music.

The abstract from Beyond Gangsta: Hip-Hop, Skate Culture and Web Culture in the Music of Tyler, The Creator

Academically related: The man who submitted a 52,438-word essay without punctuation and passed and Madison Moore’s lectures on “How to be Beyoncé”.