Ruin porn is one of the more interesting “first-world” developments of recent years, at least in my humble opinion. For those unfamiliar with the concept, “urban exploration” involves visiting and photographing decaying areas, usually in cities.
There’s something hauntingly beautiful about many of these images, but at the same time, it feels extremely exploitative. Many of these most popular sites for urban exploration are in ruins because of ongoing economic crises (see “ruin porn” in Detroit. Lots and lots of Detroit.)
In the course of trying to clear out blog post drafts, I cam across many half-formed thoughts on this topic, as well as links to interesting examples. I figured I’d just try to distill everything down to one post here, even if it just means listing some of the links: Continue reading
Sometimes the temptation of clickbait-y headlines is too much to resist, but sometimes it leads you to something fascinating*. This was the case with a ViralNova post enticingly entitled “They Stumbled Across This In The Woods… Beneath It Was A Terrifyingly Awesome Secret,” which begins with “Deep in the woods in the middle of northern Germany…”
This piqued my interest for at least three reasons:
- Obscure history from World War II and the Cold War are a hobby of mine (and it seems safe to assume that any “terrifyingly awesome secret” found in a German forest dates to that period in history.)
- I find the idea of long-lost underground structures fascinating, albeit usually in a tragic way—like the abandoned tunnels in Ghostbusters 2, or the slightly-less-fictional “mole people” (not a very nice term) of Las Vegas, New York, etc.
- We’ve been watching the Sundance series Deutschland 83, which just had its season finale.
Deutschland 83 deserves its own post, but to summarize: It is about a young East German soldier sent to spy on West Germany by posing as the newly-assigned aide to a general in the West German Army. I haven’t seen much of the show The Americans, but I suspect they share some thematic similarities. As the title indicates, Deutschland 83 is set in 1983, the year we came closest to nuclear annihilation since the Cuban Missile Crisis 21 years earlier.
Getting back to the ViralNova post, it sets up the story as follows: Continue reading