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October 12, 2006

{     Vice: Guide to Travel DVD     } What have you done with your trust fund lately? Vice magazine is as well known for its prescient grasp of emerging culture as it is for its dedication to utter fucking decadence on an epic scale. When CrownDozen first heard that they'd be releasing a travel DVD, visions of Bolivian coke orgies and Eurotrash "Do's and Dont's" danced in our heads. And that would have been all well and good, (if a bit par for the course) but what they've delivered instead is something far beyond those rather two-dimensional expectations. In fact, you'll find a healthy dose of gritty hard-hitting journalism tucked into the various chapters of the Vice Guide to Travel. I am in no way exaggerating when I tell you that my very blood was chilled by some of the realities revealed herein, and even the most lighthearted sections were laced with danger and the feeling that things could unravel into complete chaos at any moment. This is no mere travelogue. Vice handpicked some of the deadliest locations on planet Earth, from foreign countries rife with political upheaval and revolutionary warfare to crime-ridden urban sprawls seething with drug-fueled ultra-violence. There are deep dark jungles, irradiated wastelands and the blackest of black markets laid bare, it often plays out like a nightmare episode of National Geographic. It is eye-opening on an unprecedented level. vicedvd2.jpg That's not to say that Vice's trademark jet-setting hipster street cred is absent; the various "hosts" for each piece approach their subjects with a certain dilettantish charm and intoxicant-addled zeal. This proves extremely refreshing given the glut of way-too-earnest video journalism we've all been exposed to since every dipshit with dreams of a Pulitzer grabbed a digital camera and headed to Iraq. Call me a sucker for gonzo, but I like my reporting with a little personality, and Vice comes through in spades here. Whether it's David Choe fucked out of his skull in search of the M'kele M'embe, mumbling disaffected nonsense as natives parade wildly before him or Suroosh Alvi letting loose his inner redneck as he whoops and hollers while firing freshly purchased assault rifles in Afghanistan, there's no artificial attempt at playing it straight here, no faux journalistic stoicism, just real people having real reactions. vicedvd1.jpg And that element is what makes the Vice Guide to Travel an absolutely essential piece of media. There is no preachy contextualization, no condescending insertion of anarcho-punk politics, no saccharine manifesto demanding global unification under the banners of peace and love, just a little honest human reaction to the truly absurd realities of our modern era. It is more vital than anything Michael Moore's ever crapped out and six-billion times more informative than what we hear from the US mainstream media on these subjects. It will school you and entertain you at the same time, and as with all truly worthwhile journalism it will leave you with as many questions as it does answers. (We're going to hold off on posting a more detailed accounting of its contents for now, because honestly you just need to see it. It's not optional. We could regale you with a blow by blow account, but I don't want that to be your excuse for not having actually bothered to watch it you savvy slackmasters. Seriously, see it.) vicedvd3.jpg DVD Specs: vicedvd4.jpg

     » View clips from the DVD at
     » Buy the Vice Guide to Travel DVD
     » Vice DVD MySpace
     » Semi-exclusive clip of Big Pinky in Paraguay
     » DFA1979's "Black History Month (Josh Homme remix)" (mp3)


Woo Hoo!!! Jesco!!!!

Posted by: Aaron at October 11, 2006 3:02 AM
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