Donkey Kong Country Gets Remade as a Surreal Vaporwave Art Piece

Donkey Kong Country gets trippy in this vaporwave homage.
Donkey Kong Country gets trippy in this vaporwave homage.
Donkeykong.exe

Vaporwave’s not for everyone. This niche subgenre of electronic music can be described as dreamlike or downbeat, punctuated by the retro sounds of obsolete elements from ‘80s and ‘90s culture. But it’s more than just a sound; vaporwave culture also takes aim at consumerism and the mainstream through a mixture of nostalgia and surrealism. It’s also incredibly esoteric, and outside of its cult fanbase, many may find the whole thing a bit too impenetrable.

Still, despite claims that vaporwave is a dead genre (mainly because it got noticed by people), new projects keep spawning from it. This latest should be an appealing one to anyone who ever picked up a video game controller, as the SNES classic Donkey Kong Country has been transformed into a full-on vaporwave gaming experience.

This game, titled DonkeyKong.exe (or スーパードンキーコング D R E A M A K E), is a hypnotic reimagining of the original, complete with a lethargic version of the game’s memorable soundtrack and a dizzying array of retro screen effects and sounds. As Donkey, Diddy, and Cranky Kong traverse through this freakish experiment, players will notice that this isn’t quite the same game they grew up with.

Characters only have the ability to walk side to side and jump, and many of the title’s staples have been transformed to fit the vaporwave ideology. Memorable locations have been replaced with a neon landscape of geometric vector graphics, and robotic bleeps and bloops stand in for the game’s original sound effects.

One of the most interesting changes is the collectible letters from the original that once only spelled out “Kong.” Here they have much darker messages like “Consume” and “Obey,” as you’ll soon find that all you can really do in DonkeyKong.exe is collect bananas and watch as Cranky falls into an abyss of commercialization. The theme of consumption fits in well with the genre’s cultural outlook. In an interview with Kotaku, the game’s creator, Sebastian Strand, noted that he was drawn to vaporwave because of its "ambivalent relationship to commercialism and the notion of dissecting (often superficial) popular culture and twisting and redefining it into something new just tickles me the right way.”

For the most part, DonkeyKong.exe is beyond a written explanation. If you’re interested in this bizarre take on the beloved Super Nintendo game, you can download it for free.

[h/t Kotaku]

Canadian Man Named Lorne Grabher Stripped of His Right to Have a ‘GRABHER’ License Plate Is Appealing the Court’s Decision

Lorne Grabher shows off his forbidden license plate.
Lorne Grabher shows off his forbidden license plate.
CBC News, YouTube

For about 25 years, Nova Scotia, Canada, was home to a vanity license plate emblazoned with “GRABHER.”

Lorne Grabher had given it to his father as a 65th birthday gift in 1991, and it eventually passed to Lorne himself. Anyone who knew the Grabhers no doubt recognized the last name, but the same couldn’t be said for one passerby, alarmed at what seemed like a blanket imperative for abduction and assault. In November 2016, the anonymous individual filed a complaint with the Registrar of Motor Vehicles, who informed Grabher that his plate would be revoked the following month.

Grabher, proud of his Austrian-German heritage and outraged at what he considered to be a violation of his rights, sued the Registrar. This past January, CBC News reported that the Nova Scotia Supreme Court sided with the Registrar, ruling that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms does not extend to this particular situation.

“The seven letters (‘GRABHER’) on a government-owned license plate can be interpreted as promoting sexualized violence (without full contextual information),” the court stated in its decision. “Preventing harm that could flow from such a message on a government plate must be seen as pressing and substantial.”

Though disappointed with the outcome, Grabher was determined to continue the fight, even if that meant taking the case all the way to Canada’s Supreme Court.

“I’m not giving up,” he told CBC News in January. “I’m in it for the long haul.”

True to his word, Grabher is now filing an appeal through his lawyers at Calgary’s Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms on the grounds that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms does, in fact, cover personalized license plates, and there is no evidence to suggest that Grabher’s plate actually promotes sexualized violence [PDF].

While you wait for the next chapter of this epic battle of wills to unfold, check out 11 other controversial license plates here.

[h/t CBC News]

Oregon Police Are Cautioning People Not to Call 911 When Their Toilet Paper Runs Out

Running out of Charmin does not rise to the level of an emergency.
Running out of Charmin does not rise to the level of an emergency.
belchonock/iStock via Getty Images

Concerns that Americans may be short on toiletries amid the coronavirus situation have led to some people hoarding essentials like toilet paper, causing others to see their own stock run low. While supply chains have reassured consumers that restocking toilet tissue is no issue, some residents of Newport, Oregon apparently consider their shortage of two-ply to be an emergency matter.

CNN reports that the Newport Police Department issued an exasperated warning on its Facebook page for residents to stop calling 911 to report they’re low on toilet paper.

“It’s hard to believe we even have to post this,” the message reads. “Do not call 9-1-1 just because you ran out of toilet paper. You will survive without our assistance.”

The post goes on to sardonically suggest some historical alternatives for manufactured toilet paper, including “old rope and anchor lines soaked in salt water” and “sea shells.” In case readers don’t get the message, the post also notes—somewhat ominously—that Newport is a “coastal town.”

Obviously, running low on bath tissue can be an inconvenient matter, but the Newport PD wanted to remind people that an unwiped bottom does not rise to the level of an emergency requiring first responder intervention.

[h/t CNN]

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