Nuggets of Culture

I'm always haunted by the feeling that things are going on in the world that I know nothing of. Whole fields of experience that have brilliant people pouring their lives into them, and I'm missing them just because the knowledge of their existence hasn't hit me. Partly because of cultural barriers, partly because of narrow field of social interaction...

Anyway, here's a small, growing list of some possibly hidden nuggets for people with the same itch. The kind of things I would have wanted to be told about if I didn't know about them.

  • Adolescence of Utena (少女革命ウテナ アドゥレセンス黙示録, Japan 1999. Wikipedia, aniDB). Mindblowing, strange, like-nothing-else stuff. This of course goes for the whole varied field of anime, which some people don't bother looking into for stupid reasons like the stereotype set by some popular shows.
  • Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (Valerie a týden divů, Czechoslovakia 1970. Wikipedia, Imdb). Same as with Utena, the field being foreign films in general. I've very little experience on this field, unfortunately.
  • Nijigahara Holograph (虹ヶ原ホログラフ, Inio Asano. Amazon). Same thing, with 'foreign films' → 'manga'.
  • The Sanskrit Language (Wikipedia) ...And languages in general, and constructed ones specifically. Interesting stuff.
  • Anything by Greg Egan (Wikipedia, Home page). The hardest science fiction there is (not 'possible with what we know right now' hard, but 'write a formula, follow through'-hard). Unfortunately I'm not educated enough to actually appreciate the math, but a) the concepts played with are described in language for mortals too, and b) knowing there is a rigorous backing for all the ideas gives warm, fuzzy feelings.
  • Anything by Nick 'Ulillillia' Smith (Home site, Youtube, Dailymotion). The most magical guy in the internet. He is not like us, but he is not less than us.
  • Perry Bible Fellowship. Category: web/strip comics. In this context XKCD and Fingerpori must be mentioned.
  • Susumu Hirasawa's music. Sekai Turbine, Parade
  • Julee Cruise's music. Into the Night, Rockin' Back Inside My Heart
  • Harumi Miyako's music, enka music (older Japanese popular music) in general
  • Chiptunes
I think 'sense of wonder' is something that is common to many of these entries. The more you know about the world, the more the same it all feels, so any deviations from the norm, anything that makes a thing feel deep (be it well grounded deep like Egan's, or even pure smoke and mirrors fluff, if done right) is welcome.

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