How Is This A Thing?

We don't understand how any of this can possibly be a thing. Got a tip or an explanation? Email us at howisthisathing at gmail dot com.

Funky Forest After School Club.

Listen, we all know that there are a bunch of weird things from Japan. It’s just how it is. Tentacle rape cartoons and used panty vending machines color our impressions of Japan, no matter what else we may know about this fine country. So, I would like to say that this clip did not surprise me, but that would be a dirty, dirty lie. Funky Forest After School Club is a segment of the rambling movie, Funky Forest: First Contact. Written and directed by Katsuhito Ishii, Hajimine Ishimine, Shunichiro Miki, the film is a mixture of bizarre and surreal sketches that are often, but not always related. It’s supposed to be funny. That said, I didn’t laugh watching this, though maybe it’s funny in the context of the whole movie. I am grasping at straws trying to make sense of something my brain just can’t comprehend. I guess I should describe what happens in the clip, but I really can’t. There is a man with weird nipples? A girl with a tennis racket? And weird, non-realistic but still gross special effects. There’s nothing explicitly sexual about this clip (it’s on YouTube), but I still can’t say I’d watch it with your mom. I mean, I might with your mom, but you shouldn’t. No, actually, no. I don’t want to watch it again. If you still want to, you can here.


Chick Tracts

Call me a hopeless romantic, but I believe that one of most basic building blocks of human relationships is laid down when two people are appalled by the same thing. This is why I consider the readers of this blog as a true family and community: after all, when two people think, how is this a thing?, don’t their hearts beat as one, for just a brief moment?

The first time I personally experienced this phenomenon was when I started dating my first boyfriend, at age 17. We stayed up all night once appalling each other; sending back and forth links from one site.  Now that I’m beginning a love affair with you  readers, (a more enduring one, I hope)  I feel that it’s only fair that I share my favorite least favorite site with you, too. If you’re ready to fall in love with hating and out of love with humanity, I think you’re ready for Chick Tracts.

If you, like me, grew up in a place where these things just appeared on car windshields and between the copies of Time at your godless orthodontist’s office, you already know all about Chick Tracts. For those of you who don’t: Chick Tracts are the creation of Jack Chick, a somehow-still-alive 87 year-old who hates Catholics, Jews,  gays and lesbians, science, all post-King James versions of the Bible,  and drawings that don’t resemble a trembling sociopath’s take on the Sunday funnies.

The following is an excerpt from a tract where some really cool demons plan what sounds like an awesome festival. The hottest groups in the world? Low-grade condoms? Sign me the fuck up. 

You can guess how this turns out: Granny1  butts in and ruins the party and basically stops people from going to hell (though plenty of people go anyway, and we get to be really happy about that). All in all, pretty typical for a mild tract. 

I say “mild,” because it doesn’t include disgustingly foul portrayals of gay people, Catholics, or others on Chick’s most-hated list– just some dumb, satany teens.  I can’t even bring myself to look at the other stuff, not even for you guys.  I guess love has a limit.

1. Guys, I just noticed that Granny does her hair before making the phone call. Sorry, God, but you can wait til I got myself looking good.

Coloring Osama

Chris, I think you know perfectly well that that hijab  shouldn’t be lime green. And Shaunda, if you must color that bullet some color other than black or gray, could you at least stay inside the lines? Christ, Madison– can you please explain why you drew a pink kitty cat next to that Navy SEAL?

Goddamnit, what do I have to  do to get you kids to show some fucking respect toward the “killing Osama bin Laden” page in your 9/11 coloring book?


Yes. The We Shall Never Forget 9/11: The Kids’ Book of Freedom coloring book is a thing. Not a thing you can buy at just any store: you have to go straight to, where you can maybe also possibly snatch up your copy ofThe Tea Party Coloring Book for Kids. No word who gets shot in there!

This Better Not Be Real: Rat Kings

A rat king is the name given to a mob of rats whose tails have become permanently tangled and knotted together. Then this mob of rats effectively has to live as one disgusting organism. Apparently, rat kings were a big deal in medieval Germany, but rarely heard of anywhere else. This means that a bunch of people suspect that rat kings probably aren’t a thing that naturally happens with any regularity. I find that immensely comforting. On the other hand, here is a picture of a preserved specimen that’s in a German museum.

I find that less comforting.

BTK Serial Killer’s Photography Hobby

The BTK (bound, tortured, killed) serial killer is the creepiest of all serial killers.  His name is Dennis Rader, and his modus operandi is pretty much covered in his nickname.  He is pretty much the worst, not in terms of numbers, but in terms of attitude. You can read all about him on Wikipedia if you really just hate how well your day is going. But maybe, you already know the basics of the BTK case and you instead want some little extra detail to freshly horrify you. You already know that he was president of his church’s congregation council and a leader of the Boy Scouts. You already know that he resumed his killing mainly because his children were grown and he had more time on his hands. You know about his taunting missives to the police, including self-mythologizing stories about the victims he had murdered. Old news. Still horrifying, but old news. So how about something just a little bit weird?

Dennis Rader really liked to take pictures with his Polaroid camera. Specifically, he liked to take pictures of himself, tied up, wearing the clothes of his victims so that he would have something to masturbate to later.

Here he is tied up in a shallow grave. Presumably, this is ultimately for one of his victims. Lovely. There are more pictures here and I have no more words.

Just Executing A Ton Of People

When will American politics have reached its nadir? Has it already? Where is rock bottom? These are the questions we ponder as we look at the Republican front-runner for President putting a corn dog in his mouth.

Of course, reasonable minds might say that a silly picture is nowhere close to a serious, heartbreaking bottom that we know must just be around the corner. I don’t know if the nadir is near or passed already. Here is what I do know:

If you live in Texas, you have a greater chance of Governor Rick Perry personally ordering your execution than you do of dying in a plane crash.  There is a pretty good chance that he will become President of the United States.

Republicans Eating Corndogs

I’m not outraged about it, I just don’t understand why any of them do it. A couple weeks ago, Michele Bachmann and her totally-not-gay husband had pictures of them taken eating corndogs at a state fair. It went really well for fans of comedy and not so well for those who want their political leaders to have an ounce of dignity.  Here are photos of Representative and Mr. Bachmann eating corndogs.


Okay so that didn’t turn out well for either of them. Surely all of the other Republican nominees say these pictures and had a little laugh. Maybe they made a joke about how they would make sure they never ate a corndog in public, which would force  those who saw them to imagine that particular candidate putting a penis in their mouth.

Or maybe, just maybe you flip it, just go with it. Maybe you up the ante. Crazy you say? No, that’s just what those without vision say. Here’s how a visionary eats a corndog:

Ladies and gentleman, the Republican frontrunner. The potential heir of Lincoln. There he is.

How did it come to this?

How Did It Come To This

So, this is a thing. Listen, I love it when people let their freak flag fly. It’s beautiful really.  I’d like to think that I could just sit and appreciate a bunch of people enjoying each others company and apparently having fun. I’d like to, but I can’t.

There’s an obvious WTF factor with this video, but there are a few things that we need to talk about. Okay: so a goth/industrial rave under an overpass. Not a terrible idea. That could work. When you are scheduling your rave, however, do you typically schedule it in the middle of the day? That’s what appears to be going on. Worse, any fun that anyone is having seems really forced, if they are having fun at all. A few folks get into it and the poor man’s Andrew WK has some fun with the bicycle horn, but for the most part, there are a lot of frowning people, shuffling joylessly and looking like they wish they could be anywhere else. Worse, the background is dominated by a big group of people who aren’t into the dancing at all. They are just, awkwardly kind of wall-flowering. During the sparsely attended goth/industrial day rave where no one is having a good time.

I guess my main problem is this: Who sees this and thinks this looks like something they want to do?

Krokodil: The Worst Drug in the World

It’s a hard world, and we know you’ve seen some shit. You’ve seen “Faces of Meth.” You’ve heard lots of terrifying reports about crazy things people did hopped up on crank. Maybe you witnessed them. You’ve seen junkies, wasting away and oblivious to anything but their next fix. Maybe at one point you read an article about the crazy slave-like conditions for the workers who process cocaine in hidden factories in the Colombian jungle. You, probably, at one point or another heard an absolutely insane story about someone taking PCP and becoming full-on psychotic. You know and have seen that there’s definitely some fucked up shit in the world because of drugs.  None of this has anything on Krokodil.

Krokodil is, unsurprisingly, the Russian word for crocodile and refers to an impure variety of homemade desomorphine, typically synthesized from cheap codeine tablets. It’s basically used as a heroin substitute when heroin is unavailable either due to price or simple shortage. The reason the drug is called krokodil isn’t because it eats your flesh to the bone, which, incidentally, it does. It’s called krokodil because it mortifies your skin to such an extent that you look like you are covered in scales. Addicts have their appendages fall off, their skin rot from the outside and in. It destroys the tissue in the brain with the same prejudice it destroys all other tissue, permanently impairing basic cognitive function. It turns you into an honest-to-God zombie. There are lots of videos of the effects of the drug on YouTube. Let me stress that I don’t recommend that you click here, here, or here.

The Very Finest in Video Pizza

Sometimes, there are things we don’t understand that are not horrible. Sometimes, the inexplicable depths of the Internet don’t fill us with a sense of impending dread and a growing certainty that we are, in fact, living at the End of History. Sometimes, there are things that we find on the Internet that we don’t understand, but that we grow to love, even without understanding. I imagine that this is how religion feels. So, my friends, I bring you my personal tale of Video Pizza.

I saw this one day, dear friends, and I fell in love. Something inside me was moved. I was forever changed. This clip is just a teaser you see, for a full DVD masterpiece, which, through the generosity of a dear friend, I acquired. It features a full hour of a spinning, sizzling pepperoni pizza on a black background. The angles change and there are a number of slow zooms. It’s so magnificent. Whenever company would come over, I would play it for them, playing it to the very end so that all could see the magnificent twist ending.

I don’t understand this. I don’t know how or why this exists. All I know is that I love it.