Fantastic Fictional #2: Welcome To Night Vale

“Got a home improvement project?
Need help? Incomplete? Having feelings? Strange feelings? Feelings you’ve never felt? Incomplete? 
Is your body filled with hot blood, waving curves of sinew and skin? Can you feel all that blood? Is it even your blood? How can you be sure? Incomplete? Are you dizzy from it all? All of this? What are your hands doing? Incomplete?
Where are your hands now? Where have they been? Where are they going? Where are you going? Have you ever broken the surface of something with a hammer? Ever channeled sublime thought into sandpaper? Ever wanted to touch something because you feel things? Because touch is the only sense you trust? Incomplete?
What is trust? Is making a things proof that you exist? Is fixing a thing truth that you have ascended mortality? History? Incomplete?
Feel things? Feel things?
You can do it. We can help.
The Home Depot.”

Welcome to Night Vale: Episode 19A – The Sandstorm

A couple of months ago I found something really cool on the internet, the podcast named “Welcome To Night Vale.” In case you don’t know, a podcast is much like a radio show that you can download via iTunes. Think “The War of the Worlds” only to listen to on you iPod or pc. 
“Welcome to Night Vale” is presented as a radioshow for the fictional town Night Vale. Twice a month an episode goes up about the daily news in the town of Night Vale. Now that might seem a little boring, if only Night Vale was a normal town. Every night differently colored helicopters fly across the void-like sky, the bowling alley is the portal to an underworld civilization, librarians are better to be avoided and the dogpark is forbidden to talk about. It is forbidden to think about the dog park. What dog park? What were we talking about?

Created by JJoseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor and is voiced by Cecil Baldwin, the show sets up this town where even the supernatural is normal and the normal is odd. A message from a sponsor comes out as vague life-advice about dark rituals and traffic discribes the wandering of lost souls, while the weather report is presented as a piece of music, every time by a different independently-published artist.

The setting and style of the show is really well done. I love how I am often creeped out by simple discriptions of the daily live in Night Vale, even though most of the time the show gets so rediculous that I have to laugh. The radio host remarks one time that there is a floating cat in the men’s bathroom at the radio station. They can’t move it, and they keep it there. Every few episodes the host tells us how the cat is doing, while also reporting that a five-headed dragon is running for mayor of the town.


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