You’ve been there before, I’m sure. (How can you not, in a soci­ety fueled by caf­feine? Unless you make healthy lifestyle choices, of course.) You’re sleep­ing soundly in a warm bed some­where, and then BAM, Insom­nia is lean­ing over you and poking you in the eye. “Stop it,” you say. “You stupid jerk, stop it, I have work in the morn­ing, you’re a jerk and stop being a jerk.” What does Insom­nia say?

“No.” Keeps poking. You’ve just found a few hours’ free time!

It’s at times like these that you’re bound to run into odd phe­nom­ena, and I’m not talk­ing about ghosts in the mirror or bleed­ing portraits—I’m talk­ing about tele­vi­sion. There is some­thing in pro­gram­mers’ minds that com­pels them to broad­cast weird, weird stuff during the wee hours, and prob­a­bly with weird reason. Good reason, I mean—good reason.

My weird­est encounter with late night pro­gram­ming hap­pened back in Illi­nois, when I stum­bled upon an episode of Image Union. It’s a pro­gram that fea­tures short films of vary­ing lucid­ity. Bingo by Chris Lan­dreth was play­ing, and var­i­ous people have since uploaded it online. Please try to imag­ine watch­ing this in the middle of the night:

It hap­pened again during col­lege. I was surf­ing the internet—somewhat less mys­ti­cal than flip­ping chan­nels on a TV, given that the ‘tubes tran­scend the hours of the day and all—when some­thing led me to Paul Robertson’s pix­e­lart film Kings of Power 4 Bil­lion %. (His jour­nal is NSFW, but you can find it here, and the film is NSFW, but you can find it here). In my half-​waking stupor, I had no words to describe the seizur­ing phan­tas­mago­ria. (This is a wholly appro­pri­ate phrase, and I am not using it just to be a snob. I swear!) Suf­fice it to say that I dreamed weirdly that night.

All of this was actu­ally inspired by a recent late night find­ing, also online. I was brows­ing Wikipedia—you know how that goes—until I found myself at the Fred­er­a­tor Stu­dios blog watch­ing some excel­lently and deli­ciously ani­mated danc­ing food:

It seems to be opera-​related?

Anyway, that does it for my oddly timed stum­blings into this sort of thing—things that were likely con­ceived when other people should have been asleep. Share your own find­ings! The world, it’s full of ’em.

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Discussion ¬

  1. dartigen says:

    When it comes to TV, all we get is shop­ping and infomer­cials until 4am, then there’s tel­e­van­ge­lists, and then news at 6am.

    But you’d be amazed at how inter­est­ing ram­jets are at 2:30am…