‘Joker’ Doesn’t Have any Incels, But It Does Have Weird Trump References

‘Joker’ has inspired a lot of debate. Many early reviewers thought it was a great film, but worried that it could inspire violence from ‘incels’ – angry young men who resent women who reject them. VICE News’ Dexter Thomas watched the movie, and doesn’t quite agree.

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Voodoo Wrestling and Big Placebo (Preview) | VICE on HBO

This week, on VICE on HBO, Dexter Thomas dives into the Congo’s Catch Fétiche, a sport that combines mystic voodoo rituals & professional wrestling. And then Charlet Duboc talks to Gwyneth Paltrow about how “wellness” has become a booming industry.

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China’s Hip-Hop Answer To “American Idol” Is Huge — Even Though Rap Was Banned In China (HBO)

It might be a few decades late, but hip-hop is now huge in China.

It’s all thanks to a show called “The Rap of China.” Imagine American Idol (except full of rappers, and everyone is Chinese), and you’ll get the idea.

It’s slick, it’s dramatic, and a bit goofy. It’s also massively popular, pulling in 3 billion views in its first season, and the show has pushed a few rappers into superstardom.

There’s just one hitch: none of this should be happening, because in January, the Chinese government banned hip-hop from being shown on TV.

But somehow, The Rap of China is still on the air, and in its second season.

VICE News’ Dexter Thomas went to a live taping of The Rap of China in Beijing to find out how an entertainment company is building a fortune on a genre that wasn’t supposed to be on the air, and how local rappers are keeping audiences — and censors — happy.

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Therapists Are Using VR Headsets To Cure Phobias (HBO)

VICE News correspondent Dexter Thomas is absolutely terrified of heights. A tiny startup called Limbix thinks they can cure him with a VR headset.

Now that virtual reality is getting cheaper, it’s becoming a more accessible option for use in exposure therapy. It allows, for example, a therapist to take their patient to a plane, or a cave full of spiders, or a street corner where they were mugged ten years ago — all without the cost and danger of “in vivo” treatment.

Dexter Thomas went to Palo Alto to test out what some people are hoping will be the next big thing in therapy.

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How Tetris Became The Addictive Classic It Is Today (HBO)

Even if you don’t like video games, odds are you’ve played Tetris. It’s not only the best selling video game of all time, it might also be the most addictive game ever.

But you’re probably not as into Tetris as Box Brown is. He wrote a whole comic book about it, covering the exhaustive history of Tetris — from its humble beginnings as a side project in a Soviet Russian computer lab, to becoming a hard-fought prize for Nintendo that brought portable gaming to the world.

VICE News correspondent Dexter Thomas visited Box’s home studio in Philadelphia to find out why Tetris deserves its very own origin story.

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Making Saturday Night Live Funny For Everyone (Not Just Black People) (HBO)

Sam Jay is one of SNL’s newest staff writers, but she hasn’t had one of her sketches air yet. She’s also working on how she can introduce her own unique voice into the broader SNL tradition. “Like urban culture stuff, gay culture stuff…women stuff, that they may not necessarily have their pulse on,” she says. “Just who I am, you know what I mean?”

Kenan Thompson remembers this feeling. He’s been on SNL for 15 seasons, making him the longest-serving cast member in the history of the show, but he still remembers how nervous he was when he started.

He also remembers when the show wasn’t nearly as diverse.

Dexter Thomas met up with Sam Jay and Kenan Thompson in New York to hear about the challenges of making Americans – all of them – laugh.

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Wolfenstein II Is The Video Game That’s Pissing Off The Alt-Right (HBO)

Bethesda’s Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus is set in 1961, in an alternate history where the Nazis won and colonized America.

After the company started releasing trailers for the game with the slogans “Not My America” and “Make America Nazi-Free Again” – clear references to the Trump administration – some gamers have gotten offended.

Dexter Thomas spoke to the creators of the new Wolfenstein about what it’s like to have created a game that accidentally feels way more real than they ever intended.

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Meet The Black Comedian Who Has Become Japan’s Most Unlikely Star (HBO)

It’s extremely difficult for anyone from the outside to make it in Japan, and it’s even harder in the entertainment industry. Dexter Thomas went to Tokyo to meet one Nigerian-American comedian who’s now on Japanese TV every day.

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This Holographic Anime Character Could Be Your Next Girlfriend (HBO)

A booming subculture of young Japanese men are obsessed with anime—to the point of craving actual intimacy. Now a company called Vinclu [prono: winkle] has invented a machine that can help bring their fantasies at least partway to life, in the form of a dedicated virtual companion. Dexter Thomas went to Tokyo to meet her.

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Chengdu’s Hottest Rappers Want To Make It In The U.S. (HBO)

The Higher Brothers is a rap group from Chengdu, China, that is starting to gain popularity in the US. Dexter Thomas went to Chengdu to meet them.

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The Man Who Relives Slave History Through Food (HBO)

Culinary historian Michael Twitty has made a name for himself touring the country to lecture about southern food traditions. His new book, ‘The Cooking Gene,’ is out today. The book explores the history of cuisine in the American south, by focusing on the people who laid the foundation for it — enslaved Africans. Twitty is currently on a teaching residency in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia. VICE New’s Dexter Thomas joined him there for a meal.

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Ferguson Election & Russia Protests: VICE News Tonight Full Episode (HBO)

This is the full episode from April 3, 2017, of VICE News Tonight on HBO.

Nearly a thousand people were detained during a week of mass anti-corruption protests in Russia last week, we went to Moscow to meet a family being reunited. Plus, a report on Ferguson’s first mayoral election since the shooting death of Michael Brown. And, an acclaimed new video game allows players to become anything – and everything – in our interconnected universe. Dexter Thomas plays the video game with creator David O’Reilly. Also, April Fools in the era of fake news.

Read: “The progressive Resistance took down Trumpcare. Now what?” – http://bit.ly/2o0zask

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Keystone Market & Paid Sick Leave: VICE News Tonight Full Episode (HBO)

Watch the Full Episode of VICE News Tonight on HBO from March 27, 2017

The VA is demanding money back from tens of thousands of veterans it allegedly overpaid. Dexter Thomas interviews Rachel Dolezal, the ex-NAACP leader who passed as African American, about her tell-all memoir, “In Full Color.” Plus, Republicans are pushing a bill that would prevent cities from creating their own labor laws, we explore the fight for paid sick leave in Minneapolis.

Read: “Ivanka and Jared Kushner could still profit from $740 million real estate empire” – http://bit.ly/2oQBRwN

Read: “Theresa May has triggered Article 50, and its anyone’s guess what happens next” – http://bit.ly/2ohhitL

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Rachel Dolezal Wants To Tell Her Side Of The Story (HBO)

VICE News Tonight correspondent Dexter Thomas meets with Rachel Dolezal to discuss her tell-all memoir, “In Full Color.”

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Drug Users Could Lose Access To Treatment If Obamacare Is Repealed (HBO)

Fatal overdoses from heroin, painkillers, and other opioids have quadrupled in the U.S. since 1999, killing more than 33-thousand (33,091) people in 2015. In the battle against that drug epidemic, the Affordable Care Act has emerged as a first line of defense, offering treatment services that can save addicts’ lives. But the new administration, and the new congress, have promised to repeal Obamacare. And that could have devastating effects in places like Louisville, Kentucky, where overdose deaths recently surged by 31% in a single year. Dexter Thomas reports.

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Meet One Of Nintendo’s Original Power Line Counselors (HBO)

Earlier this month, Nintendo released the NES Classic, a mini version of the Nintendo Entertainment System, and it sold out almost instantly. But the new model doesn’t come with one of the most beloved features of the original: access to the Power Line players called when they got stuck in a game.

The NES Power Line was originally intended to help people with technical difficulties connecting their game systems and other customer support. When Power Line counselors started receiving calls asking for strategic help on how to successfully advance through games, they set up a new line to accommodate those calls.

“They started a brand new phone line,” said David Young, one of Nintendo’s original Power Line counselors. “It’s really grown from there, from six people to start out with that were taking calls to close to 400 in the heyday.”

People of all ages and backgrounds would call in for help, Young said.

“The demographic was huge,” Young told VICE News correspondent Dexter Thomas. “You’d get some little kids and you’d try to give them directions by using left and right, and they maybe didn’t know their left to their right, so you’d have to find a more creative way to give them directions, like go towards the tree or towards the rock.”

This segment originally aired Nov. 17, 2016, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.

Watch “How Tetris became the addictive classic it is today” – http://bit.ly/2gRhRpI

Read “Nintendo’s new console is like if Game Boy and Wii U had a baby” – http://bit.ly/2fLie9n

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VidAngel Filters Offensive Material Out Of Your Favorite Movies: VICE News Tonight

This segment originally aired Oct. 28, 2016, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.

VidAngel is a service that lets viewers stream popular movies and TV shows while filtering out material that they find offensive. More than half a million customers have signed up to use the service, which is popular with people who have conservative or religious values.

VidAngel charges $20 per movie. You set your filters and watch, and then you can sell the movie back to the service for a $19 credit, making it relatively inexpensive.

But VidAngel’s process of decrypting DVDs and streaming them may be illegal. Big studios including Warner Brothers and Disney are suing the company for copyright infringement.

“I think they lose simply because it’s a pretty clear-cut case,” Brigham Young University law professor Clark Asay told VICE News correspondent Dexter Thomas. “You don’t have a right to decrypt it and make a digital copy and then stream it.”

VidAngel is raising money from its fans to fight the studios. It met its goal of $5 million raised for the lawsuit in just two days.

Read: “China is in the middle of a media crackdown” – http://bit.ly/2frODOu

Read: “Turkey continues its post-coup purge on media” – http://bit.ly/2ep0VtU

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Ultra-Potent Synthetic Heroin Is Spreading Across America (HBO)

Overdoses from heroin and other opioids now kill an average of 78 Americans every day. VICE News correspondent Dexter Thomas looked at the growing risks of synthetic opioids by visiting an Ohio county that’s been experiencing an average of 20 to 25 overdoses a day.

The Harris County coroner told him the recent overdose spike is likely attributable to carfentanil, a veterinary drug used in elephant tranquilizers. And a DEA chemist said the synthetic opioid is so potent that 2 milligrams could kill 100 people.

But a Cincinnati heroin addict said he’s willing to risk exposure to carfentanil, which dealers are using to cut heroin. “It worries me a lot, you know, knowing that it’s out there,” Brandon Harris said. “[But] as an addict, it’s worth the risk.”

The DEA confirms carfentanil use is spreading and has been found in six states so far.

Watch “Fentanyl: America’s Deadliest New Drug” – http://bit.ly/2fv6qIw

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