realitybeach.org

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Reality Beach is an online literary journal, though, you wouldn’t know it from their website, on which none of the more conservative aesthetic tropes of the conventional “lit mag” can be found. However, this is not to say that Reality Beach’s design is anything remarkable, rather it is steeped in a kind of pseudo-psychedelic imagery that not only makes the navigation experience utterly miserable but also reinforces a tired and frankly sophomoric understanding of what altered consciousness might look like. Have I ever told you about the Nostalgia Industrial Complex? Well, on realitybeach.org you will find its well oiled gears in motion, pandering a commoditized late 80’s aesthetic to millennials yearning for a time they never actually experienced. Without going off on a tangent about how the very idea of a decade is a capitalist construction invented to sell dead-stock legwarmers and T-shirts to young people, I’ll just say I’m sick of seeing videos and gifs uncritically coated with a patina of VHS effect, reducing the “1980’s” – the era of Reaganomics – to a vacuous so-called “aesthetic.” Reality Beach is the “Stranger Things” of online literary magazines.